Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder as you read this
Award-winning photographer Cade Martin has completed a branding campaign for the International Spy Museum which he considers one of D.C.’s coolest destinations. He said that “it’s hard to imagine even 007 with a better assignment.”
“There’s no “I” in spy, and it was extra special to be on this project with such a cool team. I was grateful for the opportunity to work with long-time creative partner Fedde Souverein at Luminous Creative Imaging, in collaboration on CGI and retouching. I was thrilled to get to work with the fresh, creative team at January Third, and I got to team up with Robert Luessen and Jackie Ney of NLD Productions,” Cade Martin told capitol Communicator.
To gain insights into this project, check out this Q&A:
Cade, some of your past projects were about museums, what do you find interesting about working with museums?
So much! I love working in museums – one of the things I have always really enjoyed is the ability to walk around behind the scenes of locations that we are working at. I always have found that the back corridors are fascinating, and places that I would never be able to venture and experience as a regular rule-following visitor. The dream is to get to experience these spaces and their treasures in ways most don’t.
It is my own Scooby-Doo mystery, you never know what is lurking (on display or in storage) around the corner. In addition to being able to hang out and talk with the curators, a lot of times it is literally the Night at the Museum since we have to work after hours so as not to interfere with everyday goings on.
What challenges did you encounter during this shoot?
No real challenges, and it’s so nice to say that – it was just a really great, creative collaboration with Zach Goodwin and Maggie Winters Gaudaen at January Third – mainly letting our imagination go and being solution-oriented.
How did these images come together?
As most projects, I was approached with a brief and asked to bring the concepts to life.
I grew up loving movies and comic books so I embraced the idea of mystery and cinematic lighting. We tossed ideas back and forth, settling collaboratively on the right marriage of form and narrative. As with any great character, you want to know more, what’s next, what will they do, I wanted these images and actions to invoke that same curiosity and sense of adventure and intrigue.
In partnership with January Third, I teamed up with trusted partner Fedde Souverein at Luminous Creative Imaging. I’ve been working with Fedde for a number of years now on CGI and retouching projects. Clients seem to enjoy our chemistry – as do I – and how we approach projects.
Sometimes I’m reluctant to give too much away, to walk people through the entirety of my process, or to talk about things in too technical of terms – spies don’t give away all their secrets! I hear that little voice in the back of my head that whispers “doesn’t the magic disappear if you talk about it?” And while equipment, lighting and post-production were vital parts of this project, what I always trust and rely on is relationships, with clients, the on-set team, and all my creative collaborators. This project was a dream in that department.
What did you learn on this project?
Other than that I love the new Spy Museum!?
If anything – it reinforced that I have always loved adventure, and I want to go where I don’t know I want to go yet. One of the great things about working for yourself is that you never know what is coming around the corner or where you might be going next for a project. Someone may call and say you’re going to so-and-so tomorrow; it may be a place you never been or never heard of. You might love it or hate it, but you have those experiences. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a good bit, to be exposed to all kinds of different environments and people, and the camera has been my passport. I like to relearn that as often as possible.
Which shot is your favorite and why?
The young woman repelling into the vault might be my favorite. It looks like she is having a great adventure – a little Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Mission Impossible.
How does this fit into your vision through imagination?
Storytelling is everything in a photograph. No matter the subject, the tone, the technique, a photograph has to tell a compelling story. It anchors the work I have done, and is always what I’m chasing.
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