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ABOUT ME

Hey nice to see you here! My name is Vicente Martinez. I am not as serious as my name would initially suggest, that’s why I prepared a few fun facts about myself to break the ice:

I conquered a stutter when I was 12 years old after years of speech therapy. Tongue twisters are a breeze now!

I’m ‘Dad’ to a beautiful young woman and quick witted young man.

My nick-name “Vinnie” comes from being called “Vinnie the Pooh” in school.

I was a manager at a Blockbuster Video after high school. I still have my membership number memorized. Yep, just dated myself.

I can fall asleep anywhere and unfortunately, according to my girlfriend, I snore. She thinks it’s hilarious when I do this on a plane or bus or on airport seats.

I once dressed as Elvis and performed in character for an entire wedding ceremony.

Brill is british slang for Brilliant. The American equivalent of cool.

I won a essay contest in high school. The title was “What would I do if I were state legislature.” It was my first writing contest and the first time I was airborne.

I am a Los Angelino but currently I live on the island of Maui. I am so grateful that I am able to live on Hawai’i and every single day I get do something I absolutely love. Sidney Lumet, a personal hero of mine, said, “My job is to care about and be responsible for every frame of every movie I make.” This statement at the end of his book “Making Movies” ignited my passion for photography and filmmaking. I from then on was dedicated to that one frame, that one image. Lighting. Lenses. Cameras. Directing. Photoshop. Class after class, online lecture after online lecture. Youtube video after Youtube video. I became obsessed. A nerd if you will. Since then, roughly fifteen years ago, I have had so many incredible experiences and met so many amazing people. I have filmed music videos, I’ve shot weddings in Hawaii, Alaska and Los Angeles. Captured footage from a boar hunt in the west Maui mountains. I have had the amazing opportunity to film several motivational speakers and learn a great deal from them. I was commissioned to create behind-the-scene black and white images for New York and Los Angeles Fashion Week. I’ve worked on so many fun and crazy productions. It really has been a dream and an incredible ride.

My photography style is photojournalism. Candid. The rules are simple: observe and capture. Do not disturb. Let moments unfold naturally.
I wanted to share why I feel it’s important that a photograph has a moment or emotion and how I capture that.

Anyone who knows me knows I can go on about cognitive mimicry, motor and mirror neurons and micro expressions and body language clusters for decades. But it boils down to this, we mirror emotions. If you are walking down the street and someone smiles at you, we tend smile back. Even if nervously. For this reason I laugh and play tremendously while I shoot. Known for my shaking shoulders as I don’t have an audible laugh. Being silly is a great emotion to mirror and photograph. There is no shortage of genuine smiles.

I am a natural light photographer. I seldom use flash. Here’s why: I’m at a wedding and the groom takes the bride to the dance floor. He kisses her hand. She smiles and looks at him with her big doe “I just fell in love with you” eyes and he swoops her up in his arms and they begin their first dance togeth- FLASH - it’s so -FLASH- irritating. Cameras nowadays are so incredibly advanced using a flash is unnecessary. That’s not to say that I don’t use them in necessary settings (headshots, commercial, editorial, etc) But for event photography and portraits, I use my little tricks (I wear a white shirt to use as fill light when shooting in the sun - stuff like that). It feels like I’m there, and not there. I strive hard to not be a distraction or take away from the moment. I’m present to capture the moments, not to disrupt them.

Equipment. Camera models come and go but good lenses are gold. I shoot with a Nikon d800 and a Sony a7r. I have a Canon 5D but the camera is often dependent on the subject matter. I’ve shot 4k for conventions or film productions. Raw images for one shoot, jpegs for another. 1080p for film productions. One production we needed a camera that shot 160 frames a second to film a sequence. Cameras vary based on the content. My go-to lenses are 50mm and the 35mm. Some sequences might require a wider frame. But 35-50mm is my sweet spot.

I have been grateful to work with companies all over the US. From Alaska weddings to New York Fashion Week. From Memphis to Maui. From Cedar Sinai to USC, from family portraits to bar mitzvahs. Sizzle reels to documentaries. I fell in love with visually telling a story. Thank you for taking the time to view my work. I hope this helped you get a better understanding of who I am and how I take pictures. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. And I’ll leave you with this. A dear friend of mine convinced me it was a good idea to dance around San Francisco streets. I concur. N’joy. ~V

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