In celebration of World Ocean’s Day, we are launching our exclusive Quick-Dry towel and Inspired by interview, with Vancouver Island based ocean and lifestyle photographer, Kyler Vos.
Kyler’s inspiring photography, love for the ocean, and long time connection to the brand makes this collaboration one we are honored to debut. He has been behind the lens of some of our iconic campaigns, and truly captures the powerful + beautiful essence of the sea.
Read through below to learn more about Kyler from this exclusive interview below & get inspired by him today.
When did you start taking photos?
Junior high through high school is when I started shooting, my friends and I would study magazines and movies and then try to replicate them ourselves. From snow to skating, wake to mountain biking, we would photograph and film each other all the time. Then once graduation came along I didn’t have much interest in trades or anything else for that matter, so I took a photography course and have been shooting ever since.
What or who inspired you to start?
My mom was always pushing my brother sister and me to be creative while we were growing up. I remember playing around with her Pentax K1000 during different sporting events and would be so stoked to get the film back each time. I would then go back to studying all the magazines trying to perfect my imagery to make it up to the standard to publish.
What or who are you currently inspired by?
Currently, in the surf photography side of things, Rambo Estrada from NZ takes the cake in my eyes. His style and overall eye for shooting surf is something else.
Portraiture, The east coaster turned west coaster Zak Bush has been delivering some great imagery down in the LA area. Always nice to see a fellow Canadian making it in the industry. Life category, I will say my sister Amelia Vos. She lives down the coast in a little town called Bamfield and is currently making a huge jump and is starting her restaurant called “ The Bamfield Wreckage.” If you are in the area make sure to check it out.
Any advice for aspiring water photographers?
Shoot as much as possible. Whatever your subject matter is, the more you shoot the closer you will get to honing your skills towards where you want to be. Living on the west coast the majority of my photography is based around the ocean, from waves to wildlife, things are always moving and are never the same as the day before. Being able to adapt to whatever is tossed your way is a huge part of water photography, taking a page out of Gladwell’s book “the key to achieving true expertise in any skill is simply a matter of practising, albeit in the correct way, for at least 10 000 hours.”
What was your favourite part about our last Slowtide trip?
I would have to say the crew, was stacked with great humans, we laughed so much during that trip. We all stayed on a sick boat, ate like kings and queens, and surfed every day. The west coast of Van Isle is a fickle region for surf, and when you pre-plan months ahead it’s near impossible to know what the weather and condition will be. From sun up to sun down, we had such a great time.
What do you admire about most Raph, Josh, and Hanna?
Raph has always been a huge inspiration to me. I admire the amount of time he has spent touring the coast through surf exploration, I feel so fortunate to have been invited on some of his trips over the years. As a new father I also really admire how Joey and Raph have raised their kids; they seem to always be on the go camping and adventuring up the coast and in the mountains.
As for Josh, I admire his surfing the most, his rail game is as good as it gets in my eyes. I haven’t done many trips with him but hope to do a couple more boat trips shortly.
As for Hanna, I have watched her grow as a woman and surfer over the years, and couldn’t be more proud of who she has become. I have had the pleasure of travelling and working with her over the years and I admire how she can always have such a positive attitude even when things go south.
What is a change you've made in your life that has made the most impact on you or the people around you?
The first change to come to mind is having children. My oldest boy is three years and my youngest is seven months and they have made the most impact on my life. Parenthood is a wild ride and is so fortunate to have such an amazing wife and a solid group of family and friends to help raise them.
The second change would have been investing in my career and starting my gallery & print shop. I used to captain wildlife tours during the summer months and many of the clients would request prints of the bears and whales from each tour; at that time (2015) there were no photography galleries in Tofino and it felt like the perfect time to open my very own. It started as a side hustle but after eight years it's become such a fulfilling business to run. Over the years I’ve added a large format printer to the shop offering the artist a local printing service as well as printing and framing my work.
When you're not shooting, what are you up to?
Last year purchased as close to my dream boat as my bank account would let me and I try to spend as much time on it as possible. My wife and I have started a little zodiac tour company with the boat called “Clayoquot Marine Adventures,” where we will be taking groups on personalized tours around Tofino and Clayoquot Sound. Away from the company; we love exploring the coast, fishing, or camping with family on secluded beaches as much as we can.
What is your dream trip?
Would love to go back to New Zealand, it was one of my first over sea surf trips and would love to do a road trip from North to South.
Is there a story behind the towel image?
I worked as a photographer for a fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii for four full seasons followed by many photography assignments. First off, for those who have not been or heard of it the Gwaii, it’s magical. The west coast is the most mountainous rugged landscape I have ever experienced. It’s my favourite place I’ve ever been to, you truly have to see it for yourself. Anyways, on the day I shot the towel image I was asked to photograph the coastline from the company's most northern lodge Hippa Island down to the southern lodge of Englefield bay, from a helicopter with its doors off. Over the years of fishing and documenting the coast with the company, I was fortunate to see some amazing areas by boat, but that flight was by far the most scenic hour of my life.