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Me Take Pretty Pictures One Day

Me Take Pretty Pictures One Day

By Travis Jensen

These photos were all snapped over the last couple of weeks, mostly on different #SOSCollective outings [we’re no longer a Mobb] as well as on various early AM excursions from my house to work, which is approximately 7.5 miles, door-to-door.

Right now, between my day job, two kids, photo shit, and other life happenings, I’m averaging about two days a week on the street. Not nearly as much as I’d like, but it’s better than nothing. Unfortunately, I’m not able to support my family solely off photography, though I haven’t given up the dream… No doubt some of this has to do with the fact that I’m trying to raise a family in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it’s mostly due to my choice in subject matter. Let’s be real here: There’s no money in street photography, unless you’re teaching workshops or something. And 99.9% of those are… Well, let’s just leave it at that. I do this out of a TRUE love for the craft and the love of being out on the street in an urban environment. The exact same reasons I love skateboarding so much. Same concept, different medium.

Sure, I can shoot pretty pictures, too. You know, the ones that make your mom, dad, granny and aunties smile, but then I wouldn’t be doing me. And if doing me means working a day job the rest of my life to provide for the fam, then I’ll gladly accept that… Because it’s the struggle, I’ve discovered, that truly keeps the fire going.

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Focused On Truthful Outcomes

I want to start this series off by saying Rest in Peace and Power to the Brother Marc-Anthony Salumbides, 25, a loyal and loving father, husband and friend, whose life was taken way too early late last month due to senseless violence. I had the pleasure of meeting Marc several months ago, when he interviewed me for a youth television program here in San Francisco. During this meeting, Marc expressed an interest in photography and joining us on our SOS outings. He also invited me to come hang out and snap some photos of he and his crew on 6th Street. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make either happen. If only I could rewind time…

6th and Mission, San Francisco.

As seen on 6th and Howard, one block from Marc’s memorial. This OG said he was (WAS is the keyword here) an original member of the KUMI 415 gang. And after speaking with him briefly, I don’t doubt it. Listen more, speak less.

There’s a war outside of your window - a brewing class war that is. Spotted outside of Twitter HQ, gentrification ground zero. Market Street.

Met “OG” while strolling on Market Street last Saturday morning with the crew. Yes, that’s the name he goes by. Even the OGs on the corner called him that. Complete with bloody knuckles and a fresh shiner on his left eye, OG was ready to knuckle up with anyone and everyone that wanted some. Fortunately, our encounter ended in a mini photo shoot, not a tussle. 7th and Market.

“Don’t think I can give this one to my kids,” said this city worker, moments after unveiling the below masterpiece from the trash, “But it’s a pretty good drawing.” Given the corner where this was found, my mind can’t help but wander a little about the origins of this drawing. As my boy Cellski would say, “The tweak is heavy…” 8th and Market - the heart of SF?

Big Vic has been putting in work on the street with the camera for a while now. This dude right here has seen and been thru some shit in his day - a real street soldier. I like this photo as the chaos on the right side of the frame to me signifies change; almost like he’s looking at all the chaos and bullshit in the rear view mirror. I’m proud of you, my friend… #FromAJailCellToThis #BigVicPhotos. 8th and Market.

The Rasta on 35mm film and in good light. 10th and Market

Moving over to the Mission District: Saturday AM Turn Up. As seen on 24th and Mission streets while strolling with the crew, a group of high school students and my 5-year-old son included. It’s all love.

My pal Herbert, a Mission District native I bump into regularly while walking to work. We weren’t friends immediately - in fact, the first time I tried taking his picture, he put up the dukes on me, no joke! This particular morning, he was bumping Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe” on full blast and everything in The Mission momentarily felt as it should be. Do you… Straight Terminator X steeze.

Take Two. I actually like this frame better, though there’s less context. The photo almost doesn’t feel complete without Herbert’s staple boombox, but that’s just probably because I know him.

Engaging strangers for portraits in North Beach. I can’t remember this gal’s name, but I quite like this portrait. Mystery lady, if you see this, hit me up for a hi-res copy - if inclined, of course.

And feeding off of Jensen’s latest baseball card piece for The Hundreds, below is a supplemental set of 35mm film snaps, inspired by the special sets the card manufacturers released in addition to the standard base sets. That’s where most of the high dollar rookie cards could be found. I’ve got some insane baseball card stories. There’s good money in the vintage card market, anything pre-’72ish, but condition is everything.

These snaps are all older than hell - at least a year or so, but I didn’t get around to developing the rolls until just recently.

The City. I don’t remember exactly where I snapped this, but do know it’s somewhere right off Market Street, maybe four or five blocks up from Castro? This really feels like SF to me.

Fog rollin in over Sutro…

My boy Spaz at the Secret Spot. What up to the bike messenger homies, smokin’ on hog legs…

Hyphy wifey feeling the grape at Scribe Winery, CA.

That’s all for now. Do You. Be Easy. Be Safe.

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