Monthly Archives October 2010

I gotta tell ya—I wasn’t there long, but I had a blast!!!!

I flew out Wednesday night, got there Thursday at 8:08 am (slept a bit on the plane), and by the time I got to my hotel and caught a quick 45 minute nap, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door to meet Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis (two faithful readers of my blog, and otherwise horrible people).

(Above: That’s Dave and I posing in front the famous Leaning Tower of Big Ben. Notice how un-touristy I look wearing a Chicago Bears jacket. Photo by Glyn Dewis).

Dave and Glyn took me to an awesome place in Covent Garden called “Gourmet Burger Kitchen” for lunch. Yummy burger, and lots of laughs, and then we set out to find a Starbucks so I could charge my iPhone.

(Above: That’s Glyn and I caught in a totally un-posed, spontaneous moment, pondering the age-old question; “Would this gray overcast day look better as an HDR?” Photo by Her Majesty’s Royal Photographer in Waiting, Dave Clayton).

After that we went on a mini-photo walk around London. It was kind of a gray, overcast, chilly day, but that didn’t stop me from taking some of the most uninspiring, blah photos ever! I couldn’t wait to delete them off my card.

(Above: We found a mirrored wall, and couldn’t help ourselves. Photo by one of us, I’m pretty sure. Probably Dave).

We goofed off most of the day–shooting, talking about the great weather, and the two of them had the best fake British accents you’ve ever heard (They kept saying stuff like, “Cor Blimey Chappy. Cheerio Guv’nah” and stuff like that. Why they sounded just like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Dave was dressed in a red Beefeater uniform the whole day). ;-)

I feel bad teasing Dave, because the very next day, right before the seminar, he gave me what may seem like a small gift, but to me, it was out of this world. His brother had worked on the Rolling Stones last world tour, and he gave me five guitar picks from the Stones, with their names on them (see below). I was so psyched!!! (I know—it’s the little things). :)

My buddy Ed Davis met us that night for dinner, and surprisingly enough, he too had the fake British accent. ;-)  I originally met Ed years ago at a Photoshop World in Florida, where he’s won numerous Guru Awards, and since then we’ve become friends and he’s written articles for Photoshop User, and he’s just a great guy all around.

The morning I came up with the original idea to host a Worldwide Photo Walk (it was during a breakfast meeting at Photoshop World with my publisher Nancy Ruenzel), I walked out of the breakfast restaurant and ran right into Ed Davis. He was the first person I saw after hatching the idea, so I told him the idea and asked that if we actually did this, would he host a walk in London? Ed said “Absolutely!” and that was it—we were off and running (I’ll always be thankful for running into Ed that morning. His immediate positive reaction gave me confidence to charge forward. Of course, at that point we were hoping for 50 cities around the world to participate. We had no idea….).

The Day of the Seminar
I walked up the street to grab some breakfast at Pret a Manger (a little walk-up restaurant down the street from my hotel), and I met half a dozen people on their way to the seminar who stopped me on the street. Everybody was so incredibly gracious that I talked with (though they seemed surprised to see me walking the streets of Islington). One of them told me, “Hey, your buddies are over at Starbucks,” so I stopped in there and Glyn, Dave, and some friends were all in there hogging up all the power outlets and drinking American coffee, while still faking British accents (I heard “You are the weakest link” several times. Shameful!).

I left them to their Bangers and Mash (which is weird, since they don’t serve that at Starbucks), and I grabbed some breakfast at Pret a Manger, then headed back to the Business Design Centre (where we held the event. Great place by the way—iPhone photo of the front entrance below).

I cannot tell you how genuinely friendly and warm the crowd was. It was hands down one of the very best crowds I presented to all year. They were totally into it, really focused, and not afraid to have some fun. I answered lots of questions between breaks, at lunch, and since I didn’t have to fly out until Saturday, I offered to stay until every single person had their question answered one-on-one, so we were there for quite a while afterwards, but I didn’t mind one bit. Everyone was so gracious, and patient. Really a tremendously fun day!

(Above: Here’s a close-up during the seminar. Notice the liquor bottles  to the far left, on the corner of the stage. I was hammered all day. Of course, only later did I learn they were just bottled water. Also, noticed I cleverly positioned myself so there would always be a green sign with an arrow aiming right down at me. Photo by The Duke of Clayton).

Sean McCormack from the Lightroom Blog traveled over from Ireland to see the seminar, and we got a photo taken together (here’s the link). Great guy, and it was nice to finally meet Sean in person, after reading his blog for so long (link).

(Above: After the seminar, I stuck around, answered questions, posed for photos, and generally tried to avoid Dave and Glyn as long as possible, but Dave got this photo any way).

All Good Things…
After the seminar, I grabbed a quick bite with my seminar team, and then we headed back to the hotel to print boarding passes (exciting, eh?). Then it was off to sleep, a quick taxi ride to the airport (which cost only half of my ride from Heathrow Airport to the hotel when I got there. It literally cost me $160 US, from a licensed black taxi. That’s more than a Photoshop CS5 upgrade).

As I write this, I’m in New York, at JFK Airport, waiting for my flight back to Tampa. I just want to thank everyone who came out to make the seminar such a success. Great people, great times, and a big thanks to Dave, Glyn, and Ed for being such wonderful hosts, and friends, and for making me feel so at home, so far away from home.

….if anything at all offends you, because this video is packed with offensive…well…everything (from really, really bad curse words and Nazis, to Nazis yelling really bad curse words), but it’s after midnight, and I’m sitting in my hotel room in London, practicing for my seminar tomorrow morning, and a buddy sent me the link to this video, and I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face.

Now, it’s very late. I’ve only slept a few hours after flying all night, so it may be much funnier to me tonight than it will be to you at 8:00 am in the morning, so before you hit that play button, know that this video is wrong on every level, so ask yourself if you’re likely to be offended by really, really naughty words and Nazis before noon.

If that sounds like you, (and you know who you are), please don’t watch it. Plus, if after reading this, you watch it then post one of those “Mr. Kelby, I’m so disappointed in you, etc.” comments, I’m just going to delete it anyway since you’ve been forewarned. So, in closing; if you’re one of those “serious types,” I’m begging you, don’t watch it. But for everybody else, you will laugh your $#^&;% off!

Have a great Friday everybody, and I’ll be back home tomorrow! :)

Hitler finds out his Nikon D7000 is not shipping until November from nikonreviewcentral on Vimeo.

So I’m sitting in this burger restaurant in London, talking about Dave and Glyn’s past visits to Photoshop World in the states, and of course what topic comes up? Vanelli.

In describing Dave’s personal encounters with Vanelli during the conference, Dave unwittingly came up with not only the most accurate and spot-on description of Vanelli during a Photoshop world, but he easily earned the honor of being my official quote of the month.

Dave said, “Vanelli is like a bowling ball and all the attendees are bowling pins. He hits all the pins during the conference. No one escapes.”

It’s brilliant (only because it’s true).

— Blogging from my iPhone.

Hey everyone, Brad here with the latest news:

Kelby TV is running a free photo contest from now until October 31, sponsored by Dell and Intel! The winner will receive a brand new Dell Precision M6500 laptop (the same laptop used in Photoshop Wars at Photoshop World)! Visit for all the details. (Voting is open to everyone, submissions open to U.S. residents)

Tomorrow is the day, London! Hundreds of photographers have already signed up for Scott’s Photoshop for Digital Photographers seminar in Islington tomorrow, but you can still show up and register at the door.

If you can’t make it to the seminar in London, Matt Kloskowski will be bringing the same seminar to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on November 18! You can get all the details and sign up right here.

Remember Scott’s report from Moab where he photographed the mountain biker at Slickrock Trail? Tom Bol‘s Photographing Adventure Sports class over on Kelby Training Online was filmed at the same location! He covers everything from portraits to getting unique action shots, so go check it out!

Would you like to spend a week at one of the most beautiful resorts in the world, learning from Joe McNally and Scott Kelby? Here’s your chance! There are only two spots left for The Hot Shoe Lighting Workshop in St. Lucia. You can see Scott’s report from last year’s workshop here and email Lynn here if you want to take part in what could be one of the most memorable experiences of your life (and I’m speaking from experience :) ).

If you’re a digital photographer and haven’t been watching DTown TV (featuring Scott and Matt), you’ve been missing out! Each episode has tips for shooting, getting the most bang for your buck, guest photographers, giveaways, and more. The latest episode features…

  • Scott with some tips for beginners on choosing which camera and lenses to buy
  • Larry Becker with his Cheap Shots segment in which he discusses cleaning dust out of the camera
  • Wedding photographer Cliff Mautner shares advice on shooting wedding processionals and recessionals
  • Matt shares a post processing tip about combining images to keep multiple subjects in focus when shooting portraits with a shallow depth of field

So drop by and check out the show! You can also subscribe to the podcast for free in iTunes.

Scott Bourne recently asked Scott Kelby to be a guest on his Photofocus podcast where they discussed Lightroom, shooting in harsh light, using bright backgrounds for portraits, photographing fall leaves, clam shell lighting, and a WHOLE bunch of other great topics. Click here to check out Episode 53 of Photofocus. (Scott was also the guest host on two previous episodes that can be found here and here)

Scott mentioned earlier this week that Moose Peterson’s new book Captured was in stock at Amazon, and now it’s in stock at Barnes & Noble! Click here to order your copy now.

I shot my first wedding in October 2006.  Back then, I simply hoped for the best.  Hoped the wedding wasn’t delayed, hoped the family members remained nearby for formal pictures, and hoped I received a timeline for the day in advance.  I’ll never forget the terror of standing outside–in a garden–after my first wedding on a pitch-black night for the family formal pictures.  It was so dark I couldn’t get my camera to focus.  I actually resorted to my assistant holding a flashlight just to provide enough light to get my camera to fire.

I redefined awesome.

After that experience, I realized how important it was for me to address a wedding day timeline in advance.  Namely, using my experience (you know, all ONE wedding I had tucked under my belt) to best prepare my clients for an optimal photography experience.

This meant discussing my clients’ desires weeks in advance and offering guidance if the bride was inclined.  This was of tantamount importance if a wedding coordinator was not involved with the planning, as the ebb and flow of the day is controlled by the wedding photographer.

In 2007, I photographed 38 weddings and–through trial and error–created what I think is an optimal timeline.  Now, this is just my opinion.  Everyone works differently, but I’ve discovered I’m able to balance my clients’ desires as well as my creative desires adhering to the following timeline…

– Photography begins
– Details photographed (wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, bouquet, etc)
– Last minute hair and makeup touchups
– Candid photos of the bridesmaids preparing

– Bride dresses
– Candids of bride with mom and bridesmaids

– First Look
– Bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for photos

– Bridal party pictures
– Bride with her bridesmaids, group and solo photos
– Groom with his groomsmen, group and solo photos
– Entire group

– Bride gets tucked away from early arriving guests
– Photographers shoot ceremony details and cocktail hour location, if available.

5pm – Ceremony

5:30pm – Ceremony Ends

5:40pm – Family pictures

6:10pm – Sunset photos with bride and groom

6:25pm – Photograph reception details

6:45pm – Grand Entrance

6:55pm – First Dance

7pm – Welcome and prayer, if applicable

7:15pm – First course served

7:30pm – Toasts

7:45pm – Second course served

8:15pm – Father/daughter…mother/son dance

8:25pm – Open dancing

9:30pm – Cake cutting

9:40pm – Bouquet/garter toss

10pm – Photography coverage commences

Like I mentioned before, everyone works differently and there’s no such thing as a perfect approach.  I wrote this blog post because I wish I had something to consult when I first started.  I made many mistakes, but I learned from each of them, and I used them to build my business.

Most importantly, simply go out of your way to ensure you’re on the same page with the bride.  Your experience, your client’s experience, and the overall flow of the day will be amazing if everyone knows what to expect.

If you’d like to read more about how I work and other FAQs, here’s a specific link to just these types of posts:  FAQ Posts on Jasmine Star Blog

I appreciate the opportunity to share a little about who I am and what I love to do.  Thanks to the Kelby crew for welcoming me and I couldn’t be more honored.

Twitter:  @JasmineStar
Facebook:  Jasmine Star Facebook Page