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Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries

Posted on October 18, 2013 - By Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries
Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries
British photographer Lee Jeffries started photographing homeless people in the streets after meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London.

This encounter changed his artistic approach forever. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.

All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

Lee Jeffries: I'm an accountant actually. Photography is something I do when I'm not doing that.

AAP: Where did you study photography?

LJ: Self taught. No formal qualifications whatsoever.

AAP: Do you have a mentor?

LJ: Nope.

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?

LJ: About 5 years now.

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

LJ: My first street photograph was a young girl homeless girl in London. The story is all around the net now. My first real photograph was the woman praying in Rome. That's where the artistry began.

AAP: What or who inspires you?

LJ: Emotion. People. Empathy for the suffering of others.

AAP: How could you describe your style?

LJ: My own. If it looks good to me then I'm more than happy. Much more than that though...i have to feel an image. I throw it out if I dont.

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?

LJ:Digital. Old beat up Canon 5d mark 1.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?

LJ: Some take 5 minutes...some take longer...much longer. Depends on my mood. If I'm particularly into an image emotionally I will linger for hours listening to classical music over all the details.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?

LJ: James Nachtwey, Stephan Vanfleteren.

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?

LJ: Concentrate on shooting an image. There is no substitute for emotion. A $5,000 camera wont save an image nor will hours in PS. You have to capture something from the outset. always get that bit right.

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?

LJ: Not trusting their instincts.

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?

LJ: Just completed a year long project for Terrence Malick.

AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?

LJ: Every time I meet somebody on the street. nothing beats being out there.

AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?

LJ: My fave image from anyone, anywhere: Katarina Smuraga. Emotion. Genuine or not it has me totally convinced and shakes me to the core each time I view it. I often linger for hours into those watery eyes.

AAP: Anything else you would like to share?

LJ: Exhibition opens in Rome on 18th October at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere.

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries

© Lee Jeffries

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