Czech photographer Jan Řeháček took a winding, bumpy road to find his passion – and coincidentally, it happened to be off the beaten path, with a dog by his side.
Řeháček, known to his over 2 million Instagram followers as @Kopernikk, studied business and held a few jobs, but never settled into a career he loved. He worked in insurance sales, and then retail, but had little light in life.
On top of his job woes, he also dealt with stress stemming from mental, physical, and financial issues as well as cardiac arrhythmia. In a recent interview with Adobe Create Magazine, Kopernikk says,
“My life completely sucked. I didn’t know what to do.”
But thanks to a few friends and fate, Kopernikk found his path. A girlfriend sparked his interest in photography and told him about Instagram. And a trip to the Czech Republic’s Giant Mountains intensified his love for the outdoors, and eventually led him to Sitka.
“In November 2014, my friend Jirka invited me to Špindlerův Mlýn in our Giant Mountains. The weather was so magical—I was like Alice in Wonderland, and I made hundreds and hundreds of photos on my mobile phone…. This day changed everything, and I knew then what I wanted to do with my life. It’s also the reason I have Sitka, my Czechoslovakian Wolfdog—I’ve always loved wolves, and when I started traveling I decided I wanted to have my own ‘wolf’ as a travel buddy.”
Since the photo above was shared to Instagram – the first of Sitka – he has appeared in most of Kopernikk’s photos. The two share the outdoors together and appear to have an incredible bond.
Many of Kopernikk’s photos are like the one above, a photo of Sitka outdoors, enjoying the touch of her favorite person.
Kopernikk’s hometown is close enough to these beautiful nautral areas that he doesn’t have to travel far for photos, but he and Sitka often take trips to get good shots.
The pair doesn’t mind sleeping under the stars for the sake of their work. In fact, the two look entirely at home outside.
Though he enjoys photographing landscapes, Sitka is easily Kopernikk’s favorite subject. He is prominent in most of the photos posted to Instagram.
“When I’m shooting Sitka, I shoot three times and choose one where he looks better or more like a wolf.”
Together, Jan and Sitka have redefined what it means to be an “outside dog.” Follow them on Instagram to see more incredible photos like these.
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