Music Photographer Interview: Sean Gardner

Interview by Yising Kao, Photos by Sean Gardner

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Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco

What Inspired you to start doing photography?

I think my mom inspired me to start doing photography. I played in my fair share of bands in high school, and there's nothing like the energy you feel when you play live. After every show I played, I always hoped that someone was taking pictures to capture that energy, but in my suburban town there was never really anyone doing that at these small local music shows. And my mom had a knack for photography, she was alway shooting pictures of me and my siblings growing up. She would sometimes shoot the live shows for my brother’s band, Fracture. So at one of these shows I saw her taking pictures, and I started thinking about how I always wanted people to take pictures of my bands. So I asked her if I could borrow her camera for the rest of the show and give it a go. Starting from that show onwards, I became Fracture’s regular photographer, I shot all their shows after that, and started to develop my skills and my portfolio. It very quickly became a passion.

What are some of your goals?

I would love to go on tour with a band, I think that would be a great experience, as a photographer and in general. I think it would also be pretty cool to one day publish a book of my work. But overall my goal is to just push myself to get better with every show I shoot, and just capture awesome moments and produce content that maybe makes someone stop scrolling for a few seconds just to admire it.

Who are some of your photographer inspirations?

Mark Cummings, the photographer who worked very closely with Morrissey and The smiths, big fan of his. Brandon Woelfel, the way he edits is so beautiful. Greg Noire has done some amazing stuff in black and white that I really admire, and also Kevin Gutierrez, Mark Seliger, Anton Corbijn and Jake Chamseddine as well so many others.

What was your favorite show you’ve shot and why?

My answer to this question will probably be different every time I'm asked it, because every show I shoot becomes my favorite right after i'm done shooting it. Right now I’d either say Broadside and With Confidence at the knitting factory, because it was an incredibly fun crowd, and the venue allows photographers to shoot the whole show, and I managed to shoot form a lot of different angles, or The Front Bottoms at Brooklyn Steel, because they really put on a great show visually, all their lights, and their stage set up was just really fun to photograph.

With Confidence