‘People of Petco Park’ Instagram project gives a closer look at Padres games

The view from inside Petco Park.
(U-T Photo)

Just a fan in the stands with a camera.

That’s how Kevin Gossett, the photographer behind the “People of Petco Park” account on Instagram describes himself. The project — started in 2016 — captures fans, employees, players and sometimes even celebrities enjoying games in the ballpark that is home to the San Diego Padres.

As the 2018 Padres season gets underway with Opening Day this Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Gossett is eager to resume taking photos of all the different fans at Petco Park.

“It’s fun. It gives me a challenge when I’m there, while still being able to enjoy myself,” said Gossett, who usually shoots on a Canon EOS 80D. “I might leave more than half the games where my team has lost, but at least I’m leaving with something I can take away — the photos which I can share with people. I love how excited other people are about seeing the photos I’ve taken of them and sharing them themselves.”

Gossett is a lifelong fan who got the idea for People of Petco Park after admiring other street photography projects on Instagram and realizing he could do something similar.

He started by taking snapshots of people inside Petco Park and posting them as stand alone photos, but later decided to add captions that describe the people in them or feature their quotes about the game or their love of the team.

Here are a few examples.


Sometimes, he even talks to fans of rival teams to fully represent all the people who can be found in Petco Park.


He’s also captured close calls with foul balls.


But it’s the San Diego Padres employees who have become some of his favorite subjects, Gossett says, because when he publishes photos of them and asks fans to share their favorite stories about these ushers and other Petco Park workers, people respond. (Click the “view all comments” lines below to see some examples.)

“Last year, when a Dodgers fan threw a beer at my head, he was quick to defend me and eject the guy,” one fan wrote on the photo below. “Can’t wait to see him at the ballpark soon!”

“He’s a great guy and friendly to all,” another wrote.


Fans with vintage Padres gear are another group that he loves to photograph and talk to.

He said he may take his hobby on the road this summer, attending games in Texas, Arizona or elsewhere and meeting Padres fans in other cities. But for now, he’s looking forward to the 2018 season and encouraging other local photographers to get their own Padres photography projects going.

“Anybody can do what I’m doing. I would love to see more,” Gossett said.

To see People of Petco Park yourself, go to @peopleofpetcopark on Instagram.


Twitter: @abbyhamblin


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