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.
Cody James wears the Leather Union Street in Walnut
Photographer Cody James is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but he currently resides in Brooklyn. He’s enthusiastic about the outdoors and when he’s not shooting, camping, or doing any other outdoor activity, you can find him drinking a ton of coffee and / or skating around the city. Cody also enjoys playing music, traveling, and petting almost every dog that crosses his path.
CJ: I’ve always had a desire to document places and activities visually. Looking back, I started this path when I was a kid, saving up for disposable cameras to take on a summer vacation. Even though I had no idea what I was doing, something about clicking the shutter and getting the physical prints back from the lab had me hooked. I didn’t start taking it “seriously” until my later adolescence. Ever since, a camera has been the greatest vehicle to new experiences. Whether I met someone awesome, through a job, that jams out to the same bands as I do, or if I traveled to an amazing place that has been on my list for a while because of photography. It’s much more than taking photos, it’s about the relationships you make along the way.
CJ: I typically shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II and regularly use the 35L or 50L. However, the Canon SureShot has been a staple lately.
CJ: The type of project that drives my creativity is when a whole team of great people is on the same page with vision of the specific project. To be able to continue this like-mindedness and creativity among a team is the dream.
CJ: The hardest part about being a photographer is definitely staying on top of the office work. A lot of my time consists of cataloging, organizing, emailing, and other things I wouldn’t rather be doing than being outside or shooting.
CJ: I try to keep things as loose and natural as possible. I feel if the interactions are honest, the greater the impact the image has overall.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
CJ: Surround yourself with great people who push you, not just as an artist but as a person too.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
CJ: I heard some buzz about these great camera bags and then I had the opportunity to shoot my friend, Noah, for his profile. I fell in love with the bag and have been using it ever since!
Note: photos of Cody were kindly taken by Noah Sahady.