Photography: Leafy Yeh / Text: Anna Ross

My models are my friends

Captured raw elegance

I typically begin a photo project with a location that inspires me, and then choose my subject based on physical features, such as skin tone and body type, that I think will best serve the vision I have in my mind.

The human body fascinates me, and in particular the female form... there’s a raw elegance to the shapes and curves that’s undeniable. I think the classical painters captured this so well, and I hope to portray that rawness in my photographs.

Beauty at second sight

I’m interested in exploring femininity, and in capturing the journey toward self-discovery and self-acceptance. If you look at the photographs in the series, my subjects are usually presented in meditative, peaceful, or inward states.

I am attracted to people that have a subtle, unconventional beauty – a discoverable beauty. It’s the kind of beauty that you might not notice immediately or might forget quickly if you were to see the person only once, but which seems to evolve or increase over time with more exposure to the person and greater attention to their physical details.


A profound approach

A lot of these photographs are about expressing the relationships that my subjects have with themselves in isolated moments and using the natural world to enhance their connectedness.

I’m genuinely interested in knowing my models as friends. I like to talk with them about their passions and dreams, family lives, their values, and their philosophies about life.

Photojournalism giving people a voice

I’d like to take a more objective perspective with my next project, and to aim for realism. I want to shift into photo journalism, and hope to devote my art toward societal issues – to help more marginalized voices be heard.

Leafy Yeh

Born 1993 in Canton, China
Based in Los Angeles