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Cade Martin

Your Virtual Portrait

by | May 6, 2020

By Cade Martin

Let’s try something new. A portrait of now.

I have been working on a series of tele-photoshoots where people can be 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 own 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 and/or slightly out of focus. It’s great in 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 that was created on one negative. For the technically curious, I photographed myself with a tripod, wound the film backwards, moved my position in the room and photographed myself again over the first image. No photo shop 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.

Next sessions are Thursday and Friday, May 7 and 8. Remember, it is Mother’s Day this upcoming Sunday.  Check it out here: https://cademartin.com/virtual-portrait/

You can check out Cade Martin series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic here.


About the Author

Cade Martin

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients


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