Concert photography has always been one of my biggest passions and it is still, to this day, an aspect of my job that feels almost like a hobby still. You know those people that run around talking about how if you turn your hobby into your job that you’ll never work a day in your life? They are lying. A decade into being a full time professional photographer and I can tell you with certainty that I now protect my hobbies with fierce boundaries, because monetizing the things that brings you joy also clouds them with drudgery. But that is a story for another blog post. THIS blog post is about how I had the incredibly wonderful amazing good fortune to be a Spokane event photographer for Allen Stone’s Annual Family Field Trip, a three day music festival at the Zephyr Lodge on Liberty Lake in Spokane, WA.
I had traveled to work at the Zephyr Lodge before during Covid to take behind-the-scenes images of Allen Stone’s Allen-Tines Day Special. It’s a unique property with a storied history: it started as a boat in brothel and today it offers a location as a year round resort available for private events.
For years, the Stone Family Field Trip was a completely private affair: a small group of invitations were extended to personal friends and family to enjoy a weekend at the lake and lodge together. This year, for the first time, tickets were extended to few hundred people, a motley crew of volunteer staff of friends and family was formed, a new stage was built, and a festival was born!
The format of Allen’s festival is a bit different than a standard music festival. He brings together a crew of his beloved musician friends and they each take turns singing 2-3 of their own songs on stage, and as the night goes on, they invariably all end up on the stage together. For attendees that bought camping passes, the weekend was rounded out with daytime swimming, yoga, a sound bath, and a songwriting class with Allen himself. It offered the chance for fans to meet their heroes just walking to the bathroom or while hanging out on the dock in the lake. It is intimate and incredible: in short, a really exceptional weekend. I feel nothing but gratitude for the chance I had to be their Spokane event photographer for the weekend.
I didn’t anticipate accurately how exhausting it would be being the sole photographer for an entire festival in the 103 degree heat, but I also didn’t anticipate exactly how wonderful the collective experience would be. I made some amazing new friends and I’d like to tell you all about them. If you are too lazy to read my hilarious and sometimes endearing copy, you can simply listen to the playlist with all the weekend’s songs here. Go follow Stone Family Field Trip over on the IG and make a mental note to join us next year, where I’ll be moonlighting as a Spokane event photographer again!