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There’s a creative mastermind in our midst, capturing the interaction between those that set our culture on fire and the trails they blaze. Armed with a camera and a creative vision the mastermind can be seen in the field documenting the beautiful things, the raw, the emotional. With every click he transports us from our daily lives into the dreams of those worth dreaming about.
Young, inspired and gifted Julian Martin is the mastermind, he is using his camera to capture the world around him and luckily for us his world is made up of euphoric landscapes, beautiful people, and our surfing heros. Julian’s work perfectly captures moments in time that are transcendent and stunning. Julian’s future is bright, and we were fortunate enough to catch up with the Encinitas based photographer to talk about his inspirations, creativity, and what surfing means to him.
Do you remember your first interaction with a camera? What initially got you interested in photography?
I probably did not start interacting with a camera till I was around seventeen or eighteen. Growing up I started capturing my friends skating, getting tattooed and stuff like that for fun. I had a small film point and shoot. I believe it was a canon sureshot, something super easy to use and load.
What was the household you grew up in like, did your parents support your creative efforts?
Luckily grew I up in a great home and my parents were insanely supportive. I dropped out of college after two years to go surf and shoot more. Somehow they believed in me, which is amazing. Definitely would not be where I am today without their support, so if they happen to read this, ‘Thanks!’
How has beach culture influenced your style?
I grew up on the East Coast in a small town in New Jersey, between the city and the beach. It was pretty cool growing up surfing in the winter, experiencing really really hot summers, and going into the city to see friends, shows and to skateboard. I spent a fair amount of time in Philadelphia and New York city as a young cat.
When did you know that photography would be something you could pursue as a career?
Honestly it’s still something that I strive for and pursue. I have been a full time photographer for about four years now and I am super lucky to have it in my life. I guess when I was starting out and working a day job on the side I couldn’t be available for any last minute jobs or trips. So I left my day job and started pursuing a career in photography. It’s been the best and the most crazy decision I have made, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m thankful for all the friends, clients and memories I have made throughout the years.
How did you start working with surf brands?
It all started as a internship with Transworld Surf (RIP). Luckily Chris Cote was rad enough to let me in on the program and introduce me to some of my best friends. I guess the rest just snowballed from there. Living in Encinitas, it’s kind of the mecca for surf brands, so naturally there is an attraction.
You tend to shoot a lot of awesome lifestyle photos. Was it a conscious choice to shoot more lifestyle than action?
I think I feel more connected to the portraits and lifestyle images than action based imagery. Lots of the times I’d rather be in the water surfing than on the beach shooting, so the lifestyle based imagery was a better fit for me.
Social media has made lifestyle documentation accessible to a large number of people, do you think social media is diluting professional photography at all?
Yeah I think social media has diluted most everything. Now we are experiencing things through our phones instead of real life. It’s kind of scary.
Do you do anything specifically to set yourself apart from the pack in regards to how you present your photos to the masses?
I try to run a pretty tight ship when it comes to showcasing my images, instead of just throwing anything and everything out there. Also I have been shooting a ton of film and polaroids for the last few years. I love shooting film more than anything else, it’s just a little pricey.
What’s your view on surfing is it a sport, creative expression, spiritual pursuit?
The lovely thing about surfing is a can be all of the above. For some it is a sport where you train, diet and prepare for every swell. Some, it is a creative expression where you can showcase yourself on a different medium. Then there are some that find it as a spiritual pursuit and use it as a tool to find themselves or whatever. Not too sure what it is for me. It’s something that’s been consistent throughout my life but it’s the most inconsistent element in the world. Water is always changing, it’s pretty crazy.
What are your favorite boards to ride?
One of my best buds, Eden Saul shapes my boards. He is the mastermind behind Dead Kooks and knows exactly what I need, without me having to ask for it. Something skatey, paddles well and can take a good stomping.
What’s the ideal session for you, who is with you, what spot, what are the waves doing?
My ideal session would be something like a nice Mexican point break, maybe like Salina Cruz. All my good pals are there Eden, Kerr and a few others. Hopefully a couple girls sunbathing on the sand. Finish each session with a few Coronas. Rinse & Repeat!
Are you working on anything special for 2016/17, what should we be on the lookout for?
Yes, I have a couple of fun things happening both within and outside of my photography. Hopefully it all goes as planned. At the moment though, looking it’s like a possible Japan trip is coming up, which would be incredible. I have never been and the place seems unreal, so definitely some more travels and working with new clients.
Last question, if you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring photographer or creative professional what would it be?
Don’t stop. If this is something you enjoy and believe in, the rest should fall into place.