Lee Jeffries earned his trade as a sports photographer before a conversation with a homeless woman led to him taking a remarkable series of photographs
Not since Don McCullin have I seen images of the homeless that give them such a dignity. It raises them above the humiliating categorization of people to be pitied.
Jeffries has the gift of empathy and is able to use it to gain access to their lives. They clearly trust him and he repays their trust with pictures that make it seem that is they who are looking at us, rather than the other way round. Their eyes question, while their lined faces tell of the hardness of their existence.
I think part of the power of the images comes from the fact that in our regular lives we try hard not to exchange looks with the homeless, anything not to be involved or implicated in their lives. With Jeffries pictures we have no choice but to return their gaze and what we see surprises us and makes us re-evaluate our own prejudices.