MUSE RADAR: Jasmine Alston
Jasmine Alston was introduced to me through a mutual friend, Binty Koroma, several years ago for her inspirational blog offering advice on living to your fullest potential. What I loved about Binty's recommendation to follow Jasmine was that she was offering me gold instead of silver. Jasmine doesn't know this, but she inspired me for sharing what we all NEED instead of what we all WANT: book recommendations, travel tips, tech tips, life/business advice. If you needed a productive tool to get things ACCOMPLISHED then Jasmine was your girl.
Jasmine is a photographer & budding lifestyle entrepreneur from Philadelphia, PA with a 5 month old baby named Hendrix Ari. In the time that I've had to directly communicate with Jasmine, nothing has stopped her: not traveling on two flights within 24 hours or business obligations & certainly not a fractured toe which thankfully happened the day after the shoot instead of the day of. I'd like to believe God wanted us to meet to remind me how much I admire women who do not see obstacles & run from them.
Being exactly who she is online & in person is something you have to acknowledge in a world fascinated by personas & huge followings. Jasmine Alston is a movement, a powerful force of grace & a creative mother I admire for adjusting her wings with her baby instead of slowing down the pursuit of her dreams. Her daughter, Hendrix Ari, is just as relaxed & loving as her mother with a clear sense of joy in her spirit. Hendrix was all smiles & face touching throughout the whole shoot - as a photographer this is a RARE moment. I almost didn't want to stop photographing them both!
What was it like graduating with a entrepreneurial business degree from Temple & transitioning your career into a full time photographer?
Honestly, my degree didn't really prepare me for this crazy entrepreneurship journey. Actually, I don't think ANYTHING can prepare you for full time entrepreneurship besides hands-on experience. However, I am grateful I went to college because that's where I was introduced to photography. I took one photography course as an elective and the rest has been pure hustle and consistency.
What are some of your passions & how do you incorporate them into the work that you do?
My first love outside of God and family is business. I've always been intrigued with the ins and outs of how businesses work. I find it incredibly inspiring to see visions manifested through hard work and resiliency. With that, I've incorporated my love of business into my current niche, which is event photography for entrepreneurs and established businesses. Developing B2B relationships is exciting to me because I get to connect with people who share similar interests.
Any/best advice for creating a path in life that allows you to do the work you truly love?
Just START. Stop talking, over thinking, over planning, and JUST START. You don't have to have everything perfect and you don't have to have a ton of skill to begin. You just have to DO something. Take small (or large) steps everyday and learn more as you go.
Top 3 places to travel to & what do you love about them?
Ghana - Everyone should get to the motherland at some point in life. It's an indescribable experience to be "home." I cried like a baby at the first sight of African soil. Also, if you go, be sure to visit the Cape Coast Castle (slave castle). It was the most powerful, emotional experience I've had while traveling.
Lisbon, Portugal - Very underrated city. The food, architecture, and beaches are incredible!
Antelope Canyon, Arizona - The most magical natural wonder I've ever seen in my life. Period!
How has your career changed & its challenges since be coming a creative mama?
My career hasn't changed too much since becoming a mom. However, my biggest challenge right now is working from home with a cute little baby. I never want to get out of bed! I'd much rather lay around and give her cuddles and kisses all day.
What is the one thing you want Hendrix to know as she grows into a woman?
What are some of the best practices you’ve established to balance mom life & work life?
I am still working on this! Inevitably, as you give more focus to one thing, you are giving something else less attention. I do my best to make sure I'm on top of things by using a planner, but that doesn't always work. I just try to be gentle with myself and approach everything with one task at a time. Michelle Obama said "You can have it all. Just not all at once."
Meeting Jasmine for the first time marks three very meaningful things:
- Don't ever be afraid to ask people you admire for their time. Make the time they're giving you worthwhile & you'll both leave with something significant.
- You can have a seat at the table - just bring a chair (or a silky golden skirt by Dahnistry).
- If the Spirit moves you to do something - don't question it. Don't hesitate. Just DO IT!
I'm thankful that timing allowed us to finally meet after all these years of following one another. Seeing Jasmine humbly making moves towards her goals has given those who follow her journey hope that they can do anything effortlessly - if you make the time for it.
Genuine people like Jasmine are rare & I'll definitely say this moment was one of the most inspiring times of my career. I will sing her praises for years & years!
To stay in touch with Jasmine, follow her Instagram where she shares her travels, entrepreneurial endeavors & clients she photographs. My spidery senses tell me she's got something really big set to take off in the future & I can't wait to see how it all unfolds for her.