Jes Lee


For those of you who have been around me for awhile, you know that I don’t necessarily like having people in my photographs. I don’t know why, it is just a thing.

Slowly, very very slowly, that has been changing. I have been doing more portrait work in the form of sweet little kid photos, and assissting my friends with weddings. The workshop I took with Wing Young Huie helped me see that people can add a new dimesion to a piece. When John and I were in Japan, it was pretty difficult to take photographs without people in them. Things are changing.

Over the weekend I created a few more compilation pieces, all including a Polaroid image somewhere in the compilation.

One I feel is truly a portrait piece. It is the first one I have created that felt like a portrait. With a few tweaks, I’m pretty sure this one will make it into my show at Bloomington in September, 2010.

A compilation portrait.  <br> Composed of two Polaroid images and one black and white image taken with a Hasselblad 501c camera. <br> Work-in-progress. <br> Still untitled.

Currently untitled. Contains two Polaroids, and one Black and White film image.

Here are a few others I have been working with. Most of these will be framed and up for sale at Dabble very soon!

The first compilation I have made with one of my Polaroids as a layer. <br> Work-in-progress.

Currently untitled. Contains one Polaroid and two Black and White film images.

Slightly 80s looking work-in-progress compilation. <br> Contains one Polaroid shot with a Hasselblad 501c camera using a Polaroid back with Silk 125 film, and two black and white images show with that same Hasselblad camera, minus the Polaroid back. <br> Still untitled right now.

Currently untitled. Contains two Black and White film images and one Polaroid image.

Work-in-progress compilation. <br> Contains one polaroid (shot with a Hasselblad 501c with a Polaroid back using Silk 125 film) and two black and white film images (shot with the same camera, minus the polaroid back) <br> So far untitled.

Title: City Music Contains one Polaroid image and two Black and White film images.

More to come soon!


New mediums

New mediums can do a lot for your creativity. They give you new ideas, new ways of looking at things, new thoughts.

For my Birthday I received from my parents and my sweet hubby a Polaroid back for my beloved Hasselblad camera and a stash of Polaroid film from PolaPremium. It has been so much fun to play with!

Anyway, this is the first image I created for my Digital Dreams of Life series that contains one of my Polaroid images. I’m not positive that it is finished, but it is a start, and it is exciting for me.

The first compilation I have made with one of my Polaroids as a layer. Work-in-progress.

So far untitled. Contains 4 images. 3 black and white images and one color Polaroid image. All taken with my Hasselblad 501c.

Things my dad has taught me

There are times when your head is clear enough that you can look back and see what people have worked so hard to teach you over the years, and realize that maybe you have learned a thing or two…

1. Don’t give up on an art medium just because it hasn’t been easy the last few time you tried it.

2. Don’t give up.

3. Be patient

4. It doesn’t matter how tidy your workspace is, as long as the immediate space you need is accessable.

5. Sometimes you need a break from what you are trying to create to just create something you aren’t trying to.

Things I have learned from my mom:

1. Try it.

2. You are loved even when you don’t feel like you are.

3. Don’t listen to others.

4. Do it.


Thanks. I needed all of that!


A working sort of day

Today was definitely a working day.

One of those days where you get caught up on quite a few things and actually surprise yourself at how much you have gotten done.

I love those kind of days!

It seems right now I’m working on my portrait photography skills. It’s a good thing to practice! After taking pregnancy photos of my friend last weekend (they had a baby boy today!), and photos of my friend’s sweet two year old daughter today, I’m getting the hang of it again. I always feel like I’m a little rusty after a winter of not assisting with wedding photo shoots and other photo sessions. There will be plenty of other opportunities to practice in the upcoming weeks too!


Yameena and Abuzar’s hands.


Amelia at her 1st Birthday party.

I also managed to work on a bit of artwork today as well. I have been working on artwork for my project over the past few weeks, but I haven’t liked anything enough to post it. That is a big part of the process. You create something, then you edit it, and often let it sit for awhile before you begin to like what you have done. Today, I finally created something that I kind-of like. I’m not sure that it is finished yet, but I like it enough to post it.

Compilation image. Includes 3 negatives: 2 from color slide film, 1 from black and white negative film. All shot with a Mamiya C330 medium format camera while we were in Japan.

Tomorrow: more film to develop and more pictures to take. Until then, relaxing.


And on to the week

It is Monday.

The first day in what I hope will be a productive creative week.

Goals for today:

1. Finish this blog post (check!)

2. Narrow down photos from my two photo shoots yesterday (edit 2:27pm: Check!)

3. Finish scanning in new negatives and Polaroids (edit 5:07pm: Check on the Polaroid scans! I kind-of underestimated just how many negatives I had to scan in…)

4. New artwork (edit 5:07pm: I’m not sure I like it, but I did work on a new artwork piece today, so check!)


Last week was full, but really helped renew my spirits in the creativity department.

It started by 3 full days with Wing Young Huie in a Split Rock Arts workshop. The focus was on documentary photography, having the courage to ask people if you can photograph them, and capturing an area in images. Many of the students shot digital, while a couple of us (myself included) decided to stick with film. It has been a long time since I was plunked down at a location, told to photograph for a couple of hours, then sent home to develop and scan that film and have something prepared to show in critique the next day and start all over. I didn’t go the route of talking to everyone on the street and asking to take their photograph, (portraits still really aren’t my thing) I did get into exploring an area of the city and allowing people to be in my photographs. I was totally exhausted by the end, but it was exhilerating not only to realize that I can still do that and be that intensive about my work, but also to go back to the idea of picking a place and photographing it. That is something that is easier to do when you are on vacation and allow yourself days in a smaller area and lots of film, but it is harder to convince yourself to do when you are only a few miles away from home. I did get some great images from the workshop, and I’ll post them very very soon.

Thursday was my Birthday! My mom took the day off of work, I took the day off from volunteering at Banfill, and we had a great time hanging out. First stop after breakfast was to the Walker Art Center to see The Quick and the Dead exhibit. I really recommend going to see it! It is a mind boggling, different sort of exhibit. (There is a certain installation piece there that I really would like installed in our next house) Next we stopped at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts which is always good. Then, on to hot stone massages at The Refinery and off to dinner with my hubby and my dad. It was a great way to wind down after the intenstive photo workshop, and after a long weekend, I’m feeling ready to work again.

Hey World! Here I come!