Lifestyle

Gum Tree Farm

Gum Tree Farm

These aren’t just photographs of beautiful people, in beautiful clothing, in a beautiful setting.

These are clothes, woven from the wool of sheep raised on this land. The images captured still moments, while just out of frame and between locations, we heard, saw and smelled the motion of life and work of a farm.

Thank you Gum Tree Farm, Franny Kansteiner and Beverly Kansteiner Burden

Concept by Sandra Ranke

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Virginia Lottery

Barber Martin for Virginia Lottery

In a holiday campaign with Barber Martin Agency, I got to capture the authentic reactions of people as they were given the gift of Virginia Lottery tickets. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

What does a “Just Cuz/If I win I’ll give you half/Yaaass/aw, you shouldn’t have” – gift look like?

I’m not sure anyone would have given me half, but it was a fun, happy shoot that captured the possibility that is the lottery.

Creative Director: Ron Villacarillo

Senior Producer: Wendy Dunn McCallum

Producer: Wylie Moran

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MyEyeDr RSF

SmithGifford for MyEyeDr

One of the things I’ve come to value most about being a photographer is the opportunity to learn from every project.

Case in point, when working with the team at SmithGifford on the MyEyeDr. “Resting Squint Face” campaign, I learned there’s a name for that look, you know the one. “RSF” is that sideways glance or squint, created when a person isn’t seeing too clearly, that can result in a perpetual look of anger and distrust in just about every situation.

Not only is the campaign lighthearted and funny but I could very much relate — I totally get #RSF.

Ultimately, we had a lot of fun. We played around with not only the cast and the crew but also worked to ensure we brought attention to these misunderstood squint lines, with our lighting.

Creative Director: Bill Cutter

MYEYEDR_RSF_AD
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This Isn’t Ordinary. This is Savannah

This Isn’t Ordinary. This is Savannah

Savannah is a city that makes you feel something – the heat, the history, the mystery. Making images to convey the unique personality of one of the most iconic American cities was the best kind of challenge. These images are grounded in the historical grandeur and natural beauty of Savannah, and lifted by a wink of surreal Southern charm.

Savanna Gingerbread House by Cade Martin

Client: Visit Savannah 

Agency: Paradise Advertising

Creative Director: Glenn Bowman 

40 Faces. 40 Photographers. 40 Years of Choice.

40 Faces. 40 Photographers. 40 Years of Choice.

40 Faces. 40 Photographers. 40 Years of Choice.

5-years ago I was asked by @GMMB for NARAL – @Prochoiceamerica to make portraits for a project in commemoration of Roe v Wade’s 40th anniversary, called “Choice Out Loud”, to be one of 40 photographers who took 40 portraits of 40 faces of choice.

With this Monday now the 45th anniversary of this landmark ruling, as well as 1-year since the Women’s March, I can see clearly that this project was much more than a look back, it was a look ahead, a call to action for many.

I was inspired by this project then, and I am inspired by now.

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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

I’ve been working with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for approximately 10 years, and it has been one of the partnerships that I’ve been most proud of.  

I can’t even remember now how we were first introduced, but so much of what we do is about relationships and how you connect and get along. Partnering with the CF Foundation team has been incredibly rewarding – they are really great, very positive, empathic and obviously passionately dedicated to what they do. Quite honestly, when I began working with them I didn’t have much more than a vague idea about Cystic Fibrosis, but I have a learned a ton, gaining so much understanding through the CF Foundation’s advocacy and education.

The projects we’ve collaborated on have ranged from in-studio portrait sessions to environmental shoots in the homes, clinics and hospital rooms of people with CF.

We have created honest images of people and families who are afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis – no makeup or glam squad, just as they look in their daily lives not defined by CF but by whom they are. A lot of the time the images are playing off of their environment – be it at home or a location that they connect with through work, school or a passion.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care. This organization and the work they do to make a difference in people’s lives is an inspiration I carry with me beyond our work together. If you are interested in learning more about the disease and the efforts of the CF Foundation please check out their website at www.cff.org.

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Barney Smith for Clorox’s Ode to the Commode

Barney Smith for Clorox’s Ode to the Commode

Toilet Seats. Toilet seats in Texas. A Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio. Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Count me in!

One of the things I love about what I do is getting access to a place or a person that I didn’t know even existed before they contacted me.  A big part of what keeps me going is the love of an adventure and to have – and share – these experiences with people and their stories.

Ketchum contacted me in regards to working a project for The Clorox Company. Working with creative director, Ken Buraker, we headed to San Antonio and Barney’s museum. In addition to creating a series of images as well as a short video of Barney for a national campaign, we set up an outdoor available-light studio in the 100 degree Texas heat and photographed the objects that inspired us – Clean, minimalistic and graphically interesting.  

The images were created both for use on OdeToTheCommode.com and Clorox’s Facebook and Instagram channels. For Clorox this was more about digital storytelling and celebrating someone, who shares a unique passion for toilets, than a traditional campaign.

The idea came about after Clorox saw a news story about Barney Smith. Barney is an artist who uses toilet seat lids as his canvas. Over five decades, he created more than 1,300 ornately-decorated toilet lids, some of which feature artifacts with national and international historical significance. He displays them in his Toilet Seat Art Museum, which also happens to be the garage of his San Antonio home. With Barney’s 100th birthday a few short years away, he is looking to take a step back and is searching for a buyer for his entire collection who will keep available to the public, free of charge, for years to come.

It’s not often someone sees the potential for finer elements of the bathroom like Clorox does, so they had the idea to release a digital gallery featuring Barney’s favorite and most unique lids – an Ode to the Commode – to find a new home for the collection and share Barney’s passion for toilets with everyone to enjoy like thousands of visitors to his San Antonio museum have over the years.

The project was about creating different visuals that can live on many different platforms but telling the same brand story, and I think it’s a perfect example of where brand marketing and storytelling is going.  As marketing continues to drift onto digital platforms, creating “assets” and “content” is what we are seeing more and more of in regards to needs from agencies.

I loved this project so much. It’s bananas!!  

What do you do after toilet seats? What’s next? Honestly, I want to go where I don’t know I want to go yet.

*If you are in San Antonio, Barney’s Toilet Seat Museum should really be on your must visit list.  Barney himself is an American treasure. And he has a ton of stories to tell. The museum is located in his garage, so it’s small but it’s overflowing with stuff to see.

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Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre

For me it is so true that one thing always leads to another. On my projects, the creative people and ideas often spark and inspire my own artistic “next.”

During our campaign for SNWA, I had one of those light bulb moments. I was so drawn to everything about our wrestler, Omar Garcia. He was such a pleasure to work with – par for the course on this shoot along with the fantastic R&R team.

During our morning with Omar, I found out that he is one of two brothers who grew up in Juarez, Mexico. And I learned that their father was also a wrestler – a luchador- in Juarez and they have followed the tradition. He and his brother now live and wrestle in LA and they have their own wrestling league – Lucha Libra Alliance. The portrait gears were turning.

Me: “So, you have other wrestler friends?

Omar: “Yes”

Me: “Can I come and photograph them?”

Omar: “Sure thing.”

A few months later, off I went.

I photographed the Luchadores on a rooftop in LA, Omar and his friends. They carried themselves with such confidence and with an obvious pride in the traditions of Lucha Libre. Some of the older wrestlers maintained their character – in mask – from the moment they parked their car, through the shoot until they’d driven away. As someone who grew up on the Lone Ranger, on the masked hero and secret identities, I loved every second of this.

As I witnessed the honor with which these men wore their costumes, as I captured each unique mask, and each character communicating with my camera through two small eyeholes, I felt privy to the history, the care and the camaraderie.

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Trend & Tradition

Trend & Tradition

Growing up in Richmond, VA, trips just an hour or so southeast to Colonial Williamsburg were common weekend fare. I have really fond memories of my time there so when I was approached by Trend & Tradition: The Magazine of Colonial Williamsburg, to shoot a cover, it felt a bit like going home. 

More than just a school field trip destination, Colonial Williamsburg is a true link between the present and a past that speaks to the very origins of the European settlement of the United States. Trend & Tradition is dedicated to telling the stories of 18th century America through a modern point of view.

  
For this Summer edition cover, I was asked to photograph the Fifes & Drums, a group dedicated to the tradition of military music dating back to the Revolutionary War. Boys and girls ages 10-18 apply to join and practice for 8 years through high school graduation, educating the public about the role of music in the 18th century military. Beyond the music, the Fifes & Drums are a group that speaks to the ideal of working hard and earning your place. Through their hard work and dedication to both the musical and historical disciplines, members move through the ranks in pursuit of a few highly coveted leadership spots in the corps. While the original fifers and drummers of the 1700s were exclusively boys, this cover represents the changing face of the group and the bridge to the present with a Junior Corps that is now over 50% female. The girl on the cover represents that shift. Working with these kids was so cool – they worked so hard and showcased incredible discipline to get this iconic image. It was clear that they treat their place in history and their role in shaping the future with real reverence and respect. 

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Bayou

Bayou

On one of my last projects in New Orleans I had a beer one night with location scout, Aaron Dunsay. While we talked, he told me that if I were to drive a half hour and then take a boat for another half hour, I would come across these fishing shacks you can only get to by boat.

It’s exactly the kind of thing – utterly distinctive  – that I can’t resist. I was all in.

So I stayed an extra day in Louisiana and hired a waterman, from a long line of watermen, with a boat to take me out. I was so excited to have had this day and experience, to spend a little time capturing this somewhat surreal water world in person and with my camera. Not too many places are as unique as this one, places that make you wonder “am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” I ran with that, and with the sense of magic of the bayou to create this image – are you seeing what you think you’re seeing?

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Down in Mississippi…

Down in Mississippi...

I’ve always had a fondness for the Mississippi-Louisiana corridor, the Delta in particular, where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil at the Crossroads – rich in food, textures, characters and of course, the blues, this region lives in me. It was a place I traveled to during summers as a child with my family and am so fortunate to have made numerous return trips to the Delta to make photographs both personally and for work. The Mississippi Delta has produced more blues musicians than any other region, and it’s really not even close. On one visit to Clarksdale, MS, a local told me about the Riverside Hotel, which I visited and made a portrait of “Rat”, the owner at the time. The unique story of the Riverside and its historic place in the fabric of the Delta are tangible to me in the image.

The Riverside Hotel has been in operation since 1944. The hotel is one of many historical blues sites in Clarksdale and is famed for providing lodging for such blues artists as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Ike Turner and Robert Nighthawk.  At some point in the mid-1940s, Ike Turner moved into the Hotel and wrote and rehearsed his song “Rocket 88.” Turner’s bedroom is said to have been in what is now room #7.

Before being born as the Riverside Hotel, the site was the G. T. Thomas Afro-American Hospital, Clarksdale’s hospital for African American patients. In September of 1937, famed singer Bessie Smith was taken there for treatment after being involved in a car accident, which later proved fatal, outside Clarksdale.

The original structure had eight rooms. In 1943, Mrs. Z.L. Ratliff rented the property from G.T. Thomas for use as a hotel. Ratliff drew up plans that expanded the building to include 21 guest rooms over two floors. Thomas assisted her in this renovation and it opened as a hotel in 1944. Ratliff purchased the building outright from Thomas’s widow in 1957 and it has remained in the hands of the Ratliff family ever since. For much of that time it was run by Frank “Rat” Ratliff.

The portrait of “Rat” itself was very simple. He gave me a tour of the hotel and I asked if I could make his portrait sitting on the edge of the bed in one of the rooms.  He was game and we had nice window light.  The camera was hand held with transparency film and after couple of quick snaps we were on our way.  It was just a quick moment, nothing fancy but I enjoy the image, of a character of the Delta in his element. I was lucky to have had the experience and interaction with him.

“Rat” passed away in 2013, but the Riverside Hotel is still in business,  currently run by his daughter Zelena Ratliff.

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Wolfman

Wolfman

I first heard about 2 wolf-boys in Mexico 20+ years ago. It was a legend, a character that stuck with me and I couldn’t shake them. This past Thanksgiving I ran into Guadalupe Ortega Ramirez, a long time producer friend from Mexico City, and for some reason I asked her about what I had heard all those years ago. Guadalupe knew what I was talking about and, via an article in the UK that I came across, she found one of them, Jesus Fajardo Aceves, on Facebook of all places. We both friended and connected with him there and found out he was in a small traveling circus, Circus Golden Bross, and (as luck would have it) outside of Tulum for a few days. I love Tulum. And the draw to follow – and unpack the truth about – this character that had so captured my imagination was so strong that I packed a bag to find him, on 2 days notice.

Now that I had located him and was on my way to meet him, I began to look closely into his story and transform the tale into the man. The condition Aceves has is hypertrichosis, which is simply an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body. The other “wolf-boy” from the stories of my youth turned out to be his cousin. Hypertrichosis runs in families and Aceves’s two daughters have it as well. As is so often true of how people deal with the unknown, Aceves was bullied and gawked at. He sought a “normal” existence outside the circus and sideshow circuit and in 2005 the BBC did a documentary, It’s Not Easy Being a Wolf Boy” on his efforts to shave and look for employment. Aceves has since returned however to the familiar world of the circus.

On to Tulum. Guadalupe & I traveled, scouted and went to the circus. There I finally met the wolf boy – now a man. And Jesus Faiardo Aceves is one of the nicest guys I’ve met, both gentle and shy. He graciously sat for my photograph which ended up being a tight portrait to show the architecture of his face, his warm eyes and hint of a smile. I also wanted to show detail of the hair as it is, not as our imagination might create when we hear “wolf-boy.”

Youthful fascination. To photograph him was like my Scooby Doo mystery, like scratching an itch I’d had since I was a little boy. The legend of the Wolf-Boys had lived in my mind like those of the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. But to make a human connection with the legend was to find character and humanity in the man beyond the stories told late at night by flashlight.

While photographing Aceves at the circus I ended up creating images of a captivating contortionist as well. Who can do that??! All in all, a very inspiring day at the the circus.

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Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Advertising Photographers

Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Advertising Photographers

Cade Martin honored as one of Lurzer's Archive 200 best advertising photographers

Humbled and honored to be included in Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the world.

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Katie O’Malley

First things first, Katie O’Malley is amazing. Smart. Patient. Kind. Beautiful. Second things well, second, sometimes no matter intentions and planning, things go sideways. Third things – you know the drill, you still get the shot.

When I was asked by a client to photograph Mrs. O’Malley, the first lady of Maryland at the time, I was excited and expected it to be a relatively straightforward project.

Ahead of the shoot, I scout, I create scouting photos and send them to the client. People are busy. People work in different ways. Radio silence. We get closer to the shoot, still no word and I’m a little uneasy.

On the day before the shoot, I call my client contact and ask if she has had a chance to look at the scout photos. She says no, she does not like to work that way and prefers to figure it out on set. I ask if we can decide on a place to start. She puts that ball in my court.

People work in different ways.

The next morning is the day of the shoot and we arrive at the Governor’s Mansion in Annapolis, at 7:30am as we agreed. We wait. A little more. A lot more. The client is 2 hrs behind schedule, 2 hrs late to the Governor’s Mansion.

As we wait, we have set everything up hoping to get straight to work when we’re all in the same room. But the client walks in and says she’s not feeling the setup and she’d like to try something in another room. We break down, move, re-setup and shoot a test. The client decides what we had originally set up in the other room was pretty good. Break down, move, re-re-set up.

People work in different ways.

The same page was hard to bookmark that entire day (and night.) However, throughout, at every miscommunication and diversion in vision, Mrs. O’Malley was a dream. And you know what? It’s not always creative peaches and cream on set. But we got the shot. And I absolutely love it.