Cade Martin Creates Your Virtual Portrait

Cade Martin has done it again in creating imaginative work, setting off on a virtual adventure. In this time of sheltering-in-place, where we’re all at home every day, Cade sought to continue his photography work by turning obstacles into tools. Here is Your Virtual Portrait in Cade’s words.

Let’s try something new — a portrait of now.

I’ve been working on a series of tele-photoshoots where — with permission — people are virtually photographed from the safety of their own home. Anyone is welcome – individuals, families, couples, or kids. No animals have shown up as of yet, but if Zoom meetings are any indication, I assume they will.

The approach – I simply photograph subjects through their webcams, creating a portrait right from their living rooms, front porches, yard, etc. – without leaving my studio – to create a “together” but “distanced” photo session.  

The outcome – I work with what I have. Some webcams are higher resolution than others, and I’m at the fickle mercy of available broadband connectivity. But it’s been an adventure of sorts to embrace the various qualities and imperfections to create something unique and memorable. Some images might be slightly abstract, blurry, or somewhat out of focus. It’s great that every image changes from person to person and environment to environment, so it is an exercise in finding beauty in the unfamiliar. 

This pause has allowed me a lot of time to catch up on organizing as well as reflection. Case in point, I stumbled upon a self-portrait that I made in my second-ever basic photography class in college at VCU in Richmond, Virginia. It was a double exposure image created on one negative. For the technically curious, I photographed myself with a tripod, wound the film backward, moved my position in the room, and photographed myself again over the first image — no photoshop trickery. 

I wondered and doubted if I could do that now, if I could create such an image today, would I even know how to do it. I think I did it. Though digital, these images are straight images and done all in-camera — one frame with no Photoshop trickery.

Stop on by. Dress however you’d like, this is your portrait. Be yourself – these portraits are just for you, a memento of now. 

Follow Cade on Instagram to see more imagery, examples of finding beauty in the unfamiliar.

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