Jefferine Jean-Jacques Kerr was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She now resides in the Bridgeport, CT area. She is the mother of three energetic boys who actively keep her on her toes. Jefferine is a Professional Resource Administrator for a large consulting firm in CT, however, her love has always been in photography. She is passionate about travel and has been doing so extensively for the past few years while learning how to stretch her budget with camera in hand.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I consider my style to be in line with photojournalism where I seek to tell a story using my lens. I am drawn to opportunities that allow you to peek inside the subject’s world, even if for a fraction of a second.
My goal is to take a photo that tells a story – a story that sticks with you long after you walk away. My passion lies in capturing the soul and heart of everything photographed; the unique moments and authentic expressions in its natural state.
Can you share the backstories behind these two photos?
This first photo is a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time. This photo was taken in Port au Prince, Haiti two years after the catastrophic earthquake that hit the small island in 2010. I spent the day visiting makeshift tent cities and for the most part, the taking of photographs was not welcomed at all.
During my final camp visit, I turned around to leave and saw this boy sitting on the fence staring at something on the horizon. I literally had no more than five seconds to set my camera and capture the shot before he hopped off the fence. My roots lie in Haiti so there is a tremendously strong connection and extreme sadness when I think of all they have survived and endured under such horrific circumstances. Haitian people are resilient and I found myself in awe of this strength.
For me, this photo speaks of strength and hope of a brighter future.
This photo was taken in Lalibela, Ethiopia. This sweet woman’s 13 year old nephew became our tour guide for his small hometown over the course of three days. After meeting his aunt, we were invited to a coffee ceremony in their home. In her modest abode made of mud lived her one year old son and her nephew. As a woman of average height I had to duck to enter her home and found it virtually impossible to stand completely upright due to the limited and constricting dimensions.
I watched her as she started the fire, roasted the coffee beans, used a gourd to grind the beans and served us coffee all while carrying her one year old on her back. What struck me most was the pride and concentration she possessed while performing every step. It was apparent that she wanted to do a good job and her hospitality was humbling.
I was touched by the experience and the care she exemplified in every step of the process. I felt honored and grateful for the gift of genuine connection.
What are your dreams as a photographer?
There are many means by which we as humans can connect and learn to appreciate and honor differences as well as celebrate our similarities. I strive to help bridge that connection through my art. Ideally, I deeply desire for my photographs to tell the untold stories of those individuals who otherwise would remain silent with no voice at all.
My ultimate goal is to work with National Geographic and to bring these stories of the shadows to light. I’ve grown up admiring their photographs and documentaries. Being a life long admirer and faithful follower of the exceptional work consistently produced by National Geographic, I would enjoy nothing more than to be counted among the ranks of such prestigious photographers.
It would be an understatement to say that National Geographic is where my love of travel and photography began.
Follow her here – Website: Portfolio
The “Snapshot” series are mini interviews with fellow black travel photographers to inspire others and myself. As I’ve navigated the world of travel photography over the last few years, I’ve found very few fellow photographers of color who are also doing this professionally with a heavy focus on travel documentary. So this inspirational resource of professional travel photographers of color is a way for people to always find us. Please get in touch if you’d like to be featured or know of others to feature.