Some say they can spot his work and his brand of photography and processing a mile away. His work is fantastically unique and has the photography industry and world wide press stirring. This award-winning talent has captured faces of the most interesting characters that are now making international impact because of his emotional portraiture and the stories behind them. Today, you must meet Lee Jeffries, a standout portrait photographer and storyteller.
He’s a self taught photographer who has many blown away by the emotive and powerful black and white series of portrait images. But these are not just everyday people that he captures. Based in Manchester in the United Kingdom, Jeffries ran very close to the professional football circle and began his photography at sporting events. But a chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changed his artistic approach forever. Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. Jeffries knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay to go and talk with the homeless girl. After this conversation, his perception about the homeless completely changed. From Europe to the United States, these “models” then became the subject of his art and the faces that have launched his passion to convey their stories to the world.
“I can’t change these people’s lives,” Jeffries told to Time Magazine. “I can’t wave a magic wand but it doesn’t mean I can’t take a photograph of them and try to raise awareness and bring attention to their plight.”
“Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait.” From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world. Lee sells prints and donates many of his profits to homeless charities and other organizations.
“Its ever so simple. I use an old Canon 5d mark 1, a 24mm prime and a small hand held reflector. The need to upgrade has never been more apparent though. Galleries are calling for larger and larger prints from me and the resolution the 5d is offering is limiting to say the least. Something I should have paid attention to a lot earlier. Budding photographers take note.”
Lee’s Advice for Photographers:
“Chanel your pain, your love…your passion into whatever it is you want to do. Let it drive you. The results are a natural consequence of that. Sure…the gear helps…but without that personal sacrifice your images will probably be mediocre.”
Jeffries is currently running his first solo exhibition in Rome and is about to release a very exciting book to be released in February 2014.