Artist Fellowship | Guest Stories

Meet an Artist Fellow: Irina Kryachkov, Photographer

Irina Kryachkov is a photographer based in Cleveland. In regards to her childhood and her family, Irina says, “While I’m not an only child, both of my sisters were grown and out of the house while I was growing up. I was the surprise child to my amazing parents who worked incredibly hard to bring our family to the states and they arrived with BIG dreams for us. Everyone in my Ukrainian family is in the medical field, and then there was me…”

She says that her path to becoming a photographer began at the age of nine. “I would always be cutting & pasting, drawing, and at nine years old… on a trip to Niagara Falls… I was given a camera.  On that same trip, I got to know a distant relative who had an entire wall dedicated to photo albums, and as I looked through the white and black leather-covered prints, I was just taken back by their beauty.  They were timeless. People’s faces, events, things I never was a part of—until that moment—moved me.  I thought to myself… that’s it… that’s what I want to do.  I’m not even sure I knew what that meant exactly.  To be truly honest, I still am not sure what THAT means. I just remember that feeling like it was yesterday. I’m also thankful to have had this be my inspiration and introduction to photography and to have lived during a time when there was no social media to influence me.  It happened very organically.”

“I think that’s where my love for nature comes into play,” she says, “It’s an escape where things can just happen organically.  Zero influence from the outside.”

The name of her company, Slow Morning Co., came from moments of quiet and stillness with her family. “Being a believer in Christ, I have been taught that it is good to take time to meditate.  So I love the morning when everyone in my home is still asleep. I sit and sip my coffee and watch out my front window. I journal. I read. I pray. I paint. I plan. I break down and I am inspired most in those moments of quiet and stillness. Then I hear the pitter-patter of feet coming down the stairs and without looking up… I know which of my three children it is. Every once in a while, we have the privilege of spending the morning together. This is how Slow Mornings in my house were born. My husband, my three babies, our cat, and dog… make breakfast together. We listen to 40s jazz music. We play and dance and eat in our pajamas. We are the Slow Morning Co.”

Photo by Zak Suhar at

Becoming a photographer and artist took courage for Irina. She says, “Today I am 31 years old and still very much in the learning and growing phase. I went to school and graduated as a nurse… did I mention that everyone in my family is in the medical field? Ha! I quickly realized that I had many ideas and expressions that being a nurse would NEVER allow me to achieve. So with hopes that my parents would be able to see that being an artist can also mean great success… I left the scrubs and medical jargon to the professionals.”

On her Getaway, she had to say, “It was just us. Together. Zero distractions. Inspired by each other and the beauty that surrounded us. I don’t think we could have felt safer and more connected with one another than we did on that trip. And my kids loved Getaway, because hello… bunkbeds!”

You can find more of Irina’s work on her Instagram and her website:

Want to book your own creative escape to nature? Book your Getaway today.