Satchmo Summerfest 2016. A new New Orleans home that fits just right in Jackson Square / by Zack Smith

Even though I don't photograph nearly as much festivals as I used to, I always look forward to shooting the ones I do on a regular basis. Up until the last few years I was shooting pretty frequently, on staff at Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest (see my best of 2016), and Satchmo Fest but also shooting portraits and live sets at Voodoo Music Experience, Chaz Fest and many other events around town. Since I peeled back on the festival photography to concentrate more on other photographic avenues, I really only get fired up for one festival...Satchmo Summerfest.

Satchmo Summer Fest has purpose, it has history, and it has the genius, kindness, and musical guidance of one visionary that is forever linked to New Orleans: Louis Armstrong.

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The first day of photographing a festival for me now is all about getting my "fest eyes and legs"

Many New Orleans photographers I know in the music industry continue to shoot music festivals year-round like Lollapalooza, Hangout Fest, Bonnaroo, ACL, and others. I don't envy them though, it's really hard work, but I do wish I didn't hurt so much after Day 1 of a fest! The hustle routine of shooting a festival is sometimes a challenge doing all that walking for ten hours straight, pounding waters, and eating and walking.

Satchmo Fest photography for me is more than just capturing the music, it's about my clients needs on a promotion, sponsorship, and operational level.

Aside from photographing the musicians at Satchmo Fest I also have duties to capture the operations layout (placements of stages, barricades, trash cans, food booths, etc) sponsorships (sponsor signs, banners, and VIP's), crowd flow, and a multitude of various duties that have nothing to do with a guitar solo or brass band second line. But who wants to look at that stuff anyway? Enjoy some of my favorites from Day 1 and be on the lookout for the full Satchmo Fest 2016 Photo Gallery on Monday, August 8th right here on the blog!

The official "front door" of Satchmo Fest

The official "front door" of Satchmo Fest

Scarlett puts the finishing touches on Louis Armstrong's big litup birthday cake

Scarlett puts the finishing touches on Louis Armstrong's big litup birthday cake

I ate at Palmer's food booth 3 times on Friday...their Jerk Chicken combo is FINE!

I ate at Palmer's food booth 3 times on Friday...their Jerk Chicken combo is FINE!

The Preservation Hall Brass Band relax in the shade before their opening set at Satchmo 2016

The Preservation Hall Brass Band relax in the shade before their opening set at Satchmo 2016

The Preservation Hall Brass Band relax in the shade before their opening set at Satchmo 2016

The Preservation Hall Brass Band relax in the shade before their opening set at Satchmo 2016

Greg Davis and Kirk Joseph kid around pre-set at Satchmo Fest 2016

Greg Davis and Kirk Joseph kid around pre-set at Satchmo Fest 2016

Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Red Beans and Riceley Yours Stage at Satchmofest 2016

Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Red Beans and Riceley Yours Stage at Satchmofest 2016

The Tornado Brass Band cool off with a few cold Abita Jockamo IPA's before their set

The Tornado Brass Band cool off with a few cold Abita Jockamo IPA's before their set

Bill Summers Jazzsalsa perfom at the Red Beans and Riceley Yours Stage at Satchmofest 2016

Bill Summers Jazzsalsa perfom at the Red Beans and Riceley Yours Stage at Satchmofest 2016

The Soul Rebels Brass Band were nice enough to pose for a portrait!

The Soul Rebels Brass Band were nice enough to pose for a portrait!

The sun sets behind the clouds and St. Louis Cathedral...Abita Beer tent smiles.

The sun sets behind the clouds and St. Louis Cathedral...Abita Beer tent smiles.

Big Sam's Funky Nation closed out the opening night at Satchmo Summerfest 2016

Big Sam's Funky Nation closed out the opening night at Satchmo Summerfest 2016