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Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries

Country: United Kingdom

Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and discuss with the homeless girl. His perception of the homeless completely changes. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: "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.

"If you will forgive my indulgence, This work is most definitely NOT photojournalism. Nor is it intended as portraiture. It's religious or spiritual iconography. It's powerful stuff. Jeffries gave these people something more than personal dignity. He gave them a light in their eyes that depicts transcendence, a glimmer of light at the gates of Eden, so to speak. The clarity in their eyes is awesome to behold as if God is somewhere in there. He has made these people into more than poor old broken homeless people lazily waiting for a handout from some urbane and thoughtful corporate agent. He infused them with light, not darkness. Even the blind guy has light pouring from his sightless eyes. I think Jeffries intended his art to honor these people, not pity them. He honors those people by giving their likenesses a greater meaning. He gives them a religious spiritual significance. He imbues them with the iconic soul of humanity. I think that's what he was trying to do, at least to some degree thereof."

Source: www.yellowkorner.com


Lee Jeffries leads a double life – as a full-time accountant near Manchester, and in his free time as an impassioned photographer of the homeless all over the world.

A self-taught photographer who started out taking pictures of stock in a bike shop, his epiphany came in April 2008 when, on the eve of running the London Marathon, he snatched a long-lens image of a homeless girl huddling in a doorway, and felt compelled to apologize to her when she called him out for it. Their resulting conversation changed not only his approach to photography; it changed his life.

Since that day Lee has been on a mission to raise awareness of – and funds for – the homeless. His work features street people from the UK, Europe, and the US whom he gets to know by living rough with them, the relationship between them enabling him to capture a searing intimacy and authenticity in his portraits. He has published two critically acclaimed fund-raising books, Lost Angels and Homeless, worked with the Salvation Army on a major campaign, and donated the half-dozen cameras he's won in prestigious imaging competitions to charity. He estimates he's given thousands of pounds of his own money to help those he photographs. All this, and he's still 'an amateur'.

Source: Nikon In-Frame


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More Great Photographers To Discover

Melissa Stewart
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Born in Melbourne, Australian Photographer Melissa Stewart currently resides between the Victorian country regions of the Macedon Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula. She has an affinity with the Australian landscape, nature and its wilderness. It is through her raw, true Australian aesthetic, she draws awareness towards the environment and the landscape we inhibit to protect it. Living in the country with horses has helped shape her awareness and interest in connecting and belonging. After graduating in 1980, she studied Art and Design and then Interior design in 2006 which has only enhanced her focus for detail, shape, line and form, this reflects in her Photography. Melissa returned to study Professional Photography in 2016 at Photography Studies College in Melbourne, studying part time, she has her final year to complete after deferment in 2019. She has been awarded finalist in Click 17, SE Centre for Contemporary Photography, Brunswick Street Gallery and exhibited in several group shows. A Finalist in the Australian Photography Awards awarded top 5, Student category and third place student category in the Australian Photography Awards exhibition, 2019. Statement Being in nature has always allayed my anxiety; it's my form of meditation. We can so easily forget about those simple needs and pleasure in life. Isolation has enabled me to reconnect, being at home creates a security a protection and comfort, and it brings me to a peaceful and happier state of mind. More so now it's imperative to connect with parts of yourself that you haven't before and reconnect with the things that you love. Given this time to slow down; I have been able to be inspired by books and music, long walks and observing the natural world in a different perspective. I have had wonderful moments where I have really be in awe and wonder with nature, the sea, the trees, and the silence. It is exactly in these moments that we can assess what matters, and what we want our life to mean. My interest in drawing awareness towards our environment and the landscape motivates my belief that it is essential to our quality and balance of life.
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