Every artist has a story and oh boy does Bruce Getty have a story alright. Bruce’s journey is a roller coaster of ups and downs, but also the journey of a true warrior. Someone who has pulled themselves out of the trenches of addiction and is now passing on his wisdom to leave a positive impact on others through a creative lens. We are glad you are here for the ride. Enjoy.
Bruce Getty lives and breathes San Francisco. A New York native, he moved to the Bay Area in the late 1970s. When Bruce was 12 years old he started down a long path of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Bruce’s life exposure was dark for a long time. When Bruce got older he realized he enjoyed the antique industry. At first, this passion fueled his addictions and he was caught in corruption. He stole antiques, went into meth psychosis three times, and ultimately ended up in prison. When Bruce was released from prison he wanted to change the direction of his life. Rid the addictions that had affected him for so many years. The addictions were seemingly an endless cycle of trying to break the habits. This was a path he knew he could no longer take. Bruce’s creative fire seemed to be lost before it could even be lit.
Bruce’s creative spark was eventually ignited in the industry of antiques, but the second time around specifically lighting antiques. In 2000, Bruce opened Getty's Vintage Lighting where he would restore, hang and repair antique light fixtures. Here is where he realized creativity can be sparked from anywhere and anything, especially if it is done the right way. This passion Bruce had for lighting antiques fueled his creative energy, but this time for the better. Later, he would find that his creative niche from antiquing would help fuel his spirit for photography. During Bruce’s final meth psychosis, this is where Bruce decided he wanted to become a photographer. Bruce had several family members and friends who encouraged him to buy his first camera, a Nikon D7000. With his father's help he was able to pair that body with a 400mm f/2.8 lens. This decision completely changed Bruce’s life.
Ultimately, photography saved Bruce from a life of darkness and helped him to discover the beautiful lights of the world. It helped him steer towards a more positive life. See the world from a perspective that not many could see. Bruce is a self taught photographer. Because of photography and the support of his father, friends, and community, Bruce is now a recovered alcoholic and has conquered his addiction to drugs. Photography helped Bruce find a path that would lead him to discover the world through a completely new lens. His creative energy is fueled by his love for the photography industry and teaching others. His past experiences have helped him gain perspective for the present. He truly sees the world through a new lens.
In 2013, Bruce found Instagram and a community of people that liked to take pictures. He knew then it was time to take things to the next level. Learn the compositions of the land, learn how to read the weather, learn how lines change as you angle your camera. This quest of learning led Bruce to Escaype, a network of photographers that revolutionized the tactics of chasing light. Combining his knowledge and experience with the wisdom of the community, he was able to fuse all of those tools together to create the magical scenes we see today.
Bruce continues to share his knowledge and love for photography every chance he gets! He loves helping others bring out the best in themselves and push the boundaries of photography. He offers one on one photo workshops and group photo tours in the area.
You can follow Bruce on Instagram as he scouts locations and looks for the best compositions around the world. While he continues to reside in the Bay Area you can spot him enjoying a sunset or with his students as he strives to share his experience and enjoy the beauty the world has to offer. Bruce hopes that after learning his story, you can better see the beauty in not only his photos but the world itself.
To Christopher Albanese with Antiquario Antiques for always supporting me through the good and bad times. So many things would not be possible without your friendship.
And finally, my Father Charles Getty, who always believed in me and never hesitated to help. I will always enjoy our weekly grocery store trips and brunches.