Author: Leila Jeffreys

Capturing the character of birds in intimate portraits

Leila Jeffreys is an acclaimed Australian contemporary photographic and video artist. She is best known for visceral and mysterious images of birds that explore and subvert the traditions of portraiture. Her avian subjects are photographed at human scale with an astounding attention to color, line, form and composition. How did you get started in photography, and in photographing birds specifically? I picked up a camera at the age of 15 and from that point on, it was always close by – I was the one in my group of friends who was always taking photos, documenting our lives. I studied photography in high school, and then at University in Perth, Western Australia as part of my Communications degree, before moving to Sydney, New South Wales to study photography full time at TAFE. After completing my studies, I began working as a commercial photographer but was never at all comfortable in that role. I was always uncomfortable with the prospect of working fast and handing over work that disappointed me. So, once I realized that I …