Ethereal is the first word that comes to mind when describing Tec Petaja’s photography: “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world,” as the dictionary puts it. As a film shooter and wedding photographer, he’s particularly attuned to capturing natural light and beautiful landscapes, fleeting moments and lasting love.
Tec carries the Leather Bowery in Antique Cognac.
ONA: How did you get into photography/videography?
TP: After graduating high school I traveled throughout India and Nepal for 3 months with a mission program called YWAM. While I was there I had an old 35mm camera that my parents gave me and I shot as much as I could and had everything developed while I was in Nepal. It’s funny because some of those images are still my favorite images and it was an old lab that processed everything. I couldn’t tell you to this day what the lab was called. Now I use Richard Photo Lab which I love.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
TP: My go-to camera is the Contax 645 with the 80mm 2.0 Carl Zeiss lens along with the Contax G2 which is a 35mm.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?
TP: I’m the most creative when I traveling. If I don’t have anything planned I think of places I dream of and start putting together a trip as well as lifestyle shoots I could do along the way. My dream project is working alongside Travel & Leisure shooting a destination for them. My big trip this year is Iceland. I’ve dreamed of that place for a couple years now.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
TP: The business of it all! If I could just shoot and not have to deal with anything else I would love that but that’s just part of owning your own business.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
TP: Natural. Because I shoot film I try and find the beauty of natural light which I love.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
TP: Hire your weakness. A few years back I finally hired an accountant and it’s been something I don’t need to worry about nor think about which allows me to focus on my strengths.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
TP: This past summer I was in the Leica store in Los Angeles and I noticed ONA Bags and became obsessed with them! I love a good bag and so far my Bowery has been perfect.