By Chris Mellides
Photographer: Chris Starcher @dripmedia
In Frame: Tyler Price @dripping_balls
Location: Swallow Falls State Park, MD
“A healthier body is what keeps us going, and we vapers just have to talk to smokers more about vaping and make them turn away from cigarettes for good.”
Inspired by the friends he’s made on a path to becoming a professional photographer, 22-year-old Washington state resident Jayson Magbanua has always dreamt big.
Enamored with the art world and all of the different mediums it encompasses, populating his college studies with art classes seemed natural to Magbanua.
Educated in traditional photography where he was taught how to shoot on and develop film, the young student took what he learned, and applied his skillset and unique discipline to contemporary photography—which by all accounts is far easier and more convenient than having to rely on dated technology.
Like many in his peer group, the most accessible camera he had in college was the one in his pants’ pocket.
“Back in the day I would only use my phone and I would be pretty stoked with how the pictures turned out,” Magbanua said. “I never owned a camera since last year, I believe, but now that I have one it feels like a dream.”
Armed with his digital SLR camera, Magbanua would often take it with him on hikes and camping trips and found himself being quickly drawn to nature photography.
“When I’m trying to find myself I hike and camp,” he said. “Nature pictures are definitely one of my favorites because of the organic feel to them.”
Magbanua found that exploring the outdoors became more enjoyable when he gave up smoking and switched to vaping as a reduced harm alternative.
He admits that while he was a light smoker who would casually light up when in the company of friends, the obvious positive health effects coupled with the allure of vape tricks and the multitude of e-liquid flavors to choose from made transitioning to vapor products in late 2012 an easy choice for him to make.
It was natural for Magbanua to combine vaping and nature photography into his body of work, and it became apparent to him that several photographers, including select friends, had already began carving that niche out for themselves.
“My friends inspire me the most,” Magbanua said. “The support that they give me is incredible. We share the same passion for photography, and we teach each other and love each other.”
Scenic Vapers was a project that Magbanua discovered on Instagram, which he would often post to and use to explore a wealth of photographs from seasoned and amateur photographers alike, all with the swipe of a finger.
It wasn’t long before he began tagging his nature-inspired vaping photos using the Scenic Vapers hashtags that project founders Tyler Price an Ian Silver began to take notice.
Photographer: Billy Lawrence @trippinbillys
In Frame: Paige Drysdale @paige.nicolle
Location: Bell Rock Vortex, Sedona, Arizona
“I remember Tyler Price back in the day when he just started on Instagram, and had always been lurking through his Instagram,” Magbanua said. “Ian silver I don’t really know, but I like his work a lot.”
He added, “They are such humble human beings, and they are now doing good things and that makes me pretty happy.”
Magbanua says that his involvement with Scenic Vapers comes from his utmost respect and love for nature and vaping, and the excitement in knowing that he’s part of a following and a much larger movement.
“The movement and the vibe from the people,” Magbanua says is what interests him about the project. “It’s really nice seeing people explore and take pictures. I’m excited for where the group takes us in the future.”
He also believes that Scenic Vapers can be used as a vehicle for capturing the attention of smokers through photographs and exposing them to vaping as a culture and ultimately a healthier alternative to combustible tobacco.
“This is what we need to do to make the smokers stop smoking,” Magbanua said. “A healthier body is what keeps us going, and we vapers just have to talk to smokers more about vaping and make them turn away from cigarettes for good.”
To submit your photo to Scenic Vapers #CloudCheck for VAPE submission consideration, follow @VapeMagazine @ScenicVapers @Dripping_Balls and @Jedi.Visions and #VapeMagazine #CloudCheck & #ScenicVapers on Instagram.
For the VAPE pictorial column, photos must be in high resolution, but for the IG page everyone has the chance for a feature.