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Tell Your Story 2023: The Story So Far

At the start of 2023 we announced a new round of the Tell Your Story project, an initiative designed to help us discover and support new talent. We asked creatives from across the world to share their ideas for photography projects with us – selected projects would receive their own new OM-5 camera kit and full mentor support from one of our OM SYSTEM Ambassadors working in a relevant field. Our team worked through thousands of entries before selecting these projects: read on to find out more about the Tell Your Story crew for 2023!

Alba Estela

Mentored by OM SYSTEM Ambassador Julia Wunsch

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO • 1/125 s • F2.8 • ISO 200

Alba lives in Girona where she works as a full time family doctor, and is lucky enough to be based in a rural area, surrounded by nature and close to the sea. Photography has been with her since she was small – her parents always used to carry cameras with them – but it wasn’t until the pandemic that she became re-interested in this world. At that time, as for many of us, photography became her escape route to disconnect from events and to express herself: now she still uses photography as a creative outlet to keep learning and growing, each and every day.

“I cannot imagine my life being far from the sea: I love the ocean in all its forms. The sea has taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature, to be calm and serene in the face of storms, to respect it – to be humble and patient even if things don’t go your way, and to adapt and flow around life’s changes and challenges.“

“Thanks to the great opportunity to be part of ‘Tell Your Story’, I was able to get out of my comfort zone this summer: my project saw me looking for women that are inspired by the sea, and whose lives are entwined with the ocean.

“My project has been divided into two parts: three females with interesting stories to be told, and a set of "mini-series" of photos about other women answering a single question: how does the sea inspire you?”

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO • 1/2500 s • F4.0 • ISO 400

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO • 1/800 s • F3.5 • ISO 400

Follow Alba on Instagram: @albaem


Mentored by OM SYSTEM Ambassador Rania Rönntoft

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3 • 12 mm • 1/250 s • F3.5 • ISO 400

Caitlynn grew up in Pennsylvania, where she had a hugely active and outdoorsy childhood. She’s had a camera with her since fourth grade, when she was given a point-and-shoot for Christmas; this love of photography grew when she noticed how empowered her friends felt when they had a picture they loved of themselves. After college she moved out to Washington State, and now shoots landscapes and portraits of her friends on weekend warrior adventures.

“This summer I embarked on a journey to capture pictures that tell my story: initially I thought my story was to serve as a mouthpiece - a way to tell other women's stories of outdoor adventures, and relay them to the world through my photography and writing. It was through hearing others’ stories that my own journey became clearer.

“I thought that interviewing friends who enjoyed the same activities as myself would provide some kind of commonality between us – but while we had similar core values, it became apparent that we also were wildly different. For example, over half the women were introduced to the outdoors because it was what their family grew up doing, while others did it as an almost rebellious act because it was so different from anything they had done before. This realisation of how unique everyone’s experiences were was a big moment for me: it showed me that not just one kind of person enjoys the outdoors and spending time in nature.”

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3 • 34 mm • 1/320 s • F5.1 • ISO 250

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3 • 28 mm • 1/320 s • F4.8 • ISO 100

Follow Caitlynn on Instagram: 2weeden_wanders

Cari Siebrits

Mentored by OM SYSTEM Ambassador Brooke Bartleson

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II • 1/50 s • F5.6 • ISO 5000

Cari is a wildlife photographer and writer, passionate about promoting peaceful coexistence between humans and the wild world. Driven by her lifelong awe of wildlife, and guided by her commitment to ethical photography and compelling storytelling, she’s an advocate for conservation, sustainable living, and public education. Through her images, she hopes to share intimate moments in nature that connect communities with the wildlife around them.

“My dream for my project was to show others how much we have in common with the creatures we share our world with, and to help us reimagine how our existence is intertwined with theirs. But even though I set out to capture connections between wildlife, this project left me feeling more connected to the wild world than ever.

“Getting to work with my mentor Brooke reminded me of the reason I picked up my camera in the first place: to show people that you don’t need to be deep in the wilderness to connect with nature and wildlife — you can start by looking in your own backyard!

“While many of us don’t have regular opportunities to photograph moose, grizzlies, or bison, we do all have wildlife around us. There are so many thrilling moments happening all around us every day – we just have to look for them.”

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II • 1/500 s • F6.3 • ISO 200

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II • 1/1000 s • F6.2 • ISO 3200


Follow Cari on Instagram: @wildlifewithcari


Mentored by OM SYSTEM Ambassador Daniel Villadsen

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO • 150 mm • 1/1000 s • F4.0 • ISO 100

After a bachelor’s degree in cultural heritage, Paolo moved to Bologna for a master’s degree in archaeology – which is where he discovered his passion for photography and decided that image-making would become his career. Paolo developed an interest in landscape photography and after taking part in workshops and photographic trips, he fell completely in love with the genre because it allows him to travel and spend many hours in nature.

“When OM System told me that I was one of the photographers selected for Tell Your Story, I realised that this was my opportunity to provide a contribution to the world. I wanted to create an environmental project that could convey not a message of tragedy, but of hope. I had to get out of my comfort zone because it was my first time approaching a project of reportage.

“I returned to Iceland, a land I love so much, to document the activities of ‘Ocean Mission Iceland’. This is an NGO based in Húsavík, considered the world capital of whale watching, and it was founded by Belen and Charla, two marine biologists and researchers who decided to dedicate their lives to the preservation of the oceans. Last June, I arrived in Húsavík and embarked on the schooner ‘Opal’ for an expedition to the Arctic seas alongside fifteen fantastic companions from all over the world, united by a passion for nature and the desire to protect it.”

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 • 42 mm • 1/640 s • F4.0 • ISO 200

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 • 17 mm • 1/125 s • F5.6 • ISO 100


Follow Paolo on Instagram: @paulwanders_


Mentored by OM SYSTEM Ambassador Peter Baumgarten

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40 4.0 PRO • 1/80 s • F4.0 • ISO 200

Shriya is an engineer who has always been fascinated by the inner workings of objects and how a simple input can evolve a project in the most unexpected ways. During the pandemic, when spending more time outdoors was the only way to keep sane, she found herself drawn to photography. She loved the technical aspects of learning more about camera gear and editing, while also learning how to express her creative side.

“In the bustling and highly competitive environment of the San Francisco Bay area, life can become a relentless whirlwind, pushing us to the brink of exhaustion. It's all too easy to forget the importance of cherishing and capturing moments that make us feel truly alive. That's why I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen to be part of Tell Your Story, and embarked on an exhilarating project to celebrate the inherent beauty of California. Through this journey, I aim to showcase the ease with which we can reconnect with nature, finding solace and re-grounding ourselves in the process.

“I intended to emphasise the importance of cherishing and capturing the moments that remind us what we strive for in this fast-paced world. OM System’s kit makes it effortless to connect with nature and rediscover the stillness that resides within us, despite the whirlwind of life. In each photograph in this project, I hope to convey the vibrant, breathtaking beauty of California and inspire others to embark on their own journeys to find solace and re-ground themselves in the natural wonders that surround us.”

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40 4.0 PRO • 1/600 s • F8.0 • ISO 100

OM-5 • M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 4.0 PRO • 1/8 s • F18.0 • ISO 100

Follow Shriya on Instagram: @shriyaphotos

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