Meet the Fellow: Andria Hautamaki

While most of my cohort have been sitting in traffic in Medellin chasing stories, Andria set her sights further afield. She’s been venturing hours out of the city to ranches and farms in the state of Antioquia to capture Colombia’s horse culture.

This piece has inadvertently become the third part of her “horse culture trilogy,” photo essays on the lives and traditions of ranchers in South America. The work drew on her experiences working and living on a ranch in southern Chile, where she’s resided since 2011. It’s there that she developed a photography hobby into a photojournalism career that explores rural, agricultural and environmental themes.

Andria fell in love with photography during her first darkroom class in high school, enchanted by the images that appeared in the chemical bath. She continued taking photography classes throughout high school and college but never really considered photojournalism as a career growing up in Colorado – no one in her family or personal circles was a journalist.

But she realized later that journalism shared the same heart of the stories she studied as an English major in college, where every book had a story, a character and a way they belonged. “So do all the stories we do whether it’s photos or text,” she told me. “It’s trying to connect those stories to a wider audience.”

It’s remarkable to me that Andria started off photographing landscapes, bicycles and kittens as a way to avoid people. Now she’s crisscrossing South America to connect people across cultures. I can’t wait to see what Andria creates through the fellowship; she’s brought a truly unique eye to fulfill the Adelante Initiative’s mission to highlight a side of Colombian people and culture that rarely makes the news.