Friday, October 4, 2013

Local Talent 

I love going out to see local bands in small venues these days. Of course, when I do, my ever present camera comes along for the ride. Recently, I got to shoot a fantastic Grateful Dead cover band by the name of Crazy Fingers. It was a small venue and as is often the case in these smaller places, the lighting wasn't fantastic. Nevertheless, I managed to get a few keepers.

These guys are incredibly talented and put on a great show.

At one point during the show I turned and saw my wife, like the eye of the storm, a calm center surrounded by a sea of dancing Deadheads. She was in near total darkness, but the shot was so soulful, I boosted the ISO, set a slow shutter speed (knowing I'd get motion blur on the dancing heads) and went for it. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit a certain special appreciation for these guys. They played at my wedding. Yep, we had a Dead cover band at our tie-dye themed wedding where the vows were styled after Dr. Seuss and our wedding cake was an oddly angled and tilted Mad Hatter motif. More than ten years later, Stephanie and I are still approaching life with the same oddly angled, Dr. Seuss, tie-dyed attitude... Thanks for the memories, Crazy Fingers!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Last week, I had the opportunity to shoot two fantastic fitness instructors in several locations. It was a blast, so I thought I'd share some of the images we captured.

Nikki is one of my wife's trainers and is one of the nicest folks I know. She was a natural in front of the lens. 

Trainer Sean
Trainer Sean (a kickboxing instructor) is one of Nikki's trainers. These guys both wanted portraits and action shots, so we set up a 5 hour shoot and went to work.

Nikki's portrait session was first on the schedule so we met at an interesting location near an art studio in southern Florida. When Nikki saw the rusted hulk of a machine, she immediately volunteered to climb up onto it in heels and gown. At that point I knew I had a winning client!

Once we had our shots from the outdoor portrait locations, we headed off to the gym to meet up with Sean.

We went for action shots right away. These guys worked hard for this shoot and it pushed me to work even harder to match their intensity. 

Talk about a great session! We all laughed hard and worked hard and it paid off with some keepers.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let’s Break Some Rules!

My name is Scott Martin. I’m a photographer.

When I was 12 years old, my uncle Claud gave me a Konica 35mm SLR camera with a 50mm lens for Christmas. He also handed me my first 5 rolls of black and white film and I spent the entire day shooting the family activities as he taught me how to meter and set the camera for a ‘proper’ exposure. This kind man had invited me into an exciting new world and I was hooked from day one.

That was the simple beginning that led to decades of happiness behind a camera. I spent years studying photos in magazines and reading books and articles about gear, lighting, and the rules of composition. I shot countless rolls of film. I set up my own darkroom and did my own black and white processing and prints. I learned to dodge and burn, and massage an image to match, as closely as possible, what was in my head when I took the shot.

Now we come to the rules. All that study was focused on portraits. I loved capturing that moment. The one split second everyone else seemed to miss. What were the ‘rules’ for portraits? Well, everyone I spoke to who knew anything about portrait photography seemed to have a few rules of thumb in common.
  1. Never shoot a portrait with anything wider than a 70mm lens.
  2. Never shoot a portrait in midday light.
  3. Never ever shoot a woman from a low perspective.
  4. Never ever shoot a woman close up with a wide angle lens.
  5. Select a great location for your shot. Don’t just shoot in a parking lot or some such place.
Now, let’s break some rules….

This shot was taken in a parking lot, under midday sun, using a 24mm lens, from a low perspective, up close and personal. There was no flash, no reflector, and no diffuser. My wife and I were walking out of a restaurant after a nice lunch when I turned around and saw this shot. I knew right away it would be cool. “Babe, don’t move!” She’s married to a photographer, so she’s used to this. She stopped and I went low, composed the shot and released the shutter. Is it perfect? Nope. I see flaws in every image I take. But I like it. And it’s been one of the most liked and commented shots I’ve posted online so far. It breaks a lot of ‘rules’. But then again… I’ve always been that kind of person. Just ask my wife (Love ya, Babe!).

In the end, the only rule that matters is, follow your vision. Trust your instincts.

Oh… and always carry your camera!

Thanks for reading.