Valeriy Poltorak is an up-and-coming photographer who is deeply embedded in the Pacific Northwest Instagram scene. In addition to running his own feed under the handle @mrvalography, he is also co-manager of the @IGers_Seattle account. In today’s Photographer Profile, learn more about how the online world ignited Valeriy’s love for photography and how travel and adventure motivate his creative work now. Oh, and don’t forget to take a few moments to enjoy some of his beautiful landscape work.
Valeriy carries the Union Street messenger bag in black.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
VP: I first got into photography at a young age, when my parents got our first camera and I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. I then discovered stock photography and began putting my work online and with that, I realized that the possibilities were endless. Since that point, my excitement for photography has done nothing but blossom!
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
VP: My primary choice for shooting out on the field has always been my iPhone. Whether it be the 4s, 5 or 6 Plus, I’ve consistently had a positive experience with these beautiful devices and have been impressed with their quality. Lately, with my ONA bag, I’ve been able to take my DSLR on the road, which has given me the ability to easily bring along multiple lenses, including my 50mm and 17-55mm 2.8 lens.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? And what is your dream project?
VP: Any opportunity I have to travel and embark on an adventure is the biggest driver of my creativity. Our world is full of beauty and offers so many stunning locations to discover. Working with brands, individuals and even solo exploration is always more thrilling when I travel, even if it’s just an hour away.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
VP: The most difficult aspect of photography is negativity, whether it’s you being negative about your own work, or the negative opinions of others. Don’t let negativity force you to give up on or hate your own work. Everyone will have their own opinions, and not everyone is going to love your work, but as long as you enjoy the art you have created, that is all that matters!
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
VP: I’m constantly looking for new perspectives, viewing life through the eyes of a viewfinder, and taking a step back to put myself in the shoes of others as I attempt to gain a better understanding of my surroundings.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
VP: Never lose your sense of passion or creativity. Focus on your goals, work hard, don’t give up, and have fun! Learn from others but be different — let your work make you proud.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
VP: I first heard about ONA from a few fellow photographers on Instagram and instantly fell in love with what you had to offer.