jeffholt (Pt. 6) The following morning which was Thanksgiving Day stateside; our fixer had arranged a meeting with a Syrian businessman at a hidden safe house inside of Turkey to discuss the possibility of passage. On our way there my friend was briefing me on customary greetings in Islam as we we would be meeting with Syrians for the first time. I wish that I could accurately describe every sight and sound that morning as we weaved our way through the city. It felt like being inside of a Tom Clancy novel; nervous, excited… you name it, my emotions were all over the place.
We arrived at a nondescript house in the middle of a neighborhood and were greeted by two men. We exchanged brief pleasantries (“Assalamu Alaykum”) and were ushered inside of a white room containing nothing more than a desk, several chairs and two miniature flags crossed on stand; one Syrian and another in Arabic. A rather large man who was incredibly quiet but had this intense ora around him sat to my left. Turns out that he was a Syrian FSA Commander and had come off of the front lines of fighting for some rest and relaxation. Tea was poured and we sat there for hours talking about a myriad of topics including the water filters that we had brought to distribute to refugees. (a portrait of the man I spoke of) #photographer #humanitarian
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jeffholt (Pt. 5) Having arrived at the border we met up with a convoy of trucks loaded with blankets and supplies destined for refugee camps inside of Syria. Winter is around the corner and the temperatures make an already difficult life even harder. The humanitarian agencies pre-load the trucks and then negotiate with drivers to deliver the supplies throughout the region. Security concerns regarding safety were escalating; tensions were incredibly high that day. Keep in mind that every time one of these guys make a drop they put their life at serious risk. Worst case, at any point a truck could be captured and the driver killed on the spot. Our chances of entering Syria at this point seemed uncertain, we opted to look for an alternate entry point elsewhere the following day. #humanitarian #photographer 2d

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jeffholt (Pt. 4) Just miles away from the border these mountains separate Syria and Turkey. It’s was a surreal feeling to have heard so much about the humanitarian crisis and now be just miles away from crossing into the unknown. #photographer #syria #humanitarian 3d

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jeffholt (Pt. 3) Sunrise the next morning I woke to the haunting and beautiful call for morning prayers from the surrounding mosque being broadcast over loud speakers; the view from my window was simply stunning. The plan that morning would be to connect with Ismail and rendezvous with relief supply trucks at the border some 40 miles away. #humanitarian #photographer #syria 3d

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jeffholt (Pt. 2) From Istanbul we hopped a second flight to Gaziantep Turkey which is situated some 40 miles north of the Syrian border and some 60 miles north of Aleppo (150 miles or so from Raqqa which is now considered the capital of ISIS). I found this quote from The New Yorker describing Gaziantep, it paints a fairly good picture of the town. "It’s a destination for spies and refugees, insurgent fighters and rebel leaders, foreign-aid workers and covert jihadists—all enmeshed in Syria’s multisided war." We were met by our fixer Ismail at the airport who quickly caught us up on the current state of things inside of Syria. The day before we had arrived one of the truck drivers who worked for him went missing while delivering supplies; he was presumed to have been captured by regime forces and his fate unclear.
To be honest, I’m not sure at the time what I thought I was getting myself into but things quickly got real. I remember Ismail asking us if we had brought our bullet proof vest; we laughed - he didn’t. It was two days before Thanksgiving back in the States and if things seemed “safe” enough we would head into Syria Thanksgiving day. For now we traveled in our little van to get some food and a place to rest. #humanitarian #travel #photographer #syria
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jeffholt (Pt. 1) I've come to realize something about myself which seems counterintuitive considering my career. I'm horrible, really not good at all when it comes to sharing images that I've created. I let them sit unseen for way to long and it's something I'm going to work on starting now. So here it goes.. A while back, I had the chance to travel inside war torn Syria to refugee camps and document/deliver water filters as part of a humanitarian effort. I've traveled a good bit but this particular journey goes down as one that I will never forget. This first image is on the way from Paris to Istanbul. The plan was to get to Turkey and meet up with our fixer who would help transport us across the border into Syria. Tag along the next couple of days as I share some of the images and stories that go along with the journey. #travel #humanitarian #photographer #syria 4d

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jeffholt My better half @plumcollective helping check the light. Here's to the weekend. 4d

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jeffholt Foggy North Carolina from the archives. 4d

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jeffholt Rainy Friday field throwbacks with two of my favorite folks. The lovely @taylerrose5 and styling by @melindatarbell 5d

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jeffholt Time to breath some life into 45 year old motorcycle tires. #honda #cl175 #1970 #restoration #VSCOcam 6d

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jeffholt @xiaobaobiscuit hands down, one of my favorite spots in town for the food, experience and people. #charleston #vscocam #steveholt 2w

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jeffholt If you're a college football fan you may have seen Larry Culpepper at some point this season. Had the honor to work with @drpepper and some great creatives last year to help bring this campaign to life. #collegefootball #drpepper #cfbplayoff 2w

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jeffholt The neighborhood just got that much better. Opening day of @st.alban 3w

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jeffholt Long overdue shop time with this little lady today. #honda #1970 #CL175 #restoration #motorcycle 4w

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jeffholt Great way to end the year; running around the streets capturing my man @tahudoacrew doing what he does best. @dswshoelovers @acrecreative #dswshoelovers 4w

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jeffholt A good day for this.. #charleston #sc #sailing 1mon

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jeffholt Wandered across this spot at last light. Moody and beautiful. #charleston #marshlands #lowcountry 1mon

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jeffholt Great clients and crew this week in LA. Charleston bound. 1mon

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jeffholt On location shooting the most amazing studio. @arsenaldesigned @plumcollective #charleston #fallnempire 1mon

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jeffholt Freezing in the shop today but at least someone is warm. #goldenretriever #winter #motorcycle #honda #restoration 2mon
  •   felska The sweetest. 2mon

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