Archives for January 2013



I’m so excited to be a mentor this year for Thirst Relief’s Mentor Auction starting January 31st at 11PM EST.


Not familiar with Thirst Relief? They are a non-profit who provides clean water to those in need around the world.

Through their Mentor Auction, Thirst Relief will enable you to bid on eBay for a 90-minute instructional session with some of the best photographers in the business! That means you have the chance to spend 90 minutes with me, learning the ins and outs of branding your photography. This is an opportunity to review of all of your visual brand items, to include, but not limited to, your portfolio, website, blog, paper goods, etc. to help you develop and create a consistent visual message. Plus, you will have the opportunity to work with me to create a completely new, custom identity.


100% of the proceeds directly benefit Thirst Relief, meaning all that money goes towards saving the lives of those in need! Last time, the Mentor Auction gave over 8,000 people clean water – just WOW!!


There’s just one thing I need you to do before the auction starts:


Tell all your friends!!


Please help me spread the word by sharing this on Facebook, Tweet about it, post it on Instagram, Pin it – anything to get it out there!


You can get more info about the auction here:


and, be sure to check the auction out starting January 31st at 11PM EST here:


See you there!


I have loved hearts in fashion for a while now! With Valentine’s day around the corner, I thought it fitting to collect some of my favorite pieces I found on Pinterest.



1     I LOOOOVE this Love Ballad Tunic from ModCloth. I think the versatility of it is limitless.

2     A fabulous DIY design for Heart Print Jeans from My Little Secrets.

3     I think this sweater would be super cute for a casual look with black jeggins and wedge sneakers. Here are some additional angles.

4    I love elbow patches and the We’re Young at Heart Sweater gives a different spin on the standard patch. Another must-have from ModCloth.

5     I’m seriously all about scarves and the whimsical print of this Heart Print Wool-Silk Scarf would compliment any outfit.

6     Elbow patch!! I love how the coral patch pops, a nice design detail on the Little Intarsia Heart Sweater created by Chinti & Parker for Goop (founded by Gwyneth Paltrow).


Which pick is your favorite?

101 in 1001


I love 101 in 1001s – I think these types of lists are a happy medium between writing a to-do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting long-term goals.


Last year I attempted to create such list and got to #19 before I was out of ideas! It’s funny how you can think of a million things to do when your not really “thinking” about it.. I did some research and came across a few that followed a common goal:

Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and represent “stretching.”


This last part, I thought was fantastic – creating your list around identities you want to develop over the next 2.75 years, ultimately contributing to your overall personal growth.. loves it!


The Mission:

Complete 101 preset tasks/goals/challenges in a period of 1001 days.


The Criteria:

Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and represent “stretching.”


Why 1001 Days?

It’s all about a realistic deadline. 1001 days (about 2.75 years) allows you several seasons to complete tasks, which is better for organizing and timing things like overseas trips or outdoor activities.


Start Date: January 1, 2012
End Date: September 27, 2015


Crossed out marks a completed item
Italics marks a partially completed or in-progress item


Be Kind to yourself and others
1. Pay a bill for someone
2. Send a care package to someone (of no relation) in the military
3. Send my mom flowers out of the blue
4. Drink eight (16.9 oz) bottles of water every day for one week
5. Practice Crossfit three times a week for three months, four times a week for two months and five times a week for one month
6. Create a daily habit system and follow it for a full year
7. Write a love note to Shelvie every day for one month
8. Help a friend stylize a fabulous party
9. Create a hospital survival kit for a new momma
10. Cultivate ten new habits to make my life more green
11. Work up to running five miles without stopping
12. Spend a day with each of my siblings doing what they want, paid for by me
13. Invest time/talent in a humanitarian effort
14. Throw a stylized surprise party for a friend
15. Get a hot stone message
16. Donate hair to Locks of Love
17. Take vitamins daily for a month
18. Wash my face every morning and night for one month


Make your house a home
19. Create a date jar for me and Shelvie
20. Dedicate one wall to a collage of our families + us as a fmaily
21. Create a functioning home office for both Shelvie and me
22. Create family year book for each year, 2008-2012
23. Buy steer horns for over the bed
24. Create a memory jar
26. Buy a new car
27. Acquire a KitchenAid mixer
28. Replace the lamps in the livingroom and bedroom
29. Buy a small globe and another decorative piece for Ezra’s room
30. Create a family year-in-review newsletter and mail it to family and friends along with a Christmas card each year
31. Make an address book with contact, birthday and anniversary information for family and friends
32. Create a website that highlights our adoption
33. Host a slumber party
29. Host an adult themed party
30. Successfully maintain Ezra’s baby book
31. Successfully document my journey as a momma on my tumblr


Go on an adventure
32. Go on a Harry Potter Walking Tour and Studio Tour in London
33. Attend an Opera
34. See “The Nutcracker”
35. Go treehouse camping or glamping
36. See the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall
37. Go to a professional Basketball game
38. Attend a professional Hockey game
39. Try ten new foods
40. Run a 5k, then a half-marathon, then complete a triathlon
41. Explore two states I’ve never been to
42. Go surfing in Australia
43. Attend a symphony
44. Go to an Underwater Museum
45. Ride on a sailboat
46. Take a trapeze lesson
47. Take a working ranch vacation
48. Go strawberry picking
49. Go to a drive-in movie theater
50. Go to the top of the Empire State building
51. Attend a Sunday Supper with a girlfriend(s)

Live with Faith
52. Visit five new churches for a different experience
53. Go on a missions trip (to work with children, build a home or a clean water system)
54. Increase giving to missions
55. Invite someone to come to church with Shelvie and me, have them come at least one time
56. Find a bible study for Shelvie and I that we can attend regularly
57. Read the bible cover-to-cover, keep a journal
58. Do a daily devotional every day for one year, keep a journal
59. Pray fervently for someone’s need and don’t stop until you see the miracle in their life


Let your creative juices flow
60. Photograph and post 12 separate outfits for the world to see
61. Read a book of poetry
62. Read biographies of five people I admire
63. Make someone a handmade/homemade gift
64. See ten classic films
65. Do ten DIY projects and blog about them
66. Go to a free concert in a park
67. Bind a homemade book
68. Crochet a blanket
69. Make five different wearable DIY bracelets
70. Get a bunch of girls together for a flower arrangement class or host one yourself
71. Make your own solid perfume
72. Create a time capsule
73. Complete the 365 project, then display it somehow (exs: 1, 2, 3, 4)
74. Plan/execute a clothing swap


Step outside your comfort zone
75. Paint a piece of furniture or a wall a bold color
76. Complete the 100 Strangers project
77. Take shooting lessons at a firing range
78. Post a vlog
79. Buy a house
80. Learn how to swim (freestyle)
81. Dye a portion of my hair pink or some other unnatural color


Cultivate a booming business
82. Publish an e-book/website/lesson PDF
83. Go to Engage!, the luxury wedding business summit
84. Attend Alt Summit, a blogging conference
85. Reach 100 subscribers on the blog
86. Add a “search” feature to the blog
87. Add a philanthropic aspect to your business
88. Find someone to help you work out your visual brand message
89. Find someone to help you flush out the “business” side of things
90. Define a topic list for the blog
91. Create a working client system/workflow for JLM clients
92. Collaborate on a project with another creative
93. Dedicate one full year to establishing and growing a photography business
94. Study with Jeremy Cowart ..
95. .. and Zach Arias
96. Get JLP featured in a magazine and on a wedding blog
97. Commit and order business cards for JLM and JLP
98. Revamp and update both JLM and JessicaLeeBlog
99. Read at least one business book a month for a year
100. Enter one JLP print into competition


101. Make a new 101 list


If any of you are also starting a 101 list, or have one in progress, I would love to check it out! Just leave a comment with the link below.





Since one of my main goals for 2013 is growth, I thought it would be a great idea to reflect on this past year. I compiled a short list of expectations, victories and regrets. I want to hold myself accountable so I can map out plans to take ACTION.



1     Moving (I thought we would be moving to a bigger place at the end of the year)

2     Getting back my pre-baby body (I was fit before and thought I would naturally bounce back)

3     The process for our adoption would be faster (We’ve hit major road blocks in the process that were out of our control.. very disheartening!)

4     Breastfeeding would be easy (I figured it would just come naturally)

5     I wouldn’t gain THAT much weight during pregnancy (48lbs.. what?!)

6     I would consistently write in Ezra’s baby book (Instead, I’ve been keeping notes in my iPhone.. not necessarily the best place to keep it)



1     Not serving more (Constantly being “busy” and never having the time for what really matters)

2     Didn’t attend Alt Design Summit or engage! 12 (This one is totally my fault, lack of planning on my part!)

3     Not getting Ezra’s hand-print at 0-1 months (Having to go back to the hospital for Ezra’s biliruben, an infected belly button, struggling to nurse + all the things that come with a newborn and being a new mom, I was overwhelmed. I thought to and really wanted to, I just couldn’t make it happen)

4     I didn’t start working on our adoption paperwork sooner (I had planned to start my maternity leave a month before Ezra was born. I had big plans to rest, complete all the paperwork for our adoption, perhaps vision cast for JLM. Two projects were so close to completion and I chose to finish them instead. Ezra decided to come over a week early, cutting my maternity leave to only five days.)

5     Not getting a lactation nurse (This was something we could not afford at the time. For our next child, it is a must do!)

6     Using maternity leave to develop strategies for JLM (Everyone warns you about how tired you will be.. they are not lying! There is a continuous fog that lingers for some time afterwards. There was no decision-making at this point!)



1     Survived labor (Labor, for me, was very difficult)

2     I didn’t get postpartum depression (Something I was very concerned about. Depression runs through my family + my grandmother suffered from severe postpartum after each of her five children)

3     Tag teaming night feedings (Once we moved to strictly bottle feeding, Shelvie was able to help more.)

4     Breast feeding for 5.5 months (2.5 months over my minimum, .5 months less than my goal. I would have loved to breastfeed for a full year, I had so many issues, I really had to push through to make it the six months. So grateful.)

5     Jessica Lee Media sponsored  Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams when they where on creativeLIVE (Two people who have become very dear friends. So honored to support them and their business’s.)

6     Started the season as a second shooter (Moving up from a third shooter in just one season!)



(original source)



If you’d like to share your victories, expectations and regrets of 2012, I’d love for you to list them in the comments section! Then, leave them behind and hit the “reset” button!




Refreshed from an extended maternity leave, I’m super excited to be back! I had a lot of time to reflect on 2012. I realized I want a more organized life, one that is simplified and allows for growth. I want to hold myself accountable – map out plans to take ACTION.


I’m ready to hit the “refresh” button.


(updated on 1/4/2013)