152MC – Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries photographs are mainly presented through portraits. The body of work that has inspired me was his series of the homeless. Jeffries is one of my top favourite artists and he’s inspired me very much with my own work. I discovered this photographer during my study at A Level, and I haven’t lost the attraction to his photographs.

Lee Jeffries attended the London marathon in 2008. On the day he wanted to wander around London and take photographs of his surroundings. Carrying his 5D, 70-200 lens he saw a subject that he truly thought he needed to share. A homeless woman who was huddled in a sleeping bag among Chinese food containers. The eighteen-year-old, whose complexion indicated she was addicted to drugs, told Jeffries her story: her parents had died, leaving her without a home, and she now lived on the streets of London. This story never leaves my mind, as it is remarkable to think that there are people in the world who are in serious situations, without it being their fault. This experience left an effect on Jeffries and his work. It guided his career into street photography, photographing the homeless. He didn’t want to exploit these people or steal their image from them like so many other photographers who see homeless as an east target. Lee connects with each of his subjects, gets to know who he is photographing before he uses the camera. To continue his project, he travelled to Skid Row in Los Angeles three times, as well as Las Vegas, New York, London, Paris and Rome. He makes his images very dark, highlighting the lives of the people he captures. This allows the viewer to see every detail very clearly in the face. He makes his photography an awareness for people to help raise funds for the homeless. Lee Jeffries is a photographer that I definitely recommend people to take into consideration.

This artist shows me how portraits can perceive the subject. For my next shoot I want to take portraits of my subjects. Mainly Alison, as her face and life will be the main source of my project. All of Lee Jefferies images are in black and white. This is something I will experiment with. Although I have to consider if I want all of my pictures in black and white and how it will connect with my works intentions.

Here are some of the images from Lee’s series of work of the homeless,

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