Jeremy Martin - Photographer
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1000 Words

1000 Words

A collection of stories behind the images I have created over the years during my never ending process of trying to be a photographer...

"1000 Words"

...in a thousand words, the stories behind the photos.

Here is a little introduction into why I have decided to start this. Being introverted, or sober, it takes me a long time to warm-up to people. My hope is that by writing about what I think, feel and do will allow me to gradually open up and interact. It is also a means for me to do so by filtering out the people who care and those who don't. Because if you're reading this, then I feel like you want to know what it is I'm writing about. Makes sense right? If you don't read ahead, then I congratulate you! You are one of the few people who can admit that they don't have to care about something they don't care about. For those of you who really want to know enough to read ahead, here goes... 

I'm assuming that I, like most people, occasionally find myself in a reacquainting conversation with someone who's path I have not crossed in a while. Ex's, old classmates, former colleagues and even distant family. Ultimately leading to the dreaded "What do you do now?" question. I say dreaded only because I loath this question. I actually avoid conversing with people I've known from my past because I don't want to be asked this question.

There's two reasons for my disdain, and I'm just being honest here. One, when you think about it, its simply a bullshit question. We all have too many things going on in our own lives and now I'm going to add thinking about what someone I haven't seen in 15-years is doing now? Really? Sort of ties back to my congratulatory sentence earlier.

Maybe I'm just slightly cynical...and if we had continued our relationship, prior to bumping into each other, you'd already know that about me. Really, most people only ask so they can sit through our answer, eagerly anticipating their time to respond and tell us about their lives. Again, just being honest and saying what I think and I'm not going to apologize for possibly being the first one to admit it. Think about it; all of the people who we truly care about and think about, we already know what is going on in their lives. We already know what they "do."

Unfortunately for me, if I'm going to be successful at the one thing I actually enjoy doing then I am forced to let people know what I do (consequently making me the asshole who's just waiting to tell you what I do).

Which brings me to my second reason why I hate the "What do you do?" question.

I really don't know how to answer it. I mean I know what I can do and I know what I don't want to do but I cannot give a definitive answer to that question anymore. I've actually contemplated just saying "nothing" to see if it will get me out of the conversation or at least change the topic. It would all be so simple if "Photographer" was an acceptable answer but no, they want details.


"Oh, so do you shoot weddings?"

"No, but I have."

I'm not saying all weddings are bad, this wedding was actually a lot of fun. Its just not my cup of tea and I would rather people knew that.

I'm not saying all weddings are bad, this wedding was actually a lot of fun. Its just not my cup of tea and I would rather people knew that.


"Oh, so do you shoot family portraits?"

"No, but I have." 

I have taken "family photos" of a handful of people. All of these people I deeply care about and have an already established connection. They are people who I consider a big part of my life and want to be the one who captures the moments in their lives.

I have taken "family photos" of a handful of people. All of these people I deeply care about and have an already established connection. They are people who I consider a big part of my life and want to be the one who captures the moments in their lives.


"Oh, so you like take photos of naked chicks?" (their words, not mine...which is an entire blog in and of itself because each of these assumptions irritate me but this question actually annoys the hell out of me just because of the underlying thought process.) 

"No, but I have."

I refuse to associate any of the wonderful people I've worked with to that question. Instead, here's a photo of our dog Charles Xavier Pants...partially nude. You don't need any sexier than that.

I refuse to associate any of the wonderful people I've worked with to that question. Instead, here's a photo of our dog Charles Xavier Pants...partially nude. You don't need any sexier than that.


"So what do you shoot?"

"What ever I'm inspired to shoot."


 

Typically, this is followed by a blank look, a moment of silence and a "oh, thats cool."

Which I get. To make it easier for others to understand, apparently your title also has to have a description with it.

I made an attempt at being a photojournalist (title) for four-years. Which during that time, answering the question was easy. "I'm a photographer for a newspaper covering news, sports and events in and around our community" (description). Hurrah!

But the one constant irritation is that I allowed deadlines to blind me from inspiration. I couldn't interact and get to know my subjects. Really connect with something or someone allowing to see it/them and create a photograph good enough to draw readers into a story. Looking back on my work during that period, all of the images I or others would consider my better images, were the ones I had time to create. Eventually, that irritation is what drove me away from wanting to do it anymore. I noticed that instead of trying to make time, to create or to capture I simply gave in and "got the shot."

So, lets fast-forward and get to the point of all of this rambling.

I'm a photographer. Its really one of the few things I'm pretty good at, not the best, but good. I see light differently than most people. My brain fixates on micro moments of everyday life and remembers them, similar to a photo. Instances that I have never been able to communicate with words. Learning to use a camera has allowed me to capture these beautiful bits of life. It changed my visual perspective on the world implanting this constant thought; How can I express what I see. Its something, that even after ten years of doing, gives me some sort of motivation.  

I can't give a better answer and maybe I never will be able to but I've decided that I'm going to tell, in a 1000-words (of course), the stories behind some of the photos I have created. Perhaps it will give me a way to share my thought process, where I was, why I decided to capture the image and where (if anywhere) that image has lead me. Its also a way for me to become more involved, get honest feedback and have some sort of interaction with others.