We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, why did you pursue a creative career?
Certainly not for the money! My camera has always been a part of me, so photography gigs would find me. However, I officially started my photography business when I decided to stay home with my kids. I couldn’t give up photography, and in order to afford all my gear to document my children I decided to start a photography business part time. I started out in the days of film and word of mouth. It is for the love of creating that I do what I do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Photography is my business, which ranges from headshots to small events. Though I do love it, it can get repetitive. I found that having an artistic outlet within photography keeps my business side interesting. As an artist I do a little bit of everything, I like expressing myself through different mediums. My challenge has always been to focus on one style or genre. At the same time, it is what makes me who I am, and it has given me many valuable experiences. For example, I took an honors course with Barbara Kruger in college, which was an amazing experience that I would have never had if I didn’t explore outside of my artistic medium area of study.
I was introduced to the world of dance when my son began taking ballet lessons 10 years ago. Naturally, I began photographing ballet dancers. Learning to photograph ballet dancers was a fun and challenging experience. I used my knowledge from years of sports photography and portraiture to help me jump into dance photography. The major challenge was learning how to translate and capture a very precise skill that is usually moving and on stage to a 2 dimensional format. Learning to photograph dancers improved my photography in all other aspects as well. When I returned to family portraiture I only needed half the time to get the job done.
I fell in love with this genre of photography for the subject matter and all the challenges it came with. I was determined to master it—and it became my passion. It was a passion project that was rewarded when I was asked to be San Diego Ballet’s official photographer in 2019. It only got better when later that same year I got into the Art’s District of Liberty Station. Turns out that doing things with lots of passion gets you places! For the past five years my focus has been in ballet photography as my art genre. It still has most of my attention as my artistic outlet and I don’t foresee it changing soon.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is gorgeous and there is so much to do around town! San Diego is known for beaches, so it’s safe to say my visitor would want to go there first.
Day 1 would consist of breakfast at Morning Glory in Little Italy and spending the day in Seaport Village. Then we would hop over to Coronado Island for lunch at the Burger Lounge, head over to the beach to view the sunset. We would finish day one with dinner in Barrio Logan at Salud Tacos!
Day 2 let’s go have breakfast at an old time favorite in La Jolla, The Cottage. This is also a great place to spend the day and do some shopping in downtown La Jolla and grab lunch at the many eateries around. Definitely would do lunch or dinner at the International Market, near UCSD. Then we should catch the sunset at the cove or the children’s pool.
Day 3 we can explore Baja with breakfast in Rosarito and finish off the day wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe.
Day 4 I would take my friend to my studio and to explore Liberty Station. I am in Barracks 19 where you will find many talented artists. We have painters, pottery and yours truly. Across the parking lot you have the Market which is full of eateries of all sorts. We can walk the beautiful grounds with many archway hallways and fountains. Dinner at Buona Forchetta (they have the best gluten free pizza in the city). I am in love with Liberty Station.
Day 5 We’ll go hiking to Potato Chip rock at dawn and picnic. I would also have to go eat some authentic Mexican foods at Tacos El Gordo or Aqui es Texcoco. Oh, and I can’t forget to have some Mexican seafood…my favorite spot is a food truck on Friars Rd. just west of Fashion Valley mall. I guess I would be feeding my friend well all week long…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My first push in to pursuing an artistic career was from my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time. Along the way, the support and encouragement from family and friends helped grow and maintain my business. Ultimately, it comes back to my husband. He’s my number one fan, and has encouraged me through all the ups and downs of maintaining a business. Through recessions and pandemics, he has been my greatest support.
Dancers who appear in the photographs; Jared, Kanna, Bella, Sierra, Tona and Stephanie.