Newsletter 22 | June 2015 Feature
Although some of you guessed who it would be, many of you have yet to realize the powerhouse that is she. She and I have been through many new, strange, and tough events together. That has (gratefully and thankfully) not made us weaker, but in fact stronger. To me she represents the epitome of courage. She is the most unique fun-sized young lady you will encounter. With every challenge she has faced she has managed to handle all of them with her father’s smile. Without further adieu…
Jasemine is an an author. In her 20+ years of living, she has been best known for 4 things: singing voice, photography, her imagination, and her obsession with the actor Johnny Depp during her younger years. The best part of those years was learning what made her tick. Her greatest accomplishment (in her opinion – not mine, yeah this is V talking – hey, she’s done some phenomenal shxt) was quitting her normal job. That’s where the life of a red mohawk having, Nsync singing,creative Chicagoan began. Her blog documents some of the finer and not so finer moments in her world. It is an ode to self celebration, a tour guide to the unconventional life, and most importantly, a reminder that you are not alone.
Jasemine is currently working on part 2 of The Twisted Series, Twisted Abandon. You can purchase part one here.
Q&A Session With J|D
Q: What led you into pursuing photography?
A: It’s a tough tie between wanting to tell stories through a different medium and the first time I ever got rejected as a model. Talk about hurt feelings. I didn’t want anyone else to experience that, being told they weren’t “pretty enough” so I went into it with the mindset that everyone deserved to be photographed.
Q: In the beginning, did you struggle with industry techniques?
A: I wouldn’t say struggled as much learned profusely. Photography is a very competitive industry and in order to progress in it, you have to understand that you’re not the worst or the best. Everyone’s somewhere in the middle, always.
Q: Has your life or lifestyle influenced your work in any way?
A: Photography is the perfection example of art imitating life and life imitating art. If it’s not, “stand there and pose like you’re enjoying yourself”, it’s “You want a photo just like this one…” Let’s make it happen.
Q: How do you believe your work has improved your community or generation?
A: Haha, I do believe that. But not because of my ego. I’ve watched a lot of people smile after seeing their finished photos and tell me that they love me. You can’t imagine what it’s like hearing “I love you” everyday from people who have genuinely never experienced something so magical in their lives. I can’t help but tell them I love them back and continue to tell them everyday.
Q: What is a typical career day for you?
A: Wake up. Coffee. God, if I don’t have coffee. If it’s shooting, it’s going out in the thrift shoes I bought only to flip them off and chase someone around for three or four hours. Come home, get in the office, and immediately get to work on making sure their photos get finished. Other times, it’s office days. Sitting and staring at photos with my fingers on my chin going “YES. THIS IS GOOD.” And connecting with people. I talk to at least 50 strangers everyday. It’s amazing to say that that is my job.
Q: What would you suggest to younger aspiring photographers?
A: Always be kind. I understand that when you get a new camera, you wanna be the big bad. You know, the photographer who has it all. Everyone starts somewhere. You can’t force another photographer to give you their style. Just be patient, and learn.
Q: In addition to photography, are you passionate about any other careers?
A: My writing. I’m on my third novel this year and I couldn’t believe I managed to do that in between pursuing what’s going to be my last year of college and photographing full time. This trilogy has brought me to my knees emotionally and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Q: How do you spend your down time?
A: Besides working? Writing fan fiction and currently… watching reruns of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Netflix. I fell in love with James Marster’s cheekbones the first time I saw them. If it’s not that, it’s jamming to Gambino. I need about 11 more mixtapes to keep me satisfied. Everyone knows I love Donald Glover though.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 2025?
A: In 2025, right here. Sitting in my office talking to you of course. Feet propped up, photos in queue telling myself I’ve got a long day ahead of me. This is real, you know? This is what I picture myself doing for the rest of my life.
Q: Do you have any “Words to Live By” that you can share?
A: I do but they both sound so menacing. The first, It’s the mission that matters. Yeah, it’s a Buffy quote. I recently did a whole photoshoot dressed up as the character who said it because I was literally moved. There’s no other way to live but to realize that nothing else matters other than what you want to pursue in your life. It’s yours which leads me to my second: “Stay in your lane.” We spend too much time obsessing over the opinion of others not realizing it’ll be the undoing of ourselves. When people say things whether negative or kind, I tell them the same thing. Namaste which means the good in me recognizes the good in you. If you’re in your lane and your lane is good, all you see is greatness around you. It’s important, almost as important as the mission.
Jasemine Denise Photography Mini Gallery
Jasemine-Denise Official Site www.jaseminedenise.com
Thank you all for reading, and thank you Jasemine for sharing your creativity with the world.