David Martinez is a surfer through and through. Yes, he rides waves whenever he can, and much of his work involves the outdoors, sunlight, the ocean, and the simple pleasures of nature. But David exudes the surfer mentality as well. When surfers are in the ocean, they learn to live in the moment; read the tides, wind, and waves and then make the call if they should ride the wave or wait. David takes this surfer thinking into his work. He is a storyteller; carefully considering the environment, light, talent, and production. He considers each detail with care and intention.
Many photographers embark on personal projects that capture their interests outside of work or projects that serve as an extension of their values. David is no exception. He recently embarked on a personal project documenting a surfer. David calls the project “Julie,” named after his subject. Here is what he had to say about the project.
“I had been hearing a lot about a woman named Julie when I would go surfing at my local beach in San Francisco. She had traveled all over the world as a professional longboarder- known for her graceful footwork from the middle to the nose of the board. This is called ‘hanging ten’ for those in the know; with all ten toes hanging off the front of the board – no easy task for those that have surfed before.”
“At the same time, I had asked a musician friend of mine to write a piece of music for another motion piece I was working on. The music didn’t quite fit the piece I had commissioned it for – I was heartbroken to not be able to use it. It had such a sweet tone – an aquatic, ethereal quality that stayed with me even after the music ended.
Then I met Julie. Watching Julie surf is like watching a ballerina dance. She has grace, style, and rhythm. The serendipitous timing seemed too good to be true – my music had found a subject, and my subject discovered her music.”
David often speaks of intentionally creating an environment that allows for happy accidents – or serendipity. This was one of those times where all of the pieces fell into place as if it was always meant to be.
Follow David on Instagram to see his collection of stories; first light, open roads and salty hair.