Tucked away on the B.C. coast, Tofino is a serene, inspiring landscape sprinkled with endless beaches, monster waves, and care-free surfers.
Born and raised in the tiny town, Jeremy Koreski is an expert in all things Tofino. The photographer captures the rugged atmosphere by getting knee-deep and muddy in everything that makes the area so great: the ocean, the forest, and the wildlife.
Needless to say, the images are captivating. As our June Photographer of the Month, Koreski, 36, let us in on why he rarely photographs anything but his hometown, and shares his favourite photography memory — an underwater encounter that will leave you spellbound.
Q: How did you get started with photography?
A: My dad gave me a camera, a Canon AE1, when I was 12 and I started taking it to the skatepark and out to the beach to take photos of my friends.
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Q: You grew up in Tofino. Why focus your work there, rather than branching out to other areas?
A: When I was growing up in Tofino, I didn’t always want to be there… I wanted to travel and see the world, so when I finished high school that’s what I did. It didn’t take me long to realize how special Vancouver Island is.
Lately I’ve been focusing a lot of my work on the B.C. coast, but I still do take international assignments. In the last couple of years, I've been to Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Mexico and coming up I have Scotland and Galapagos in 2015. But really the main reason for focusing my work around my home is that I care about it and want to use my images to show people how special it is.
Q: So many people look at photos of Tofino and see a really unique, “pretty” place. With your work, what do you hope people see when they see your photos?
A: Hopefully people who look at my work realize that there are fewer and fewer untouched places on this earth and that those places are worth more than money.
Q: What sets you apart from other photographers?
A: My eye.
Q: Nowadays, it’s easy for “anyone to be a photographer” with sharing apps like Instagram. How do you keep finding success?
A: I think most of my success has come from the fact that I shoot a lot of person work [photos with living things versus inanimate objects] and those are the images people enjoy the most.
Q: Can you tell the story of your most memorable shoot?
A: One of my most memorable shoots so far happened a couple years ago on a tuna fishing trip off the coast of Tofino. We were in the blue water with 60+ vis [60 feet of visuals] and were catching a ton of tuna when roughly 300 Pacific white-sided dolphins swam through the area. I had my gear with me, so I suited up and jumped in. It was the most fun 45 minutes with those dolphins I think I’ve ever spent in the ocean with my camera.
Q: What are some misconceptions about your work/industry that you’d like to set straight?
A: My job is 10 per cent of the time taking pictures and 90 per cent of the time working on the computer / meetings / email / brainstorming shoots / contracts / estimates / more meetings…
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into photography, especially as a business venture?
A:Don’t get into photography as a business venture, get into photography because you enjoy taking photos.
Q: What else do you do when you're not shooting? What's next for you?
A: When I am not shooting, I spend time with my wife Sarah and three-year-old daughter Bellavita, and keep trying to plan shoots that they will be able to join me on.
My next project is putting together a Kickstarter project for a book of my favourite images from the British Columbia coast. The title of the book is This is Nowhere and the project will be launching soon — hoping for June 8.
Follow Jeremy Koreski's work online:
Interested in being HuffPost B.C.'s Photographer of the Month? Email us and we can chat!