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You need to follow Instagram genius Travis Jensen

You need to follow Instagram genius Travis Jensen

Photographer Travis Jensen’s perspective on San Francisco is different than anything we’ve ever seen before. Born in Idaho, Jensen arrived in San Francisco almost 20 years ago with $800 in cash and his beloved skateboard to his name. “I’ve been through some shit here,” Jensen said. “There was less than 1 percent vacancy in the city when I moved here, so I pretty much landed smack dab in the Tenderloin, bouncing around different SROs. It sucked. Imagine being 18 years old and living in the middle of that shit.”

From there, Jensen couch-surfed and ended up in the Haight. “I lived in SF over three years before I even had a bedroom.”

A couple of decades later, Jensen has two kids, a home out by City College, and a full-time career as a professional photographer. “I was at my last job for over 10 years, paying dues, just waiting for the right time to make the leap into full-time photography...or something creative,” Jensen tells us. “I have two kids, so my transition was very well calculated. I feel damn lucky to be able to make a living doing what I love and not a day goes by where I don’t acknowledge that, regardless of how frustrating the business may be… Like right now, the tax man has me stressing!”

Jensen’s candid personality is evident is his work, especially his portraits of the folks he encounters on the street. Do they ever object to his photographing them? “Sometimes I ask, other times I just shoot. It’s a decision I make right there on the spot. Lately, I’ve been having issues with people almost every time I’m out shooting, some more heated than others. It comes with the territory. You know, people here always have something to say… Whatever.”

Jensen continues, “Folks that know me well will tell you that I photograph the streets with the utmost dignity and respect. Always. I’m not an agitator with my camera, nor do I sneak photos, or photograph people in helpless situations. And I never, ever pay money to people in exchange to take their picture.”

If you’re like us and inspired by Jensen’s fascinating take on the world, he's got some advice, “Just do you. Don’t worry about what other folks are doing. Fads always pass. Don’t worry about social media numbers, likes, and faves. Shoot what makes you happy. Good work gets recognized. At the end of the day, photography is a lifestyle. Learn it. Live it. Feel it. Breath it. Be it.”

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

 

A photo posted by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen) on

Follow Travis Jensen on Instagram

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