It's pretty easy to put Valeriy Poltorak on your top five favorite Instagram followers. Not only is his work from his beloved home town of Seattle and surrounding area top-notch (and 80k other Instagram followers would agree), he's also one of the kindest people you will ever run across on the internet or in person. Today I'm excited to bring you an interview in the form of an email exchange that Valeriy and I had several weeks ago.
But, before we start though, you can find more of Valeriy's photographs here and follow along on his daily Instagram travels here. Now, onto the show!
1. Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you first get into photography?
I was born in the Ukraine and migrated over to the Pacific Northwest at a very young age with my family. I was homeschooled and constantly looking for ways to keep myself entertained that was when I discovered photography. Picked up my first camera about 13 and just haven’t been able to put it down. My first real photographic impact was when I started selling photos on Stock Photography agencies and realized that the work I created was admired and that gave me the inspiration I needed to begin pursuing it more intensely.
2. What does your typical day look like?
A typical day for me can vary based on the project I’m currently working on, so it all depends. Typically the night before I’ll try and figure out what project I want to work on for the next day and if it requires any travel, preparation is key. The morning off, I’ll make sure I have all the equipment I need to get started on my project and try to get out as early as possible, don’t want to waste any daylight. At that point I’ll go ahead and work on my project, making sure I get the shots exactly how I want. Once the work is completed out on the field I make my way home and go through the SD card, removing all the rejects. I spend the rest of my day replying to emails, editing projects and uploading my work onto my various social media channels.
3. You call the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle in particular your home. If you were to tell someone who is traveling to the area for first time your favorite two locations to photograph, where would they be and why?
The Pacific Northwest has a wide variety of landscapes and scenery available not only to those who live here but all those who visit this beautiful area. Whenever I’m asked what to visit while in town I always recommend they visit two spots. First I’ll recommend visiting the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center in Seattle, you get a phenomenal view of the city from 930 feet up in the air, perfect during sunset! Secondly, for the adventure hearted, I would recommend the whole Olympic Peninsula: Hurricane Ridge, the Rainforest and out towards Cape Flattery, the whole area is absolutely breathtaking!
4. How does your faith inform your art?
My faith plays a huge role in my work as an artist. It is what inspires, guides and develops me. If it wasn’t for the life God has given me, nothing would be possible. I’m thankful He has given me the opportunity to explore this beautiful planet and share moments from my adventures. Creating captions and sharing my faith on social media through my photography is what helps bring my work to life!
5. What's your current gear set-up?
My gear and camera setup isn’t anything too fancy at the moment but you don’t need fancy equipment to be a photographer. You just need a passion and drive for creativity. Currently I use my iPhone 6s Plus and for more professional projects I have a Canon 70D with a 17-55mm 2.8 lens.
Thanks to Valeriy for sharing with us on the Journal today! You can find more of his photographs here and follow along on his Instagram here.
Interested in being featured on the Saw & Mitre Journal? We'd love to hear from you! Just email me at email@example.com.