photographer leila jeffreys

One of the travel stories from real living that has stayed with me was written and photographed by Leila Jeffreys. It was her second visit to Christmas Island (an Australian territory that's in the Indian Ocean and has been proclaimed by Sir David Attenborough as a "must-visit" destination for its wildlife). Leila was there as part of Bird and Nature Week, and spent time caring and photographing many rare species. (It's in the September 2008 issue, if you have back copies.) So I was thrilled recently to see that she was exhibiting her photography work at Iain Dawson Gallery. Not only because she has continued with her passion for photography, but she's also spent time documenting birds in an altogether fresh and vibrant way.

Which five words best describe you? Oh dear, am I able to ask one of my friends? Ideally a friend that only sees the good in people!

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started off taking promo photos for bands, since then I fell into the wonderful world of magazines.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? It doesn’t necessarily matter what you do, it’s who you work with that’s important. Loving the people you work with really does makes all the difference.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I would have to say this exhibition has been my proudest achievement. It has been 3 years of hard work and I’m in shock that I finally made it to the finishing line.

What was the starting point for this exhibition? I was obsessed about a giant portrait of a budgerigar for my home. The whole project started being about something that I could visualise and wanted for myself. From there it turned into a series of images which eventually lead to the exhibition.

What’s been your best decision? It’s probably a bit of a cliché but for me it was the decision to become a Mum.

Who inspires you? My husband James, and our adorable son (James’s words).

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about native critters, I love anything that has fur, feathers or fangs.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Gram Parsons.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I’d love to commission a sustainable architect to design my dream home.

What are you reading? The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, he’s all about practising mindfulness.

images courtesy of leila jeffreys and iain dawson gallery