Are you living to know God and dying to make Him known?

In the grand scope of all that you are endeavoring to achieve in life, do not forget what matters eternally: God and His glory being made known to all the world through the person and work of Jesus Christ.



This weekend, we went on a lovely afternoon stroll through the neighborhood. I brought my camera along to practice shooting. As we passed by one of the many pretty Victorian-style homes, I was approached by a neighbor who seemed to be interested in modeling for me. I don't know if he had any prior experience, but from the looks of it, he seemed to know how to work it for the camera.

Tyra must've taught him how to smize. Meee-oowww. Meet my fierce neighbor:



January just seems to be the month to be born!

Tomorrow is the birthday of my amazing big sister Zoraya.  One of the best things God has ever given me is a big sister to look up to. She has been my best friend since the day I was born.  We are like twins (except for the fact that we are 3 years apart).  We can literally read each others minds. She is basically awesome. I love you so much sister! Happy birthday!
She makes me look good.
Photo by Open Door Photography
To all my readers, thank you and have a fabulous weekend! And be sure to write me if you are interested in a photo shoot! ;)



Born January 25th @ 3:09pm
7 pounds 10 ounces, 21 inches long
Congrats to Zoraya and Louie on your sweet baby boy!



Dear Reader, 
I would love to photograph you

Your dashing good looks, your impecable style, your gorgeous smile. 

You are bound to fall into one of these categories:
  • You want photos of you and your roommate(s) for your apartment/house/dorm
  • You want to document your LOVE (you and that special someone... as an early Valentine's gift, perhaps?)
  • You need photos of you and your beloved pet :)
  • Pregnant? Let me document your baby bump!
  • Baby photos! Family photos! Children's photos! Holiday photos!
  • Let me document that birthday/party/special event/wedding you have coming up!

Let me show you what I see from behind my lens.

If you are interested in being a model for a day or are interested in any of my services, please contact me. 
Use the comments section below or write me on Facebook!



Another good reminder, especially for days like today. Don't give up on your dream just because you have one off-day. Emotions and feelings can sometimes lead us to want to quit on something prematurely. I say, Persevere, my friends!

P.S. I wasn't sure what to title this post, so Kurt had several funny suggestions, which were all vetoed:
Keep on Keeping on. (Uh, no.)
Courage. (I already used that title, Kurt.)
No Meatloaf Tonight. (Actually, this is what I turned and told him after the first two suggestions.)
It Rained. (This is the first sentence from my college app essay. He says it to me on a daily basis in a exceedingly dramatic voice.)
My Mind is Saying No But My Body is Telling Me Yes. (NO. This is not an R. Kelly or Christina Aguilera song.)



Today is my husband's golden* birthday. Lunch is a silver wrapped burrito from Chipotle. I'm keeping this post brief to spend maximum time with him :)
Kurt has asked in lieu of gifts that friends would watch this video:
Happy birthday my love. I know you'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold.

*A golden birthday is when you turn the same age as the number of your birthdate, i.e. Kurt turns 23 on the 23rd of January.



Excited. Inexperienced. Young. Eager to learn. Today I got my first prime lens in the mail. I recently learned that a prime lens is a lens whose focal point is fixed (therefore there is no zoom), which ultimately leaves you with crisper, prettier photos. It is quite an upgrade from the zoom kit lens that came with our camera. I love it!

This week I started an online course on photography basics. I know that if I want to be taken seriously, I need to make an effort to know my stuff and learn the lingo. Clearly I wish that I could just wake up tomorrow and be a pro, but I know that all the little steps I'm taking will add up over time.

Laziness, fear, impatience, and doubt all pose serious threats to my dream; but I am determined to press on and strive, to grow and improve. I want to be able to always remember the girl I was when I got my first prime lens. Excited. Inexperienced. Young. Eager to learn. And ready to practice!
Above are some beautiful roses from Kurt.



Katie is tall, slender, modelesque. Her skin is a lovely porcelain and her sandy brown curls frame her warm green eyes. She is simply stunning; her outer beauty is only topped by the kindness that pours forth from heart. Apart from meeting Jesus and meeting Kurt, meeting Katie was the best thing I ever gained from my college experience. She has been my roommate, my workout buddy, my helper, my confidante, my accountabil-a-buddy. She has helped me to confront some of my greatest personal struggles and prayed for me in times of need. She has encouraged me to be a better person while reminding me of my need for Christ. She has been humble enough to apologize and gracious enough forgive. She laughs at all my stupid jokes and listens to all my silly stories. She cares about my family and my friends. She has taken the time to get to know me, and she still likes me, which tells you just how patient she is.

She made a cake in the shape of my head, called me from her honeymoon to wish me happy birthday, bought me a plane ticket, showed me what my future children might look like ("Bun in the Oven"), played family feud with me to avoid homework, been patient with my lack of punctuality, assisted me in stalking Kurt before we were together (with a little help from Justin), had dance parties with me.

Katie, thank you for your friendship. You mean so much to me and I know that in you I have a friend for life. I love you! Happy Birthday!
Photo by Open Door Photography



Last week, I wrote about how badly I wanted tickets to theFIX: Conversations with Jasmine Star.

Monday morning I woke up a whole hour before tickets were set to go on sale. With my Macbook fully charged and my credit card in hand, I opened the tickets section of the website. At 8:59, I began hitting the refresh button over and over and over... My mind began racing. What if I don't get a ticket? What if it sells out? What if my computer crashes?

At 9:00, the page reloaded for 62nd time and the word PURCHASE appeared on the screen. My adrenaline surged as I clicked the red letters which lead me to a page with the list of various locations. I scrolled down and clicked San Francisco. I filled out all my info and then used PayPal to pay. TheFIX website seemed to be processing my info still but Paypal sent me my receipt immediately, so I assumed I was good to go. The website has to be super busy with people all over the country trying to get their tickets, I figured, so it might just take a little time for the tickets to get into my inboxWoooooo... I sighed in relief, deciding that I shouldn't worry. About an hour and a half later, my mom called and I told her that I got the tickets.

After hanging up I went back to theFIX's website, just to double-check my order (cause that's what you do when you're mildly OCD). Next to "Status" appeared the word "Cancelled." It said my order was not paid, not sent. My stomach dropped. KURT!!! WHAT DO I DO!?! Kurt said he'd check to see if the order was charged to our account. It was. He told me I shouldn't worry but I begged him: But it says CANCELLED! Just because PayPal took our money doesn't mean we are guaranteed the tickets... and what if they SELL OUT while we are trying to hassle with PayPal and theFIX website over whether we get those tickets or not?!

I was clearly a little panicked. Kurt decided to let me reorder the tickets and said he would just dispute the first charge with PayPal. I went back to the site, clicked Purchase --> San Francisco --> filled out my info --> paid with PayPal. I checked my Gmail and the first email in my inbox read:

Jasmine Star The Fix Tickets (#_ _ _ _)

Attached were the second set of tickets I ordered. YAY!!!!

Kurt wrote PayPal to dispute the first charge as I printed those precious tickets and did a little celebratory dance. Later that afternoon he informed me that PayPal reimbursed us for the first charge. I wish I could say at that moment I exclaimed: Kurt, you are my hero! Thank you for letting my reorder the tickets! Instead I said something along the lines of: Seeee! I told you so!

So, in conclusion, we got our tickets to theFix and I am sooo excited for March! Now: What will I wear!?!?



In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I am taking the day off from blogging my thoughts to share this documentary with you all. 

This is an exclusive video documentary featuring Pastor John Piper as he walks through his personal story of growing up in the segregated South. His personal story boldly champions the transforming power of the gospel and the beauty of racial diversity and harmony in Christ.
Thank you Jesus, "for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" 
Revelation 5:9



I've always assumed I would never own a pet. Growing up, we didn't really have pets (with the exception of a few lizards, my sister's failed attempt at an ant farm, my brother's lady bug collection, and some sea monkeys). We didn't have much of a backyard, unless you count a patio that wasn't even large enough for us to circle around on our bicycles, so getting a dog didn't make much sense. And I never desired to have a cat because my only experience with cats was being scratched by moody ones, which caused me to conclude at a young age that they wouldn't be much fun.

Our neighbors had a tiny tan and white chihuahua named Jack. They got Jack right around the time when Taco Bell began their infamous talking chihuahua campaign (¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!). Jack was the closest we ever were to owning a dog. As I got older and we moved away, the idea of a pet became less appealing, since it equaled more responsibility and I was way too busy with school.

Last month, as I was trying to catch up on about 20 years of never celebrating Christmas (more on that later), I watched the Charlie Brown special I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown. Seeing the adorable little Rerun's determination and longing for a puppy got me so riled up that I exclaimed to Kurt, Why don't they just let the poor kid have a dog!?!
Kurt replied: One day you'll have a son asking you the same thing. Oh... yeah. Up until this point I've told Kurt all the reasons I don't want a dog. The responsibility, the cost, the cleanliness factor (being a little on the OCD side, I sometimes let myself think of all the ways a dog can create messes and freak myself out)... Last night, a friend of ours who is a lawyer gave me another convincing argument for a dog. In a nutshell, a dog = extra home security. The paranoid part of me likes this idea A LOT.

Well, we won't be getting any pets for a long while, per our renter's agreement, but in the future I may not be as unreceptive to the idea. Plus, I really do enjoy the time I get to spend around Kurt's family dog back in Oklahoma. So for now, it's a maybe...

But only if my son is as cute as Rerun and the dog is as cute as Willy ;)



So I have this dream of being a professional photographer. However, in order to make this dream a reality, I need plan. I'll admit, I lack a lot of knowledge when it comes to photography and business, but everyday my desire to learn grows. And I know that in order to succeed I have to realize I won't just start out great... it's going to take a lot of hard work.

Monday, March 19 internationally acclaimed wedding photographer Jasmine Star is coming to the Bay Area to host theFIX. According to Jasmine:
The Fix's entire goal is to identify weaknesses within a business, maximize entrepreneurial strengths, and outline a course of action to employ in 2012.
Now, I don't know how much this counts as an education, but I've read Jasmine's ENTIRE blog. I'm almost done with her amazing new magazine Exposed. Obviously I am aware that attending The Fix won't miraculously cause her genius and fabulousity to just rub off on me. And I don't know how difficult it'll be to get tickets, but I'm praying that I get one.

However, if I get to go I know I will be one step closer to becoming an entrepreneur and a photographer. I will get practical business help. And I may even get a hug from my hero :)

My only fear is that upon meeting her I'll look like this:



It's less than a month to go before Baby Josiah is set to arrive. And with his ETA being Kurt's birthday, to say I am jealous is an understatement. BEST. PRESENT. EVER!

I had the privilege of documenting this special occasion on New Year's Eve. Zoraya is the cutest pregnant lady ya ever did see. And her husband Louie knows it. Her body has stayed exactly the same, except for what looks like a basketball hiding under her shirt. And she's managed to stay super fashionable while rockin' a baby bump, which I greatly admire.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Zoraya and Louie, this baby boy is more than blessed to have you two as his parents and I am certain that he will have a pretty amazing smile thanks to your awesome genes ;) Thank you for your tremendous patience with me as your photographer and I look forward to meeting my new nephew soon!



It's been a while since I've been able to say this: I had a great weekend.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm miserable or have had horrible weekends... but this weekend was special. A good friend from college was in town, which led to a large, impromptu reunion at the nearby Round Table. I brought my camera, of course, only to discover I left the battery in the charger at home... talk about a photography fail.

Seeing so many people whose friendships really shaped me during my time in college was great. Throughout the rest of the weekend I was able to chat/visit/skype/talk on the phone with a few other good friends, reminding me how blessed I am to have friends who are supportive, encouraging, and photogenic ;)

I've also got a few leads on possible shoots to follow up on, which is super excitingscarycool. Oh, and my hubby got me some new running shorts this weekend, which kinda motivates me to want to exercise. So, to all my friends: Happy Monday! And let me know if you are interested in your very own photo shoot!
A non-round table at Round Table
Photo credit goes to Jason's cell phone



I love finding kitchen or household items that have a little character or flair to them. Anyone who can make me call a napkin holder or kitchen timer cute is a genius in my book. Thus, I present to you... the CATULA!
Kurt loves flipping through the SkyMall magazine and I couldn't help but share this particular item we saw on a recent flight... which simply leaves me asking, whyyyy?
This next meme summarizes my college experience.
I love this next picture. Special delivery! Fragile! Handle with Care! Sent from Above! So many captions, so little time!
I gots real SWAG, yo.
 Gorgeous hairdo... I la la love bows!
Below is what my sister and I ask each other all the time. Retail therapy!
Lastly, if you're a fan of Reese's Cups, you will love this cake:
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading! <3



I finally said it: I, Yasmin, want to be a photographer.

And this blog is meant to document my journey and any triumphs or failures along the way. Publicly.

You see, I am not the type of person who just jumps in a pool. No no no no no... I slooowly make my way in. I dip my toe, testing the waters, making sure it is just the right temp. And even then, it takes forever for me to make it into the pool. Step by step. And once I am fully immersed, don't even think about splashing me. I'm scared. People are going to think I'm a big fat joke, I tell Kurt.

Well you're not big, or fat, you're actually quite small. And you're funny, so if someone thinks you're a joke it's because you make people laugh, and I think that is a good thing, he reassures me.

I wish I were as optimistic as Kurt. I am thankful to have him in my corner.

So here I am, putting my dreams out there for all the web to see. To mock. Or applaud. Or splash.



Who are you and what did you do with my wife?

That's what Kurt must've been wondering this morning when I woke up and asked him if we could go for a run. A run? A RUN. By the look on his face, you'd think he was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind the door and tell him he was being Punk'd.

I am not a morning person. And on a cold January morning the last thing on my mind is rolling outta bed and going on a jog. You'd think being a long-distance runner in high school I'd be well-acquainted with the benefits of running (adrenaline-hiiigh, anyone?), but it has actually been quite a looooong time since I've done anything even close to exercise. I'd say I have more of a love-hate relationship with running (with an emphasis on hate).

I mean it. I seriously cannot stand being cold, or uncomfortable, or sweaty. So why on Earth were the first words to come out of my mouth basically a request for torture?

Deep down I wanted to have that feeling. You know, that feeling of soreness that says: I know that this hurts, but this is sooo GOOD for me. My comfort-loving self, of course, wants to avoid the the pain of burning lungs as I HEEEAVE! HOOO! my way down a few short blocks. The inconvenience of sore thighs tomorrow. The cost of decent running attire (cause my middle school P.E. shorts simply aren't cutting it anymore). My warm bed beckons me back into its oh so lovely embrace... 

As we make it down one block my pride tells me Wow. Just quit, you look absolutely pathetic... that isn't even running. Matter-fact, that's a walk-run AT BEST. But deep down I want to change. I don't want to live for comfort anymore. I want to do what's good, what's right, what's scary, what's painful, what's brave, what's beautiful. Because I know that in the end it's really what's best.
Blast from the Past. One of the few pictures of me running where I don't look like I think I'm about to puke. Or die.
Now, I know that sounded all deep and what not, but another reason why I decided I needed to reclaim my physical health through exercise is the following video. Plus, I just bought new jeans and after all the yummy Christmas goodies my mother-in-law tempted me with, I would like them to still keep fitting me... and I'll admit, I wasn't too hard to tempt ;)



I received the greatest gift for Christmas; it's a gift that's intangible, invaluable, and life-altering. To put it simply, I've been inspired. To dream BIG. And I've decided that I am going to pursue a dream and see where hard work, determination, and faith take me.

I anticipate a lot of tears (what else is new?), doubt, failures, and aimless wandering, but anything is better than what I've been doing with my life. I'd rather take some risks than live life bound by fear. I'd rather say I tried than have to live with the perpetual question: What if?

Because it is not too late for me to be me.

More details to come, but for now, pray for me that I would become the woman that God wants me to be and strive to overcome the fear of being challenged. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of a recent session with Zoraya and Louie, as they anticipate the arrival of Baby Josiah... One month to go!




At the risk of sounding syrupy-sweet, my new year started back in June. The 19th, to be exact. The day I promised to Kurt that I'd be his very best friend until the day I take my last breath. If I could have, I would have pinky-sweared. Or pinky-swore. Well, I think you get the picture.

While the rest of the world is sippin' on champagne and toasting to 2012, I know that I am only halfway through the newest year of my life. And anyone who has been married for more than a day will tell you: it is not easy. Just ask Kim Kardashian. Or Katy Perry. Or Jennifer Lopez. Cause after all the hoopla of your wedding dies down it's just you. And him. And trying to figure out what to make for dinner since you already had Taco Bell one too many times that week. And learning to share, which by the way Kurt will attest is not at the top of my list of favorite things to do...

It's you and him gettin' real. I mean real real. As the bible puts it, it's two becoming one.

One last name. One bed. One bank account.

So six months have gone by and I look forward to the next six more. Cause it's us. Doing life. Everyday. Together. Just how I like it.
Above is a 6-month-a-versary card from my husband. I still get all awkward referring to him as my husband. It makes me feel all grown up.



If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.
We thought it would be fun to jump in the Pacific Ocean. In November.
Photo by Open Door Photography