Armand

Orange Alley
The Mission
Friday afternoon

***

Somehow, after writing about this city on a daily basis, I find writing about my own life here oddly challenging. There’s no point in writing about how much I love the city, I obviously do, even since I was a little kid, watching 49ers and Giants games on TV (the Saints and LSU sucked, so I had to root for someone, right?)

So then what?

There’s nothing more intimidating than that blank page staring back at you.

I suppose that’s kind of how I felt coming here, jumping on a train in New Orleans. That ride was my intermission, a four-day interlude with nothing to do except stare out the window and think about what lie ahead.

My experience of the city has been one of visiting in the years before I lived here, when the city was my periodic refuge from LA and the rest of southern California. Hours of anticipation in a car riding up I-5, waiting for that first glimpse of the financial district and the city skyline as we crossed the Bay Bridge.

Actually, I guess I’ve spent a lot of time in the city just sitting, watching, waiting, finding the little hidden gems of stories in a McDonald’s, or on a bus, or just walking around for hours at a time day or night snapping pictures with an old Nikon or Hasselblad.

I’d fallen in love with photography before San Francisco, but this is really the place where I decided to spend the rest of my life with it. Now, going outside without a camera is like not wearing pants. And I always wear pants.

Every neighborhood has such a different feel, with endless potential to capture the streets and the people who live there, that I feel like I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. What other city can have so many photographers, and no two images looking the same? Of all the shooters I know, each captures the city in a different way.

As long as I’ve waited to live here, with the crappiness of the journalism field these days, I really don’t know where I’ll be in another year. Life’s been punctuated with a series of intermissions and staring out windows – Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Ramallah, DC and finally, San Francisco. So there’s always the feeling of what’s next. And for the first time, I’m kinda not looking forward to it.

I like it here, can I stay?

***

You can see the rest of Armand’s photo shoot here.

Another favorite photo of Armand at work is posted here.

An interview I did with Armand about photography is here on CALIBER.

Armand’s blog is www.emamdphoto.com/blog
He writes for www.missionlocal.org
Armand on flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/users/emamd

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 31, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    One of my favorites!

  2. amber
    Posted December 31, 2009 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “And I always wear pants” a very important specification… we are in San Francisco afterall 🙂

  3. Straightup_steve
    Posted December 31, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    The best!


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