Struggles by the Bay

I moved to San Francisco 15 years ago this year, at a time before iPhones, social media, and the current tech boom helped create the prosperity you see in the Bay Area in recent years.

As a (barely) surviving artist living in San Francisco, I have seen and felt first-hand how challenging it is to be able to remain living in our favorite city by the Bay.

I hope with this photograph series project I give voice to those of us who are still here, sharing some of the stories of our own perspectives of what has changed, what has not, why we haven't left, or why we are thinking of leaving, and most importantly, who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

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Who am I?

My name is Afonso Salcedo.

Even though I was born in San Francisco, I grew up in Porto, Portugal, where I learned most of everything I needed to learn about connection, about community, and about photography.

I've always had a camera with me since I was a little kid, either photographing everyone around me or filming everything as well. It drove everyone insane, of course, but it also drove me many years later to work in films such as Harry Potter 3, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and many others.

Lately, my passion for storytelling has been driving me to do more community focused projects.

I've seen the city go through tremendous change over the years, and as an artist in San Francisco I feel first-hand the enormous pressure of making enough money to pay bills, afford healthcare, and live a regular balanced life.

Even though I have been in the same San Francisco apartment for over 9 years now, as a photographer I have become more and more curious about trying to capture the people that make this community of ours: people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.

What is home? What are our struggles? What are our passions? How is life in one of the wealthiest regions of the world?

So what do you say? Want to participate in this?

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How does this work?

I am looking for Bay Area residents, who would be interested in allowing me to photograph an environmental portrait of them at their homes.

The way I'd love to approach this involves:

1. (Optional) Meet up over coffee to just introduce each other, and share a little bit more about our lives.

2. Schedule a portrait session at the person's home.

3. Portrait session could take about up to two hours. First hour would be us having a recorded conversation about the realities of your life in the current environment, which I will use as reference to write the text accompanying each image. The second hour would be the actual photoshoot. Times are approximate of course, and could be made quicker or slower depending on circumstances and your availability.

4. Photos are taken on the spot as an environmental portrait. I bring one strobe and my camera, but that's it. Most of the photos will be natural light as much as possible. The effect is to be raw, honest, and genuine, so I want to approach this as much as documentary-style as possible.

5. Your photo and story will be published on this website as part of a new blog series. You have final authorization of everything written and displayed, before it gets published.

6. If you are interested in your photograph posted, you can receive the edited digital file for free. Any extra images you might want would be $85/image.

And finally, if you like the overall experience and the photograph at the end, you can help support local artists by donating any amount you feel inclined to, or by recommending my work to your friends and businesses.

Thank you.

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San Francisco at sunset during a rare February 2018 storm.

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Interested in Participating?

Please fill out the form to the right, so we can start discussing a date to meet up.

I'll send you a message soon after, and we'll schedule either a shoot date, or a coffee meet-up to go over some of the details in person.

Thank you so much for your interest, and I look forward to meeting you!