Haunting Black and White Portraits of Homeless People by Lee Jeffries
Photo series “Homeless” by Lee Jeffries will make you face the ones you neglectfully pass by everyday. Taken exclusively in black and white, each of these close-up portraits is incredibly detailed and capture life stories of homeless people on the streets of Europe and the US. You can get lost in the intense gazes, maps of wrinkles and scars, and all the emotional stories behind them. All this is captured despite the fact that the shot sometimes only takes a few seconds, as the “models” might get bored and change their minds.
Accountant by profession, a self-taught photographer from Manchester started his career in photography as a sports photographer, but changed his approach after one incident in London.. He once tried to take a picture of a young, homeless woman huddled in a sleeping bag among Chinese food containers: “She kicked up a right fuss! I was incredibly embarrassed and was faced with a decision – walk away, or go and apologize. I chose the latter and her story and subsequent images I took of her changed my approach to street photography forever.”
Lee typically tries to befriend his models first, and then gives them some money after taking the pictures. He also applies some post production to achieve the powerful effect: “I process, predominately through dodge and burn, to develop the mood of the eyes. It’s the eyes that attracted me to take the photograph in the first place and this is always the starting point for the emotional element of the image. I process with light and shadow in an almost religious way.”