Meet The StoryTeller

Jasemine Denise

Photographer & Fashionista

A 90s baby with a love of 80s fashion, portrait photography, classic rock, hip hop and writing. As a photo blogger, each element of the blog is meant to feel like a well-organized playlist.. Something you'll always have to remember the moments you may never forget.

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Chapter One:

“I have no room in my heart for hate.” – Sense 8

For years, I've known two things to be true.. The first was that I hated Valentine's Day. Once upon a time, a few years ago.. a boy and a girl met. She was 21 and he was 19. They were nervous.. And they fell in love the moment they locked eyes in Union Station, Chicago. She saw him cowered into the counter.. people surrounding him.. He timidly kept his phone pressed to his ear, and when he finally looked into her eyes.. recognizing the moment they'd meet… Every ounce of nervousness faded from his face.

It was the beginning to an end. That was the moment I'd learn I'd “hate” Valentine's Day for the rest of my days.

Turn your medium into an outlet.(Read that again.)

I hated Valentine's Day.. but I love fashion & photography. Both of those give me a voice when I don't have one. I can scream to the mountains, but in order to make noise, I have to be it. I have to embody my art to create something I connect with enough to share with my audience..

Okay, so all I had to do.. was focus on Valentine's Day as an art.. instead of an event. That's how this ClaustroClothic fashion masterpiece was born. This outfit was a mixture of things I loved and things I wanted.. I love fashion editorial stying. So I spent weeks, browsing Pinterest, piecing together ideas.. flows… Carmen San Diego youtube videos until eventually.. I looked forward to nothing like I looked forward to Febraury.

The time to roll my artistic sleeves up and say, “I embodied my own Valentine's Day by doing one of my favorite things. A fashionable, masterpiece. I even called it a “Valentine's Day FashionPiece.”

Over the years, I talked aggressively and openly about how that relationship had changed me. It was much like the song That Power by Childish Gambino. That relationship made me terrified of love, so I “cut out the middle man and made it for everyone always…” which meant Valentine's Day was always off limits.. but I would spend every day making sure anyone around me who questioned themselves felt better.. Knowing someone else had been heartbroken and survived.

As the healing progress began, I stopped holding so closely to my hatred for the holiday. Each year, I'd host an event for boudoir photography themed around Valentine's Day and I'd watch friends and clients come around and bond with one another. Valentine's Day wasn't this graveyard of memories for what I'd given up.. but this day for me to celebrate what was mine. Still, every year… Valentine's Day would feel like this painful looming gut feeling I wouldn't escape.. I wanted to let go of that. I wanted to feel what I was trying to give everyone else. Eventually that dread would consume me until February 1st would roll around and I'd still be begrudgingly shaking my fist at the calendar. What was wrong with me?

So what's the second thing I know?

What am I wearing??

Pants: Toxic vision // Harness: Zaria Harness from SKG Designs // Garter Belt + Suspenders: The End Lingerie // Hat: Lack of Color

On the journey of loving yourself, you're going to encounter a lot of hate.. Self hate, resentment for holidays, moments, people.. but you have to learn to let go of that. You have to learn to understand that everyone has a journey and yours is not defined by the chapters of your personal history book. There's so much more to you than Valentine's Day and breakups. It's a lesson I'm still learning. But that's okay. Growth takes time.

Ready to love yourself a little extra?

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Comments Expand
  1. You look great in red. I was always told that it is my color as well but I don’t know that I could pull this outfit off although I may give it a try if I am feeling extra bold on Valentines Day.

  2. You do look good in red and I’m glad you are able to take back your power from whatever happened that made you associate unpleasant feelings with that day and make it into amazing art! This is amazing, inspiring and defo continue to have all the fun with it!

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