As Fall Comes in Fall Changes - My 1st Voodoo Fest / by Zack Smith

I am a big fan of repetition and consistency. Even in my 'worst of times' i strove on repetition, symmetry, and excessive moderation. But breaking repetition, can lead to opportunity if looking w/ new eyes.

From 2002-present during the last weekend of April and the 1st weekend of May you will find me at the Fairgrounds shooting Jazz Fest. From 2002-2008 for myself and and from 2009-present shooting as staff photographer for Jazz Fest. (11 years)

From 2000-2008 during the middle weekend of April you could find me walking around at the best free festival in the land, French Quarter Fest...and from 2009-present, as staff photographer.

And every Halloween weekend from 2001-2012 you could find me at Voodoo Fest. More specifically from 2008-2012 you could find me shooting portraits behind the Preservation Hall stage, amidst a new backdrop every year but the same smiling, participatory faces of musicians, artists, and friends. 2013 marks the 1st year i will not be "working" Voodoo Fest, and i can't tell you how excited i am. I already miss the camaraderie of the backstage sanctuary we created every year - old friends coming by to say hi and be photographed, bringing their newborns or new loves, musicians bringing their favorite axe or uke to be photographed - people coming back to the quiet to drink, have a smoke, or just relax. I already miss it.

What was special about shooting portraits was great in part because of the vibe Preservation Hall Band and it's crew bring w/ it wherever they go. Musicians would come 3 hours before their gig, and stay all night back there. I don't think anyone at any stage could say that...musicians and people from other stages would venture to the PH stage and just hang out because of the vibe. That, i will miss. You don't see that at too many festivals...maybe High Sierra in Quincy, CA (camp harry!) or Chaz Fest - but it's rare.

Big thanks to Stephen Rehage and Ben Jaffe for making the last 5 years some of the best Fall's ever. See you out there -

I am looking forward to attending the festival on Saturday w/ my main lady, and my holga.