Featured Artist 02: Andrea Martin
Steel + Flint Featured Artist 02
Andrea Martin is an award-winning children and family photographer based out of Beckley, WV. Being a mother of four children herself, she has a true passion for photographing children and animals together. Every one of these images expresses, in her words, “the innocence of childhood” and are sure to bring a smile to your face!
We asked Andrea a few questions about her work, standing out in the photography community and much more. Enjoy!
What is one image that represents your overall work/style as an artist?
My “girl and duck” image is my favorite image I’ve ever taken. I’m sure people are tired of it by now, but it just shows everything I wanted to show in one image: humor, childhood, innocence, timelessness, and happiness. I don’t think I’ll ever take an image I’ll like more than that one.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone working to get where you are?
Gosh, I’m trying to think of something that’s not too cliché. I live and breath photography, so it is always on my mind. Probably too much if I’m honest! I’ve practiced so much and did a lot of research. I still do actually. YouTube has great tutorials for free. Even if it’s not a style I wanted to do I still would learn how to do it just to have the knowledge. So my advice would be to always be trying new things. Don’t ever feel like you’ve “arrived.”
Who was your biggest influence when you were starting out?
When I first thought about even doing photography, I was blown away by Kim Winey. She had this album on her Facebook page called “Child Like Creatures” and it was full of the most inspiring and unique child photography I’d ever seen. It was the moment I knew I wanted to be a child photographer, before I had even bought a SLR camera. I messaged her and she graciously answered my questions and mentored me for free. She didn’t baby me, but she also was so encouraging. When I look back at the images I sent her to critique I can’t believe she was able to find anything positive to say. They were so bad!
How have you worked to set yourself apart from other photographers?
In a world where photography is everywhere, you have to offer something new and different if you want to stand out. I have always been an animal person and so combining children with animals just seemed like the perfect combination. I love capturing the love and connection between them. Also I feel like it brings out the innocence of childhood in an image. It makes it timeless.
What’s in your bag?
Nikon 85mm f/1.4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art