Behind the Lens with Brandon Alton

Mark Appleyard - Switch Crook Costa Mesa CA

If you are looking to get inspired and motivated, then you’ve come to the right place. Brandon Alton is a prolific photographer and his crisp, colourful photos always stand out.
After spending 8 years in the US, Brandon came back to Vancouver a few years back and he’s been documenting the west coast scene since.
Today we are happy to share this little interview we did with Brandon.

Malik Walker Bs Heel Vancouver BC

-Hey Brandon, so lets start with the basics, where are you originally from and how long have you been shooting photos?
I’m orginally from Richmond BC and I’v been shooting photos for about 12 years.
-How did you get into photography?
When I was 16 I got a GL1 video camera and started filming the local homies, some of those dudes had sponsors at the time and when we went skating a photographer would be on the session and something about the process of shooting a photo really appealed to me so I started to transition out of filming and into photography.
-It seems like video is king on social media these days, do you ever regret the move to photography?
Ummm not really cause photography pays the bills and I’v never really stopped filming. In fact I probably film just as much skating as I shoot these days.

Olek Khrystoyev - Hardflip Coquitlam BC

-You've spent a lot of time in Cali a few years back, do you wanna tell us a bit about this time of your life?
Man best time of my life, moved out there with my homie Hayden in 2010 and I lived all over southern California for 8 years.

Hayden Kelly - 50-50 Bellingham WA

-Any California highlights?
Becoming the staff photographer at KAYO is definitely a huge highlight and milestone in my life. Going on tour with DGK for the Blood Money project was crazy, I can’t thank Troy, Brad and Daughters enough. tI appreciate everything they did for me.

Stevie Williams - Tre Flip Los Angeles CA 
Chris Brunner - Bs Tail Dana Point CA
Boo Johnson - Straight On 5050 Victorville CA 

-What made you come back to Canada?
Work Visa Expired.
-You’ve mentioned to me more then once how important it is for you to get the younger generation in the mags and I always thought it was really cool. Who do you shoot with these days?
Yeah I feel like there aren’t many people helping the younger generation prosper and facilitate the growth to achieve goals and I’v been blessed to have achieved so much in skating, I hope to pass my experiences on so it can hopefully help them achieve their goals. Right now the squad is Malik Walker, Evan Tanc, Doogie Lester, Will Savage, Olek Khrystoyov and Jayden Lariviere.

Doogie Lester - Crook Langley BC 
Jayden Lariviere Bs Lip Richmond BC
Will Savage - Bs Noseblunt Vancouver BC

-It seems like most magazines are printing less often and more photographers are making their own zines, where do you think the future of skateboard photography lies?
Oh man scary thought haha. I mean I’v been watching print die since 2012-2013 when Skateboarder went out, then The Skateboard Mag now TWS is just a website. The future of skate photography is gonna be web based. Which isn’t a bad thing, companies are putting money towards getting social and web content now so its just the new version of an ad and there’s even a more constant need oppose to a classic mag ad which only gets run once a month or a random photo in a mag every 6 months. People will probably hate me for these comments but I look at my work more as marketing assets rather than “art”. Don’t get me wrong I love a magazine and seeing a photo in print but if my work is helping a skater get exposure, helping build a relationship with their sponsors and the brands are getting content, everyone’s eating at that point.
-Are you working on any projects these days?
Yeah! I actually just finished laying out Evan Tanc’s part last night, should be dropping anytime now. Jazzy has a VX part that has been on ice waiting for a mag to drop haha and Doogie Lester has a És part in the works.

Evan Tanc - Nollie Bs Flip Vancouver BC 
Braedon Wheeler - Wallie Vancouver BC 
Marquise Henry - Switch Flip Canyon Country CA

-Favorite non skate photographer?
Jill Greensberg
-Favorite skate photographer?
Atiba, Blabac and Daughters.
Whats in the bag when you are shooting skateboarding?
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 70-200mm 2.8
Canon 50mm
Canon 8-15mm fisheye
2x Elinchrom Quadra Ranger 400w Power Pack
2x Elinchrom Quadra Action Heads
Pocketwizard Flex TT6
3x Pocket wizard plus
Godox TT685 Speedlite
Panasonic HVX200
Also sometimes have in the trunk.
Sony VX1000
Honda EU2000 Generator
2x Lowel Tota Lights

Ryan Decenzo - Switch Blunt Hollywood CA

Thanks Brandon! Check out Brandon's IG here.

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