For the Love of Monsters: Following a Themed Passion

Sean Teegarden is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer, specializing in portraiture, still life, and commercial advertising. He's also a spooky photographer mastermind who works with Knott's Scary Farm every year to photograph their annual Halloween Haunt.

Sean was kind enough to creep you out this Halloween with some snaps from the shoot and thoughts on the process. You can see the rest of his work over at www.knotts.com.

Growing up in Southern California, it's hard to avoid going to a theme park at least once in your life. It becomes even more impossible if you had a parent that worked at, arguably, two of the most iconic theme parks in the world. Roller coasters, parades, and fireworks are forever in my DNA. As a child, the crafted environment of a theme park is a mesmerizing trip to another world. As an adult, the design, production, creativity, passion, and imagination of the people that create these worlds is awe-inspiring. I very much believe I was drawn to a professional creative field because of people like this.

I would say my inspiration for the images produced for Knott’s Scary Farm began with my first trip to the Halloween themed event when I was eight. Monsters, mazes, scary sounds, creepy lighting, and unsettling fog are all part of the transformation during the cold October nights at a berry farm turned theme park in Buena Park, CA. This probably helped spur my obsession with Halloween and things of a dark, gritty nature in general. Theme parks were also the first places where I started to appreciate the craft of good art direction and production. For the last few years, I have been so lucky to be the photographer for Knott's Scary Farm's Halloween Haunt. Never in my dreams would I have imagined that I could be roaming around one of my childhood hangouts capturing terrifying talent in expert costuming and makeup. It's one of the highlights of my year.

I think the most inspired work is made when you are truly just doing something that you love, with a team of people that are just as passionate about the end product as you are. For these particular images, hearing the design team speak about where the ideas for each haunted maze came from is really what ignites my imagination. I try to create a visual story that represents the one they are telling me. The people that craft these stories, design the environments, create the costumes, and bring the characters to life are the most talented and passionate team I have worked with and that alone is an inspiration as a photographer.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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