For the last couple of weeks I’ve been hooking up with photo bud Travis Jensen at the Glen Park BART station in San Francisco for an early morning photo walk to the Embarcadero Center complex where he works.
It’s a great walk, around six miles or so, and runs through many different neighborhoods: Glen Park, College Hill, Bernal Heights, the Mission, the edge of the Tenderloin, the Downtown, and ending in the Financial District. Starting at 7:30am and taking a couple of hours, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience a different energy and dynamic on the streets, and make portraits of people met along the way.
In the beginning the trek was a little tough on the legs, but now after five or six outings it’s a piece of cake. I never know how it will turn out photographically. Some days I come back with no photos, and that’s OK. Other days I might snag two or three portraits, like the one of Robert up above made at Mission and 22nd.
But really, it’s not about seeing how many photos can be made. Rather, it’s about exploring neighborhoods and getting a sense of the rhythm, energy, and people that are out early in the morning. Being able to make portraits from meeting people along the way is a nice way of completing the overall experience. After a few outings Travis and I are beginning to see “regulars” along the route. Expecting that, I’m getting back into making 4×6 prints to give to subjects that I’ve made portraits of during previous excursions. Last week I gave a color print back to a woman who works at a coffee shop on Mission who was so happy and surprised. Handing out prints to previously photographed subjects is a nice gesture of giving a little back to the people who have graced you with their time and likeness for a photo – it’s a very rewarding experience.
Speaking of Travis, I’d like to take this opportunity to let people know he has a new book out titled Wish You Were Here – San Francisco Street Snaps. It’s an amazing photo book of San Francisco life on the street, all captured with his iPhone, and all about people in their environment. Like previous photo book projects, sales proceeds of the book after printing costs are being donated to Larkin Street Youth Services. Their mission is helping at-risk kids living on the street in San Francisco in need of shelter, meals, counseling, job training, and medical services. Larkin Street is a great organization and has helped out many thousands of kids since opening their doors in 1984.
You can pick up a copy of Wish you Were Here – San Francisco Street Snaps at Whole Foods on Franklin Street, or off of Travis’ web site from the link above. You wont be disappointed.