Vika Valter – Portraits With A Twist

portrait with a twistVika Valter is a successful photographer passionate about portrait photography. Her portraits are easily recognized because they are unusual, unique, inspirational and carry conceptual messages and ideas. Vika Valter has kindly agreed to share some of her thoughts with us, in this stock photography interview.

Where are you from? Tell us a few words about yourself.

Right now I live In Finland for already about 5 years. I was born on peninsula Kamchatka, but lived in Argentina for 6 years since I was 15 when I finally moved over here.

Why did you choose photography?

Since I was little child I was involved in painting and drawing, I was told how my grandmother used to shoot when she was young, and I still keep a picture of me as a child made by her. Photography for me is like creating a painting only that I can see the finished result much faster, which comes good with my impatient character.

Could you tell us more about your work?

My main interest of photography is people. I like to portray people in unusual, for them, concepts and ideas. So far it gave only positive results. I also shoot lots of self portraits and to be honest because it’s an easy task and that way I force myself to work everyday. I keep a blog with those shoots for already three years. You can follow it at

What stock agencies are you working with?

I had tried almost every agency that was established for some time or had just popped out, finally I went exclusive with Istockphoto and that was a wise decision in my case.

What equipment do you use? What equipment would you like to have?

I shoot with Nikon D300, with all Nikkor lenses, Elinchrom flashes (beauty dish is almost all the time on) and speed lights, I’m planning to go full format eventually. My favourite lens to shoot is Nikkor 50mm f1,8.

What are your favourite types of photography?

People and strong concepts that provoke the viewer. I love dirty/black humour in my images.

What are your favourite subjects?

People, common people, models, I think I haven’t shot objects on a planned photo shoot for quite a while now.

What inspires you?

Sometimes it’s other’s work sometimes it’s my life situation. Sometimes I shoot some theme in response to something that had really upset me or excited me.

Are you a full time photographer/illustrator?

Luckily yes.

A message/advice for starting photographers?

Try to learn all the possible ways of lighting and techniques and find what gives you most kicks.

What other interest do you have beside photography?

Spreading gossips with my friends.

What is your best accomplishment as a photographer?

To be contacted for an assignment because exactly of what I do.

Can one make a living from selling stock images?

Yes, not everyone, but yes it’s possible. I used to shoot 2 sessions per day at the beginning to build my portfolio. More you work more income you get from it. Simple formula.

How do you see the evolution of the photostock market in the next years?

I really don’t think about that so much, probably more little stock agencies will try to pop-up and the strong ones will continue coming up with new business solutions and innovations.

Your favourite artists?

Helmut Newton is a photographer that I wish I could meet, there are plenty of great and unique photographers all over the world that inspire me, but Helmut still rules out of his grave!

What do you think about microstock versus macrostock (traditional stock) photography?

I think they will eventually fuse into each other, or will work side by side. Who will never make friends with micro are photographers on assignment. Stock photographers eventually will stop comparing who pisses farther… in light years from now maybe.

Do you have a personal website where you advertise your work?

You can check my latest works at and my personal page is

Anything else you would like to add?