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  • Photographer Profile: Mark Mann

    March 19th, 2014  —  Leave a Comment

    We first met Mark Mann when he offered to take portraits of the ONA team at Art Basel Miami; he was so approachable and hilarious that we were blown away when we realized that he’s taken portraits of just about every celebrity and the PRESIDENT. Mark’s an incredibly talented photographer with an impressive portfolio, but his charm lies in his lilting Scottish accent, his irrepressible good humor and his ability to make every subject feel like they’re the only person in the room.

    Mark Mann and ONA x Leica Berlin Bag

    Mark Mann carries the Leather Brixton Messenger Bag in Antique Cognac.

    Portrait by Mark MannPortrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: How did you get into photography/videography?

    MM: The short answer is that I was intrigued by a girl on a train. She happened to be studying photography at Manchester Polytechnic, and that seemed like a good idea! So I asked my art teacher in high school to show me the school darkroom, and it was love at first print. There was a certain magic to watching images develop in the tray. My early attempts were just objects on the enlarger with paper underneath, very “Man Ray.” I then of course applied to Manchester to follow the girl and study photography; no romantic interlude can be reported but I did learn to take photos.

    Portrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?

    MM: Horses for courses: the go-to commercial workhorse is the Leica S-System, with that 120mm macro. For my personal work, I love the Leica M and on special occasions my beloved Graflex RB from 1940. And, of course, my iPhone!

    Portrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?

    MM: I was extremely fortunate to shoot my dream project for Esquire magazine last year. 80 portraits of 80 men, ages 1 through 80–including a portrait of the President in the White House. I feel a bit like an astronaut now; I’m not sure how I’ll ever match that.

    Portrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer/videographer?

    MM: The hardest thing about being a photographer these days is being paid your worth. There’s so much is available and our culture demands that quality for free. Carving a niche where you’re actually paid can be tricky.

    Portrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: Describe your style of shooting.

    MM: I try not to overshoot. Shoot slowly, think, make decisions, push for the photo you want. Don’t just take what’s given.

    Portrait by Mark Mann

    ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer/videographer just starting out?

    Shoot to what you have access to, what you can get close to. Listen to your clients: remember they’re paying your bills.Mark Mann and ONA Leather Brixton

    ONA: How did you hear about us?

    I first saw ONA bags at Art Basel Miami; again, it was love at first sight…

    CONNECT WITH MARK MANN

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    Note: photos of Mark were taken by Andrew Ryan Shepherd.

  • The Berlin: ONA x Leica Collaboration Bag

    March 12th, 2014  —  12 Comments

    ONA is excited to announce our very first collaboration bag! Created to celebrate 100 years of Leica photography, the Berlin Messenger Bag is a limited edition ONA bag designed specifically for the Leica M-System.

    The Berlin: ONA x Leica Collaboration Bag The Berlin: ONA x Leica Collaboration Bag

    The Berlin is handcrafted with full-grain leather that will develop a rich patina over time. The signature Leica red interior is fully customizable, padded with premium closed-cell foam, and can accommodate one Leica M-System camera, two to three lenses, an iPad and small personal items. The Berlin also features a zipped organizer pocket, a convenient removable top-grab handle, antique brass buckles, red rivet accents and a streamlined back pocket.

    Available for a limited time exclusively at onabags.com and Leica Stores in the United States. Limited quantities will be available at select retailers worldwide later this spring.

    SHOP THE BERLIN NOW

    7D1A6756 7D1A6730 7D1A6712 7D1A6706 leica leica2

  • Retailer Profile: Leica Store SoHo

    March 10th, 2014  —  Leave a Comment

    Although we sell directly from our website, ONA also partners with select retail stores throughout the United States and the world to sell ONA camera bags and accessories. Our retail partnerships expose us to a larger audience, as well as allow people to feel the bags before purchasing. Over the past few years, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our retailers and their customers and experience how they’re adapting to the changing world of photography. We wanted to give you a glimpse into these stores, and highlight each retailer’s unique personality.

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    We’re particularly grateful for our retail partnership with Leica: we’re currently sold in the Leica Store Washington DC (since it opened in May 2012 as the first dedicated Leica store in the United States), Leica Store Miami and Leica Store Los Angeles. However, the Leica Store SoHo is likely the closest to our hearts: located just a few blocks away from our New York office, we’re able to pop into this store on a regular basis to hear about the latest celebrity sightings, see how the bags are displayed or attend a gallery opening. Manager Chris Durkin was kind enough to sit down with us and answer a few of our questions about the Leica Store SoHo:

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA: How would you describe your store’s personality in one sentence?

    CD: We’re laid-back, comfortable, not intimidating. Leica can be an intimidating brand, and we try to go out of our way not to be.

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA: For your own photography, what are your favorite types of photos to take? 

    CD: I’m not a photographer, but almost everyone else on our staff is a very talented, professional photographer. Many were dedicated Leica shooters far before they started working in the store.

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA: What keeps customers coming back?

    CD: There’s a real sense of friendship. So many of our customers become friends!  [Staff chimes in: "It's the warm and wonderful service, and long-flowing locks!"]

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA: What’s one of your favorite customer stories?

    CD: A popular musician came in looking for a Monochrome. When he mentioned who we was, I realized that I had tickets to his show that night. He bought the camera and we ended up meeting up before the show and taking photos together of the opening band. He took me backstage to meet the rest of the band and take their photos. We’ve kept in touch, and now we always shoot together when he has a gig in town.

    On that note, another reason why we’re able to keep some of our high-profile customers coming back is that same sense of friendship. We have a lot of celebrities who shop here, and we don’t hound them. We provide excellent service, but we don’t bow down, and I think they appreciate that.

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA + Leica Store SoHo

    ONA: Where’s your favorite place to take a break in the neighborhood?

    This is a frustrating question! All of our favorite restaurants and cafes have shut down recently. However, we do like to go the Raccoon Lodge to get a drink and blow off steam after work. It’s a place where we like to catch up with some of our customers who have become friends!

    CONNECT WITH LEICA STORE SOHO

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  • Where ONA Goes: Peru with Daniel Maissan

    March 6th, 2014  —  2 Comments
    Each ONA bag is named after a place that founder Tracy Foster has traveled, all the way from Camps Bay in South Africa (where she came up with the idea for ONA) to her favorite neighborhoods in New York, like Brooklyn and Chelsea. The entire ONA team loves to travel, and we adore living vicariously through our customers who take ONA bags to new and beautiful places.
    Daniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in Peru
    Daniel Maissan is happiest when he’s in a new place with nothing but one of his two Leica rangefinders. The Dutch photographer  travels around the world and shoots for smaller organizations, young creative talent and people that are open to experiments and give him carte-blanche. He recently took his Leather Brixton Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag–in his words, the best camera bag he’s ever had–to Cusco, Peru where he took photos for a Dutch foundation helping families with autistic children. We’re in awe of the emotion and beauty he captures in black and white, and of the personalities and culture that shines through in his images of the Peruvian streets.
    Daniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in Peru
    Daniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in Peru
    Daniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in PeruDaniel Maissan & ONA Leather Brixton in Peru
    CONNECT WITH DANIEL
  • Where ONA Goes: New Zealand with Cami Jane

    February 26th, 2014  —  Leave a Comment

    Each ONA bag is named after a place that founder Tracy Foster has traveled, all the way from Camps Bay in South Africa (where she came up with the idea for ONA) to her favorite neighborhoods in New York, like Brooklyn and Chelsea. The entire ONA team loves to travel, and we adore living vicariously through our customers who take ONA bags to new and beautiful places.

    ONA Bolton Street and Cami Jane in New Zealand

    Cami Jane is a wedding photographer based in Orange County, California. She had the opportunity to travel to Tamworth, Australia to photograph a wedding. While she was down under, she and her husband decided to go to Bay of Islands, New Zealand for a quick holiday because they figured:”When else will we be on this side of the globe?!” We love the wide open spaces of the wedding she photographed in Australia, and the beautiful natural backdrop for her Bolton Street Backpack as they hiked through the Bay of Islands.

    New Zealand by Cami JaneNew Zealand by Cami JaneNew Zealand by Cami Jane07_New Zealand by Cami Jane_onaNew Zealand by Cami JaneNew Zealand by Cami JaneONA Bolton Street and Cami Jane in New ZealandONA Bolton Street and Cami Jane in New ZealandONA Bolton Street and Cami Jane in New Zealand

    CONNECT WITH CAMI JAME

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  • Where ONA Goes: Madrid with Dylan and Sara

    February 19th, 2014  —  10 Comments

    Each ONA bag is named after a place that founder Tracy Foster has traveled, all the way from Camps Bay in South Africa (where she came up with the idea for ONA) to her favorite neighborhoods in New York, like Brooklyn and Chelsea. The entire ONA team loves to travel, and we adore living vicariously through our customers who take ONA bags to new and beautiful places.

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Newlyweds Dylan and Sara are wedding photographers with an adorable love story of their own. They’re currently in a whirlwind of travel across the United States and Europe, recently completing workshops in Austin and Madrid. Dylan and Sara kept a pair of Brixtons close as trusty travel companions as they discovered the beautiful city and rugged surrounding landscapes of Madrid. Their images are ridiculously romantic, making us fall in love with Spain–colorful blooms! glass ceilings! ancient stone walls!–and developing some serious style crushes on the two of them. 

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan exploring in the mountains near Miranda de Ebro, Spain with his ONA Smoke Union Street Messenger Bag.

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Sara wandering the streets of Madrid with her ONA Antique Cognac Leather Brixton Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag.

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    The gorgeous Crystal Palace in Buen Retiro Park in central Madrid.

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    Dylan and Sara with ONA Brixton bags in Spain

    CONNECT WITH DYLAN AND SARA

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  • ONA camera bags are now in Canada!

    February 14th, 2014  —  Leave a Comment

    Maple syrup, poutine, wide open spaces, really nice people: you can finally add ONA bags to the list of awesome things you can find in Canada.

    Yukon, Canada by Michael O'Neal We’re thrilled to announce that ONA camera bags and accessories are now available in our great neighbor to the north. Broadway Camera in Vancouver, The Camera Store in Calgary and Downtown Camera in Toronto all currently have stock of ONA products–and more retailers will continue to be added.

    ONA products are now sold in 18 countries and have more than 20 retail partners in the United States. A full list of where you can find ONA is here. Of course, all products are available on our website and we ship to most countries around the globe!

    Photo above supplied by the talented Michael O’Neal. See more of his beautiful photos of Yukon, Canada here. 

  • What’s in Matt and Molly’s ONAs

    February 12th, 2014  —  Leave a Comment

    In celebration of Valentine’s Day this month, we’re featuring couples who both carry ONA bags. 

    Between product and lifestyle photo shoots, we have plenty of chances to experiment with how much gear can fit in each ONA and how to style each bag. But we’re always inspired and impressed by how real-life ONA owners manage to make the bags work for them (keep sharing your photos with us on social media!), so we decided to highlight how some of our favorite photographers make their bag work for them.

    MollyandI

    Matt and Molly are a couple of photographers and creatives from (chilly) Chillicothe, Ohio who just recently announced their engagement–via Instagram, of course–and both were wearing ONA bags for the very special moment! While we adore their work, we’re also just blown away by their constant cheer: their positive spirit seems to emanate out of every photo they take and every interaction we have with them online. So grateful to call Matt and Molly our customers–ONA wishes you both a lifetime of happiness!

    ONA Camera Bags by Matt Day

    They’ve got quite the ONA set-up in their home: Matt uses the Camps Bay Backpack in Field Tan for work and the Bowery Camera Bag and Insert on personal photo adventures, while Molly carries the Brooklyn Camera Satchel daily. Here’s what Matt and Molly are carrying in each of their ONAs:

    ONA Brooklyn Camera Bag by Matt Day ONA Brooklyn Camera Bag by Matt Day

    The Brooklyn Camera Satchel
    Molly’s Bag
    • Nikon FE
    • Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
    • Polaroid SX-70 Sonar
    • Kodak Tri-X and Impossible SX-70 Color Film
    • Wallet, makeup, keys, etc.
    ONA Camps Bay Camera Backpack by Matt Day
    ONA Camps Bay Camera Backpack by Matt Day
    The Camps Bay Backpack
    Matt’s Work Bag
    • Mamiya RZ67 Pro II
    • Mamiya 110mm f/2.8
    • Mamiya 180mm f/4.5
    • Sekonic L-208
    • Kodak Tri-X, Kodak Portra 160, and Kodak Portra 800
    • Business cards, pen, notepad, etc.
    ONA Bowery Camera Bag by Matt Day
    ONA Bowery Camera Bag by Matt Day
    The Bowery Camera Bag & Insert
    Matt’s Personal Bag
    • Leica M6TTL
    • Leica M8 (used to take these photos)
    • Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH
    • Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron
    • JCH film case full of Kodak Tri-X
    • Filters, pen, notepad, etc.

     CONNECT WITH MATT AND MOLLY

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  • Blogger Profile: The Silver Lining

    February 7th, 2014  —  1 Comment
    In honor of Valentine’s Day this month, we’re featuring couples who both carry ONA bags. 
    For many of the photographers we highlight, their love of taking photos has parlayed itself into a full-time career. For others, photography is simply a passion: a way to document their daily lives, immerse themselves in art, capture fleeting moments of beauty or that perfect ray of streaming light. Sarah and Jinn are in the latter category: as young doctors in Western Australia, they started The Silver Lining Blog as a way to highlight the things in life that make them happy.
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONASarah carries the Palma Camera Satchel, while Jinn carries the Black Brixton Camera Messenger Bag.
    ONA: How did you get into blogging?
    SLB: 2012 was a rather dry and stressful year for us both studying for exams. A much needed holiday to New York in October of that year saw us cross paths with a number of inspiring bloggers (eg Joy Deangdeelert Cho from Oh Joy!, *swoons*). Also, I don’t know what it is about New York, but its vibrancy and overflowing sense of creativity just rubs off on you. We came back from that holiday, refreshed, recharged and completely compelled to start our own blog, filled with our loves and interests.
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    ONA: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
    SLB: We love taking photographs of our travels. Some of our most favourite photographs are from the Kimberley region, in the north-west of Australia. It’s a rugged, remote and beautiful place that very few people have the privilege of visiting. Taking photos whilst travelling helps us to appreciate the beauty of a place, and not just rush past on the way to somewhere else.
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    ONA: How does photography play a role on your blog?
    SLB: Photography is extremely important on our blog. A blog, by its very nature, is a visual art form. Creating beautiful and captivating images allows us to demonstrate our aesthetic to our readers.
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA
    ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?

    SLB: Jinn’s camera of choice is his trusty Canon 6D, which seems to be permanently attached to a 50mm f1.4 lens. It’s a simple but effective combination.

     

     

    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA 

    ONA: What inspired you to start your blog?

    SLB: We were both keen blog readers and after spending a lot of time feeling drained and cramped by work and study, we felt that this would be the perfect outlet to explore and flex our creative sides. Beautiful imagery coupled with artful but honest writing is our aim.

    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA

    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA 

    ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

    SLB: Having only been in existence in the blogosphere for just over a year we feel barely qualified to answer that question! But our words to you would be, “Your words and talents count, so don’t be afraid to express them!”

    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA

    The Silver Lining Blog + ONA

    ONA: What’s your favorite post on your site and why? [i.e. the best "introduction" to what your site is all about]

    SLB: Our blog has evolved already so much in the short time we’ve been around – there’s a mixture of fashion posts, food posts, lifestyle and travel. Sarah’s personal reflection on life and travel from July 2013 is probably our favourite post to date.

    Jinn with ONA Brixton Messenger Bag

    Sarah with ONA Palma Satchel

    Silver Linings Blog with ONA bags

     ONA: How did you hear about ONA?

    SLB: After getting our hands on a decent SLR, the next step was to kit it out with a good looking, ultra-cool camera bag. After some furious searching Sarah came across ONA, and she fell instantly in love with all of the bags! We settled on the Brixton for Jinn, and were so impressed with the quality and hardiness of the bag that it was only a matter of time before Sarah got her own treasured Palma bag.

    CONNECT WITH THE SILVER LINING BLOG
  • Photographer Profile: Brandon & Kristin Kidd

    February 4th, 2014  —  4 Comments

    In honor of Valentine’s Day this month, we’re featuring couples who both carry ONA bags. 

    We first met the Kidds at WPPI last year through Troy Grover (whom we also featured in a Photograper Profile!) and we were immediately smitten by this incredibly talented and good-looking pair. They’re passionately in love: with each other, with their craft, with the business that they’ve built of capturing the love and beauty in the world. What a perfect pair of wedding photographers!

    Kristin & Brandon Kidd with ONA Camera Bags 

    Brandon wears the Leather Brixton Camera Messenger Bag in Antique Cognac, while Kristin carries the Brooklyn Camera Satchel in Chestnut.

    ONA: How did you get into photography?

    BK: I fell in love with photography at a young age. My passion for it must have been evident since I received my first 35mm camera as a Christmas gift at the age of 13. I was lucky enough to travel and see a lot of the world growing up and I quickly realized that photography was a way for me to hold on to a piece of each place I traveled to. I found myself constantly shooting, which eventually led to shooting my first wedding at 19 years old. By the time I was ready to make photography my full time career, Kristin and I had rekindled our friendship and began shooting together. Seven years later and we’re still able to do what we love together.

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?

    BK: Digital: Canon 5D Mark III. It is usually paired with a 50mm 1.2L or an 85mm 1.2L. Film: Mamiya 645 AFD on portra film

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?

    BK: I love shooting portraits- whether it’s for a fashion editorial, travel documentary or a couple in love. I feel most fulfilled creatively when I have the freedom to craft genuine and authentic portraits. It might sound cliché but over the last nine years I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly amazing people and projects that I feel I am already living my ‘dream project’ by finding so much fulfillment and satisfaction in a career that I can be passionate about. We are blessed to be able to do what we love.

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

     ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?

    BK: I think the hardest thing for anyone self employed is the day-to-day challenges that comes with being an entrepreneur- especially trying to balance your personal life with your work.

    With photography specifically, I feel the most difficult challenge is staying relevant and inspiring while staying true to yourself. In such a creative industry it’s easy to compare yourself to other artists. Instead of allowing it to discourage you, you can use other’s creativity to grow and strengthen your own abilities.

    Each year I take time to reflect on where I am as a photographer and how I can grow. When I look back over the years and can see how I’ve developed my skills it reminds me that I still have plenty of room for growth. It drives me to continue to perfect my craft.

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    ONA: Describe your style of shooting.

    BK: Our style of shooting is to create a natural environment where moments can happen organically. We guide our clients as opposed to directing them, which I think helps to create a timeless image.

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    Brandon Kidd + ONA

    ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out? 

    BK: I think it’s good to find other artists that inspire you. But as soon as that turns to discouragement, you need to stop and focus on your own unique talents. There is only one of you- and the rest of the world has nothing on that.

    Brandon Kidd + ONA Leather Brixton Camera Bag

    Kristin Kidd + ONA Brooklyn

    Kristin & Brandon Kidd with ONA Camera Bags

    ONA: How did you hear about us?

    BK: Our friends, Troy and Aimee Grover, introduced us to ONA bags. When we got a chance to see them in person at WPPI we were sold on the quality and artistry of the bags. We are constantly receiving compliments on them!

    CONNECT WITH THE KIDDS

    WEBSITE I BLOG I FACEBOOK I BRANDON INSTAGRAM I KRISTIN INSTAGRAM