Photographing the vast Metro Transit system in Los Angeles is unlike any other in the world.
The combination of the commuters, pedestrians, buses and trains set against the L.A. backdrop is creates the opportunity to capture incredibly interesting images. Public transportation in Los Angeles has always had a negative stigma attached to it but it is one of the only places to catch a glimpse of what life is like for many of the city’s residents. Snapshot Galleria photographers Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin and Erwin Recinos have made photographing mass transit a cornerstone of their photographic portfolios. For this photoessay, both photographers contributed 10 images each and wrote down a few thoughts about Shooting Metro in Los Angeles.
From the time I became interested in photography, I’ve always been drawn to photographing the Metro system. My fascination originates in my childhood, evolving from memories my mother and I taking the RTD Downtown to buy toy robots in Little Tokyo or the taking the notorious Venice bus to the beach with my older sisters on a hot summer day. I realized early on that you can see the soul of the city on the bus so I made it a point to try and capture that in my photography. Although these days no longer ride the Metro on a daily (or even monthly) basis, the 10+ years I spent on public transportation remain part of the core of my creativity.
Growing up in the city of Los Angeles, public transportation has played a role in & around my entire life. I can remember taking the bus as a child up Tweedy Blvd. in the city of South Gate heading east on the 117 to South Gate Park to swim at the public pool. As an adult I regularly commute over one hour a day to avoid the headaches of sitting in traffic to and from my regular 9 to 5 job in DTLA. I love transit. It’s apart of my being and engrained in my lifestyle. I record it’s existence and growth in this city of millions. My perspective and vision is an homage to the working class, to my mother and my grandmother. Three generations of commuting is the visual story I tell that many Angelenos know.