Lee Jeffries – Spiritual Portrait Photographer
Lee Jeffries powerful portraits are getting noticed big time. He recently won Digital Camera magazine’s Photographer of the Year award, and is also in the midst of getting a book published with Yellow Korner.
Tell us a little bit about you? Where do you consider home?
Have you attended school/taken any courses for Photography?
What or who got you started in photography?
List 3 photographers you admire – past and/or present.
Could you tell us something that few people know about you?
What do you think of the current state of the photography industry/where do you see it in 5 years?
List 3 things you wish you had done sooner in your career.
If you could be invisible for one day with your camera, where would you go?
What is your current gear setup?
What is your favorite lens and why?
What lighting equipment do you take on a regular shoot if any?
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Are you a Mac or PC lover?
We all admire the reasons behind your portraits. Could you tell us a bit more about how you ended up using your talent to draw attention too homeless awareness and raise funds for these beautiful people?
I remember reading this passage….and being amazed at how a stranger could so accurately interpret and articulate my most inner thoughts…..
“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.”
I just ended up doing this I guess based on the experiences of my life. My fascination with faith. My loneliness. My despair and of course my hope. Somehow that has ingrained a sixth sense…a recognition and compassion to the spirituality of others. I see it….feel it and I then try to capture the emotion of that and let others make their own judgement. If that generates an interest in the images and issues then that’s a huge positive.
If you weren’t a professional photographer, what would you like to be doing?
Lets just say if I wasn’t an accountant I would love to be a professional photographer!
Which 5 words would your friends use to describe you?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
“Don’t stop loving me. I can see it draining out of you. It’s me, remember? It was a stupid thing to do and it meant nothing. If you love me enough, you’ll forgive me”…. can’t answer this question any other way.
What is your greatest fear?
Do you have a favorite movie?
Terrence Malicks work has a huge influence on how I view things. Way before I ever picked up a camera I would sit mesmerized by the beauty of the The Thin Red Line…and now the gentle whisper “the only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by” from the Tree of Life always moves me no matter how many times I watch the movie. I’m overwhelmed to have been asked by him to help with a current project.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
And the last question, if you had one wish…
On a completely personal level….to stand beneath Christ the Redeemer.