“Our City, Our Life”: Interview with Photog Travis Jensen


Photo by Travis Jensen

There will be food, drinks, merriment, and all sales go to the American Cancer Society.

You might remember him from the Streets of San Francisco show. Travis chatted with us about photographing San Francisco and a memorable Muni shoot that he did recently. Check out his interview and photographs below.

Our city, Our life
Featuring select San Francisco-themed photos by Travis Jensen. Curated by Caleb Langston
Galette 88 (88 Hardie Place at Kearny between Sutter and Bush street)
Thursday Oct. 4, 2012. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

How did you get into photography?

I’ve been pretty much surrounded by photography my entire life. Growing up as a skateboarder in the early ‘90s, we’d always take turns filming and taking pictures of each other to document the tricks we were doing. Though shooting skateboarding is much different than shooting on the street, I learned a lot about the basics of composition, getting close and pressing the shutter button at the right moment.

I started shooting on the street around 2007. I actually started out as a writer, working for a handful of different publications and found myself not always happy with the images that accompanied my stories, so one day I bought an entry level DSLR and was determined to teach myself how to shoot a proper photograph. Before long, the photography bug took over, and I was more interested in shooting photos than anything else. Now, after my family, photography is my life.


Photo by Travis Jensen via AllCitySF

Tell us about an interesting shoot that happened on Muni.

I did shoot a wedding a few weeks back for a lovely local couple where we incorporated a ride on the 49 line from City Hall to the Mission. The bride was wearing this beautiful, long traditional wedding dress and the groom a tailored suit. The three of us boarded the bus and nobody paid us any mind, like it was completely normal. Some people rent limos and town cars on their wedding day, others ride the bus. That’s San Francisco for you right there.

I ended up getting some cool snaps of the couple on the bus, incorporating other riders into the frame.

What’s your line?

I’ve been living in San Francisco now for over 15 years — never left once, and I can honestly say I’ve probably ridden every line in this city at least once. My wife and I moved to Miraloma Park (up the hill from Glen Park) about four years ago when she was pregnant with our oldest son — we now have two boys, so these days I mostly rely on BART getting to and from the FiDi. However, I do ride the 36 Terresita up and down the hill from time to time. She’s a rare bird these days, only coming once every half-hour.

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