En Español.

Mission photographer Ted Pushinsky shows us the neighborhood through the years and takes a few minutes to chat with us.

Mission Local: How did you get into photography?
Ted Pushinsky: When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my grand-aunt, who painted and printed her own photographs, took me to the Museum of Modern Art to walk me through the “Family of Man” show. That was the beginning — on the way home she presented me with a Kodak Brownie. A decade later, Antonioni’s Blow-Up came out, and I bought my first Nikon. I photographed my wife’s dance company (Tumbleweed) in the early 70s. That led to a job shooting publicity stills for the SF Ballet as well as assignments from boxing and wrestling magazines.

ML: What inspires you in the Mission? And why?

TP: I lived in Mexico City for a year while still in my teens. I never wanted to close my eyes, afraid I’d miss something. It’s been more than 40 years, and I’m still nostalgic for that time. It’s less than a five-minute walk from my house to 24th and Potrero; the 40 years disappear and I’m back to a place where I don’t want to miss a thing.

ML: What do you look for when out taking photos in the neighborhood?
TP: Wherever I am, I’m hoping to be lucky enough to be surprised.

ML: Any advice for Mission photographers?
TP: I’m hardly one to give advice. Perhaps: see what you’re looking at – but I suspect a photographer doesn’t need to hear that from me.

ML: What do you do when not taking photos?
TP: I work with the Children’s Book Project, a nonprofit here in San Francisco. The Book Project provides free books for children and is open for families, teachers and organizations that need books for kids.

ML: What are you working on?
TP: I’ve been fortunate to meet several artists working in San Francisco and am making an effort (slowly) to build up a portfolio of portraits.

For more of Ted Pushinsky’s photos, click here.