Of Salt and Sea: Jeremy Koreski

“I've just always loved the journey and the simple adventure of getting there."
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Jul 17, 2014 | By Austin Bryant

Growing up in the outdoors usually leads to a lifetime in the outdoors, and luckily for photographer Jeremy Koreski, this means a life spent on the shores of Tofino, British Columbia. Once a quiet logging and fishing town facing the Pacific Ocean, the district of just over 1800 people is now a popular summertime tourist destination. This quiet, seaside retreat is Koreski’s home. It’s where he spent his teenage years surfing and taking photographs, honing his craft.

His work includes shooting for clients like Patagonia, SURFER, ESPN, National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, and Google among others. Looking at his photography, it’s easy to see that he takes the thrill of adventure to heart. His companions do as well, which is a group that has even included the Huckberry-endorsed Foster Huntington.
“I've just always loved the journey and the simple adventure of getting there. I love exploring new places and being outdoors all the time, and I hope to inspire people, through my work, to do the same.”

The teenage years in anyone’s life are especially formative for creative passions and interests. Whether it’s drawing paper and some pencils or an old camera, these gifted items tend to blossom into something much larger. Like many photographers, Koreski’s first camera came from a family member.

“I started playing around with my grandfather’s Canon AE-1 when I was in high school, whether on a surf or snowboard trip, or just at the local skate park. I'd be photographing friends doing what we did back then and the more I photographed, the more I loved the challenge, and shooting kind of took over. I had just as much fun shooting photos as I did [taking part in] sports.”
Koreski’s upbringing in Tofino kept him outdoors within a small, tight-knit community. Rather than be insulated from large cities, he was lucky enough to have a family who appreciated the need to get out of their bubble and see the world.

“My parents thought it was important to travel and would do at least one larger family trip a year, taking me and my brother and sisters out of school for a couple weeks at a time. There were a few years in high school that I did not want to be in Tofino because all I wanted was to get out and be in Vancouver skateboarding. It wasn't until I graduated, spent a year in Australia and then traveled more and more that I began to realize how lucky I was to have grown up in such a special place. Now I enjoy exploring and photographing my backyard just as much as when I travel abroad for work. We all need to look at the environment around us.” 

That idea of observing the environment comes through loud and clear in Koreski’s photos. Surfers braving the cold ocean, rocky beaches with carpets of forests beyond, breaching Orcas, swimming with dolphins — the list goes on. It’s clear that Koreski appreciates nature and the gifts it provides more than most, especially thanks to his childhood. “My parents always had us outside, especially in the summer. It's funny thinking back, we'd camp at a beach on an island 15 minutes from town for weeks and not see another person. That wouldn't be possible these days.”

The man is never satisfied once a trip is over, explaining to me that “there is so much of Clayoquot Sound and Vancouver Island itself that I would still love to explore.” In Koreski’s words, it sounds like he is never done exploring and learning, even if it’s in his own backyard—something for anyone to take to heart.

Next up for Koreski is the process of putting his first book of photographs together and launching a Kickstarter page for the project in the next month or so. In the meantime, catch his adventures via his blog, Twitter, or Instagram.

Images ©: Jeremy Koreski