Next up on the El Otro Lado line up is Drew Martin. Here's a little about Drew followed by some of his incredible contributions from the trip.
Drew Warren Martin
Huntington Beach, CA
What is your current state of mind before we start this interview? :
State of Mind :::> Desert Visions
Did you study photography? :
I studied photography while running a surf shop that was on the slow side. All you need is an internet connection, a couple tools to practice with, and a shit ton of motivation - and you can learn anything you want. But college, not for me...
I've had an interest in photography since high school, but it took a few more years to realize it. I would say I've been enjoying photography for 12 years, but paying bills with cameras for 4-5 years.
What initially got you excited about shooting photographs? :
I first got excited about taking photographs when I found my dad's old AE1 kit and a bunch of his photos he took with it. I thought I could just pick it up and go take great photos...turns out there's more to it! I think the initial challenge sparked my interest, but the real passion began when I was running the surf shop. I had been going to the same small room for 6-7 years, 5-6 days a week, all the while seeing friends starting to choose alternative paths. It became a torture for my mind and sort of a jail cell I had to spend 9 hours in every day. Don't get me wrong - I learned an invaluable amount of life lessons there and it began my travels around the world, so I would not change anything about that chapter. But it had to end. I wanted, no - I NEEDED freedom. Wheels began to turn and gears started to grind in my head, and I realized that those photos that go in magazines ans cover the windows of stores are taken by normal humans like me. The "out of reach" thoughts all disappeared. They're just normal people who busted their ass to do something they love. And, yeah, they probably went to school. But I realized what I wanted to do and the surf worls would help me reach it - that's all I knew. Studying every day while at work, taking notes to the field to figure things out, I slowly learned how to manually make a proper exposure.
How would you describe your style? :
I would say my style is based on mood and feeling. Documenting the feeling is most important. I love available light. Also, lately I've been shooting and editing a little on the dark side. Silhouttes, moody, feeling.
What is your favorite accessory other than your camera? :
My favorite photo accessory is probably a good bag. Where would we be without something to carry all your shit?
Where do you find inspiration to continue shooting? :
Inspiration to continue shooting comes in many forms. Beautiful and ugly things, the interweb, friends, travel...those are among the top.
What do you think about the photography industry right now and where do you see it in 5 years? :
The photography industry is massive and still growing. Everyone wants to be a photographery. I believe this is the age of the photographer..haha. in 5 years? It's already hectic, and it's only getting worse. However, that in itself is motivation right there to stay hungry, to always learn and evolve while staying true to one's esthetic - if one believes in it.
Who is the first photographer that comes to your mind and why?
Photographer off the top of my head: Francesca Woodman. I love dark images. She made beautiful dark images full of feeling and her personal reality. She killed herself at a very young age - her fame came posthumously, so her work was never corrupted or changed by it...that's beautiful in itself.
What talent would you most like to have? :
I always wish I was better at doing wheelies. God damnit, who doesn't want to do wheelies? I'm such a wuss.
What is something you are still learning? :
I'm continually learning to be as open minded, kind, and accepting as possible. I'm always challenging myself to do so- and to be more patient and soak life up. Also, I'm working on being here now. Be. Here. Now. Electronics don't help that.
Currently listening to? :
Currently listening to a variety of Latin inspired dentist office style hold music on the phone with an insurance agency of a dude who rear ended us the other day... going on 35 minutes hold time now......Goat is playing on my computer in the background.