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FULL. A gorgeous wedding, an amazing couple, Philadelphia, and Jasmine Star.

May 9, 2011

I woke up Sunday morning at the crack of 11, jet-lagged, a teeny bit sore, and with a heart just plain FULL.  I’ve been keeping quiet for weeks about how ecstatic I am over a little bit of fortune I’ve recently been dealt.  Okay, that’s an understatement.  I was giddy like a high school girl who just got asked out by the boy she’s had a crush on for two years.  And not just out, but going steady out.  Yet I somehow felt bad that I won this opportunity and so many others didn’t get to.  This past Saturday, I was given the opportunity to shoot with my photographer “crush” Jasmine Star.  I told my husband last week what a super-nerd I feel like even being giddy like that.  But it’s not like that at all! I protested, even as I was trying to wipe the impossibly stupid grin off my face.  Yes, I think she takes the most beautiful photographs…but that’s not even half what makes her so awesome.  It’s the way that she is, the way she interacts with her brides and grooms, and the truth of herself that she just exudes.  It’s the way she protects her privacy yet reveals gorgeous little peaks into her heart and what moves her, professionally and personally.  And it’s the humility that makes it hard for her to hear things like that (let alone accept them) that makes me even more endeared to her.

When during her most recent Creative Live course Jasmine first announced an upcoming auction to shoot a wedding with her and JD, my interest was definitely piqued.  I have a young photography business myself (I shot my first paid wedding in November of 2009), and so I’m in that phase where most of my earnings get poured right back into things like pretty new lenses and more flash cards and new web design.  That being the case, I really didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams that I would even be able to bid on an auction to shoot with Jasmine.  But of course I still had to torture myself and at least check it out when the announcement came.  :)  So the auction was announced.  It was going to be just outside of Philadelphia, less than 90 miles from where I grew up and my parents still live.  I have been dying to have some business-related excuse to travel back to that area more so I can see my momma more than once a year.  Besides, we get spoiled with beachy/vineyard wedding goodness in California, I’ve been dying to switch it up a little bit anyway!  Wait, there’s more.  Soooo much more.  The wedding was going to be Marie and Charlie’s.  It was hands down one of my favorite couples I’ve ever seen Jasmine photograph for two reasons.  First of all is obvious, the images are just plain to die for.  Second, it was a couple that Jasmine said specifically did NOT act as though they’d been in front of a camera their whole lives.  And yet they looked like it.  There was an ease and a glamour and an insight into the deepest part of their love that Jasmine just simply draws out.  That is simply stunning.

And then there came the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Or should I say straws.

Marie and Charlie were doing the auction for Thon, a student-run charity for children’s cancer research at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  I literally choked.  Not only did my parents meet at Penn State and breed the biggest little Nittany Lion fan you can imagine, I know that hospital way too well.  While I definitely never had anything like cancer, as a child I had a very severe case of Lyme disease and spent MONTHS of physical therapy learning how to walk again…in that very hospital.  My mom also not only worked there for years, but in 2001 she had surgery that was the scariest 5 hours of my life in that very hospital.  I couldn’t help but call my mom to tell her about the conditions of the auction.  I truly didn’t expect anything, but I did know that she and my dad give a good amount to charity every year, and I asked if they still gave to Penn State.  Well, there was no convincing her not to bid at that point.  We both hung up a bit emotional about the irony of the situation.  I doubt it will happen, but if it did how powerful this would be.  I tried to not think about it.

Obviously how it played out goes without saying much.  Yet somehow when Marie and Charlie’s wedding day rolled around, I was even more overwhelmed with that feeling of a heart truly full than I could have ever imagined.  Marie and Charlie are the kind of couple that I am grateful for having crossed paths with, and hope I get to again.  Jasmine and JD gave me an experience I will cherish forever and surely never forget.  I could never have hoped for a more wonderful experience with some truly gorgeous people, inside and out.  So a million times over, thank you.

And yes, as soon as Jasmine has blogged her images from Marie and Charlie’s unbelievably breathtaking wedding, I will blog some of my own. But for now, here’s a teeny tiny sneak peak.



12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 10:10 am

    Congratulations on winning the auction!! Jasmine is an amazing person (I don’t know her personally but have followed her the past several months) What an awesome treat for you! Look forward to seeing the images.

    PS. I like the new logo!

  2. May 9, 2011 10:24 am

    Soooooooooo insanely – ridiculously – over the moon – excited for you!! Buuuuut HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME!?!?! ahhhhhh. I would have be blabbing it everywhere!
    Can’t wait to see more! Congrats on the amazing opportunity and for the cause it supported!
    You go girl!

  3. May 9, 2011 10:52 am

    Thanks for coming out and being so awesome! :)

  4. May 9, 2011 11:41 am

    SOOOO unbelievably jealous….I mean HAPPY that you got to shoot with J*!!!!! sounds like you were more than deserving- and *obviously* looking forward to seeing more images! I have been a fan of hers for a loooong time, and have learned more about myself as a photographer through her- being honest, loving what I do, and taking chances. How cool you got to work with her in person!!! Congrats!

  5. Amanda permalink
    May 9, 2011 1:26 pm

    What an amazing story put with an amazing experience. I’m touched by all the small coincidence connected with your story, the location and the hospital. Congratulations! I’m sure there was no one else more qualified to win! ;)

    GA Photog

  6. May 9, 2011 4:36 pm

    Congrats Lori! Can’t wait to see the photos. ;)

  7. May 12, 2011 8:05 am how lucky are you? and how precious that this story has a special piece of your childhood as well. i wanted to join in on this for a wonderful cause and an amazing opportunity but just couldn’t. i am glad someone like you was able to do so. i love love love your story and was laughing at your other posts because you are so darn cute!!! i am sure you fit in perfect with j* and jd. they are wonderful people. congrats! and i cant wait to see your photos!!!!!!

  8. Marie Shaner permalink
    May 12, 2011 10:28 am

    you rock Lori!! thank you for everything!!!

  9. May 12, 2011 12:54 pm

    Beautifully written :) :) Looking forward to your set of photos!

  10. May 23, 2011 3:06 am

    Congratulations on winning this amazing auction. What a fabulous opportunity for you, working with Jasmine and JD. Looking forward to seeing your images!! Well done :)

  11. May 27, 2011 9:38 pm

    I love how all the details of the auction personally related to you!


  1. Charlie + Marie // Philadelphia wedding photography «

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