There is a lot of talk about street photography these days. What it means may be different depending on who you ask. We always like to go to the source, and that’s where Travis Jensen comes in. Before Instagram and “likes” and influencers and follower counts, there were photographers. Photographers like Travis Jensen.
I enjoy my friendship with Travis. He’s a straight shooter, a fighter, someone rich by way of experience. He truly looks at photography, and particularly street photography, as art. The art of capturing a moment in time as it unfolds in someone’s daily life. His pictures tell the stories of the people he meets. True stories.
Street Photography is, by Travis’ definition, candid portraits and scenes using existing light and circumstances. Creating beauty out of the mundane. He will not, however, photograph people in desperate situations. This tells you a lot about who he is.
We recently spent some time together walking a beat through LA’s Koreatown. It was hot – it is LA, after all. But the vibes were good and the Kogi BBQ was perfect, with the added bonus of eating alongside founder, Roy Choi. Travis, it would seem, knows everybody.
So we spent the day shooting as Travis walked us through his jump from journalism in San Francisco into photography. He talked about alleys, and light, and often overlooked opportunities that he finds himself drawn to. He told us how he just knows instinctively when it’s time to pull out the camera and when to walk on by.
From there we posted up at The Line and spent some time philosophizing about life and society and purpose and legacy. We had a good time remembering past work we have done together. He’s not a “gear guy”. I’ve heard him say many times that it’s the photographer and his grasp of composition and light that determine how good an image will be – not how many megapixels your camera has or how much it cost. Like I said, Travis is a straight shooter.
Enjoy these images of our exploration and take a look at the video to see and hear, in more depth, about Travis Jensen’s LA Story. Oh, and he shares his opinion and experience with our new camera bags, too.
To see more from Travis Jensen, check out his Instagram Here.