“What makes me most happy about capturing moments is the people,” says photographer Magic Barkan. “I never force anybody to pose for a picture. I try to keep it as organic and as candid as possible… Don’t worry, just you do your thing, just be in the moment, and I will be in the area, and I will capture a picture when I think it’s most appropriate.”
As much as Barkan — the late 2010’s answer to Cobrasnake — loves capturing people in their most candid moments, he’s also growing more and more popular in a hurry. This means that when people see him coming, camera around his neck, they’re all too eager to strike a pose. They want the photographer, known for having an affectionate eye, to turn his attention on them.
“I like shooting when we’re at a party and feeling spontaneous — maybe it’s at the drop of a beat on a song, maybe it’s everybody going in for a cheer,” Barkan says. “But I shoot models and celebrities, so sometimes things have to be posed. Sometimes people feel the need to stand a certain way or they feel like they have a ‘good side.’ But then, when they see the more candid pictures, they’re like, ‘Whoa, that was cool. Better even.'”
Barkan definitely seems to be having fun as the photographer of choice for young Hollywood. Every post on his Instagram account he seems to be on a boat, in an infinity pool, or smoking weed with models, pro skaters, and actors. This year, Barkan and his crew went big at Escape: Psycho Circus. While the vast majority of the pictures aren’t as candid as his typical work, the kinetic energy of one of the year’s best electronic music festivals is definitely on display.
Here are all the best photos and costumes from this year’s Escape: Psycho Circus.