This is my little space on the internet where I wear my heart on my sleeve, where I keep it real and above all, where I hope to encourage others. I share my life with you, not because I think I’m awesome, but because I believe that life is meant to be shared. And maybe, just maybe, God will use my story, experiences and randomness to encourage you in your life.

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Coffee Talk Mondays

May 23, 2011

Coffee Talk Monday #20/Confessions of a Dreamer

It’s Monday, so of course it’s time for Coffee Talk Monday. But as I sat down to write this post, I realized that it was more like a Confessions of a Dreamer post. SO you are are getting a twofer today :) Today I’m focusing on one of the highlights of my week (ok, I’ll be honest…MY LIFE). I like to call it “When you wish upon a Star…”

Let me start by giving you some context. I’m a wedding photographer (okay, so most of you already know that). But as a wedding photographer, I am constantly looking to be inspired, encouraged and challenged by other photographers in the industry. While I admire the work of MANY, there are just a FEW that stand out above the rest. I would dare to say that there is one person in the industry that has earned the love and respect of fellow photogs more than any other: Jasmine Star. She is like the Michael Jordan of wedding photography! Her work is amazing, no doubt, but it’s her “keep it real” personality, her “i did it wrong, but look where I am” story that really allows other photographers to relate to her.

I have been following Jasmine’s blog for years. I can’t tell you the number of times I have read something she wrote or watched one of her videos and ended up in tears. Tears of “i CAN do it.”. Tears of “i’m glad I’m not the ONLY one”. So when we headed out to WPPI last February, I told Joe that there was one class that we were not going to miss. Jasmine’s of course! We filed into the theatre amongst hundreds of other photographers to hear from this amazing woman. The title of her presentation was called “Untold Stories”. She focused on the concept of ‘writing your own story’. (check out her awesome intro video HERE.) This presentation was a turing point for Joe + I as a photography team. It was that push we needed to take our business to the next level; to take risks; to lay it all out on the table. And for that I am SO thankful.

The rest of WPPI was a whirlwind of excitement. We met amazing people who inspired us like never before. It was the morning of February 23rd, our last day at WPPI.  I had heard that Jasmine would be doing a Q+A for 20 photographers late Wednesday morning which was going to be taking place just a couple rooms down from ours. The tickets had sold out almost immediately which was no surprise to me. As we packed up our things and got ready for our 5 hour drive back to Phoenix, I casually joked to Joe about trying to “sneak in the back”. That’s when Joe looked at me and said “Baby, if you want to meet Jasmine, let’s go meet Jasmine. It’s time to start writing your own story.” Ummm what? Did that really just come out of my husband’s mouth??? I told you her presentation was a turing point! So you know what? We did! We waited in the hallway with the other photographers awaiting her arrival and 10 minutes later we were sitting in the back of the suite hanging on her every word. After the Q+A, we met Jasmine face-to-face for the first time. Fast forward through a few email exchanges and a couple months and we found ourselves hanging in the OC having nachos and a margarita with Jasmine. I know, you’re all probably like….wait, how did that happen? The truth is, I’m still kinda like…wait, how did that happen??? LOL! Last week we had the pleasure of being J*’s models for her May 2011 workshop. In a word, it was: AMAZE-TASTIC!

1. I got to be a ‘bride’ again.

2. I met 20 amazing photographers from around the world

3. We had the chance to learn how Jasmine + JD run their amazing business together

4. We got to be in front of J*’s camera, duh!

5. I no longer feel as creepy when I frequently read Jasmine’s blog now that she actually knows who I am ;).

Overall, it was a BLAST and I am so beyond grateful that we had this amazing opportunity. Thank you Jasmine, for everything :) xoxo stacy kokes

Here’s to writing your own story :)

undefinedundefinedundefined To see the full post, visit Jasmine’s blog HERE

leave some LOVE!

  1. Charlie

    May 23rd, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Stacy! Great post – a lot of the feelings you shared are those that I totally echo. :-)

  2. Jasmine Star

    May 23rd, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    you…are…amazing. thank you SO much for being fabulous and helping me follow my passion. i’m nothing without people like you and joe! :)xoxo

  3. jess

    May 23rd, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    what an incredible opportunity! and you & the hubs are STUNNING! so fun to have “new” wedding pictures by j*!!

  4. Candee

    May 23rd, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    What an awesome experience!! Nice to know i’m now alone in the J* blog stalking category LOL

  5. Christina Blanarovich

    May 23rd, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Stacy – You guys were fantastic models and great to get to know. Your work is beautiful and I can’t wait to see more from you, the photographer!

  6. stacykokes

    May 24th, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Oh Jasmine, you just proved my point all the more of why you are so wonderful! You never forget to thank the little people :) xoxo

  7. Damaris Mia

    May 24th, 2011 at 3:07 am

    <3 Such a beautiful story! And great photos of you and Joe! I'm totally with you on the J* blog stalking ;) hehe

  8. Daniela

    May 25th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Did I tell you both how amazing you guys were to shoot? I think I did but just in case..again…you guys rocked. Thanks so much and it was a pleasure meeting you both. :)

  9. Kim Chan

    May 28th, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Beautifully said Stacy! And I can completely relate :)

  10. Lindsey

    May 30th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I am a new fan of Stacey and Joe – what a beautiful couple you are inside and out! It was such a pleasure meeting you at Jasmine’s workshop.

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