By Cade Martin

The tagline of The Mansion on O Street in D.C. begins with “everything is possible.” With my first exhibition of photographs hanging in the galleries of this most iconic of institutions I am inclined to agree.

People end up at the Mansion and O Museum in so many ways – stories you likely wouldn’t believe. As a DC resident, I know these tales as a part of the character of this city. I once thought “if I could get one image on those walls …” and today, I am one of those stories!

On a shoot break, talking tattoos with a friend from the Melanoma Research Foundation, a planted kernel of an idea, the DC Tattoo Arts Expo, and now twelve prints 41” wide on 49×62” paper hang in the O Street Museum as my first exhibition: Character, Not Characters.

The other part of The Mansion on O Street tagline is “Dare to be different.” In my photography, I’m looking for the stories and characters that reveal themselves when you look at things differently. These oversize tattoo portraits are a closer look at stories told through ink – mysterious and intimate at once. If you’re going to do something, might as well do it right.

Having my work – my first exhibition – at the O Museum in DC is about as right as I can imagine. A huge thank you to O Mansion, “H” and Ted for giving me this opportunity.

Character, Not Characters will be at the O indefinitely.  For more info on the exhibit, museum and tours, head on over to

For sizing, pricing and additional inquires:

More on this portrait project here:

Cade Martin is an award-winning D.C.-based photographer who has been recognized twice as one of the 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide by the esteemed Lürzer’s Archive.  Among his many projects is Capitol Communicator’s “up close and personal” on-going profile series of communicators. To date, approximately 140 communicators have been profiled.

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