Heavenly Smiles charity fun run in Stuart, Florida

As every working photographer can tell you, the non-profit sector needs quality images to promote their charities. And... as every working photographer can tell you, the calls to donate services, shoot for free or for publication credit, are fairly common. 

Early in my career, i did this exact same thing, I shot sometimes two or three events a week for specific charities all with hopes of building name recognition. Im sure that philosophy added to my current success, but at the same time, it put great strains on my family and finances...

Which brings me to the Brianna Cooper Heavenly Smiles Charity.... I will do anything possible to support the Cooper Family, because ... after the tragedy of loosing their daughter in an auto accident, starting their charity to honor her and help the community... they offered to PAY ME.  They were still raw from the accident, the charity was new and their budgets were small... but still understood that I too had a family to support and i was there to do a job, to aid in growing their charity through still images and video......

Yesterday, their daughter would have turned 18, more than 400 runners, countless volunteers and local businesses came out for a 5k and 10k running race to fundraise and support the Cooper family. 

Photography is an art that centers around 'taking' - creating, capturing, clicking, making or taking - its a process of stopping time, recording a moment and feeling.....

So when the opportunity to give back presents itself, to use my cameras to be a part of the community, to help, raise awareness, stop time.... and for those who helped me early in my freelance career, I'M IN!!

Thank You.

 

This is the video that I shot for the foundation of few years ago... 

2016 Pictures of the Year - 196,000+ images

What a year.... not without its ups and downs..... photographically speaking, things went pretty well.... my assignments took me across the nation, shooting projects in Oregon, Washington DC and North Carolina. Personal projects/vacation took me to Ireland for an amazing journey through the southern part of the country. I shot for Major League Baseball, LedgeLoungers, Bronte' fashion house, People Magazine and oodles of others.... According to my catalogue software, I shot more than 196,000 images while on Advertising, Editorial, Portrait and Architecture assignments in 2016.

Another project in 2016 that I'm super proud of is a short real estate themed lifestyle sales movie that i directed and produced. It can be viewed by clicking here - https://www.stevenmartine.com/video/2016/12/8/83-s-river-road

To spare anyone eyes from falling out... I've quickly edited a gallery of highlights from the year... enjoy and share.... Happy New Year!

travel photography – from passion to profit!

I love to travel, who doesn’t… having the opportunity to explore new places, see new things, taste new foods and ultimately meet new people and create life long friendships.

From an early age photography has been a passion, and while spending my grade school years reading and re-reading (ok… really just looking at photos) my grandfather’s collection of National Geographic magazines… I realized that I wanted and needed to explore the world.

Fast forward to my 30s… I am a successful photojournalist for a major news media conglomerate, but that urge to travel has been eating away at me for years.  As a photojournalist, I job-hopped across the nation, Oregon to Florida… when my bride pleaded with me to NOT move again in the next 18 months….

Florida became the home base! Then children and a mortgage solidified my Florida lifestyle.

Early in the 2000’s I could see the changing face of the newspaper industry, ethical standards were starting to be questioned, and then nationally, poor decisions were being made that jeopardized a career that I loved.

So with that, I walked away…. filed for a business license, hung my shingle and opened Steven Martine Photography Inc.

Then came the big question – as a freelance photographer – what kind of work did I want to do? Profitable work of course, but what direction did I want to steer my career.

My heart is in travel, my passions center around seeing new things, meeting new people and creating images worthy of being seen.

A few years of being in business, finances were good enough to sign up for and travel to a Santa Fe Workshop on travel photography taught by two of the best in the industry (happy to call them both friends/mentors now)… Jim Richardson (National Geographic regular contributor)  and Dan Westergren (former Director of Photography for NatGeo Traveler).

The Santa Fe experience was amazing, sixteen hours a day, butt-kicking great images…. and a real grasp on what I needed to do to pursue a career as a travel photographer.

Since the return from Santa Fe, I have found clients in a variety of industries (NGO’s, Educational, Commercial Resort and Editorial magazine) that have paid for me to travel, shoot stories and create advertising campaigns around the globe. The common thread tie-ing together these diverse clients is that they all need great storytelling, impactful images, regardless of zip code.

I feel it is best as a photographer to find a passion, what would you do regardless of pay… for me – it’s travel…. then add ‘life’ into the mix, family, mortgage, cell phone bills…. and move that passion into profit. Search out clients who need your passions to tell their stories…. be fair, be creative, be nice, and do what it takes to make those passions become a reality!

Evening Photography: How to Avoid Flash

Here is a piece I wrote (and then edited by the wonderful word-smiths in D.C.) while one assignment for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. It appeared on the Traveler Web site….. It is just one of the many assignments I’ve shot and few that I’ve been asked to assist in writing for the magazine that I love!

by On Assignment

There are very few things that make me panic more than taking my cameras out in open water unprotected. This was one of those shoots. The request was to document a moonlight SUP (stand-up paddleboard) tour in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. This was going to be an interesting assignment because I hadn’t been on a stand-up paddleboard before, there was boat traffic, and it was dark, making it very hard to see and focus a camera.

Before starting out, I knew I wanted my photo to show the paddleboards glowing (they’re equipped with underwater LED lights for the nighttime tour). Because of the dark, I brought my fast lenses and placed them with the cameras in a waterproof Pelican case. With my inexperience on a paddleboard, I opted to sit and paddle, more kayak style, with the camera case in between my legs. This position worked well. I was more stable and it was easier to bump over and through the wake of the passing boats.

I knew that the use of flash would probably be necessary, but I really didn’t want my images to look overlit. Another problem was that everything was moving—I’m paddling, the subjects are paddling, we’re avoiding boat traffic, the river is flowing—and I was working up a sweat, elevating my heart rate. Normally, the way to make good evening photos is to remain still, using longer exposures and a tripod. That wasn’t an option while on the SUP tour.

The tour lasted a little over two hours. It was an out-and-back route from the downtown water taxi dock, through an exquisite neighborhood with gorgeous estates and massive yachts lining the seawalls. For my first pictures I used a flash, and while previewing them, I just wasn’t excited. The strobe diluted the glowing effect of the boards. So I put the artificial lights away and used the light coming from the estate homes and docks, making those lights my main source of illumination.

On our way back, less than 15 minutes from the end of the adventure, we passed under a bridge and rounded a corner, and there it was—the light, the glow of the city, Fort Lauderdale at its finest! Since I had decided not to use a flash, it was necessary to frame this young girl as a silhouette against the lights of the city. Her dark figure is recognizable, but the eerie glow of the under-board lights provides the primary visual point of interest.

I was sitting down with my Canon 5DIII and a 24mm f/1.4 lens around my neck; everything else was in the Pelican case. This shot was made with the lens wide open, at ISO 3200 and 1/50th of a second.

See more photos by Steven Martine on Instagram at @StevenMartine

More of my work from my adventures around Florida can be seen here: Travel Florida

Ireland - my new Favorite place

To say Ireland is magical is an understatement. While there for three weeks, we explored everywhere and everything we could.... never sitting still..... I shot more than 5,000 images on the adventure.... I will continue to add favorites to this gallery as time permits.

 

Fuji xPro2 – and my trip to Ireland

ok, I’ve been shooting for a very long time… i love gear, gadgets and the newest-latest-greatest anything that comes along……

i also love the old days, the retro feel of film, and i miss my leica m6 cameras….

in todays professional world – i just don’t shoot film, haven’t for years….. I may pump a roll through my Holga or crank out a polaroid or two… but for work and travel – is all digital all the time…

Sooooooo – when Fuji started releasing cool digital retro rangefinders, like the Fuji X100 … I was first in line to buy….

Fast forward to a few years and countless cameras later… I have put together the kit that I am taking with me on a trip to Ireland. I have had all the Fuji rangefinders that they have released, and I simply love them all…

Today, I am shooting with a Fuji x100t, the camera with a fixed 35 mm lens, and a fuji xPro2… which is arguably my favorite camera EVER!

As a professional, the xPro2 has dual card slots, allowing me redundant image saving… key if I am shooting anything that people are paying me for….

the lenses are tack sharp, file sizes are huge, camera is small and completely manual…..

I have a collection of sense for the xPro2, including the 14, the 35, the 85 (all of which Im leaving behind when headed to Ireland) and the 10-24 zoom and the 55-135 zoom…..

The two zooms will be the perfect combination for travel photography. The 135 reach is just enough…. and the cliche is “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” or something like that – regardless… If I want to get zoomier – i’ll just get closer…..

All of this gear fits beautifully in my Ona Bag…. the leather satchel that is the PERFECT travel carry on… the older I get , the less i want to carry…..

Other details, I’ll carry a journal, paper and pen… old school – i know…… and a sd card reader for my iPhone… so i can ingest and polish some images while in the hotel each night….

I’ll be traveling the Irish countryside for 10 days, and i am giddy excited about what I’ll be seeing….

Stay tuned for updates!