guest post: ONA shares 5 photographers that should be on your radar
At its core, ONA sells camera bags. But our commitment to quality goes beyond having each bag be handcrafted with premium materials: we're also committed to showcasing incredibly talented photographers. On the ONA blog, we consistently highlight awesome photographers who happen to own ONAs. Their subject matter varies (from weddings to tech companies to abandoned buildings in New York City) as does the medium (digital, film, Instagram), but they have one thing in common: great style, both in their work and in their camera bag. Here are a few photographers who embody the spirit and style of ONA: The Manchiks When people love what their job, that passion shines through. And when two people love each other, and just happen to work together, that devotion shines through in their business. Yuriy and Julia Manchik are one such example: this husband-and-wife team of wedding photographers travels the world, capturing beautifully-styled weddings and sharing their globetrotting photos on Mr. + Mrs. Globetrot. No matter how far-flung the destination is (Iceland and Cuba, most recently) or close to their Seattle home base (like the Utah backdrop to their Bowery shoot), the Manchiks manage to make each moment enthralling. Nina Westervelt Every time we hang out with Nina Westervelt, we leave feeling a little bit cooler: the woman just oozes awesome. A fashion, music and lifestyle photographer based in Brooklyn, she was behind the lens of our Summer 2013 new product lifestyle shoot and introduced us to many of the photographers featured in our latest round of product videos. As much as we love her professional work for clients like Refinery29 and RollingStone.com, we get most envious of her Instagram feed when she escapes the city. Her vacation style perfectly matches her fun, outgoing personality: lots of laid-back (Southern) charm with just the right amount of quirk. Paul Octavious Paul Octavious is one of those upbeat, creative spirits that we can just barely keep up with: we're constantly in awe of his clever take on the commonplace (have you seen how beautifully he organizes his books?) and the genuine kindness and enthusiasm for life that seems to emanate from each interaction with him. Based in Chicago, Paul has had his projects featured by the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Paris Review and has worked with brands like Nike, Wired and the Wall Street Journal. Needless to say, the guy is kind of a big deal”“and he's also a big fan of his Camps Bay Backpack. Sam Horine It's been said that New York City is the best place for a traveler to be based. Not only is it easy to escape to a brand-new city or country via several airports, there are countless neighborhoods to eat and explore, from Little Italy to Little Colombia to Chinatown. Sam Horine is one such traveling soul: while he's constantly exploring the abandoned and forgotten neighborhoods of New York City (we're particularly enthralled with the fantastic street art he finds), he also seems to be in a new exotic locale practically every month. As a freelance photographer and popular Instagrammer, his work covers of a broad spectrum, with recent projects like taking over the TriBeCa Film Festival Instagram feed and shooting for the New York Rangers and the Israeli Board of Tourism. If you want to be inspired to cross the globe or perhaps just look at your own neighborhood with fresh eyes, look no further: Sam's photos can give even the most sedentary soul a dash of wanderlust. Helena Price Helena recently switched coasts, moving from the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn (and that beautiful rooftop featured in the video) to the seven hills of San Francisco where she shoots for super-cool tech brands like DropBox, Square and Yammer. Even though we miss her talent and her smile in New York City, we love that she's discovered such a cool niche among the hottest companies of our generation.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
My business goals have changed a lot over the last few years. This year, my hope is to work on a handful of commercial projects with companies I believe in, and to carve out more time to work on personal projects. Both are important, but I believe growth and your creative voice is developed when you let your imagination run free without the constraints of it being “work.”
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.