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J*

September 16, 2009

Last night I had the opportunity to see the lovely and talented Jasmine Star (J*) speak at a local photographer’s association meeting in Lansing. The two-hour drive and $50 fee was infinitely worthwhile.  It’s not often that your hero actually flies across the country and offers the opportunity for you to sit in a room and listen to her tell her story. It’s not often your hero turns out to be everything you thought she would be… and then some.

Jasmine and her husband JD are super cool.  And they don’t even try.  Their cool is kind of exponential.  Epic.  Next level stuff.   And their friends are cool, too!  Amy Wenzel and her husband David were there with Jasmine and JD.  Amy is a stunning portrait photographer based in Grand Rapids and her husband is going through brain cancer.  They are a beautiful, young couple with so much personal style that I wanted to go over and ask if they would rub some of it onto me.  Cool is a personality trait that I have never possessed.  Style is not something I come by naturally.  I fall down.  I don’t have cool clothes.  I wear glasses.  My stomach gurgles at the most inopportune times.  I just don’t have it, but they do.  In spades.

I’m like TCBY trying to be Coldstone, and these cats are already Haagen Dazs. 

For this story, keep in mind a very important fact… I do not get starstruck. I know this for a fact because I’ve seen a few actual celebrities up-close-and-personal and none of them got me all silly.   And I mean people like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kerri Walsh, Liza-frickin’-Minelli, Robin Williams.  I say hi or smile and just keep walking.  And if I go to a seminar, I walk right out the door as soon as it’s over. I don’t join the throng of people waiting to get a moment with the speaker. I hit the road. Last night as I left an AMAZING presentation, the best way for me to get out the door was across the front of the ballroom. As I crossed the ballroom, Jasmine Star stood from her table and there she was in front of me. It seemed rude to pass by without telling her that I really appreciated everything she talked about. 

I reached in to grab her hand and instead got her somewhere near the elbow, then I tried to switch spots and ended up holding the bottom half of her hand and her wrist at the same time. It was weird and stupid and I suddenly felt moronic. I couldn’t think of anything to say except, “Jasmine, that was so great. I read your blog, like, 6 times a day.” ~Insert obnoxious nervous laugh here~   I might as well have walked up to her and asked if she wanted to share my lollipop.    Just….so….weird.

But she didn’t bat an eye.  She looked me right in the eye, thanked me for coming, and asked me where I was from.  She is a greater woman than I will ever be and her grace in that moment was a gift. 

Here are a few other things I learned about Jasmine last night:

  • She’s a pastor’s kid.  How awesome is that?  I already knew she loved God and went to church regularly, but I didn’t know we had that in common, too!
  • Her husband thinks she’s really funny.
  • She says words like “sucks”, “crap” and “rad”.   I say that, too.  Maybe I’m a little cool?
  • She is madly in love with JD, and vice versa.  They might be the cutest couple I’ve ever seen in person.
  • She is tiny.  With fantastic arms and fabulous shoes.  And JD is no slouch, for sure.
  • She is effortlessly gracious.  She sat through a local photographers association meeting, went over to vote in the little contest they were having, cheered (loudly) for all the winners, and listened intently to all the announcements.
  • She is self-depricating and doesn’t take any of this too seriously.
  • She makes up her own words (like “momental”, which she says must mean “in the moment”)

Thanks Jasmine Star for making this little photographer feel like she could do anything.  You “rocked it”, girl!

I had to pull this picture off of her blog because when I got there, my camera battery was dead.  This does not bode well for my future.  I just missed being in this picture by about 6 inches.  I’m in the front, sitting against the left wall. 

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