The September Equinox signifies a time to reflect, to say thank you summer and bid it farewell. Today we embrace Fall, the cooler temperatures, the falling leaves and its rich colors that carry us into winter. After spending a summer exploring our surroundings we wanted to showcase what Mt. Hood has to offer. Join Gabriella Makena on an "Ancient Walk" through the Mt. Hood National Forest featuring the original music produced by Tired Eyes.
We were introduced to Gabriella Makena (@wuhugabuphotos) on Mt. Hood in the summer of 2014. She came to us with the idea to make a Treefort camera strap. Later that year we started to collaborate on an original design that turned into the Lookout Camera Strap. Her focus was to create a comfortable strap rugged enough to withstand daily abuse while hiking in any condition. In 2015 Gabriella moved to the Mt. Hood area and since then we have worked with her on countless projects around the Pacific Northwest. You can find our Lookout Camera Strap and Travelers Trunk in her Mom's local artisan shop Trillium and Sprite, located in Government Camp, Oregon. Inspiration comes in all forms and it was Gabriella that initially inspired us to start making camera straps. Find out more about what inspires Gabriella when she is on the "Lookout".
Who are the some of the photographers that you look up to?
First of all, shout out to all the lady photographers who have been killing it lately- Rachel Bock, Emily Tidwell, Savannah Pitts and many more; its been so cool to watch everyone grow and learn, and continue to take photos because that’s what we love to do! The photographers that I look up to most are the ones who go out and take photos just because it seems to make them happy. The ones who are able to show us their love for this beautiful world through their art. I want to say thanks to the Influit Media guys, Stefan Poulos, Kipp Martin, Katie Thomas and all other photographers for keepin the stoke alive.
What inspires you in your photography?
So many different things inspire me when it comes to photography. It could be some nice lighting, a vast view, a bright smile or even just a feeling I get. The creative process is a tough one though! Sometimes I feel like I’m overflowing with ideas and inspiration, while other times I feel like I can’t even figure out how to get the setting to look good on my camera. I think that ultimately, inspiration comes from deep within me. I am inspired to take photos because I believe this world it pretty beautiful, and I want to share the beauty I see and hopefully that can inspire others to love this world like I do.
Where did you grow up, and where are you currently?
I grew up in the good old Pacific Northwest! I like to say I was born in Spokane, raised in North Idaho and grown in Oregon. Currently I am in southern Oregon making money for the next big adventure, but I will be spending my winter in Tahoe again!
When did you start shooting photos and when did you start pursuing photography?
I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember. Recently my mom showed me some old photos I took when I was 2, at a bike race. I really started getting into it when I was about 10 when I started religiously shooting around my neighborhood with my mom’s old film camera. A few years later I bought my first DSLR and started doing more action sports and portraits. I started to really pursue photography after I spent my first summer at hood when I was 15. I was inspired by all the passionate people around Hood. I actually dropped out of public high school without telling my dad so I could spend more time working on my photos and pursing a life I am passionate about… Thanks to my best friend Hailey, I got to meet up with the Treefort guys, and started taking photos for Tall T Productions. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Why do you feel it is important to look at things differently?
Perspective is a crazy thing. It’s everything really. The way you look at the world makes the world what it is. I think it is not only important to look at things differently, but it’s also fun. Perspective gives you the power to make this world what you want it to be. One day a few years ago, I remember I was standing in my room frustrated, feeling stuck and then I looked out at the trees blowing in the wind and the words came to me, “Everything is what you make it out to be” since then, perspective has meant everything to me. It is important to look at things differently because that’s how we learn, and that how we can make ourselves happy. I think this is why I love photography so much. When I’m taking photos, I have the power to change how something is seen, to alter and capture light. What’s more magical than being able to grasp your reality, and make it anything you want it to be?
"The hard work, passion and happiness behind Treefort is what makes me love it most. To me, this brand signifies the love of being outside, and doing whatever it takes to be able to spend your time in places that make you feel happy and connected to your friends and the earth. Work hard, play harder!"