"Gunslinger" right? Yup for me that's the kind of image that comes to mind when I hear this guys name but let me tell you the thing he is slingin' is bomb photos. I came upon Mr. Colton on the flickr, and as I began to put him under the scope to get a better handle on him it was clear he would get on the blog. Hunker down by the fire and give a listen as Weston and my self exchange chatter, and don't forget to take a gander at his right purty photographs. Get along you little doggies.
C: Name, age, location, profession?
W: Weston Colton, Utah USA, Photographer
C: What got you started shooting skating?
W: Skateboarding is actually what got me into photography. I have skated for about 14 years. My friends and I used to make our own skate videos, and we were filming all the time. At some point, I thought it would be cool to document our sessions with photos too. I borrowed my dad's old Olympus OM1 with a 28mm and a 50mm lens, and started shooting. All I knew was that I needed to adjust the aperture and shutter speed until I got the light meter needle in the middle. I started reading this old Time/Life series of photography books from the '70s and learned how to use my camera.
C: Your work is tight. Have you had any work published?
W: Thanks. I have had some work published. As for skateboarding, I shoot for a couple Utah magazines. SLUG Magazine is a Salt Lake City based mag that covers music and culture, as well as the local skate and snowboard scene. Every summer they put on a renegade street skating contest at 3-4 local spots around the city. It's pretty crazy. This summer was the first time the cops have shown up.
I have also had work published in Arkade Magazine, another Utah snow/skate mag. I have also had a few photos published on the Element website, Hurley website, DLX distribution site, and I shot the photo that Greg Hunt uses as his blog profile photo on The Skateboard Mag's website. I was super pumped on that.
As for non-skateboard work, I shoot for Utah Valley University with University Marketing. Part of my job is shooting for the schools alumni magazine.
I have shot some album covers for local musicians that have gotten major coverage. I had a photo published in Paste Magazine of one of the artists. I was pretty pumped on that.
C: Film or digital or both?
W: I learned to shoot on film. I still love the aesthetic and everything about film, but out of convenience I've shot mostly digital the last 4 years or so. I'll admit, learning to light skate photos came a lot easier with digital. However, I am very glad that I learned to shoot on film first.
The Polaroid shot of the crook was shot on a 4x5 view camera. I want to shoot more large format skate stuff.
C: Do you have any photographers you look up to or that inspire you?
W: There are so many. As far as skate photographers, I really like Brain Gaberman, especially his older large format work. I like Scott Pommier, Joe Brook, Jon Humphries, Jonathan Mehring is really underrated. French Fred shoots some amazing photos.
Other photographers that I like and that have influenced me are Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, Richard Avedon, Steven Klein, Carlos Serrao, Eugenio Recuenco, Christopher Griffith, Jeremy and Claire Weiss, Sam Milianta, John Rees... too many to list.
C: Thoughts on the flickr community?
W: I think Flickr is great. It is a place where anyone can show and share their photography with a worldwide audience. I was really surprised when I had people from Europe and South America adding me as a contact. I am also amazed by how much great photography and skateboarding is out there being done purely for the love of it. I consider myself one of those people shooting skating for the love of it. I'm not making money shooting skateboarding.
C: Is there a publication or site out there you would be super juiced to be published in?
W: Communication Arts Photo Annual would be amazing. I would be pumped to get a photo into Slap, Transworld, Skateboarder, or The Skateboard Mag.
C: Do you get support from folks to continue what you do?
W: My wife is my number one supporter. If she didn't back my dreams, I would probably be doing something else for a living. My parents have been supportive too.
C: Do you travel much to get material?
W: I shoot most of my skate photos in the tri-county area around Salt Lake City, UT. I would love to take more skate trips, but being married and having a child, and a job make that difficult. If only I could get paid to take a road trip and shoot skate photos...
C: I see you skate, thats tight. Photography or skating first love?
W: Skateboarding was the first love.
C: Ok lets wrap this up with the "what would be your dream job" question, also feel free to give shout outs at this point. Thanks for your time and continue to do what you do.
W: Dream job...getting an inhouse position with a company like DLX. Take Blabac for example. He is in-house photographer for DCShoeCo. He has a salary, job security, gets to shoot skating, portraits, product, travel the world, access to top skaters, magazine connections for editorial work, etc. Sounds pretty good to me.
I want to thank my wife, Erin, for all her support and believing in me, my family, my skate crew growing up Team Monroe, Sam Milianta. My photography professors -- John Rees, Paul Adams, John Telford, and Val Brinkerhoff. I want to thank all the skaters that I have shot with. And thanks to you, Christian for asking me to do this interview.