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Jaime Salazar

Austin Psych Fest

TEXAS: Photographer Jaime Salazar rides the vibes at the most out-there festival out there

Austin Psych Fest is as organic as Austin itself. It’s a music festival organized by the musicians; they gathering their favorite acts from around the world and the result speaks for itself. Loudly. Most corporate-organized events —with their formulaic lineup and no sense of community— could learn something from this approach.

This year's edition they pitched in an outdoor setting, just outside the city on the banks of the Colorado River. Planes pass overhead making it appropriately weird and people enjoy nature’s seating wherever they can most comfortably pop a squat. And that's where my focus is: the crowds, the fans, the folks that decide to travel from other places for the love of music. I look there because I am there. I've been obsessed with music my whole life.

After I capture a few of my favorite acts, I feel there are enough photographers working the pit already; so I spend more time backstage or wandering the festival grounds. My attention always returns to the people that make this whole thing what it is. Beyond that insufficient description of what I do with the camera, however, I cannot say much more. I rely on people that know me well enough and are more capable of putting a few words together than I am to make some sense of it. My friend said: "I have an interpretation of your photos, and, I don't know if it’s how you mean them to be, but I see them and I always find them quietly dark." He might be right, I find my photographs have a certain dark element as well as the honesty borrowed from some sort of journalistic influence. 

Just like most of my subjects, things are more interesting when we don't know much about them to begin with.

See more of Jamie's work here.