The team at ONA loves to highlight emerging photographers and feature established photographers: it’s less about renown or experience and more about the feelings stirred by the images created. We’re constantly amazed by the incredible variety of photographers who use ONA bags: there’s no standard background, education, subject, inspiration, industry. The only constant is that they’re trying–and usually succeeeding–to tell a story in one captured moment.
Jeremy wears the Union Street in Black
At ONA, we believe that photos can tell powerful stories that help make a difference in the world. Charity: water, a nonprofit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to the millions of people living without it, uses inspiring images to help tell the story of how clean water is transforming lives around the globe. We’re constantly inspired by the photographers that contribute images to charity: water. One of our favorite freelancers who has done a number of projects for charity: water and other humanitarian organizations is Jeremy Snell: his portraits are able to capture a person, a place, a time in a beautifully moving fashion.
ONA: How did you get into photography/videography?
JS: I sort of fell into it by accident. When I was 14, I bought a point-and-shoot camera to document my trip to Africa. I’m not quite sure what happened on that trip, but I’ve never really put a camera down since. It became a very strong form of self-expression for me; somewhere along that road, people started paying me to do it. Even though it is my profession now, it’s still a very personal thing for me.
Video was something that came much later when the whole DSLR video craze took over. I think I’ve come to a point where I love them both (video and photography) equally now – they force me to exercise different creative muscles. I feel like my beginnings in still photography have definitely influenced the way I shoot films and craft narratives though, the visual elements tend to take priority for me.
JS: I own a 5D mkiii for stills, Red Epic for video, and an iPhone 5S; but I’ll shoot with whatever camera suits the project.
For stills, my current lens of choice is the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 art lens. It’s super sharp! For video, I’ve really been liking the filmic look of the Dog Schidt Optics FF58. I also have fallen in love with anamorphic lenses, specifically the Iscorama 36.
JS: Projects that involve telling compelling stories or exploring new and interesting ways of viewing people and things are the best. Though, my favorite type of work involves capturing and showcasing people of unique cultures; any project that lets me do that is a dream project.
JS: Personally holding myself accountable to push myself beyond my own creative boundaries is always a struggle – it can get really easy and comfortable to do the same thing over and over again. The balance between creating content that speaks to me personally, and content that is driven by the audience or what others may want to see is also something I struggle with. Ultimately, I want to help people see the world and themselves differently through my art. When I see that happen, it inspires me and enables me to push through my own personal barriers.
JS: An even mix between commercial and photojournalistic approaches. Some have called it environmental portrait photography.
JS: Find out what you like and what inspires you. Look at thousands of images – figure out what you like and what you don’t like. The faster you discover what your own style of art looks like, the better people will be able to hold on to it and ask for more. Most importantly, shoot what moves YOU emotionally and creatively.
JS: I saw a bunch of my friends at Charity:Water sporting your bags. I got jealous.