Last night I maneuvered my way through LA’s ridiculous rush hour traffic to attend Jasmine Star’s The Fix at the awesome CineFamily theater. I thought I was going to be early, but when I pulled up there were already tons of photographers anxiously waiting outside the doors. Already grouped together and chatting, I was horrified thinking I would be the only person who showed up alone. My husband’s comments kept ringing through my head, “there is no way you will be the only one alone and if so, who cares, just jump in”. In line I glanced over my shoulder and saw another participant with the EXACT same blank, anxious look on her face. Lauren (JL Photographers) and I nervously began to chat in a way we later compared to being alone on the playground as a child and pitifully asking each other “will you be my friend”. We casually mingled with Elizabeth Zuluaga and several of the other photographers and slowly began to realize we shared many of the same fears and anxieties. When it was time to re-enter the theater and listen to Jasmine tell us her story and offer her bits of advise, my fears already calmed…partly due to the free wine, but mostly due to just talking with others in the same situation. Jasmine’s larger than life personality captivated the entire room. Her stories and the stories of those brave enough to stand up and ask questions practically brought tears to my eyes.
This morning I headed back to Santa Barbara after five days in LA. For the first time since I moved to California, I felt like I was going “home”. Not that I don’t still desperately miss my friends in Charlottesville and my family in Philadelphia, but now I feel like I’m one step closer to building my life and business in my new home. The Fix showed me that I am not alone in my fears and gave me the gift of two new photography friends in California. You just can’t put a price on that. Jasmine, you genuineness inspires me and I hope you truly realize the gift you give other photographers. I have TON of work to do…but now I also have new friends to lean on for support. Thank you Jasmine!