Jes Lee

New Year, new journals






Yesterday was my last day as an intern in the preservation department at the Hennepin County Library. My last four months there have seemed like such a whirl wind, but it was a welcome change of pace. I have taken many photos of my work there, and developed most of the film (I had a bit of a stash to develop…) last week. I will share those photos soon! 2013-12-30 13.24.52

I hate talking about the weather here. But, the days we have had of below zero temps seems unique this year. What I have been amazed by is my walk across the Hennepin Avenue bridge on the days I work at the library. I never realized the Mississippi River would freeze over so completely here. I never realized how awesome it can be to watch the steam rise from the St. Anthony falls just a little ways away from the bridge I cross. Now I know, and I am excited that I photographed the river every day I crossed it. Expect a new project on that coming soon!

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I make New Year’s resolutions. I try to make realistic resolutions, and I am usually successful at sticking with them. I don’t make a big deal out of slipping though. This year, I am lacking in the resolution department. I usually try to focus on resolutions that will change the coming year, shape it a bit into something positive. This year, I am facing a year that is going to be so vastly different already without any help from a resolution or two from me. So, this year, I will be a bit vague in my resolutions.

I want to journal more, and give myself every day (realistically at least 3 days a week) to writing, journaling, and working in my sketchbook. I love the book I made in a recent class I took at MCBA with Timothy Ely, and I want to use that book as a jumping off point. I plan for that book to be the first of many volumes, and I plan to document it more here.

I want to try more meditation and yoga, to help train my brain to slow down a bit more.

That’s it. I am facing 2014 with an open mind, and an open heart, and I am ready to see where it takes me.


Senior photo session in the snow!

During my very long stretch of very infrequent blogging, I had so many fun portrait sessions. I have felt so bad for not sharing these on the blog!

Late last spring I was working with Victoria on making plans for her senior photo session. She wanted photos in the snow, but we had gotten a late start on planning. Thankfully, we live in Minnesota, where more often than not there is a crazy late spring snow storm with pretty, wet snow that sticks to all the trees, and leaves the temps outside warm enough to be outside playing.





I am so glad I had a chance to work with her! We had a great time running around Silverwood Park finding great new places for photos!

I’m off to meet a friend for tea today. She is a very inspiring poet and visual journaler. I’m very excited to hang out with her today and hopefully get a head start on a new journaling practice I would like to start for 2014!


Film 365 – Day 1: December 22, 2014

home december 22, 2014


Taken with a Hasselblad 501 c/m 80mm lens

Kodak Trix 400 film pushed to 1600

f16, 1 second.

Developed in Ilfosol 3.

Home. And the start of a new 365. This year’s photo-a-day project will be on film, taken mostly with my Hasselblad 501c/m. In college, that camera felt like an extension of my body. I have realized that over the last few years it hasn’t. I plan to get back to it though.

I’m taking cell phone photos of what I’m photographing each day to help collect metadata in my journaling app so I can keep track of film, camera settings, weather, location, etc. We’ll see how long all of that tracking lasts! So why start a project on December 22nd? On this day, 10 years ago, my love came back from being overseas in Iraq. Christmas is always a special holiday for me, but the 22nd is the tops. This is my little way of celebrating it.

Life happens

There are times when everything happens, and all you can do is keep running to keep up. In other words, life happens.

The last time I sat down to write a blog post was September 6th. In between then and now, a lot of life has happened.

My parent’s have closed their restaurant. They are working on fixing a few health problems and learning (quite well!) how to be home together.

My waitressing day job has now ended (after an extremely busy stretch). My library internship is coming to a close, but leading to (yes another) volunteer position there to work on a few more projects.

The last few months I have been simply trying to ride the waves and keep my head above water. That is a bit of a surfing reference…and yes I have tried surfing, and yes it is hard! I feel like I have finally landed on the beach, just in time for the holidays.

2013 was a hard year, I won’t lie. But I can’t write it all off. So many amazing things happened, and I have learned a lot.

I’m hoping that 2014 will be a bit calmer, and hopefully include a few new adventures for John and I.

I am really looking forward to concentrating on my artwork and finding my happy center again this coming year.

I will post more about my internship (it has been amazing!) and the sweet photo shoots I have worked on recently (like Oliver!) soon. In fact, I really hope to get into a blogging and journaling practice in 2014 and make writing here a part of my routine.

Wishing all reading this a happy holidays, no matter what you are celebrating.


library architcture small


Library architecture