Last month, we launched our new capsule collection with Passion Passport: five vibrant, limited edition colorways for their 5th anniversary. To celebrate the ONA x Passion Passport collection, we’ve asked five talented photographers from around the world to tell us about their creative journey and process, and put the bags to work in their daily creative lives. For our first profile—conducted by the Passion Passport editorial team—we spoke with multi-disciplinary photographer and creator Andrew Kearns.
How did you choose photography as your creative medium? I love taking photos and documenting my travels and experiences — it’s always been fun no matter the camera at hand. However, I love documenting through video and vlogs as well. That said, beyond photo and video, I make it a point to be a positive voice to those who choose to follow my adventures. My life is pretty unreal — I get to do what I love for work, but that’s due to years of hard work and persistence. I don’t want people to look at my life and be jealous. I want them to get out there and make their dreams happen too — take it from a kid who quit Starbucks, stepped out of his comfort zone, and is currently being interviewed by [Passion Passport]. I want to inspire folks push past their fears and doubt, which is why I choose these mediums to express myself.
How has photography changed the way you look at the world? I see photography in everything. I’ll think, Oh, that’s a cool composition, as I see a lamppost in the middle of an empty field. I recognize interesting compositions and colors differently than I used to, but more so, I’d say that it has brought many new experiences into my life and has opened my mind to different perspectives. Traveling changes you, and taking photos and documenting is fun, so combining the two brings about new experiences and different points of view (literally and figuratively!).
What goes into your creative process? I’m not sure how many folks still use Pinterest, but I go hard on that platform. It’s the best way I’ve found to mood-board your ideas, find inspiration, and share it with others who are involved in what you’re creating. That said, during a shoot, I mostly focus on composition — without even realizing it. I try and step back, look at the scene, frame it in my mind, and go from there. I use the Canon 24-70L ii for that reason: it gives you a variety of different options to play with, composition wise.
How does environment impact your work? Oh my, environment impacts me immensely! Photography is all about capturing a feeling, and I want to inspire people to get outside by expressing exactly how I feel when I’m in the environment that I’m in. There’s something incredibly soothing about the constant white noise of the ocean, the complete silence of a forest, and even the constant motion of somewhere like NYC. I feel small in these places, which is a comforting feeling for me and one that I try to display in my work. I think that’s why I’m drawn to “small people, big places” kinds of pictures. I want to present and share my feelings of and in those environment.
What’s it been like to shoot with the ONA x Passion Passport Bowery? It’s convenient and simple. I have way too many cameras, and then some. Forcing myself to pack a single camera and lens has been good for me. Decision fatigue eases up a bit, and I can focus on the shooting rather than figuring out what camera setup to utilize.
How did you approach shooting the “Forest” colorway? It matched and complimented the colors of where I like to shoot most. I love green, so shooting photos of the bag was no problem, as it matched the forest and the fall colors with ease. I usually have very “practical” bags with a lot of space for this and that, but those types of bags are typically more neutral in color, so it was fun to have something a bit different.
Why do you think collaboration is so important? At the end of the day, it’s not about competition. If you’re trying to be the best out of everyone in your field, that will burn you out. I love working with folks on projects, whether it’s brands or people, or both! In my experience, when you create something with others, and everyone addresses the collaboration with a similar vision of what you’re trying to create, the quality of the project increases exponentially. I’m not trying to compete; I’m trying to create. When you have that mindset, you can’t lose.