I Was Wrong. I Need To Apologize To Anyone I've Offended.

For a while I've wanted to pour out everything in my heart, but it's been bottled up. Out of fear, humiliation, and hurt. What I've encountered in the past few days is one of the hardest moments of my professional life, but I need to address this face-forward.

There are truth and lies swarming the internet and I need to take a moment to clear the air. But before I do that, I need to apologize to anyone I've offended. Knowing I've let people down is one of the hardest things to accept. Beyond all else, I've let myself down and the shame I feel is overwhelming.

Firstly, I need to address the most pressing matter at hand. For the past seven years I've blogged 1,500+ posts. I was passionate about creating a blog to share content I learned along the way. I placed an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to write and produce content every day. This {self-imposed} pressure led me to compromise my ethics and publish four blog posts using content I sourced from other blogs. I absolutely should have cited the sources, but didn't. I was wrong. I totally admit this is my fault and I'm humiliated by my actions.

The posts (three posts written in 2012 and one in 2013) were removed, I contacted the publishers of each blog, and I apologized. I offered to make amends any way I could and, thankfully, they responded gracefully.

Since then, a petition has started to remove my name from a list of speakers at WPPI. The petition is unnecessary because I've removed myself from the speaker list. This was a difficult decision to make, but I love this industry too much to see a group of people use my flaws to polarize photographers.

 

[To view high resolution images of the blog posts you can click on the photos below]

 

Fstoppers - Jasmine Open Letter Apology 1

Fstoppers - Jasmine Open Letter Apology 2

Fstoppers - Jasmine Open Letter Apology 3

Secondly, those accusing me of stealing a photo to promote a workshop are wrong. I've never used someone else's photo as my own. In 2010, I was invited to speak at a workshop (hosted by a magazine and I was an invited guest) and they created marketing material on their own. The magazine used an image to promote the event. I spoke for free, gave of my time, and didn't have a say as to how the event would be promoted.

Thirdly, on August 16, 2013, I addressed and apologized for misleading my Twitter followers. You can read the entirety here:

Fstoppers Jasmine Open Letter Apology 4

Lastly, for anyone who has accused me of using a fake name is wrong. I was born Jasmine Star Juarez, and later changed it to Jasmine Star DeLaTorre (my married name). I've never hidden this fact, and have chosen to use my first and middle name for business purposes.

I appreciate those who've stood by my side during this time. It's been a humiliating lesson, but those who have encouraged me to move forward are priceless and I appreciate it more than I can express. My actions are entirely my own and I accept full culpability. These explanations aren't suppose to justify my actions, but merely commit to making better decisions and bring full disclosure to the situation. Again, my sincerest apologies.

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388 Comments

shando66's picture

and what about throwing people out of her online community forum for speaking about it? I think she's only apologising because she feels forced to, nothing sincere about it nor her period

Wes Jerdon's picture

AGREED!!!

Anthony Brown's picture

YOU ARE A SAD LITTLE HATER : (

charles gossett's picture

So she was insincere about her period?

Ivan Rojas Gallo's picture

Comma, please, comma

mark-eric c's picture

Good enough for me....time to move on and stop the witch hunt.

el gaff's picture

i agree

GokhanCukurova's picture

Agree

Savi You's picture

I am in agreement with him

guismo37's picture
govno's picture

Who cares?

ihatedavidjay's picture

Would you if she stole from you?

Gavin Morris's picture

Did she steal from you?

ihatedavidjay's picture

She has stolen from all of us ... would you trust a photographer if you thought they were all willing to steal from each other?

Andrew Von Haden's picture

I have a hard time understanding this too

Carey Schumacher's picture

which came first, the petition or the withdrawl from WPPI? and does it really matter? but she tries to spin it like she made the decision before the petition, which I don't think is the case. without that petition, would she still be on the list? Sounds like Jason Groupp gave her graceful "we'll let you 'decide,'" and that was very nice of him. I get it. She wants to save some face after being outed as a copycat/thief. Who wouldn't? But the defiance & spin about WPPI left a sour taste.

Tebs's picture

The petition came first, then the discussion within WPPI, where thy decided to give both J* and Doug Gordon a chance to withdraw rather than be dismissed from the list of speakers. Both took the 'out'. Can you blame them? Imagine the Q&A they would have to be subjected to at WPPI, lol

JM's picture

I was not directly responsible for the petition, however the person who did start it reached out to me because they knew about my strong feelings on this. Both he and I had reached out (separately) to WPPI because we felt that it was not appropriate for Star and Gordon to be speaking in Las Vegas due to their misdeeds. The response that he received was something along the lines that because Star and Gordon were so popular with so many people, upper management was not willing to pull the plug on their talk.

The only way to convince WPPI otherwise would be if enough photographers banded together to voice their disapproval. If the outcry grew big enough, then WPPI would have to reconsider. My suggestion was that an online petition be started. To that point, there was no sign that Star would not be speaking.

I think that once the petition began to gain traction, then Jason from WPPI reached out to Star to let her know that her ship was taking on heavy water. With the writing on the wall, she abandoned the WPPI ship. This is just my reading of the situation; I have no firsthand knowledge however.

At any rate, I think she made the correct decision to not speak at WPPI. I'm grateful that she apologized. Though the breach of trust and the shaming will take awhile for her/us to recover from, I'm of the mind that what's done is done and we can now move on.

Doug Gordon on the other hand, is unrepentant. His case is still open. Until he comes clean, I don't think he should be welcomed back to public speaking.

Jeremy Cove's picture

I was already behind her after the first apology. She made a mistake, acknowledged it, let's move on. Who here hasn't made a mistake?

Adriana's picture

The apology for the first time she got caught in August, or the first apology for the second time she got caught in October?

Jeremy Cove's picture

She only made the mistake once this year. I think you're confused. Besides, let it go.

Itsnotgood's picture

She only apologized because she got cause. End of!

Brian Bray's picture

Not end of.

Carlos Bruno's picture

My only question is: How much her lawyers will beat to death if someone did the same thing with her "fabulous" posts, images, etc, etc. Ow yeah ... they probably will put out this person from the market/industry taking all his/her actual and future assets.
But all blinds followers will get the "I'm sooooooooooooooooory ... o/".
I'm shocked she didn't bring up AGAIN the mother's cancer story ...

Joshua Barnett's picture

There is no need to criticize a person based on hypothetical situations.

Carlos Bruno's picture

Hypothetical no, HYPOCRITE.

Trevor Dayley's picture

“How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.”
― Steve Maraboli

Stephen Vosloo's picture

My dad always told me that it's what counts after you make a mistake that will define the kind of person you are. Way to own it. Lets move one people.

cathpah's picture

Stealing other people's blog content once was a mistake. Doing it multiple times is beyond that.

DS Adams's picture

Her thinking it was OK, or justifying it in her own mind, was the mistake and for that she's apologized, lost money, and lost reputation. You're acting like she made her living off stealing other people's work when it was 5 times out of 1500 and she's resolved it with the actual owners of the work. It was THEIR work and they're over it. What exactly do you want her to do to make this right?

Bavarian DNA's picture

Completely agree to that. Its like they didn't believe that she made a mistake and they just want to eat her alive, she might really be regretting what she did and she is really sorry about it. People forgiveness sometimes is a bless and more than enough and time will tell...

Frank Donnino's picture

Jasmine...you were, are, and will always be forgiven when you say your sorry. I am shocked at the venom hurled around on the internet and I have a hard time excepting that some of these people call themselves "professional" No - they are not. I think if we only dug a little bit into the lives of those how are throwing stones...well...we all fall short - including me. There are people who will not stop - even after your apology. May God have mercy on us all for ALL our actions. God bless you Jasmine and JD.

the_pro_amateur's picture

Another one with the fairy tale magic man nonsense. It's 2013. Please, PLEASE stop. This hurts my head.

Jim's picture

Awesome response!

Frank Donnino's picture

Fairy tale huh? Figures. Haters hate right? It's where your heart is. No problem. I did not ask for your opinion. To me it's nonsense.

the_pro_amateur's picture

Haters hate? Yea dog!... What a weirdo.
We didn't ask for your bizarre cult comment. If you apply this to anything else, people would have a problem with it. If a sex addict came on somewhere and commented, "Yea I agree and the budget with salad is good for your and global warming... I also love pu**y." Everyone would think they were weird!!! For some reason people are afraid to call out mainstream cult people for bringing up their creepy religion out of *nowhere*. If you really can't get past this in your own head, at least stop forcing people to read it and be weirded out.

Frank Donnino's picture

See? I forced you to read my comment? Nope. You needed to tell me my comment bothers you. It should. God bless you! God bless you! God bless you!!!! Sorry dude..you can't get to me. And bless all the others in my "cult" lol Now I know you will come back with something witty. Have a blessed night.

the_pro_amateur's picture

It should bother me? Ok I guess... Funny you're making a mockery of your own twisted beliefs now because you think it's going to keep me up at night or something. No one is trying to "get to you". I know people like you enjoy thinking everyone is attacking you for something, then you can conjure up magic wizards that protect and watch over you. If you can't think like a normal person, there's nothing I can do to fix you. We just wish you'd stop putting creepy cult propaganda where it doesn't belong...or anywhere for that matter.

Frank Donnino's picture

lol...love ya man. God bless you.

g coll's picture

Please keep religious nonsense out of this.

...'s picture

You're not gonna get it in bud, stop trying so hard.

Thien Nguyen's picture

Too much hatred in photography world. Calm down and move on people.

J.R.V.'s picture

Look, the woman apologized. What else can she do? Does one act that does not physically harm another, or permanently damage them financially, or permanently damage another's reputation, not be eventually forgiven? Has everything this woman contributed to her field been a lie? Sure, she hurt her own reputation and it is within the moral right of each person's personal decision for to decide whether or not to forgive her, but what is more constructive, to ban her eternally from the community of pro photographers and bloggers, or to have her stand as an example of why her decisions should not be repeated? She will never completely shed the labels that have been put upon her, but it seems to me she should be allowed one second chance to make amends. Just as the punishment for every crime is not the death penalty, we should at least consider letting her serve her penance, then move on with her life, and us, each with their our personal decision, move on with ours.

BigIdeaPhoto&Video's picture

The internet really doesn't want to ever let their pitchforks go.

J.R.V.'s picture

That's OK. We can do it, one pitchfork at a time. :-)

Tebs's picture

She did have a second chance, she was caught and apologised in August. Then gets caught doing it again. So we are treated to yet another apology. For the record, she removed herself from WPPI's list of speakers after the petition, and after being offered the chance to step down by WPPI. The apology would have more mileage if done for reasons other than having been caught, and pressured to take her off the speaker list. Why do these apologies only happen after being called out?

Jeremy Cove's picture

Where are people getting their facts from. I've been watching this go on and she hasn't to my knowledge done it again since her first apology in August.

Tebs's picture

Jeremy, it is well documented on Photostealers.
http://stopstealingphotos.tumblr.com/post/62349882928/jasmine-star
It is confusing but I will try to condense things, apology number 1 was in reference to the twitter feed where remarks were stolen from other people's tweets. That was in August. Then a month later, photostealers posted on September 25th regarding the blog contents being discovered as having been taken by other people's blogs, which is what Jasmine speaks of above. Apology number 2 is regarding that. Jasmine was caught the second time, she removed the content once she realised the jig was up. While she may not have committed the offence after the first incident in August, she was aware at the time of the tweeter apology that she still had stolen content in her blog, but until caught 'again', she did nothing about it. So she may as well have committed the offence all over again, as it looks like she was happy to leave it, as thought she was safe. Getting caught = another apology.

Jeremy Cove's picture

Thank you. I stand corrected. I'll have to bookmark that site.

I still think this is being blown out of proportion, but this has given me a little more insight as to why everyone is going on about it.

Jenai Hamilton's picture

Well said. Bravo for owning up to it. Some people are more able to easily forgive others when they realize that there are times that they themselves need to be forgiven. I hope grace is extended to you from the rest of the photographer community because I know we all have made mistakes.

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