/ by Whitney Hayward

Downtown

Copyright Lee Jeffries, portrait inspo 

 

Photo projects of the homeless have been done and done again. Then done twice more. After seeing a few of these projects, it’s hard to avoid wondering about a certain level of exploitation. Is the photographer genuinely concerned about the issue-or using these people to gander attention?

I’ve never raised those questions when looking at Jeffries body of work. It’s emotional, powerful, and avoids treating each subject as apart of the collective group ‘homeless’. Each person is photographed in a way that’s visually interesting and emotional. Jeffries has transversed the globe to create these images, starting in London. This one was taken in Miami. For Time Magazine, Jeffries says,

 
        It was a poignant time for Jeffries to be in Miami. The Sunshine State held its Republican primary on Jan. 31., and the following day, contest winner and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney said in an interview that he was “not concerned about the very poor” because “we have a safety net there.” In Miami, the photographer documented some of the city’s most impoverished—many of whom have fallen through the “safety net” Romney described and find themselves homeless, living on the streets. As he does on every trip, Jeffries met and spent time with people on an individual basis—listening to their life stories, taking their portraits and trying to help them in any way he could.


His flickr account.