Ara Collective | Part 1

Ara Collective collaborates with artisans to curate handcrafted pieces, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern style.

I was so elated when Sarah asked me to venture to Guatemala to photograph for the brand. Together we created specific shot lists based on the many incredible locations both in Antigua and Lake Atitilan. We needed a wide range of locations that drew in the scope of all that the beautiful land in Guatemala brings all while staying true to the Ara brand. 

Sarah is constantly traveling to uncommon places in search of vibrant designs and time-tested techniques that reflect the communities from which they originate. Each collection is made in limited quantities to preserve its authentic detail, offering beautiful and meaningful products for home and traveler.

On the lake we stayed at this stunning eco-resort, La Fortuna. It gave us the perfect backdrop to shoot and rest at for the night. They are 100% off- the grid solar generated with an anaerobic biodigester on the property. Steve and Katharine, the owners are the sweetest. Steve, having built and designed the whole property with sustainably and locally sourced materials including the bamboo which is grown on the property. 

They grow avocado, mango, papaya, bananas, squash, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, and herbs that they use in the meals they cook for guests– including 1,000 pounds of organic shade grown coffee annually! 

We couldn't have done it without the lovely Amanda McGinley assisting us with everything!

Also on the lake we ventured to Maya Traditions. Made up of eight co-operative groups from various towns, Maya Traditions seeks to improve the quality of life of skilled Mayan artisans through market access while preserving their culture and strengthening their communities.

I thought I was an artist, but these women take craftsmanship to another level- hand weaving and dying all their fibers naturally on site!