Stab Magazine | Corey Wilson In Black And White
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Corey Wilson In Black And White

A conversation with one of surfing’s most thoroughly booked lensman, on his new book project with Mick Fanning, his CW x Slowtide towel, and the state of surf photography at large. 

style // Jan 26, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

For the last decade, Corey Wilson has logged more frequent flyer miles on the road than most of us will in a lifetime.

Touring alongside close friend Mick Fanning, as well as taking on staff responsibilities shooting for Rip Curl, Wilson’s work has become synonymous with WSL wraps and far-off exotic strikes with White Lightning himself. 

With a new collaboration with Slowtide arriving this month, and a coffee table book with Mick Fanning on its way, we were happy to hear from Wilson, on what got him shooting in the first place, while growing up in Santa Cruz during the ’90s, what keeps him shooting, and the myriad projects the California sharp shooter’s got going. 

BOOK 136

“Growing up in Santa Cruz, California was an absolute blessing. Being around the beach, living in such a beautiful town is what got me viewing life as a vacation.”

Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how you got into photography?

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California was an absolute blessing. Being around the beach, living in such a beautiful town is what got me viewing life as a vacation.

Ever since I was a kid, I would always grab my parents camera and play around taking photos of random things. One day, I remember grabbing my mom’s film camera in the back of the car, and opening the back of it, ruining all the photos on the film.

I got yelled at so bad that day. But it made me realize how important those memories are to people. When my parents bought me my first camera I fell in love with it. After high school, I went to the Brooks Institute [Of Photography], in Santa Barbara and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Photography. 

What was it about photography?

Photography is such an incredible medium, it has ways to tell stories, to remember certain moments. When I look at each one of my images, I get so many flashbacks—the traveling that led up to that moment, random memories about the subject of the photograph, funny moments that happened on that certain trip. Anything that comes to mind. 20 years from now, I wanna look back at my life and remember all the amazing memories.     

blackand white

“Photography is such an incredible medium, it has ways to tell stories, to remember certain moments… 20 years from now, I wanna look back at my life and remember all the amazing memories.  “

Photography

Corey Wilson.

What are you trying to communicate with your photography?

I just love documenting my life through images and sharing it on different platforms. I wanna show people how many beautiful places there are out in the world. The best memories I have are from traveling. On the road you meet so many new people and experience different things in life. I want people to get out of their comfort zone, and try new things. You only live once.  
 
What role does an photographer have in society?

That’s a loaded question, ha. 

For a journalistic photographer, it might be completely different, but for me, as a lifestyle photographer, it’s about capturing moments that I (and others) can share with people now and in the future. 

BOOK 021

“I wanna show people how many beautiful places there are out in the world.”

Photography

Corey Wilson.

We dig the new Slowtide x Salt and Stone towel. What made you want to do one with them?

I use one every single day of my life. There’s so many different ways you can use one, whether it’s at the beach or by the pool they sure do come in handy.

But my favorite has to be when its freezing cold, somewhere like Alaska, and the bathroom has one of the warm towel heaters on the wall…

How did you get involved with Salt and Stone?

Salt and Stone is a fun project that my friend Nima and I have been working on this past year. We also have some amazing athletes from all over the world that are involved and back the product. its an all natural sunscreen with no added chemicals to mess up your skin. It definitely comes in handy when you spend lots of time in the sun, and don’t wanna look like an old baseball glove when you get past your twenties.  

IMG 9747

The new Slowtide x Salt and Stone x Corey Wilson towel.

Photography

Corey Wilson.

Favorite place to shoot?

Anywhere that is outside my comfort zone. I love being a little bit scared in the water. keeps me on my toes and feeling alive. somewhere like Western Australia, Pipeline or Teahupoo. I also really enjoy traveling to new places and not knowing what I am gonna get myself into.

Camera and lens of choice?

Nikon D5, and 24-70mm lens. that lens rarely comes off my camera.

Advice to younger photographers thinking about pursuing photography as a career?

Do it because you love capturing moments and want share those with the world. Pick a lane and stick in it for a while, until you dial it in so much, you become known for that style. Then change lanes and challenge yourself, consistently challenge yourself to be better. 

Being a photographer is an amazing career and every day I’m thankful that I get to travel the world, meet people and explore whats out there. 

Any new projects that you are excited about?

I actually just finished a fun project that I have been working on with Mick Fanning. We created a 280-page coffee table book together. Photography from the past few years, along with Mick’s words about life and traveling. It comes out at the end of January and I’m very excited about it! 

DJI 0635 1 1

“I also really enjoy traveling to new places and not knowing what I am gonna get myself into.”

Photography

Corey Wilson.

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