Photography was in her blood, but it waited awhile for her to embrace it.
When Jasmine was asked as a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, photography was always second to last on the list. She always dreamed of being a singer, actor, writer, play for the WNBA, teacher, photographer, or lawyer, literally in that order. “Let’s be real, I wanted to be Beyonce”, of course what women doesn’t- right? She per sued music early on, even had a song on the radio which led her to becoming a radio DJ in Greenbay, WI. She’s performed in a gospel group, has done allot musically, then she became a mom and just didn’t want to do music anymore. As for the second on the list, acting, she always wanted to be like Angela Bassett or do action movies like Fast and the Furious, and she’s done a few things through Jupiter Entertainment here in Knoxville but acting never just “bloomed”. Now as for the third, “I’m a really good writer, I’ve written poetry, stories, but however I have this really bad case of writer’s block- I leave people hanging all the time. That’s not a really good thing if you want to be a writer! As far as the WMBA, yea I’m too short for that- I’m 5’3”. And then as for a teacher- Yea [not thrilled with] kids, well except teenage kids, I love that age! I feel like I could’ve been a really cool counselor. And basically why lawyer is on the list is because I like to talk, and I like to get my point across and I’m not going to stop until you get my point, I just didn’t want to do all those years of school.”
So that leaves photography.
“I discovered when I was about 10 years old, my step-dad got me my first Kodak camera. I spent allot of time taking pictures everywhere. Now, everybody back then used to say “Oh you have an eye for taking pictures”, and I never really understood what that meant. But now- I totally get it, I understand now. But it wasn’t what I was trying to do. So photography didn’t really “poke it’s head” at me as a serious thing until about 4 years ago.
Jasmine had an experience that just opened her eyes to her everyday job in customer service, that “This isn’t what I want to do anymore”. Customer service was the only thing on her resume. “So my friends were like, “Why don’t you do photography?”, I thought it was the most hilarious thing. I was just like, “Well you know Angelica, if I’m going to do photography, I’d probably want to know how to do it, I probably need to know something about photography and business if I’m going to start a photography business and I know zip about either one of those.” So I thought it was ridiculous but my friends just kept telling me that I should try to look into it. I did have a camera at that time, just because I was doing Youtube videos for my channel. The only thing I knew how to do on that camera was press record and that was it. So I had a friend show me how to use the rest of the buttons on the camera, I spent about a month practicing, taking pictures for free. Then one month and one week from leaving her profession of customer service in April 2015, she started J Way Photography, which is when Hushh first came into contact with Jasmine through Gage Talent’s Knoxville Fashion Week’s designer Angel Blanco. We even featured one of her photos of his 2017 “Me, Myself and I” collection on the front cover in spring 2018, and have been obsessed with her ever since! We have watched her come in to her own, really just shine. Her photography isn’t just your average portrait, she finds your inner essence. You can see it captured in each photo she takes. Her portrait she took on the left won a silver award and 2nd place in Contemporary Portrait at the 2017 Portrait Masters International Competition hosted by Sue Bryce Education, plus 3 bronze awards in contemporary portrait & creative portrait that same year, as well as a bronze award in children’s portrait in 2018, so others are recognizing it now too. She truly has a gift and loves bringing that out in her clients. And her new business name reflects exactly as we see her.
“When I started out over 3 years ago, I was in a bit of a rush. I really didn’t spend too much time thinking about the name of my new business, I came up with it on the fly. The idea was basically: J = Jasmine and I like things my way. J Way Photography. Yep… that was it. But I felt myself outgrowing it, that it no longer fit. So a change was needed. I wanted to personalize it and make it my own since I have pretty much decided that I want to be a photographer until I’m gone from this earth. [Javon Renee are both my middle names.] Javon Renee Portraits. I said it to myself over and over again. It sounded beautiful, unique and luxurious. Which is exactly how I want my clients to feel.”
Getting to spend this time with Jasmine and learning more about who she is, what inspires her, where she sees herself headed, has been one of my favorite interviews. She has a way that makes you feel like long lost friends and her love and passion for what she does just comes though. If you would like to see more of her work, schedule a consultation or just stalk her like we did... follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or visit www.javonreneeportraits.com