Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taco trucks of Oakland

Tacos Guadalajara, Oakland, August 2009.

After a week of hand-wringing, I shot the taco truck project yesterday. The entire family joined me for support and the chance to gorge themselves with freshly-made carnitas. The pictures, like Mexico itself, are remarkable for the mad melange of colors, but disappointing for the lack of activity in them. I was expecting to find humanity feasting around the trucks; instead I found a smattering of weekend patrons standing on empty parking lots, a bad day for action photography.

I decided to make portraits of the taco workers. In naming the pictures, I took a cue from Philip-Lorca diCorsia's Hollywood Hustler series, and listed the following information in the titles: the subject's name, name of taco truck, city or state where subject originally came from, and the average number of tacos sold daily.

I learned two things from the project: (1) that I'm a bolder photographer than I thought I was; and (2) that I've been a fool for ignoring the taco trucks right in my own backyard. At $1.25 a pop, they're a steal and certainly the tastiest morsels I ever had outside of Mexico itself.

I'm meeting with the exhibition organizers tomorrow. I don't know if any of these images will make the final cut, but I will let you know. Pass or fail, I now know where the best taco trucks are, and that's good enough for me.

Osvaldo, Mi Grullense, Jalisco, 300-400 tacos a day

Fernando, Tacos Guadalajara, Jalisco, 250 tacos a day

Vicky, Tacos El Gordo, Vera Cruz, 200 tacos a day

Primos Jesus y Miguel, Tacos Los Michoacanos, Michoaca, 200 tacos a day

EZ, taco fan, Tacos El Novillo


  1. This is a truck for everybody. With the economy where it is today is it very important to purchase something that you can count on and won’t let you down. The slightest equipment set back right now could be the difference between in business or the other. The machinery field always has its ups and downs and is always changing but progress will never stop in boom trucks. Even in a questionable economy there is always room for growth and expansion. The will and strength of the people is what makes us all able to move forward and accomplish great feats together and construction has always been the backbone of this country no matter the economic status.

  2. I like how you have presented the information in full detail. Keep up the great work and please stop by my site crane trucks sometime. Keep it up..

  3. I wish we had taco trucks in my area!