"It’s easy to get stagnant with what you are doing. I just want to keep staying motivated and keep getting better. But also just not being so hard on myself. It’s easy to be your own worst critic and just think everything you are doing is horrible and getting in those ruts. But to be able to just pick yourself right back up and just be like, OK why am I like this. Why do I feel like this? What's the next step?"
Most of us have seen great live and behind the scenes images, or portraits and press photos of our favorite bands, but do you ever wonder who gets to take those? Pooneh Ghana is local but for the past 10 years she has been spending a lot of her time traveling all over the US and the world photographing at music festivals, touring, and doing portrait and video shoots. Many of the bands you have probably heard of but some maybe you haven’t. She is inspired to capture these musicians and events because of her love of music and to help share and support the community.
What if one photo could make someones day or inspire that person to check out a band she likes or get it’s name out there? She is a super fan with an incredible work ethic, full access, and a fantastic eye, always there to capture the images she knows that other fans would love to see. Often a fly on the wall during tours she captures the sometimes fun and crazy nights and the slow days of long distance travel and recuperation.
As a huge music fan she started out taking photos for fun but then at the very beginning of her career she found a love for film and Polaroids. Those mediums inspired her to experiment and enabled her to capture more fun and intimate moments with bands. Those first images caught the attention of some online music blogs and the rest is history. Over the years film has continued to help her develop her creative eye and being self taught has not hindered her one bit. Even though the life of a freelancer can be unpredictable Pooneh enjoys that aspect of her job. You never know who might call you up to do a photo shoot if they like your work. She is able to work consistently and aspires to be a photographer as a life long pursuit.
This is a really fun interview and Pooneh has such a great attitude. There’s definitely some wisdom to be found in the way she approaches her career and her joy for life.
Some of the subjects we discuss:
Getting into photography
Gorilla Vs. Bear
Having a mentor
Being a female music photog
Having a good attitude
Taking care of yourself
Doing band portraits
Still shooting film
Making a difference
Check out this great video about Pooneh prodcued by Chaco Footwear
Banner image of Wiz Khalifa by Pooneh Ghana
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian