Although he was not actually born with a camera in his hand, Walter Psotka has certainly lived out every aspect of his life around his chosen calling. From the tender years, Walter has been peering at the world through the lens of a camera. At the age of 17, he had the first taste of the publication and recognition of his work.
Throughout his University career, Walter could usually be found in the student council darkrooms. His work, at this time, included prints for the University newspaper, newsletters and assorted school publications. At the same time, he worked for Pollution Probe Scarborough as photographer and photographic printer. During this time, Walter took the opportunity to master the professional equipment that was available to him.
Walter had his first stint as a freelance photographer after graduation, doing television stills for Global TV. He then spent the next six years in photographic retail, doing freelance photography evenings and weekends to assist in the purchase of his own studio equipment. In 1979, he became assistant manager for “Town Portraits” in the Scarborough Town Centre. During this time, Walter first joined the Professional Photographers of Ontario. In the autumn of 1980, Walter purchased the business of a retiring photographer on Yonge St. and became more heavily involved with the P.P.O. After 10 years on the executive board, Walter served 2 1/2 years as chairman. It was during this time in 1993 that he received the award for International Day Photographer of the Year – competing against top photographers in Ontario and New York State. In 1995 Walter opened up a new studio in Toronto, two blocks south of his original studio. In June of 2012, Walter moved his studio again to 39 Alvin Avenue at the corner of Yonge and St. Clair (Alvin is the first street East of Yonge, running North of St.Clair).
Walter specializes in public relations photography, wedding photography, personal and executive portraiture, the restoration of old photographs and archival printing. As a lifelong student and teacher of photography, Walter has had the opportunity to train with some of Canada’s finest “old masters”, veterans in photography from whom he learned the subtle techniques in posing, lighting and restoration.
His skills in traditional photography have put him way ahead of his competitors in the realm of digital photography. Walter has a reputation for taking on the most challenging of assignments, meeting needs and fulfilling expectations while having fun in the process. A detailed consultation with the client is taken before the sitting or shoot to discern the context and expectations of the desired photograph.
Budget and time parameters are also discussed so that all parties involved are quite satisfied. For Walter, good communication with his clients is essential. He has been located in the Yonge & St. Clair area for over 30 years and is a well loved and well connected member of the local community. Walter has been a member of the Toronto Eglinton Rotary Club for over twelve years and has just completed a term as the Club President.
Walter has also been called ” Toronto’s Best Photographer ” in the media… but the comment that Walter enjoys hearing most from his clients is, “My God…you’re a real photographer!” Many people out there call themselves “Photographers”, but very few have the depth and experience that Walter has. He is also constantly studying and upgrading his skills.
He is truly an artist, a craftsman, an accomplished retoucher, a very intuitive photo-psychologist, and most certainly a damned good photographer.