Last fall, we launched our capsule collection with Passion Passport: five vibrant, limited edition colorways for their 5th anniversary. To celebrate the 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 third profile—conducted by the Passion Passport editorial team—we spoke with photographer and founder of Venture Patagonia Carrie Hartsfield, currently living in Patagonia, Chile.
Carrie carries the ONA x Passion Passport Bowery in “Sea”.
How did you choose photography as your creative medium? I picked up photography when I first moved to Patagonia because I was inspired to learn about the technical and creative aspects of the medium. It felt as though I had an obligation to share the places around me with the rest of the world. No matter how many photos you see of a place, nothing can replace the feeling of being there in person and feeling the immensity and beauty of a landscape. That said, with photography, one is able to get close to capturing that “feeling” and hope that it overtakes a person when they look at an image.
How has photography changed the way you look at the world? Since taking up photography, I have gained a new appreciation for all of the world’s little things, and the power to capture a single moment and turn it into a memory that others can see. I never woke up for sunrise before traveling with my friend Hannes and learning about photography. Now I look forward to seeing that morning light hit the mountains on the regular.
What goes into your creative process? When I am planning a shoot, I brainstorm the types of scenes and scenarios I want to capture. Then, I take a few days to think through the process and snap photos on my iPhone of new angles or locations I see. Once I have those in my head, I actually go out and enjoy nature — meaning, I do something like go on a horseback ride, take a mini road trip with my co-worker, go to a family BBQ, etc. During those times, I connect to natural scenes and find inspiration for my shoots.
How does environment impact your work? I am located in the Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, the southernmost section of the continental Americas. The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is the third-largest temperate sheet of ice in the world, behind Antarctica and Greenland. So, as you can imagine, the impacts of global warming are right in my face. I see them and feel them everyday. Having these things in front of me challenges me to share their beauty and their story with others.
What’s it been like to shoot with the ONA x Passion Passport Bowery? Traveling with the bag made bringing my camera and taking it out much more natural. Because I was able to keep the bag strapped around me, I could finally ride horses and run around — it made it easy to take out my camera, shoot, put it away again, and keep moving. I used to only use my phone when I went horseback riding for this reason, which is a shame because we typically go to some incredible places that I would end up not capturing. In the same respect, when I am driving in my car, the bag fits next to me in the center console, so I can stop the car, get out, and take a quick shot anywhere.
My aim is to capture authentic moments as naturally as possible. The convenience of the bag enables me to do so with ease. The bag is actually my first solely dedicated to my camera. I used to only use an in-case unit, which I would move from backpack to backpack. This would require me to stop what I was doing, take the bag off, and get the camera out. But this one is small enough that I can bring it anywhere, fit my camera in it, and bring extra tools along.
How did you approach shooting the “Sea” colorway? Most of the photos I took show how I use the bag during my day-to-day experiences — among the mountains and farmlands. I was inspired by the contrast of the blue bag and the yellow pampa fields, as well as by the surrounding landscape of glacial lakes, fjords, and mountains.
Why do you think collaboration is so important? Collaboration in these spaces are important for two reasons. First, it engages wider audiences and inspires them to experience the world in a new way. Collaboration also challenges the makers involved to reflect on their daily experiences while developing unique ways to show their world view.