Jes Lee

I keep taking pictures …


I have been keeping up with my 365 project for the most part, I just haven’t been as good with uploading them. Here is one from today…my Gramps getting help with his new cell phone. I love when my family is all together like this.

Changes, promises, and permission

First, you have probably noticed some changes with my blog! My blog is located here, at When you click on the ‘blog’ link at the top of my website, it will take you here. There are many reasons for this change, but most only affect me, not you as a reader. For awhile I was trying to keep two blogs, a photo work blog, and a personal blog. It didn’t take me long to decide that wasn’t going to work. Photography is a big part of my life, personal and professional. There is no way to logically keep them separate, and that is ok. So, my blog will now be a combination of both. Most importantly, this blog is me. Because this new blog is through Posterous, you can now either grab the RSS feed if you use a feed reader, or you can subscribe to this blog and get updates emailed to you. Easy! On the right side of the page is a ‘Get updates’ heading. Pick what option you like best! Also, I have a new shop! will take you to my new shop, featuring prints and cards of my most recent work. More product updates are coming soon, so keep checking back there!

This past weekend was equal parts amazing, eye opening, and fun, with overwhelming bits thrown in all at the same time.

We tried doing a holiday boutique at my aunt’s house, and it was a lot of fun! I love laid back sales like that! There needs to be more!
Saturday, I participated in the Minnesota Center for Book Arts 9th annual Book Arts Festival. It was though provoking, and inspiring, and so many wonderful things all rolled into one! I was showing off the prints from my show at Bloomington that I had done the letterpress work on. I didn’t sell any of those but I did get so many wonderful comments and feed back from many patrons shopping the sale, and from some printers that I really admire. The best was seeing the woman I bought my little press from years ago be so excited at what I was doing, and that I was using that little press. It made my heart soar! There was some down time at the sale. Many artists brought book binding projects with them to work on. I haven’t been book binding as much (though I have plans to remedy that!! Hello book-arts inspiration!) so I didn’t have anything to work on, but I did have my journal. So I spent all of my down time writing. I had been inspired the other day when I read this post about the discipline of writing. It just makes sense. Since Saturday I have been writing more. Even just little bits between some of the other things I am working on. It doesn’t matter how much, but I am writing, and that is important to me, and very important to my project. After all of the feedback I got on Saturday, I want to keep adding my writing to my work!


We had a fun night out with friends Saturday evening, and it was great to finally have some time to catch up with everyone. Though after learning the hard way that noisy places overwhelm me when I’m tired, and then a hard drive back home after an ice storm with 3 other people in my car that mean more to me than I can express, I was wiped out. I slept hard that night, and slept in late on Sunday. 

I learned a lot this weekend though. One of the biggest things is that I need to be easier on myself. I realized that I have been very hard and critical of myself the last couple of weeks, and that needs to stop.
This weekend, especially after thinking of the blog post I mentioned above, I gave myself permission to say “I am a writer”, “I am a book artist”, “I am a printer”.
I gave myself permission to dislike and not participate in November’s blog a day stuff. No offense to my friends that are participating in it. If it brings you enjoyment, that is awesome! It has always brought me more stress than anything else. I can barely keep up with reading the blogs I enjoy on a regular basis, much less when those authors are writing steady every day, not to mention me finding time and things to blog about every day. Blogging every day just isn’t me. This weekend I finally gave myself permission to stop trying. I would love to blog more than I do, and possibly even do some video blogging, and I will try to do that as my project ramps up again, but it won’t be every day. And that is ok!
It is ok that I am tired after a weekend full of holiday sale events! They are a lot of work! But they are fun, and they are worth while. I gave myself permission to take a day or two off after one to recover. 
And, today, I gave myself permission to work from home, to use my laptop instead of the big desktop computer so I can snuggle on the couch, and get some work done, but still recover from the weekends events. 
I have been continuing with my 365 cell phone photo project, and really enjoying it! I had a few set backs with my cell phone SD card dying on me, and not having the time to post things here, but I have kept up with it! It is a great challenge to learn that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Soon I’m going to start a film 365 project. Possibly medium format? Or with one of my 35mm toy cameras?? Stay tuned for that one!

I’m happy today, and I am looking forward to all that I may accomplish!

Until next time,

And we keep going!

The show at Bloomington is down, but that isn’t the end! More shows are coming in 2012 and I’ve already begun planning new work to add to this series. It is exciting!
In the mean time, the holiday sales are already in full swing. These not only give you a chance to buy handmade pieces from local artists but a chance to find great things for yourself as well! In fact, Minnesota Center for Book Arts ( has their 9th annual Book Arts Festival going on today from 10am to 5pm! I will be there selling prints from my current Digital Dreams of Life series. You should stop by!

*this advertisement brought to you by your local artist hoping for a sale today.

And this is why I f~€*|^g shoot film

There is a particular feeling of dread you feel when you are trying to pull important photos and movies off of your smart phone and see the error message. That one that your phone flashes at you, gently telling you that your memory card sucks and you are therefore screwed.
Yes, it stinks. Really stinks. Yes, there were things I didn’t even have a chance to back up. No, it isn’t really the end of the world.


Of course, my first reaction is to spout off that this is why I shoot film, that film doesn’t just die like that without warning. Which of course is not true. (You just quite often never see the film images that don’t work out. Digital and being able to see things right away and know how awesome they are only to not be able to use them is just cruel.) Film can be a very harsh mistress too, but after having worked with it for so long, I feel like I know it better, know its nuances. I trust it. That feeling is really what keeps me shooting with film so much in the first place…what will keep me shooting with it in the future. My cell phone 365 almost ended tonight. The image in this post is not the one I intended for today, but, it will work. In the mean time, perhaps someone at The Nerdery will be able to resurrect my sd card tomorrow. Maybe not. Life goes on.

Until next time,



Extra sleep, even that one short extra hour have been wonderful.

Also, I need to stop forgetting about my blogging and 365 project until right before I go to sleep.

Tomorrow there will be more content, including upcoming show info! Until then,


Doubles are better


I admit it. I am so geek-ily excited that the camera app I use on my cell phone does double exposures now!! This will be a very fun 365 project now! Here is one I took last night.