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Star Struck – WPPI U Atlanta

This week, I attended the WPPI University here in Atlanta.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, WPPI U is a three day workshop filled with classes for wedding and portrait photographers who want to up their game.  The schedule was full of crazy talented speakers, but one in particular I had been looking forward to was Jasmine Star.  I frequent her blog, and have seen her creativelive courses, and I’m always amazed at what a great photographer, teacher, and speaker, she is.  Her class started at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning, and I knew that I wanted a front row seat, so when my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., I crawled out of bed, got ready, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door.  I was the second person to arrive, so I grabbed three seats front and center, for myself, and the two amazing women (Shout out to my girls, Adrea and Zipporah!) that I had met the previous day.  As 8:30 neared, and seats started to fill up, I grabbed my camera out of my bag to take a couple of test shots.  I switched the power button on and saw the dreaded “no memory card” symbol.  How could I have forgotten to bring a CF card?  Luckily, Zipporah, also a Jasmine Star groupie, had brought her camera and was able to get few shots.  Jasmine spoke for an hour and a half, on her life, her struggle as an unhappy law student, caring for her terminally ill mother, to marrying her best friend and becoming a renowned wedding photographer and teacher.   There were so many things about her speech that really hit home for me.  Struggling to become a photographer, the death of a parent, trying to find balance between your business and personal life,  staying up until 2 a.m. editing, while your husband goes to bed alone…again.  She spoke with so much emotion and conviction, and most of all, honesty, that I ended up crying at one point.  Okay, twice.  But probably the thing about Jasmine Star that stood out the most for me, was when I went up and shook her hand to introduce myself, she immediately made you feel like you were just hanging out, gossiping with one of your girlfriends.  It was at that point, that I realized why there were a couple hundred people lined up behind us, waiting.  Yes, there is no doubt that she ‘s a great photographer, but it’s who she is as a person that makes people stand in line for their two minutes with her.

Apparently, we both talk with our hands.


(special thanks to Zipporah for taking these photos)

I was also lucky enough to meet two women who love photography and J*, Adrea and Zipporah, and who were just as excited about the entire experience as I was.  These girls made this week unforgettable, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these new friendships!

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