About Jess Lee, Artist
Let's see, oh yes, once upon a time I had a Brownie Box camera.... I bet you can fill in the rest.
The point is, that I love creating great images for others to enjoy and I have been doing it for a very long time.
Over four decades of experience as a fine art and editorial nature professional photographer, I have been blessed with the great acceptance of my view of our world by many clients from large corporate collections to the halls of Congress. One of my proudest accomplishments is to have my art hanging in one of the largest and most prestigious Veterans hospitals in the United States and as the project director said "your art adds beauty to the lives of the veterans of our country who have given so much to all of us to keep us safe." My work has been presented to members of the US Senate by conservation organizations as a reminder of the great responsibility they have to preserve the beauty of our great land. I have supplied large corporate art displays including over one thousand of my prints. My work has been displayed at prestigious venues including the Annenburg Center for Photography. My exclusive limited edition fine art prints are held by private collectors worldwide.
I have been a contributor to many publications including covers on National Geographic, National Wildlife, Sports Afield, and many more. Selected credits include Audubon, Defenders, Field & Stream, Geo, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, National Geographic World, National Wildlife, National Parks, U.S. National Park Service, Nature Conservancy, NRDC, Outdoor Life, San Francisco Examiner, Scientific American, Sierra, Sports Afield, Der Stern, Trout, Woman's World, Wyoming Wildlife. Author/Photographer: Fly Fisherman, Das Stern, Rod & Reel, Das Tier, Trout, Western Outdoors. Books: American Geographic, Houghton Mifflin, National Geographic, Time-Life, Riverbend. Calendars: Day Dream, National Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund. Advertising/Corporate: ATT, Autolite, Orvis, USWest. Calendars: Day Dream, National Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund. Emmy winning TV Series, Americas National Parks by Ken Burns.
In the advertising world, my work has been used in many local and worldwide campaigns, with one of my images being used in an advertisement three stories high on the Bank of the West corporate headquarters on the San Francisco skyline.
International photography workshop leader, and gallery owner with Fine Art Prints represented in galleries throughout the West.
Today we are very lucky to have great tools at hand to create images that were impossible just a few years ago. This allows me to create genuine, very large, high resolution images, taken in the light created by our solar system rather than on a computer. Beyond the technology is the skill to capture wondrous visions at moments in time that make the images come alive to the viewer. This is done with well thought out composition, understanding of the importance of studying details, and the patience to find the perfect light. The result is the finest print available to enhance your space, bring you joy, and allow you to mentally drift into the essence of the print as do hundreds of other collectors worldwide.
For me the wonder of wild places and wild things has always been captivating; something to be held sacred, revered and held in trust for future generations. This has always been one of the prime motivators in my drive to capture the wild world. Without a commitment to conserving what we have been gifted with on this planet, we only create another pretty picture. Without the goal of preserving what we have, we can only record what was.
My goal is not only to preserve what we have for the future, but to restore what has been abused and misused in the past. One of the great under appreciated responsibilities we have is to preserve the culture of the peoples we call Native Americans, who came to North America before the European settlers and the traditional western ranching lifestyles.
I have worked for decades to advance these goals. Working on many conservation projects from water and stream conservation awareness as a chapter president of Trout Unlimited in the early 1970's, to the current battle to not allow wolves and other predators to be removed from our ecosystems and lives. In the years between, I have contributed my photography to many campaigns of restoration and preservation. My work has been used to help bring creatures such as the Grizzly Bear, Bald Eagle and Wolf back from the edge of extinction in our nation.
Today we are still faced with many conservation challenges. Possibly more than ever before as our culture sinks into only being concerned with" now" forgetting what we do now will forever alter the future.
Advice for Nature Photographers
As I lead my workshops I am often asked," how do I break into the world of nature photography?"
My reply is: " find some place or something near your home that you feel is worthy of saving. Capture its spirit with your images. Show why it has value to be saved for the future. Photograph it in ways to bring it to life, show the wonder of it's being and do it so well no one will even try to do it better."
Beyond the goal for recognition, you should find ways to use your photography talents to help the conservation organizations of your choice. As an example, today in addition to financial contributions, I donate fine art images to several conservation organizations as fund raisers. I have lead a photography workshop for the Yellowstone Association with the proceeds going to advance projects within Yellowstone National Park. I have for many years donated a seat in one of my workshops to be given as the Grand Prize in the Defenders of Wildlife photo contest.
"If through your photography you can even in a small way help preserve or restore just one place or one thing, you will be a successful nature photographer." Jess Lee