Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Cameron Weaver and I am a landscape, travel, and lifestyle photographer.
Where are you from, and where do you currently live? I am originally from northern California, near the state capitol, Sacramento. That is where I grew up but I moved down to San Diego, CA about 13 years ago and have lived here ever since.
How would you describe your style of photography? I just try to photograph the beauty around me. Whether that is is a beautiful view on a hike, a street scene with a nice colour palette, or a moment at home, I enjoy documenting it.
Cameron's Instagram - @weavc
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I started exploring photography a few years ago through social media, actually. Through Instagram, I became interested in taking better photos and editing them to have a specific look. After a while, I realized that all of the photos that I admired were either shot on film or edited to have a 'film look'. So, I picked up a cheap 35mm SLR on Craigslist and started shooting film basically wherever I went. I quickly fell in love with the film photography process. The slow, deliberate shooting process and the anticipation of waiting to get your images back from the lab had me hooked. I would be giddy when I finished a roll and dropped it off at the lab and even more excited when I finally got to view the images. It was a nice departure from the instant gratification culture that I had become accustomed to. Since then, I've collected a few other cameras and shoot film to document my travels.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? Photography was actually a big part of my proposal to my wife! I took her out to a nice viewpoint over the ocean one morning and had my camera with me. I was taking some photos of the scenery and asked her to face the ocean to pose for a portrait. While she was distracted I pulled out the ring and when she looked back in my direction I was down on one knee. So, that is probably my favourite memory! Aside from that, shooting on a trip to Peru a couple years ago is a great memory. That is when I realized how much I loved documenting different places.
What inspires you to take these wonderful photographs? Beyond the aesthetic appeal of a place or person, the actual process of photographing something inspires me greatly. With a camera in hand, I approach a place differently. The medium makes me interact with surroundings in a special way and I engage with subjects in a different way than I would without a camera. Even locally, I enjoy experiencing familiar places in new ways or viewing them with a different eye than I'm used to. There are creative decisions that you have to make with photography. I think that creative process is what inspires me to take photographs.
What kind of camera do you use? My main camera is a Pentax 645n. I have a few different lenses for that system. I also shoot with a Pentax MX 35mm SLR and an Olympus XA2 which is a zone focus camera. As far as film stocks, I tend to use Portra 400 and 160 more than anything. I also use my iPhone if I don't have a camera with me.
What is your editing process like? I send reference images to my film lab to try to get the images as close to my vision as possible right off the bat. They do a great job, so I don't have to do too much editing but when I do, I use Lightroom. I'm usually doing some colour correction, and maybe adjusting exposure, contrast, or the black point to get the right richness in the images. When shooting film, I overexpose slightly to give the images a certain look as well. On my phone, I like to edit with VSCO or Filmborn.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? A lot of the images that I share are either taken early or late in the day. I just love that quality of light and shoot in that type of light whenever possible. Otherwise, I would say seek out places that interest you and try to document what makes them unique to you.
What are some of your passions/hobbies other than photography? Hiking is one of my main hobbies, which goes hand in hand with my photography. I also love food and drink. I enjoy trying new restaurants and bars and trying new recipes and making cocktails at home. I tinker with music here and there, playing guitar and piano. I follow sports as well and can get quite passionate about my teams! (Sacramento Kings, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Liverpool FC)
Who are some of your favourite photographers? I photograph a lot of outdoor scenes, so naturally I enjoy the work of Ansel Adams. I am a Saul Leiter fan too. He creates depth in his photos by including elements of the foreground in the frame that a lot of photographers would instinctually omit. Because of this, many of his photos have an almost haunting/voyeuristic quality to them, and I love that about his style. Fred Herzog and Luigi Ghirri have great colour photography work that I enjoy as well. Leslie Williamson and Francois Halard's interior work is superb too. I'm also a fan of Brian W. Ferry. He has a great mix of portraits, lifestyle, and travel photography.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you love and wish more people knew about? There are a lot of current photographers on Instagram that I love. My friend Justin Chung (@justinchung) is one of them. I love his photographic style and his book Faculty Department. He can be very versatile in subject matter but maintain a consistent style which I admire. I am also a huge fan of Jake DeBruyckere (@jaquib). He will photograph the same thing, a certain tree for example, over and over again but I never tire of seeing his photos. They're great. I'm drawn to photographers whose images make me feel something when I see them. All of those photographers that I mentioned do that for me. Many of the photographers that I like, both past and present, produce work that is extremely different than mine and makes me think, and I like that. If I see a photograph that is composed in a way that I would never think to execute, I am drawn to it.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Wow, there are so many! I would have to say Iceland or Alaska are at the top of my list right now. Iceland for obvious reasons and Alaska because it has so much to offer and is one of the 50 states but is overlooked by a lot of people. I also really want to visit Lisbon, Portugal. From what I've seen, I think I would love to photograph it.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? I would have to say early fall. During that time of year, the days are still fairly long, so you have more light to work with, but temperatures are not too hot here in southern California, so it is more comfortable to go out and shoot.
Do you have any photography related plans for this summer that you would like to share? I will be visiting Chicago for the first time this month, so I am definitely looking forward to that. I can't wait to shoot the beautiful architecture and city scenes. I'm also working on my first zine, which I hope to release by this summer.
Don't forget to follow Cameron on Instagram! (@weavc)