This past summer, I had the opportunity to be a part of the photo crews for two Portland-area music festivals: Pickathon and Wildwood.


Wildwood 2018 was my first experience with festival photography, and I had a blast. While the setting was largely the same this year (I had the exact same shift, in sunny daytime weather), I can see that my photography has improved this year. In 2018, my shots largely tried to capture the whole band on stage. This year, I was much more interested in close up shots - hands playing electric guitars/keys/banjos, or singers belting it out into the mic.


This style of photography carried over into Pickathon, which I photographed just a few weeks later. Pickathon is a much, much larger festival than Wildwood; however, my specific photo crew got to shoot private shows where artists were recording songs in the woods to go on the Pickathon You Tube channel. I got to experience some very intimate moments with some famous artists - most notably, my final session was with Nathaniel Rateliff. Seeing some of these bands in such a small setting propelled me into immediate fandom - for example, Helena Deland, Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno are two bands I photographed, had never heard of before, and were some of my favorite performers coming out of Pickathon.


I've found that music festivals can really expand my musical horizon. Festival coordinators are curating a multi-day concert with bands to match certain styles that they believe their audience will like. I've found some amazing music this way. I'm excited that I can use my skill in photography to gain such awesome access to bands and music, and a weekend of total fun! Big shout out & thanks to all of the volunteers that make these festivals possible!


My music festival portfolio is now live at thekathleenayers.com/music , and look out for my photos on the Pickathon & Wildwood websites and social media!



Nathaniel Rateliff - On The Farm Session - Pickathon 2019

Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno - On The Farm Session - Pickathon 2019

Helena Deland - EDGE Session - Pickathon 2019


© 2020 by Kathleen Ayers.

portrait photographer | landscape photographer | live music photographer | travel photographer | portland oregon photographer