Stephen B. Texeira
Photo by Jenny Sampson Photography
There is a memory between one moment and the next; a memory that no amount of posing or smiling for the camera will ever reveal. It is in those moments that we are most real, most vulnerable, most beautiful, most ourselves. I take pictures. I read. I love. I listen. I pay attention. And I take pictures. When other people are busy acting or performing or trying to impress, I pay attention. When the world is going through each day as though it were just like the one before, I pay attention…and it makes a difference. It makes a difference in how I view the world and how I photograph the people in it. By paying attention I see pieces of people — pieces of the world — that others miss. I find moments that otherwise would easily slip by. I notice things happening a few seconds before they happen, and I am there with my camera. If I have a gift, that’s what it is.
My goal is to make images that are honest, emotional, funny, touching, sad, beautiful and moving. I bring a photojournalist’s perspective to making photos, preferring to let events unfold naturally. It is the great privilege of my life to be allowed to find beauty and art in the people and the world around me. I’m a native Californian. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and I’m pleased to call it home still. I am part of a large and loving family, some of whom I grew up with, most of whom I’ve met along the way. I live with my wife and a bewildering number of cats in Oakland, Calif., where we try to create a home that is warm and open to whomever happens to be passing through town or needs some time away. I am passionate about the people in my life and the work I do each day.
In addition to my passion for photography, I read…books about and by photographers, books and articles on cognitive science, psychology, paleoanthropology, history, ethics, philosophy, and anything else that comes along. I’ve been a journalist, I’ve worked in nonprofits and hospitals, I had my own marketing consulting business, I’ve made beds, delivered furniture, dug ditches, and typed letters to pay the rent. I love music (all sorts, really, all).
I’ve yet to find anything that comes as close to expressing my philosophy about the world as this quote.
This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. — Walt Whitman