is a project that Brad Evans and I, Travis Jensen,
began about a year ago.
It didn’t really start out as a formal undertaking, but rather as a photojournalistic odyssey to discover and explore one of San Francisco’s most vibrant yet often overlooked districts, the Tenderloin. As time passed, the images we captured began to coalesce into a body of work, and we realized that our collection of photos would come together nicely in a book. In its 50 pages, Tenderloin USA takes the reader on a black-and-white journey deep into the heart of the community, focusing primarily on the folks who live, work, own businesses, hang out, and raise families in this culturally diverse area.
One of the draws of the Tenderloin is that very few photographers venture into it, which leaves the playing field wide open. And the energy in the TL far surpasses that of any other neighborhood in the city. No matter what time of day or night you step foot in this ’hood, there’s always something jumping off. Rarely do the streets get a rest.
Brad and I wanted to portray our subjects with the utmost respect and dignity. We feel it would have been far too easy and inaccurate to show the negative side of the Tenderloin, so we focused our project on the neighborhood’s more positive aspects, mixed with a little of the in-between.
Here are a few shots that you’ll find in Tenderloin USA , which will be released this week. We hope it’ll give you a fresh perspective on this dynamic part of San Francisco.
Find out more about Tenderloin USA on its website , where you can buy a copy of the book for $20. Proceeds benefit Larkin Street Youth Services, a San Francisco–based charity that provides homeless, runaway, and at-risk kids with emergency shelter, primary medical care, transitional housing, job training, scholarship assistance, and other services.