Cotton's Interview with a Photographer: Victoria Valchev

Cotton's Interview with a Photographer: Victoria Valchev

Calgary, Alberta's Victoria Valchev loves spending time outdoors, particularly in, around and ON the Canadian Rockies. About five years ago this avid rock climber took up photography professionally and intertwined two of her greatest passions.

Here is our latest instalment of Cotton's "Interview with a Photographer":

Cotton Carrier: How would you define your style as a photographer?

Victoria Valchev: I love keeping it natural. The places where I take photos don't exactly need to be enhanced.

CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?

VV: No, there's a lot of information online so if I need something, I just look for the answer.

CC: What is your favourite place or thing to shoot?

VV: I love spending time in the mountains mostly doing all sorts of climbing, but also ski touring, hiking and cycling. I shoot on the go while I'm doing that.

CC: Where has photography taken you and what has it made you experience?

VV: I guess picking my experiences comes first and then I just end up taking photos while I'm outside. But it has been great going through my photos and having a closer representation of how beautiful these places were than when I just used to take a few photos with my phone.

CC: What equipment do you use?

VV: I have a Sony a6000 and I shoot with the kit lens it came with. I also have a night lens, but I've only used it once since a good night's sleep is essential to climbing well the next day.

I love how compact the mirrorless cameras are. Climbing already requires carrying a lot of heavy equipment so having a light camera is essential. I also occasionally take out my Go Pro but mostly for video.

CC: What's the craziest thing you've done to get, "The Shot"?

VV: I've taken off my gloves at -25C while ice climbing to get a photo of a friend climbing next to me.

CC: Brrr! Who do you look to for inspiration?

VV: I'm mostly inspired by my talented friends, but Jimmy Chin and Paul Zizka when it comes to adventure photography. Also Bryce Brown and John Price - they always have these cool climbing shots where the rope is in motion.

CC: What advice would you have for newbies?

VV: Find out what you love doing and incorporate photography into that.

CC: Can you recommend any resources that you like to use?

VV: I occasionally read this blog for ideas on cool places to go and photography advice:

CC: How has photography shaped your day-to-day?

VV: I've started making my friends wear super colourful clothes so they stand out against the mountains and my trips take longer now that taking photos is also a priority.

To see more of Victoria's work go to:

Instagram: @vvalchev