We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmin Tafreshi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmin, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
My inspiration behind this art form is simple but complex, to capture ones pure unapologetic self. Generally when we first meet someone, we only see what they reveal on the outside. Even after years of knowing someone, sometimes we never even get to experience their true fearless uncensored individuality. Therefore, my inspiration is to be able to capture that one true form, that individual as their confident self. This means working to gain that trust in someone and thus creating that safe space of expression. Whether this is a simple portrait series capturing natural emotions or going a more fantasy route featuring visionary artistic moods, there is no limit. I admire artists that go above and beyond to accomplish capturing the subjects dream self, to allow the character to become whomever they wish. To be able to reach that pure form and have that connection with somebody during a photo session which generally lasts a few hours if that, is to me art in itself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art began in high school, by starting my own photography club. That allowed me to meet other creatives and thus discover my own identity within the art form. From there I began my own business, beginning with simple senior portraits and later creating model portfolios. After finding my passion for portraiture, I began to experiment with more elaborate scenes to allow myself that creative freedom. I often attended photo meet ups in my city and through those experiences I recognized my true adoration for high fashion photography. I met so many local talented creatives and got to experience the undeniable support and beautiful community that is the art community. I am most proud of building this business on my own, with the support of family of course. Additionally, I am honored to have met so many unique companies and individuals which have allowed me to establish my personal brand. Reaching where I am now and having my own business was not easy. Personally, juggling a medical career and a photography business can be quite challenging. With both fields being very time consuming it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or uninspired. However, when you are passionate about something that certainly makes it easier. Often during these times where I feel like I cant handle both passions and feel like I am being pulled in both directions, I take some time to look through some mood boards to remind myself that I am so lucky to have this creative outlet where I have full control. This concept of having full control is rare in this reality that is life, where most our lives we lack that ability to control some of our situations or occurrences. Having gone through some heavy events in my lifetime at a young age, these reminders really help me become grounded and inspired again. Some lessons I learned along the way was patience. There will be slow seasons where you don’t get many bookings. You have to accept that this will happen and you have to be confident by reaching out to people or take that time to brainstorm new concepts you have been wanting to create. I want the world to know that when they view my pieces, each character has reached a peak of confidence, passion, drive and their utter self.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in San Diego my whole life this is a pretty difficult question as there is so much to see! Listing some of my favorite areas has to be: Old town, Gaslamp, Catalina island, North Park, Convoy, and Pacific beach! I would eat at some local authentic mexican restaurants such as TJ tacos or Miguels, as those are very popular in my area and are often hole in the walls. I also enjoy Italian cuisine, one of my top spots being North Italia. For drinks I would route them to Pacific Beach, where there are whole streets filled with exotic bars and dance floors. My favorite spot for drinks has to be El prez! They have amazing margaritas and cocktails, in addition to a rooftop view of the beaches which captures the essence of San Diego. Gaslamp is also a fun spot for drinks and nightlife, having bars and clubs all around the blocks that one can jump to. To visit, being in San Diego I would easily take them to see the various beaches. Some of my favorite beaches is La Jolla Shores or the Oceanside pier. Both of these beaches often have artists either creating or selling their pieces which is an experience in itself to watch. I would also suggest a picnic by the beach to enjoy our stunning sunsets. There are local shops and boutiques which are also neat to see. Old town is also another cool spot to visit, with the authentic hispanic culture and unique landscapes. From museums to unique eateries and performances, its quite the spot to indulge in the pure culture. For hanging out, you will most likely catch me feeding my coffee addiction at a coffee shop. Some of my favorite coffee shops are: better buzz, blue bottle, and por vida. Furthermore, Catalina island is also a fun hangout spots with all the water activities such as scuba diving, ocean excursions, fishing, parasailing and more.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate a shoutout to my committed supportive family, who pushed me to start my own business in addition to helping me acquire all my equipment. Specifically, I would like to thank my grandpa who handed me my first film camera at a young age, which evoked my passion for photography. My family has always gone above and beyond helping me reach my goals. From helping me set up shows and sets to being my last minute aids, they never let me down. They are practically my personal assistants and being a single operated business, that devotion means more than words can express.
Models: Kimberlin Stacey (@berlinstacey), Heaven Hokulani (@heavenlyhokulani), Carly Jackson (@carly.nyx), Jaenna Wessling (@jaennaration), Ashley Strickland (@ashleytayloo), Devon Ball (@petitebutterfly), Tommie Carter (@tommiecarter), and Nina Nicole (@tini.cactus).