I took a minute to catch up with my good friend Jamie Walter- Photographer, Snow Reporter at Sugarloaf Mountain, pizza enthusiast, and a crowd favorite mod recently earning a spot as the NS Photo Content Manager... including a brand new red name.
A Self Portrait
Name three facts the average NS’er doesn’t know about you.
1) I love playing golf in the summer.
2) My favorite cut of steak is a porterhouse, mmm.
3) I have the best jobs on the planet.
You’re going sledding, what do you bring- a toboggan, inner tube, saucer disc, or multi-person plastic sled?
Those cheap multi-person plastic sleds are BY FAR the best, fastest and lightest method of transportation short of a four man Olympic bobsled when it comes to sledding. They work fantastic not only as a solo racer, but great with a buddy as well. Hands down the one I go for, 100% of the time.
You're a big fan of pizza, so lets put you on the spot: favorite toppings, GO.
Oh jeeze, this is a tough one. Pepperoni, bacon, peppers, jalapenos(!), tomatoes, take your pick. Actually, there's this one pizza place that makes an incredible chicken finger and jalapeno pizza that I've been craving lately. I'm a HUGE fan of parmesan cheese too, no matter the pizza, I always need to add some. MMMM.
If you were to choose one animal to identify with based on your personality characteristics, what would it be?
Panther – They’re badass, they’re smart, and they’re sexy. Enough said.
Photo: Photoshop Gods
How did you first get into Newschoolers?
I was introduced to it almost 6 years ago by a kid at my high school. I was in a graphic design class and wanted some ski photography photos to play with; he said to check out NS and since then my life has never been the same. I don’t think he uses it any more, but if he does, thanks Billy.
How did your photography develop as a result of your previous enrollment in the NS Photography Program?
I owe a lot to the NS Photography Program, it opened so many doors for me last season and got me to where I am today. Photography wise, it motivated me to get out and shoot as much as I could, and any photographer could tell you that it’s really all about practice, practice, and more practice. I also had opportunities to shoot with top notch athletes in beautiful locations which really makes taking a good photo a lot easier. Going to Mt. Hood for the West Coast Session was a life changing experience, and I owe that to guys I met through NS.
What is your favorite photo you’ve taken to date?
I took this photo of Mitch Noddin in January 2013, and I still think it’s one of my favorites to date.
Mitch Noddin // Photo: Jamie Walter
A bit of the backstory: we were driving around Northern Maine looking for urban, and if you know the area, you know there aren’t many offerings up that way. We eventually found this sketchy wooden down rail, and because the light was fading fast, we decided to go for it. Mitch greased it on his second attempt, and shortly after pretty much destroyed his skis when he came off early and slid down 20 feet of exposed screws, bolts, and rocks. I remember looking at the photo on the back of my camera and screaming, running all the way down to him and our buddy Henry to show them. I was so excited about it, haha.
How did you feel about changing your name to Walter.1337?
Honestly, I’m a bit torn. Part of me likes the new change, but another part of me is bummed over losing the “1337” legacy. It’s also weird not being at the very top of the online and friends lists…
Tell us about your new role as the Newschoolers Photo Content Manager.
Sure! I’ve been given a super sick opportunity to work for Newschoolers as the Photo Content Manger. Basically, I oversee the photo section here on NS as well as NS Photographer Program, which has somewhere around 20 members. My job is to get those guys and gals on track to take their photography to the next level, hooking them up with media credentials, connections, and incentives, while also providing them with feedback so they can go out and improve their photography. The program got me where I am today, and now I’m paying it forward to the next round of protégés.
When the time comes, I’ll also help curate the photography for the NS Yearbook, which boils down to sorting through a lot of photos, getting in touch with photographers, etc. The great part about that process is that I won’t be making too many editorial decisions, as the members of NS have already decided what is the best of the best and what we should feature via the rating system in the photo section.
Henry Bonneau // Photo: Jamie Walter
What have you been up to this winter with your job at Sugarloaf?
I’ve been working at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine as a “Snow Reporter.” Basically, it’s the coolest ski bum job ever. I wake up every morning and punch in at 6am (yes, I know, it is early), do some daily tasks, hop on first chair to ski and take photos, and then run social media outlets for the mountain. I’ve been given a lot of creative freedom beyond my daily tasks too, which is cool, and it definitely keeps me busy!
The job has also given me a “behind the scenes” taste of pretty much every aspect that makes the resort run, from snowmaking, to grooming, to patrolling, to lift operations, to marketing and sales. It’s really changed my perspective on the resort business and given me a new appreciation for the people that work so hard to make mountains run the way they do.
What’s in store for you next season?
Next season is still up in the air, I haven’t really locked in any solid plans as of yet. Most likely, I’ll still be around the east coast and still doing something in the industry. Not sure what that will be though, top secret discussions going on right now ;)
Sugarloaf Mountain // Photo: Jamie Walter
Do you ever see yourself leaving Maine?
Of course I do. I love to travel, and it would be a good experience for me to live somewhere else in the world for a period of time. I really do love it here in Maine though; the vibe is awesome, I have so many connections, friends, and family in the area, and I’m very fortunate to have grown up the way I did here. We’ll see where the wind takes me, I guess…
If you could take a ski trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I just wrapped up a trip to Jackson Hole, WY, which was pretty high up on my list. Holy smokes, that place is incredible. However, Japan is #1 on my list, I NEED to go ski Japan. I’m thinking about going next year, who’s in?
Jamie after skiing his first "big boy" line in the Jackson Hole backcountry // Photo: Jamie's Facebook
Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
Living somewhere cool, still doing what I love to do, with a collection of photographs to remember my journey during those 5 years.