Archives for June 2011


She had known his cousin for years, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2009, when they first caught sight of each other. Too shy to introduce themselves, each stayed to their respective corner of the room wondering who the other one was.

As fate would have it, he kept popping up at the same places.. a mutual friends house, an off-roading adventure, even as far as the Delaware Water Gap – over an hour away from home. By the time he noticed, it was too dark to tell, but he wondered if it was the same girl consuming his every thought.

Destiny intervened the next time they met. Chris casually broke the ice with simple conversation from across the room. Nervous, Becky elected for chips and M&M’s. When she turned to go back to her seat, to her dismay, it was already taken. Quickly scanning the small room, the only other empty seat was right beside Chris! A short conversation lead to late night talks till 3am.

I am so excited for Becky and Chris’s September wedding. I am incredibly honored to capture the story of their love that day, not just as a photographer but as their friend!



Excited to take her website to the next level with a complete design overhaul, Katie McKnight was the first to respond to the current JLM promotion. Visions of Pottery Barn, whitewash and the soothing comfort of the ocean danced around in her head.

Before I embark on any new project, I ask my clients to answer a few short questions. I get to know them through the answers, are they short and to the point or do they weave a story out of their words. Katie took THAT to the next level, instead of a word document or an attached PDF, she wrote a four page, hand-written letter, introducing me to the story of her life, loves and desires for her business.

As soon as I held that thick, two-stamped letter in my hand, childhood memories flooded back in an instant. Those long summers I’d spent in Virginia with my grams, writing home to each one of my friends. Pages of yellow-lined paper, catching them up on, what was then, a very exciting lifestyle of water-skiing, pig roasts and learning how to drive a golf cart.. but, I was most excited when I drove to the post office with my gram and she would hand me their response. I knew that inside would be frayed notebook pages, filled with words written in big bubble letters, filling me in on all I was missing back home.

In a world filled with email, Facebook and texting, I loved to feel the weight of each page as I hung on to each word, dreaming of Ms Katie’s new website.


Last Saturday I had the privilege of shooting for Vanessa Joy Photography and witnessing one of the best weddings ever, to date! There were many moments that day when time felt as if it stood still. I watched as the sun broke through the rain clouds, determined to let Jessica and Jason have their dream ceremony outside as planned. During the hora, a dance I have never witnessed in person, I was overwhelmed with the love that this family had for these two .. not to mention it was the most exciting thing I had ever seen!

John and I (Nino was manning video) started with the groom, Jason, who was getting ready in the Presidential suite at the Westin. There, we were able to capture his mother, brother and a groomsman help him get ready for the day.

First look was at Princeton University.


We were then off to Greenacres Country Club for the signing of the ketubah and the exchange of rings under a beautifully decorated chuppah.

Before the reception went into full swing, I captured these amazing details.




I love being a youth leader for Velocity, my church’s youth group. Not only have I come to witness many of the youth accept Jesus into their life, but my heart has forever been changed because of it.

When I was asked to photograph Caleb and his date, Jessica, two of the kids from the group, I was overwhelmed with joy. I felt honored to be apart of such an amazing experience.

As we waited for Jessica to finish getting ready, Caleb and I took some time to GQ it up.

It was kinda funny watching them figure out how this thing worked or which hand it should go on. They finally got it figured out, success!

For mom and dad.

I think they found the whole experience of being photographed slightly weird, so they thought it would be funny to make faces at me, haha.

I loved the color and texture of the panels on the office next door.

Jessica, simply stunning!

Twenty minutes later, they were off.

Thank you Caleb and Jessica, you both are amazing!


There was no magic recipe or process to take to ultimate success. It’s nothing you don’t already know – sometimes, you just need the confirmation in order to make it viable in your life. Attending Making Things Happen helped me figure out who I was, because ultimately, that’s what my business will be.

So, for those of you who stuck with me and read about my Making Things Happen journey, thank you! If you missed it, and would like to read about it, you can begin here. (part 2, part 3)

If you’re anything like me, you like when things are spelled out – below is a recap of the action steps I was able to take away. These steps have helped me find clarity, get organized and create the most success in my life and business.

1. Create a mentor action list

* Decide on five people who you would like to connect with and reach out.

// Think of something that will set you apart: what can you do for them to make their job easier? What can you offer that they can’t do themselves or hire someone else to do?

// Don’t ask them for coffee, that’s just a round about way of saying you are going to waste an hour+ of their time picking their brain. Prove it’s an investment for them too.

// Be in a good head space because it can be discouraging if they don’t immediately email you back. Keep in mind they are busy, if they weren’t you wouldn’t find them valuable. Respect their time and cut them a break. They may have gotten to your email then got distracted by everything else they need to do. If they haven’t returned your email, try emailing again, gently reminding them that you would like to connect.


2.     Download and create an action list

* Go out and buy yourself a fancy new notebook, preferably something that sparkles 🙂 Then take some time to free write and get it all out.

// I create sections for myself: personal, business, etc. I then broke those down:

=> personal: declutter – drawers, closets

drawers: (action list)

– pull out all clothing

– go through and donate all clothes no longer my style

– pack away all the likes, but not right now (I love doing this! As trends come and go it’s fun to have the keepers around = less shopping later <= totally wishing I knew this back then and kept some of my hippie garb now that long skirts are making a come back, haha!)

– group clothing by type, season, etc.

– refold and store according to type and color.

– store off season in bins.

=> business: Jessica Lee Media, Jessica Lee Photography

Jessica Lee Photography: (action list)

– find a mentor

– get lessons

– buy equipment

• think of ways to make money so you can buy equipment

– practice

•  set up a practice guide

– buy domain name

• set up email

–  set up a fan page

– set up blog

– post

• organize list of things to talk about

… you get the idea.


3.     Purge all social media, bookmarks, etc.

* Lara explained to us that we keep these things to distract us from the decisions we need to make. She said to get rid of them! Take them off your browser toolbar. Turn off all pushes on your phone. Make them work to get too.You’ll be surprised that the attitude, ‘oh, let me just check in for five minutes’ – which turns into a total time suck – will become a hassle when you actually have to take the time to dig deep and find that nasty little link, haha!

We all have that one who does nothing but plug themselves, the one we have an unhealthy competition with or that one’s position we covet. This just sucks the creativity right out of you. SO.GET.RID.OF.IT!


4.     Create 5 actionable items

* Each day review your download list and take away five actionable items (things you can do under 30 mins).

// For me, most things take longer than 30 minutes and can have as many 10 steps. I try to give myself a healthy mix with a goal of being completed in one week. Some I knock out right away and some take a little longer. I try and I am realistic, this girl is no superwoman. I have to work full time, which comes with daily fires to put out, laundry to do, a dog to walk, a husband to feed, and I’m having a heck of a time trying to get my 19-year-old butt back – women over 30, can I get an AMEN?! haha!


5.     Evaluate your environment

* Your closet, your car, your office. These things can create that sense of forgetting something, feeling as if things are out of place or simply suffocating under the weight of being out of control.

// For me, it’s all these things and then some. Right now the biggest thing that is looming are my hard drives. Lara taught us that you could continue to put it off if you simply haven’t broken it down enough (which is probably why I haven’t gotten around to it yet <= hello reminder!)


6.     5 things that make you feel whole everyday

* Write those things down! Get them in front of you as a constant reminder. Take care of yourself! You deserve it!

// mine are:

work out/physical activity

walk Alice


at least three bottles of water a day

encourage someone in their business

encourage my husband to chase his dream

**Have you attended the Making Things Happen experience? I would love to hear what you took away from it and how it helped you grow!**



Because this experience has helped me grow so much I want to give back!!! I’m offering anyone who wants to make things happen in their business 50% off my identity and/or web design packages. Spots are limited to 8 people (confirmed with a retainer). Feel free to email me for all the details at