Saturday, September 30, 2006


I want to thank everyone for your kind comments and emails regarding my anniversary. If success is reflective by friendships, love and support, then I am truly successful. I’ll post my anniversary pictures in a couple of days, but I want to tell you about this cool little story.

Last year, my best friend Jennie was asked to be a presenter at the ESPY awards here in Los Angeles. She asked me to tag along for all the fun. In addition to receiving fabulous gift bags, free clothes, and staying in one of LA’s premiere hotels, I was able to walk down the red carpet with her and the stars. Every few steps Jennie was stopped by a reporter or fashion magazine for an interview, so I happily waited in the shadows until she was done. During this time I was able to literally rub shoulders with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Peyton Manning, and other celebrities.

Before I get hate mail from a thousand girls, please know that I’m not an avid television watcher or girly girl. I’ve never been into TV drama like Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives, so when people encouraged me to watch Grey’s Anatomy, I did. I tried to like it, but it just did nothing for me. Because of this I’m not familiar with its plot, drama, or stars.

A couple days ago, I was emailed a picture and a few minutes later I received a myriad of phone calls from friends. They were squealing like a bunch of pre-pubescent girls at a Backstreet Boys concert. Their sounds closely resembled the livestock exhibit at the Orange County Fair.

Did you see it?
See what?
The picture of you and McDreamy?!?
Ohmygosh, please tell me you know who McDreamy is!!?
A new burger from McDonalds?

They just about killed me. When I opened the email, I was vaguely familiar with the gentleman in the foreground—did I run into him at the grocery store last week?—so when they told me he’s the star of watch Grey’s Anatomy, it all made sense.

So I guess you can say I was almost famous. Almost. I guess I can tell my future children that Patrick Dempsey and I were photographed together. Sure, he didn’t know of my existence, but, really, does it matter? ;)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The First Year

It’s really hard for me to believe that a year ago this morning, I was running along the Hawaiian shore, just off Diamond Head. At the end of my run, I stopped by the gazebo where I was to wed later that day. The sun was peeking over the ocean and the sky was streaked with orange, purple, and blue; like God dipped an oversized paintbrush on a mixed palette and streaked the sky just for me.

As luck would have it, my mom—an early riser—snuck up behind me. Her coffee cup sent miniature smoke signals as she leaned over to hug me. We both stared at each other and cried. Happy tears. We knew that the day would mark the first of many new changes in my life, but I doubt we fully comprehended the person I would become.

This past year has been the sweetest I can remember. Ever. And most of it has to do with my beautiful husband. He has been my coach, cheerleader, financial advisor, chef, housekeeper, chauffer, nurse, confidant, dream catcher, and best friend. When I cry, it’s his shoulder I rest upon. When I want to give up, it’s his back I ride the rest of the way. When I laugh, it’s his eyes I look into. When I’m angry, it’s his hands that rub away the venom. Without him, there’s no me.

Happy Anniversary, JD! You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to wake up in the morning and try again. You make me want to reach out and make a difference. You make me want to sprinkle the love we share on those around us. You make me want to be a better person. 143.

Picture by David Jay

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hector and Kelly

The hills of Mission Viejo looked amber against the azure sky. The sun shined proudly over the Coto de Caza Country Club and the day couldn’t have been more perfect for a wedding.

Kelly surrounded herself with the closest of family and friends as she donned her wedding dress. She nervously sipped on champagne through a straw—as to not disturb the gloss resting on her lips—and paced the room for the wedding to begin.

Hector stood proudly on the balcony overlooking Coto de Caza’s golf course and recounted his morning game. His brother made fun of him and said Hector was too nervous to hit his golf ball straight. Hector laughed and said he went more balls than usual.

It’s always beautiful to see two people commit themselves to each other, but as the sun set against the Orange County sky, seeing Hector and Kelly start a new phase in their lives made the purple and pink sky seem even prettier than normal.

Here are a few from Saturday…
The dress

This flower girl couldn't get enough of the camera ;)

The ceremony

I loved the light on this little girl during the ceremony

The bouquet

Hector and Kelly just after the ceremony

Inside this beautiful box was the most delicious chocolate ever!

I couldn't help but feel a bit of foreshadowing as the ring-bearer and flower girl danced together during the couple's First Dance :)

The bride's mom brought toys for her grandchildren to be entertained during the reception...somehow, I got ahold on one...and Kelly's rock...oops, I mean 'ring' ;)

Happily ever after...


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Friendly Ghost

Oh...yeah...I'm so cool. Like way cool.

There are times during a wedding or a photo shoot when I need to crouch or stand on my tippy-toes. Yup, all 5'5" of me needs every bit of help I can get. Yes, I'm only 5'5"...on a good day. Most people don't realize this because I never leave my house without heels. As in four-inch heels. All my pants are tailored to accomodate my artificial, Italian leg extensions--otherwise known as the 'pump'--so when I walk without shoes, I can give the appearance of a floating ghost. Just call me Casper.

But when I shoot, I need comfortable shoes, pratical shoes. And practicality usually means in flat black shoes with a slight point. I sort of feel that if someone were to direct me to the Yellow Brick Road, I'd be able to represent the Lollipop Kids. Or legions of Oompa Lumpas...

Anyway, this past Friday, just before the bouquet toss, I grabbed a nearby chair to get a better angle of the bride and the lovely single ladies awaiting the flowers. Just as I leaned on my back leg, the chair folded from under me. In a split second, I saw a toothless smile and fractured arm in my foreseeable future. I waved my arms wildly--yeah, discreet I am not--and tried to keep my camera above my head. Luckily, my cat-like reflexes allowed me to land on my feet, but not without causing everyone to rush over. The wedding coordinator, Courtney Toney, was closest to me, so she tried offering a hand, but I had already landed. Like Apollo. That's how I landed.

Oh...yeah...I'm so cool. Like way cool.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Danny and Christina

Standing outside the Kellogg House, one could hear the shouting and laughter floating out of the third story windows. Christina and her 11 bridesmaids raised champagne glasses in honor of her wedding day. Most of the bridemaids have been her friend since junior high, so while Coldplay tunes seeped from the lime green iPod, they reminiscensed about old nicknames and fond memories they made.

Christina and Danny met in junior high, but it wasn’t until high school when they fell in love. They were assigned to be lab partners in a science class and their chemistry was unmistakeable. Seven years later, they were preparing for their wedding day.

White twinkling lights dressed the trees and spherical Chinese lanterns dangled across the night sky. White hydrangeas and callolilies adorned the tables, but the highlight of the reception was the dessert bar. In addition to a traditional wedding cake, an entire gazebo was filled with cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet confections.

As guests mingled in the oversized gazebo, I couldn’t help but notice how such a decedent table aptly reflected Danny and Christina’s relationship: sweet, satisfying, and fulfilling.

Here are a few from Friday…
Getting her makeup done

Christina's shoes

Bridesmaids getting ready

Preparing a toast...

Christina just before the ceremony

Danny and his boys

A little help from Jose Cuervo to calm Danny's nerves

The rings...I couldn't resist the temptation to utilize a doll house that was located in an adjacent room :)

Christina just finished practicing the way she was going to walk down the aisle...her friends cheered her on

Christina looking radiant as she recited her vows

Just after the wedding

The beginning of the rest of their lives...

**To see the shoot in its entirety, CLICK HERE**

**Special thanks to Courtney Toney with Joyful Weddings and Events for coordinating such a flawless wedding and Shyla for assisting me**


Friday, September 22, 2006

Baby Bear

I’m Hallmark’s dream client. When the company thinks of their target marketing audience, it thinks of me. It thinks of the girl who spends a good twenty minutes in the card aisle picking out the perfect birthday, thank you, or just because card. It’s has to be like Baby Bear’s bed: Juuuuuuust right.

Seeing how I have a love affair with stationary goods, I’m always on the look-out for new ways of sending the perfect card. Be it a potential client, a long-time acquaintance, or a vendor, I want to send something that shows I care about what I’m sending. When I spoke to Allison of ‘Ciao Tutti’ tailored stationary, I knew she would capture the feel I wanted to send.

I’m really happy with the final product and I think it’s a good reflection of my business. I know that in this age of cyber communication snail mail is an archaic form of delivery—somewhere just past cave writings and the Pony Express—but I’m trying to save its extinction. I love the feeling I get when I receive a hand-written letter in the mail, so if I can pass on the same warm-n-fuzziness, then I’m game.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Simple Photo Minute: Liana Lehman

I'm really stoked because while I was in Atlanta with Liana last month, I took my video camera along. Not only did we have a blast hanging out, we had so much fun shooting footage for the Simple Photo Minute podcast I wanted to put together. Well, Dane (the Oz behind the SPM curtain) has been gracious to air it, so if you'd like to watch the podcast, you can CLICK HERE. It may take a couple minutes to load, but it'll be worth it!

And big ups to TimCo for sending this picture of me and Liana at last week's PartnerCon...I love my friends! :)

Monday, September 18, 2006


Barstow, California. There’s nothing too much there. It’s literally a sleepy town smack in the middle of Los Angeles and Las Vegas, tucked away in Death Valley. If my eyes could write what they see driving from one destination to the other, it would be as follows: Nothing…Nothing….Nothing…Barstow…Nothing…Nothing…Nothing. JD insists he can see moutain terrain and dusty beauty, but, really, it's just a lot of reddish clay.

No offense to its residents, but I’ve always disliked Barstow. I mean, it’s a good pit stop to get gas and refill my Perrier, but not too much else. I’ve been to Barstow many a time and the only good thing I can say about the city is this: It has one rockin’ McDonalds. I mean, I hate fast food. Hate it. Never eat fast food unless it’s my only option. In Barstow, fast food is the only option. So I eat at McDonalds (garden salad and Oreo McFlurry in case you’re wondering). But this isn’t just any McDonalds. No, my friends, this is a nicely perched Golden Arches INSIDE a train. Yes, as in locomotive. I can see it from the freeway and, while I try to scowl while driving off the freeway, the sign brings a smile to my face. I guess the idea of eating in a caboose can do that to me.

But other than the railroad/McFlurry euphoria, there’s not too much to Barstow.

Which brings me to today. As JD and I were walking off the tennis court this evening, we took a seat and passed a water bottle back and forth. We started talking about our anniversary and what JD had planned.

I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, Jaz.

This did not sound good. In fact, I’m pretty sure it meant only bad things. Sure, I realize our anniversary lands on a Thursday, and, sure, I realize JD isn’t going to plan a random trip to Paris, but this didn’t sound good. I came to discover that he landed an awesome account and in order to solidify the contract, a meeting will must be held on the 28th (i.e. our anniversary). JD apologized profusely, but I assured him it was fine. He suggested we drive to the meeting together. Afterward, we’d make a day of it.

Sure, sounds great…where’s the meeting, I asked. I secretly hoped he’d say Mission Viejo so he could drop me off at Burke Williams Day Spa for a pre-anniversary massage. But, no. He said the city that has become the bane of my existence: Barstow.

I suppose he saw the disappointment because he slung his arm around my neck and apologized again. It’s totally cool, I muttered under the weight of his embrace. He didn’t have to hear me say the words. I know JD knows I’d rather be in Barstow with him than with anyone else, anywhere else in the world.

I suppose this is what it means to love someone. Really love someone. To sacrifice of oneself and be totally and completely okay with it.

If you happen to be driving along the 15 freeway on the 28th, make sure and take a good look into the caboose. I’m sure you’ll see me and JD sharing a McFlurry…and loving every bite…together.

**The pictures were not taken by me...but you can thank Google Images for those lovely illustrations**

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Maybe I’ll get a free alignment.
Don’t be silly, JD said.
I’m not…I mean, wouldn’t that be great?
Yes, that would be great, but you’re being impractical, JD insisted.

As I made my way to the Chiropractic Sanctuary in Irvine, I dreamed of how lovely it would be to have my spine aligned and the knots that line my neck worked out. There’s nothing like laying on my stomach and feeling the pressure of knowing hands knead my back. My bones would then respond with a cacophony of cracks and muffled spinal sighs.

Snap out of it, I told myself. I was going to the Chiropractic Sanctuary to shoot, not for an alignment. Dr. Liz contacted and commissioned me to shoot her clinic because she’s having her website designed and needed images to complete the feel she wanted. That’s where I came in. I paced her clinic while she and her partner, Christine, work on patients with an ease and elite sense of professionalism. I was jealous. I wanted to be kneaded. To be cracked. I wanted my spine to sigh. Snap out of it, I reminded myself.

As I finished the shoot and began packing my camera away, she proposed what I thought sounded summer rain tip-toe on hot pavement: Jasmine, would you like to be aligned?

I’m sure I tried acting modest and unknowing, but I was just shy of sprinting into a room on pouncing on a chiropractic bed. So, I laid on my back and Dr. Liz, with her knowing hands, kneaded my back. And my bones responded with a cacophony of cracks and muffled spinal sighs.

Here are a few from the shoot…
The clinic also specializes in acupucture!

Dr. Liz looking quite dapper

A reflection Dr. Liz and Dr. Christine

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Write Up

This morning I got an email from Jenna where she congratulated me on my recent article. My first thought was, What article? She then went onto explain how she came across a link to the article from Mike Colon's blog and then it all made sense :)

I'm really happy to announce that the article I wrote about Mike Colon a couple months ago has been published in and I'm SO happy to be a small part of this process. Writing the article was a lot of fun and I learned more than I could have imagined, so seeing the project come to fruition is mind-blowing. If you'd like to read the article, you can CLICK HERE.

I've said this before, but I want to thank Mike for this awesome opportunity and his mentorship and David Jay for introducing us. These guys have been the life life to my business and I'm blessed by them every day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Ferrer Family

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing the Ferrer family. Not only are they unusually wonderful, they are the most genuine people a person can meet. The shoot was bittersweet because the Ferrer's are moving to the midwest, and while this may seem like an exciting new move, the eldest son, AJ, is remaining in California to finish his senior year of high school. The family wanted to document their last days together, so I was honored to be the lucky photographer.
Here are a few from the shoot...

Anissa looking beautiful in the warm sunlight...

I think Aidan wants to be a police officer in the near future...

Quenching his playgroung thirst...

Anthony and Poppy...

Art looking at the beautiful women in his life...

Anissa breaks into dance at random moments, so here she is shaking her thing...

A candid moment of AJ...

The Ferrer's...


Sunday, September 10, 2006


It came a couple weeks early. Eighteen days early to be exact. Sure, my one-year wedding anniversary to my best friend isn’t until the 28th, but it felt like we commemorated it last night.

As life sometimes serendipitously works, JD and I walked into to Pascucci to meet with David Jay and a group of photographers from his Brooks Weekend Seminar. Because of the large size of the group, everyone sat at different tables. Just then, JD and I were escorted to a small table for two.


The table where we sat was the same table we sat at seven years ago on Valentine’s. Our first trip together to Santa Barbara. Never could I imagined back then how many twists and turns my life would have taken since then. But somehow—sitting in a smoky Italian restaurant seven years later—I couldn’t be happier.

JD and I drove up yesterday for a night-shoot with DJ and his students. And though DJ thanked us profusely for our assistance, it was us who felt blessed. I doubt many of DJ’s couples have him shoot their one-year anniversary, so I was especially stoked to work with him again…and the AMAZING group of photographers who accompanied him.

Here are a couple pictures from DJ’s blog:

JD and I spent the rest of the evening at the Andalucia. The lovely desk assistant upgraded our room, so our first experience at this hotel was phenomenal. If you’re in Santa Barbara soon, I’d recommend this hotel in a heartbeat…and the rooftop pool/bar has awesome views of State Street. Be sure to check it out, even if you’re not a hotel guest ;)