About the photographer
Valerie is classically trained in photography and received her training in art school at Hope College in West Michigan. While in college she had the opportunity to work in the college’s art gallery where she learned how to curate many shows. Her interactions with artists in the community and professors gave her a strong understanding of the fine art space. Being trained in photography gave her a knowledge of the craft which would be her foundation in the principles of composition, color, and light. While a student, she also worked for the local newspaper and two wedding photographers. Having experienced the world of portrait photography and photojournalism, she decided to focus on fine art photography which allowed her expressive freedom and the ability to show her unique style.
In 2007, Valerie moved to Chicago to have more access to world-class arts and culture. She spent the next few years building her portfolio, traveling, and doing group shows in Chicago. Her focus was mainly urban landscapes in Chicago, New York, and Paris. She also spent time photographing the landscapes and people of Kenya and Tanzania.
In 2015, she moved to California where she and her husband started their photography brand, Playa Photo PDR. The name represents her love for the ever-changing ocean landscape in their small beach town of Playa Del Rey. Los Angeles has given her the opportunity to be in a highly creative city where she can be inspired not only by the beautiful landscape but by other artists. She has shown her work in downtown Los Angeles as part of Photo Independent, and in Santa Monica at Bergamot Station. She has also expanded to other cities on the West Coast such as Portland, Oregon. Black Box Gallery in Portland regularly features her work in their shows. As Valerie continues to stretch herself creatively, she will continue to show her work and demonstrate her unique perspective and aesthetic.
Valerie Smith (Creative Director, Photographer)
To order prints or any of the photographs seen on this website please reach out for pricing. Various size and finishing options are available. Additional photos can be viewed on our Instagram or Facebook account: