Founder/Creative Director: Emily Nathan
Photo Editor: Deb Hearey
Executive Editor: Jennifer Rodrigue.
Recent rebrand (new logo and Solas logo/branding): Mark Sloan who is also Director of Design at Chiat Day
Emily: Tiny Atlas is always evolving — we are constantly trying out different ways to bring revenue in. Our team is steeped in creative energy, so the challenge is the business side of TAQ – creating revenue and managing operations. Maybe I should have gone to B-school for an MBA? That would have helped! All joking aside, I’m not sure that we would do anything differently but we would definitely like to expand our relationships and find more like minded brands or entities that are a natural fit and make good partners. When we integrate well fitting partners, it’s very organic and helps the brand thrive versus being too commercial. We’ve worked with travel destinations, properties, art galleries, art and craft fairs, and fashion brands. Having more of these relationships to help underwrite the cost of printing another annual is something that would be very positive for us. In addition to the Solas bag with Alite Designs, we have recently teamed up with AllSwell Creative and Earth Missions to create our first Tiny Atlas Adventure trips. We’re heading to Tofino, BC (October 6 -11 , 2016) and Tahiti (November 9 – 15) with local guides and the promise of lots of photo training opportunities and lots of water. Not just for surfers, we’ve planned these for anyone who loves the ocean and arts, all levels are welcome. Since TAQ is all about experience of place, we want to connect with like minded folks off our of screens, in real life, and are really looking forward to these trips. We’d love to have a few “aphotoeditor” readers join us.
Tae Kim of Alite Designs graciously designed a limited edition bag as a reward for TAQ’s first Kickstarter campaign we held to help fund the printed annual we published in 2013. The bag was a great success, so we started talking about collaborating on another one. Since a good camera bag is hard to find, we focused on fulfilling that need. The revenue goal for the Solas Kickstarter has been to keep it low and reach it early, which we did. This means, we will definitely be making the bag – yay! but the more pre-orders we receive, the less expensive the manufacturing becomes. This is important because we’re trying to generate a little profit in order to help move forward as a whole. At this point, it’s challenging to stay ahead of operating expenses, and we’re hoping to reach more people interested in supporting our campaign. If anyone is interested in Tiny Atlas, now is the time to express it!
Yes! Today, so many women are photographers and when you around, most bags are heavy, bulky and masculine. Solas isn’t just for women but it’s designed with style (simple, easy) and comfort in mind.
The idea was to make a bag we love that also hold a camera. No photographers I know love their camera bags. They put them in a corner and take them out when they need to. When they go out for the day, and don’t want to bring a camera bag, most people just defer to their phones now. Camera bags usually hold some very small non-pro something, or they are huge, bulky, and heavy to start with (or all of the above). We wanted to make something that was lightweight to begin with (since cameras add a lot of weight) but that would just carry what we really needed, which is one DSLR with a lens on it, and a second lens. That is it. Except then there are the things that go with your camera and your life for example, a laptop or a sweater. We designed Solas with the essentials in mind. We made the right number of zippered pockets, and some padded zipper pockets for your phone and sunglasses or filters, a key leash, and a protective sleeve to store a laptop. I have been beta testing these bags with friends for a year and they’ve helped with R&D — we think we have the perfect balance of lightweight, durable and safely holds the gear we really need. [When I go to the airport, my id goes in the little zippered phone pocket on top, my laptop slips easily out and the camera stays safe in the integrated foam compartment at the base of the bag. If I have a bulky sweater, I use the leather buckle to expand the top section of the bag. ]
When we created our first Kickstarter, Alite backed the project to support us because they liked what we were up to. Afterwards we connected with them to see if there was a project to collaborate on or some such. We put together our first #mytinyatlas show, #lovemytinyatlas, at their shop in the Mission, at the Alite Outpost. The call for entries was a wild success. Tae Kim, the founder of Alite, asked up if we wanted to make a limited edition bag for the opening. We said, hell yes! Tae designed a really lovely bag, and my sister, Amy Nathan, who is a painter and illustrator, made a special print just for the bag, it was a great success. Next, somehow, Tae and I started to talk about a camera bag. We brought in photographers and went through a design process around how they carried their cameras and any issues they had. Then we made prototypes and tested them. I brought different prototypes on shoots with additional photographers to Baja, Hawaii, all over the US and Macao. Finally, we worked on color and the fabric. We wanted something natural and beautiful, but as light as possible.
The September 15th show is bringing the #mytinyatlasSOLAS selections I made alongside curator Cory Jacobs to New York City. NYC has the largest percentage of the @tinyatlasquarterly Instagram community is the world (likely thanks to some nice early support from Design Sponge and Refinery 29 – thanks to both!) and we have not had a show in the city yet. I wanted to bring the beautiful work to the community that supports us. In addition, we will have the bags on hand so people can check them out in person before buying them online. The new fair has an incredible array of independent artists works, as well, so we are hoping to connect both our magazine and our bag with such a perfect audience.
I think #mytinyatlas became viral for a few reasons. One, it is a good name, and easy to write. Two, Tiny Atlas has not really been a commercial venture, so people felt comfortable adding our tag to their personal lives. The mission of the magazine (as a commercial endeavor) as well is to highlight personal stories. Tiny Atlas has a different perspective. We are not principally sharing images that look like postcards, or perceived “perfect” shots. We are looking for unique moments, and personal vision, just like in the magazine. The other reason is because I edit the tag. I am not an inexperienced starter employee, I’m an experienced photographer and editor which helps.
@aquinnm Allison Quinn McCarthy
@aquinnm Allison Quinn McCarthy
Kevin Mao @k_mao
@mafyno Maria Fynsk Norup
@moneal Michael O’Neal
@potatopanda Tanya Doan
@saltywings photographer @micgoetze Michael Goetze
@twheat Tyson Wheatley
Your online show had 9K submissions. How did you go about photo editing that and how did you manage all that imagery?
It takes a lot of time; I look through them all and select the ones that resonate most. Then, I take screenshot and then upload the screenshots to a web gallery. We have tried ways to facilitate this online and there are not any tools that are faster than scrolling directly on instagram or on iconosquare and taking screenshots. Then editing in Bridge. Adobe Creative Cloud is useful as well.