These powerful portraits below are captured by self-taught photographer Lee Jeffries. It all started when Jeffries tried to photograph a homeless woman without asking for her permission. Using a long zoom lens, he attempted to take her photo from across the street.
When she noticed what Jeffries was doing, she was annoyed. However, Jeffries didn't run away but he crossed the street and start talking to her. He soon realized that photographing people on the street wasn't just about the photo. Instead, he learned to first respect his subjects, talk to them and listen to their stories with sensitivity. Eventually, his passion has become his life mission. Jeffries uses his photography to draw attention to the homeless and raise funds for them. He also provides links on his Facebook page to organizations such as the Salvation Army for viewers to donate to.
"I never ask for a photograph without spending time with them. I’m not there to take photographs. I’m getting something far more personal from the interaction if I’m honest."
"My own loneliness is somehow [desensitized] by theirs. It’s hard to explain and probably even harder to comprehend…but it keeps me going out there. Once those connections are made, the moments I capture with the camera become spontaneous."