Five Questions with:

Jon Kreye

Author of Up North: Getaways of Minnesota and Wisconsin

Tell us about yourself
Tell us about yourself
My name is Jon Kreye and I am an adventure photographer and content creator originally from Hudson, Wisconsin. I am an outdoor lover who grew up camping with the boy scouts, going to cabins with my family, and hiking with friends. I've always had an appreciation for the outdoors, and the beauty of creation thanks to my awesome parents instilling it in me from a young age.

Over the years, I have learned to appreciate every opportunity presented to me, and am truly thankful to be able to do what I love in this life alongside my wonderful wife and daughter. I have been doing photography for over 10 years - starting with some very grainy and poorly shot senior photos when I was in high school, to now working with some of largest and well-known brands, organizations, and short-term rental properties in the country. I have no professional photography training, and have picked up all I know in the industry from fellow creatives, trial and error, and the web. I now shoot everything from glamping resorts, to treehouses, to luxury mansions across the country.
Jon Kreye
You travel around the U.S. shooting Airbnbs and VRBOs - how'd you get started?

I started commercial work with brands a few years back as Instagram was growing. I discovered it was a fun way to build relationships with brands and capture photos of products such as t-shirts, blankets, etc. I've since grown the business to now be asked and paid to fly around the country shooting some of the most highly desired rental properties in the whole country.

This gig has taken me on assignments from remote Alaska, to Hawaii and Vermont capturing all kinds of small, large, modern, classic and unique stays. I have the honor of staying and experiencing every property that I shoot which brings an even greater appreciation for the spaces, and opens my eyes to unique perspectives and stories to tell of the properties through my photography and content. I love meeting the hosts and hearing each of their stories about their properties - they all have many stories to tell.

Knowing you’ve stayed at a ton of cool spots, any favorites?
Knowing you’ve stayed at a ton of cool spots, any favorites?
This is VERY hard to narrow down as I have stayed in and shot almost 100 different properties. One recent favorite was a cabin that sits atop a mountain in the Vermont wilderness, called Kinadena Vermont. I was lucky enough to be their first guest after opening as an Airbnb and was able to find unbelievable peace there.

The property is very secluded sitting on over 100 acres of land and has 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and wilderness. The history of the owner who lived on this mountain and built this off-grid cabin over many years is incredible and you might just have to go stay yourself to find out the incredible story. I'll never forget the first night after arriving, I enjoyed a campfire on the peak, as the sunset during their peak fall colors and I was brought to tears by the overwhelming beauty. It is a spiritual place.
Any unique or particularly memorable places you’ve stayed?

A very memorable stay was at Shearwater Cove outside of Seward, Alaska. Every moment from this trip over two years ago remains crystal clear in my mind because I was truly in awe... in awe of the scenery, the wildlife, and unique-ness.

This property can only be accessed by boat as it is off-grid and on a mountainside in Resurrection Bay, a stunning bay filled with glaciers, whales, mountains and other wildlife. The property simply has three yurts that are perched within the forested mountainside. There are private hiking trails on the property that lead to heavenly views of the surrounding bays, mountains, and island in the bay. I loved kayaking there and saw whales, sea lions, otters, oceanside waterfalls, and salmon jumping. It will live on in my memories for a long time.

So, what's next? What are some of the places on your travel bucket list?

My travel bucket list includes visiting Yosemite, Antarctica, Norway, and going back to Alaska! I am actually planning a trip back to Alaska this summer which I cannot wait for. That was a favorite place that I lived and was constantly in awe while living there. 

Want to see more of Jon's work? Shop "Up North: Getaways of Minnesota and Wisconsin" below