Photographer, Evelyn Martinez

Spotlight / Creative Spotlight
Evelyn Martinez
1134931263
Claudia Marks
May 7, 2019
Photographer Evelyn Martinez knows firsthand what it feels like to be underrepresented in the world around you. In partnership her Getty Images Art Director Claudia Marks she's working to bring Latinx imagery to the forefront of media via our new Nosotros collection. Claudia sits down with Evelyn to talk about her journey to photography, the importance of family, and the concept of community.
[Claudia Marks]:  What motivates you to create your personal work?
[Evelyn Martinez]:  I'm motivated by the moments when I connect to someone else through their life stories.

[CM]:  When did you start taking pictures and when did you decide that creating imagery was something you wanted to do full time?
[EM]:  My introduction to photography was a short summer course in my first year of high school. After my community center closed down, photography didn’t come back into my life until the end of college. However, I started taking photography seriously around November 2017. I knew to create imagery was something I wanted to do full time as I did my project "100 Womxn of Color". The passion I woke up with every day to tell and share stories through photography helped me make that decision.

[CM]:  What is your favorite subject to shoot?
[EM]:  I love shooting portraits.

[CM]:  You say on your site that you seek to support womxn and femmes of color and bring tangible change and growth to the community. This is beautiful – and so is your work – how do you feel your work enacts that change?
[EM]:  My passion enacts the tangible change I seek for womxn and femmes of color because it allows me to collaborate and foster community through storytelling. For me, one of the most powerful needed to bring growth and change in a community is building and maintaining trust. Photography isn’t just about taking beautiful images, it’s giving people the opportunity to share a part of themselves.
I was attracted to shooting for Getty Images and for the Nosotros because I see the gap in visual representation and storytelling for people of color, particularly Latinx people.
[CM]:  If you could pick one thing to change for the community right this second what would it be?
[EM]:  If I could pick one thing to change for my community right now, I would make sure that the working class and poor womxn of color and femmes of color in the Bronx have ownership of spaces for community events, meetings, and workspaces.

[CM]:  What attracted you to shooting for Getty Images and for the Nosotros Collection?
[EM]:  I was attracted to shooting for Getty Images and for the Nosotros because I see the gap in visual representation and storytelling for people of color, particularly Latinx people. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be part of the solution to a problem I regularly encountered.

[CM]:  What does representation mean to you?
[EM]:  Representation is when one's identity/identities are visible (in media, in literature, in art, etc.). As social critics, @thetrudz, and @queerxicanochisme say, “representation won’t save us.” What good is visibility if we aren’t given access and control over resources and finances that can help us rebuild our communities? Representation is a first step but not an entire solution to social change.
The passion I woke up with every day to tell and share stories through photography helped me make that decision.
[CM]:  Tell us about the shoot you did for us: Una Cena con Mamá y Abuela – why was it important to you to create an intergenerational dinner as an inclusive space? Is there a connection for you between food and culture?
[EM]:  For my shoot, Una Cena con Mamá y Abuela, having an intergenerational dinner was important because we often see the representation of young people but as image makers, we also have the responsibility to also represent our elders. They are the reason we are here and I wanted to honor mothers and grandmothers by celebrating them through a dinner party. Eating food and sharing stories is a cultural ritual and this dinner shoot represents just that.

[CM]:  Who is your favorite photographer or artist?
[EM]:  My favorite photographer at the moment is Anayancy Gonzalez. Her work inspires me to be more conceptual when making images and drafting stories I want to tell.

[CM]:  What do you plan to shoot next (either personal or for us)?
[EM]:  My next photo project will be a conceptual series called Retratos Astrológicos, where I’ll show how astrological placements manifest in our everyday lives.

[CM]:  What’s your favorite meal to cook at home?  
[EM]:  My favorite meal to cook at home is Arroz Mexicano con bistec.

[CM]:  Where is your favorite place to eat in NYC?
[EM]:  My favorite place to eat is the Pupuseria Salvadoreña in the Bronx near Parkchester.

[CM]:  What playlist/artist is currently on heavy rotation?
[EM]:  My playlist on heavy rotation is Venus in Aries.

Creative Collaboration, We.Are