Camera is just a tool to capture an image, but to tell a story through a photo you need imagination and creativity. Some times to capture the essence of a moment the photographer must get deeply immersed in that moment, photographer must understand his subject to push that button at the right time. That is what Lee Jeffries has done, a UK based photographer who went beyond the traditional photography styles and started spending his time with homeless people.
The initial idea came to him in 2008 when he saw an 18 year old girl sleeping in a doorway, he clicked the photo without her permission.
Since then he has toured around Europe and America to capture the gripping real life images of homeless people. He spends a large amount of time with the homeless people, to gain their trust so that he can get the best emotions and right images.
Lee, some time spent days or weeks with the homeless people, listens to their stories and gets connected with them before clicking the image.
Lee often finds it hard to process the image as it is too intense, he describes the emotional journey he has to go through with every image, ‘I’m very much an empath. I say to people, that in a strange way, I fall in love with everyone I make a connection with.
‘It’s emotionally challenging at the time but it’s in postproduction when I’m alone again, this is when I fall apart.’
This incredible photographer and human being has been raising money for the homeless people of the last six years.
He often tells his followers and young photographers “You can’t teach it. Life “happens” and it’s through those experiences that hopefully you come through the other side having learned something.
Lee goes on saying, Love “happened” to me. Back then, that love was the motivation for everything I did. Running through the Vatican to buy a Rosary for her dying mother. Feeling her sense of faith and compassion for the less fortunate. Without knowing it, I took pieces from her. They remain with me to this day.
So, now, when you see a Lee Jeffries image it’s not a document of the life of a homeless person. It’s much more than that. It’s a metaphysical testimony of humanity, faith and spirituality. It’s born from love and a connection to another human being. Her… and the homeless people I meet."
Everybody wants to be a photographer. Open your heart and you may just get your wish.” -Lee Jeffries.
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