Enjoying What’s In Front of Me: Doe Bay Fest 2012

Editor’s Note: Natalie Kardos is an incredibly talented photographer from San Diego we met through some friends in the music community last year. She shoots beautiful pictures and we are now lucky to call her our neighbor, as she has recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. For her first post, she decided to share some of her personal photos. We look forward to seeing more of her perspective on the site in coming posts. Welcome, Natalie!

Doe Bay Festival is the reason I moved to Seattle.

While I won’t go into too many details here, the weekend of the 2011 Doe Bay Festival was one of the best weekends of my life.  After many subsequent visits to Seattle in the following 12 months, it made sense to coincide my transplant from sunny San Diego to the Emerald City with the 2012 Doe Bay Festival.

I left San Diego at 9:30AM on Saturday, August 4th, and arrived in Seattle at sunset on the 5th.  Four days later, I was en route to Orcas Island, one of my favorite places in the world.  I traveled light, for a photographer – my dSLR with only one lens (gasp!), a Zeiss camera with half a roll of unused slide film, and my Fuji Instax mini.

To me, Doe Bay Fest is many things, but above all it is a vacation from my normal music festival routine.  I’ve shot Coachella for the past 5 years, which has me armed with two dSLRs and a spreadsheet telling me when to shoot, when to eat, and when to visit the porta-potty.  That festival keeps me up editing photos for 5 hours a night after spending 12 hours on the festival grounds.  Every year it’s a crash diet in which I walk at least 5 miles a day and lose about 10 pounds over the course of 3 days.

Doe Bay is different.  There’s no applying for credentials to be allowed to take my camera.  There’s a schedule but I don’t need to pay attention to it, because there’s very little overlap between the two stages.  There are no crowded photo pits where you might catch an accidental 70-200mm lens (or a crowdsurfer’s foot) to the head.  There’s no obligation to try to capture everything, because that would be impossible.  It’s been said that the best way to enjoy the festival is to have no game plan, to just follow your ears to the music (or stay snuggled in your tent, whichever you prefer).  That’s the method I took in photographing the festival the past two years: Enjoy what’s in front of me, and not worry about what else I may be missing, because there are plenty of magical moments to go around.

I felt lucky to capture some of those moments, and the folks that shared them with me, with my Fuji Instax Mini camera.  Enjoy!

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