Sasquatch Photographer Series: Sean Pecknold

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Name: Sean Pecknold
Occupation: Filmmaker
Number of Sasquatchʼs Photographed: 2

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1. How did you get your start in photography?
I bought my first digital camera when I was 24, and would walk around downtown Seattle every night taking pictures of anything and everything. A banana peel, a neon sign, a stray raccoon staring at me. Anything and everything was fair game. I was on the hunt for something that inspired me. I probably took 50,000 photos of the city. I was a an unhinged photo monster. That continued for a few months, and then I started shooting live music shows and that lead to music videos and directing which is what i do primarily now.

2. What are some pro tips for those who want to try concert photography?
Itʼs easy to shoot photos that look like a thousand other live music photos. So try and figure out a way to make yours unique to you. Work on your style, find the story in the performance, try and capture something different, not just the expected photo of a musician singing at the mic. Get a good zoom lens. Stay after the show and try and shoot the fans and the venue, the street next to it, tell the whole story of the show.

3. With so many acts to see, how do you decide which artists to photograph?
Itʼs been a while since Iʼve shot at Sasquatch, but I remember literally running from stage to stage as fast as I could up and down the big hills, anything I could to not miss a favorite. Obviously the mainstage shows are always fun, but I loved discovering up and coming bands or bands I was friends with. Itʼs fun and easier to move around and shoot from different angles.

4. Aside from your photo gear, what else is in your bag during a festival?
Water, water, water, press-pass, Mentos,

5. Some of your favorite acts youʼve photographed at Sasquatch / favorite Sasquatch memory?
My favorite memory was from from 2008 when the Fleet Foxes were scheduled to play a side-stage and The National got stuck at the Canadian border so they got upgraded to the main stage, and I got to shoot them. It was cool because I had been shooting them since their very first show at a tiny coffee shop in Kirkland.

6. Favorite thing about Sasquatch?
The view from the highest hill looking down at the Gorge below.