Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Studio. New Year. New Classes. (Updated)


There are now two different classes I will be teaching for January 2011. There will be a Photography Workshop on Saturday Mornings and an Acting Workshop on Thursday Evenings.

Let me explain. We originally had the Photography Workshop scheduled for Thursday Evenings but now that has been switched. Starting January 8th and continuing on the 15th and 22nd, there will be an Introduction to Photography workshop from 10:30AM to 12:30PM at the Studio in Harlem (125th St & 5th Ave). This Workshop includes Point & Shoot cameras as well as DSLRs. Total Investment with JDP2011 promo code = $45.

Thursday Evenings starting January 6th there will be a 12 Week Acting Workshop. Classes are from 7PM to 8:30PM at the Studio in Harlem. The Workshop continues until April 14th (no class on Jan 27th, Feb 3rd & 10th). Each class is $15 with a total investment = $180.

Maximum class size for both workshops is 12 people so reserve your seat now via email at Payment plan is available.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Truly Allure"


As I reflect on my photographic work I see I truly enjoy working with Artists, both theatrical and musical. I am sure my artistic background plays a big part in that.

With this portrait of Allure, I wanted to highlight the fun and familial elements of Lalisha, Alia and Akissa. When I studied their previous photos I noticed these women really enjoy being around each other. That family element was clearly evident in the photos as well as during the photo shoot. These women truly are family.

Urban Fine Art

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jazmine: Sultry Eyes


There goes Jazmine again with those sultry eyes.

You would not imagine at the beginning of the shoot Jazmine was very timid. In short time she let herself feel more comfortable and opened up. The music I selected definitely helped her find a nice rhythm for the shoot.

I really love the strong lioness feel of this portrait.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "The Ladies of Allure"


Last week's photo shoot with the music group Allure was such a lovely experience.

Today I reviewed the photos and selected the proofs for Allure's approval. The thing is these ladies look so great it made it hard for me not to pick all of them.

Instead of sharing the amazing group shots here on the blog I decided to show individual portraits so you can appreciate each of these ladies.




Monday, December 20, 2010



Last week I had my first shoot at the Studio in Harlem. Yeah, Harlem, NYC. I now do all my administrative work in Chelsea and handle Studio work in Harlem. 2011 should be an amazing year in light of all these new dynamics.

So last week I had the privilege to photograph Alia, LaLa, and Akissa, better known as the R&B group Allure. We had a fantastic day photographing them in spite of the cold

These ladies are definitely fun to work with. I was able to get my photo with them as well at the end of the shoot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Jazmine: Up Close & Personal"


I had been looking forward to photographing Jazmine for quite some time. She is very beautiful and her eyes are great storytellers.

This past weekend we were able to make it work and the photo shoot was so much fun.

There were numerous shots I got but I decided to share this one. I like the intimacy, the simplicity, and the silver tone. I call this "Up Close & Personal".

Urban Fine Art

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photography Class #4 of 4 - The Composition


I had an amazing time last night teaching the fourth and last photography class in this workshop at Hip Hope Academy in the Bronx. This class really was a culmination of the first three classes. We started with Vision, then went in to understanding the complexities of the Camera, and then we broke down Composition.

I could have taught Composition first which is what most people want to learn but the way I organized was much more fruitful. By the end of the class I saw eyes light up and brains thinking about images and how to photograph them. Their vision has been shifted. Their understanding of the camera has been enhanced. Now they can execute composition in a whole new way.

Where to from here? Perhaps I may teach this workshop in the spring at another location. One student already asked if I would teach an Intermediate class. I am still in awe I had the opportunity to teach an Introductory class. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined conducting a workshop on Photography. We shall see. This photographic journey has had so many enjoyable adventures so far. I am sure more are on the way.

Still I am amazed I taught a photography workshop

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Photography Class #3 of 4 - The Camera (Revisited)


In Class #3 we revisited what took place two weeks ago in Class #2.

At the beginning I shared some portraits I had shot over the weekend. One of my students informed me it helped when I shared some of my work and explained why I did what I did to acquire the shot. Critical analysis will help develop their vision.

Afterward we walked through ISO, Shutter Speed, and Exposure. It was great to hear some of the stories of students experimenting over the Thanksgiving break. What was even cooler is that we did some experimenting of our own in class with the Shutter Speed. We dragged the shutter (making it slower) and played with the blurring of light in a cool way.

I also brought my cameras to class so the students took photos with some more advanced (and heavier) equipment. This sea of experimentation helped them actualize physically what they have been learning intellectually.

The photos which were taken with my cameras were so cool I decided to start off today's class (our last one in the four part workshop) with their photos. Let's see how they respond.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Phil Bonano: Urban Visionary"


Phil Bonano is the senior pastor of New Season Christian Center. At New Season, the focus is on connecting: 1)With God through Bible Study and Worship, 2)With members of the church family through Fellowship and Functions, and 3)With members of the community through Outreach and Events.

The day before this photo shoot Pastor Phil mentioned doing a crazy thing like taking photos on the roof. Once I heard that I knew we were going to have a really great time. I love taking photos with urban landscapes and a rooftop in the Hunts Point area provided a lovely and unique perspective.

The portrait below was taken in the Bronx this past weekend where the temperature was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit (not including the wind chill factor). So Pastor Phil and I really wanted to be on the roof to get this portrait.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "A Portrait of Poetik Soul"


So Poetik Soul has decided on their album photos, which is a great thing. Therefore I can now show amazing photos from the shoot which were not selected for the debut album, "The Unlikely". Woo-Hoo!

The photo below was taken on a iron beam which was about three feet off the ground. The width was about one and half feet so Sarah and Tennia did not have much room to maneuver. That "extra" excitement made this particular setup really funny to me.

I love the angle and the depth in this shot. And of course Sarah and Tennia look amazing.

Urban Fine Art

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photography Class #2 of 4 - The Camera


So Class #2 was chock full of information. I could not help but have to make this mostly a lecture class.

Fortunately I started the class off with a sneak peek into a photo shoot I had done over the weekend with the female group Poetik Soul. I went through each of the proofs I selected and explained what was going on during the shoot and conceptually why I took the shots I did. The students seemed to really enjoy the behind the scenes action.

Then we got into information overload time. Half of my class use a Point and Shoot camera and the other half use a DSLR (interchangeable lenses) so this made it interesting. The topics of White Balance and Histograms had some people pulling out their manuals (which is a great thing to read). That's when I knew the class would take some

We also went over ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Needless to say class was extended by about forty minutes. I OD'd by putting too much information in one class. Next time I will save the Shutter Speed and Aperture for a subsequent class.

With the Thanksgiving break landing on a Thursday I knew my students would have two weeks to practice the new things they had learned so I tried to stuff them like a turkey. Next week at the beginning of Class #3 we will do a little review and some in class exercises. It should be a fun one.

I do love teaching. It is truly a great feeling to help people in their learning curve.

Two classes completed. Two more to go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Sarah (of Poetik Soul)"


The photo shoot with Poetik Soul produced amazing photos. I would share more of them with you but I want Poetik Soul to enjoy some exclusivity in sharing their photos with their debut album set to release in January 2011.

That being said I decided to take a beautiful studio portrait of Sarah and put an urban fine art flavoring to it. The original photo had a white seamless background before I started playing with it in my digital darkroom. I rather enjoy this rosy silver-esque coloring.

Urban Fine Art

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not That Big A Deal


With all the hustle and bustle of running businesses and doing ministry, sometimes I don't stop. I just keep going. The TED video below caused me to stop. I strongly urge you to watch it and consider Scott Stratten's words.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chase Jarvis on Social Art: Photoplus Expo Keynote Address


I was in the room when this Keynote Address took place in NYC last month. Chase Jarvis and the panel were very inspiring.

For all you photographers and artists, please enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Photography Class #1 of 4 - The Vision


So last week was my first time teaching a photography class. This was done in conjunction with Hip Hope Academy and Elements Church in Bronx, NY. We had 10 students which made for a very intimate setting.

Philisophically I believe the most important thing in photography is the person taking the photo, not the camera. To me the camera is merely an extension of the eye and vision of the person. With this premise I set out my first class to explore the heart and mind of my students.

I did not want the first class to be a lecture so I included exercises to force the students to learn about themselves. It proved to be very fruitful as many were uncomfortable with the exercises. Just like lifting weights, there is no growth unless there is tension. So I added some tension for reflection, vision stretching, and personal assessments.

I was excited to share with them what I had learned over the past two and a half years of doing photography. Over and over I encouraged them with the reality of how doable photography really is. My testimony is a good example of that.

The task before me is how much of those two and a half years of learning I can squeeze in a six hour introductory workshop (four classes of ninety minutes). This should be very interesting.

In Class #2 tonight we will be going into the Camera.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Urban Fine Art - "Poetik Soul"


This weekend I was very excited to work with Poetik Soul. Tennia and Sarah are beautiful people in soul, spirit and body. It was a great pleasure to collaborate with them on this album cover photo shoot for their debut album.

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure to photograph Tennia's wedding. It is also convenient I have been cool with both of these women for some time now. This chemistry made the photo shoot fun and smooth in my Bronx studio as well as in the Bronx exteriors where we shot.

I would love to show you numerous photos from the shoot but in the meantime I will give you a small appetizer sneak peek of Poetik Soul. :)

Big shout-out to Andrea Karen (Makeup Artist) for doing her thang.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tashera Simmons - Women of Strength Foundation


I had the great pleasure to photograph the Red Carpet Fundraiser for Tashera Simmon's Women of Strength Foundation. Many people came out to support and had a fun and refreshing time at Taj in midtown Manhattan.

Here is a slideshow I put together of the night's events.


Tashera Simmons - Women of Strength Foundation from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Women of Strength Portrait - Tashera Simmons


About two months ago I got the call from 238 Beats regarding photographing Tashera Simmons for her Women of Strength Foundation Red Carpet Fundraiser. In light of all the images of Tashera on the internet with DMX, I wanted to find out who the real Tashera was.

Our phone conversation went very well. In that fifteen to twenty minute time span we were able to connect, joke around, and collaborate on the style, clothing and goal of the photo shoot.

By the time I arrived at her home and officially met her for the first time, we were already connected. This made the photo shoot so much easier.

The photo below truly portrays Tashera as a strong overcomer, who loves life and loves to have fun.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Photographers Just Want To Have Fun


Okay so if you have seen me at a wedding you know I am all over the place. From the start I am taking photographs quickly and at various angles and locations. I take photographs of you when you choose to pose. I also take photographs of you when you do not even know I am there. Yes, I only show the ones where you look good. ;)

The other thing you will notice is while I am photographing the wedding reception I am dancing. Hip Hop, R&B, Salsa, Merengue, Electric Slide, etc. I fully enjoy photographing weddings. The dance floor is a great place to photograph as well as get my cardio

So I finally decided to share a photo of me "going in". I was holding one of my cameras (on a sling under my suit) while the groom took my other camera from my hand to take this photo.

Fotographer Fun

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moving Forward

Sometimes I just feel BACKWARDS. I just came out of a very inspiring keynote address at a photography expo in NYC and I feel VALIDATED. Not validated as a photographer, but validated as a person.

The way my brain thinks may seem crazy to others. Creatively I am engaged as a photographer, writer, director, producer, actor, mentor, minister, teacher, consultant, entrepreneur, social architect, and a leadership developer. I don't FIT in anywhere. At times I have felt so ISOLATED. But today I don't. My multiple disciplinary lifestyle has had me feeling all over the place most of my life. Today I have clarity and peace.

There have been so many times I have been consumed with this OVERWHELMED feeling. I was juggling all these disciplines and was FAILING at keeping all the balls in the air. Today I realize I am really shifting BETWEEN disciplines.

When I think of church culture and church leadership it is through a creative lens. Now I understand why I flow the way I do in liberating and invigorating the culture. When I share photos from my jPhone it is because I love making people laugh and smile. I want my image to provide healing for wherever they are at that moment in their day. When I produce and direct a theatrical/video piece, its purpose is to encourage/edify/empower/entertain/educate others. When I mentor/teach, I want to see others grow and blossom with a support system I never experienced. When I photograph w/ my Canons I want to highlight the beauty of people in their natural element. I love the candid/photojournalistic photos of unposed people living and being Real. And I usually do this within an urban landscape.

With my lenses I can capture the "extra" dynamic for those who only see themselves as "ordinary" because I believe every single person is extraordinary in some form or fashion. I want people to believe they are not "less than" but "more than enough, and then some".

This is me y'all. I think on many levels through multiple disciplines while sharing on various platforms.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Actor Headshot - Christian Simmons


Trained as a musician, Christian Simmons took a stab at acting in the recent Mitchell Torres play "Redeemed", which was performed last month in New York. He did so well and enjoyed it so much he decided to take some professional headshots.

Last week we had a cool time shooting headshots in the Bronx studio and on location. I wanted to highlight one of the headshots he selected.

Actor Headshot

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Teaching New Photography Class

By popular demand I have partnered with the Hip Hope Academy to teach an intro photography workshop, "How To Take Better Photos with you Point and Shoot Camera (or your new DSLR)".

All the info is on the flyer below.

- J

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bridesmaid Beauty


One of the last photos I took at Valerie and Joey's wedding at Perona Farms was of Elizabeth. She was one of the bridesmaids in the wedding.

This portrait is banging so I had to share it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sneak Peek - "Valerie + Joey Wedding"


Since I had such a great time photographing the engagement photos of Valerie and Joey, I knew their wedding would be just as fun. Located at the Perona Farms in New Jersey, this wedding had a beautiful outdoor ceremony on a gorgeous sunny day.

Well let me not give away too much of the goods since this is a sneak peek of their wedding. Check out a few photos below:

Monday, October 11, 2010

NYC via jPhone

Here are a few more pics of traveling through new York City from my jPhone:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery Link


So yesterday I posted the video slideshow for the Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery.

Today I opened up the link to all eighty-one portraits on my website. You can enjoy them at Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery.

Happy Viewing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NYC Skies

Traveling in NYC with my jPhone grants me the opportunity to capture lovely sights all the time.

Enjoy the beautiful skies in Queens.

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery"


This summer I worked on various personal photography projects while still working for my clients for photography, video and ministry. One of those personal projects was Rap Fest 2010 which took place on August 14th.

After having a wonderful eight hours of photographing this gospel hip hop concert in the Bronx, I took my time in processing and selecting the portraits to be exhibited in the Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery.

Today I will share the video slideshow of the portraits. Tomorrow I will share the link to the gallery itself.

Enjoy the video! Music by Richie Righteous.

Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Throw Your Veils In The Air"


The one word that encapsulates Eurice and John's wedding was Fun (also would say Dancing). People were dancing all night, even before the Bride and Groom were introduced.

I love this photo I caught of Eurice being demonstrative in her dance with her veil. It truly is an urban fine art portrait.

Urban Fine Art

Monday, September 27, 2010

Olivia, Our Hero [Repost]


In the fight against Leukemia, I would like to introduce you to my young friend Olivia via this brief photo slideshow.

Olivia, our Hero from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

God Belongs in The Bronx

This weekend I participated in a Prayer Walk as part of the event "God Belongs In The Bronx". It was my first Prayer Walk.

The group I was with walked from the West Farms Square area to Crotona Park (about 30 blocks) praying for the people of the Bronx.

We also prayed for the safety and development of the children.

We prayed for the growth of businesses and employment.

We prayed for God's power to be made manifest in the Bronx to combat poverty and homelessness.

We prayed God's anointing would deliver people from drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions.

In the afternoon there was a rally to celebrate the great things God is and will be doing in the Bronx.

HeeSun Lee, Gauge, J-Skywalker, and various artists blessed the mic.

There were even some guest speakers (including yours truly).

All in all, it was a beautiful and amazing day of ministry.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Get Around!

This photo is more for my non-New Yorkers. I just wanted to give you an intimate perspective of travel in NYC.

This #2 train goes from the Bronx into Manhattan, and then on to Brooklyn.

(Southern Boulevard Station, Bronx)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Google Read Me This!

I enjoy reading articles and blogs through my Google Reader either online or through my jPhone. Often I find really good reads which I share on FB or Twitter.

Interestingly enough Google Reader has a SHARE component which now I use more often as I only need to push one button. :)

You can access what I share in my Google Reader at:

Feel free to stop by there and catch a good read. If you like what I share, click the Follow button.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Empire State of Mind

I was born and raised in New York. Most of my life I lived in the borough of the Bronx. Presently I live in Manhattan.

The urban landscape has always been a part of my life. So it comes as no surprise that it is a major component of my work and art. It is part of how I see the world.

In the middle of the island of Manhattan there is this tall iconic edifice called the Empire State Building.

The photo above was taken with my jPhone at ground level about half a block away.

Welcome to the Empire State!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goya Anointing Oil

This weekend I had the privilege to photograph at the Promised Land Covenant Church in the South Bronx in NY. The church is working on their new website so they brought me in to tell the story of PLCC through photos.

Towards the end of the service I caught this photo of the anointing oil which the church uses for prayer. It was located on a shelf inside the pulpit.

Senior Pastor Michael Carrion confessed they purchased it at the corner bodega. That's one of the many things I love about PLCC, they definitely keep it

The Alphabet Game Outro [Video]


The Alphabet Game which I facilitated on Facebook was extremely enjoyable. We went from "A" to "Z" in 26 days.

In keeping with the low tech concept of only using our phones for the game, I recorded this congratulatory video with my jPhone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "At The Doorway"


Of course I had to pull out another photo from my Bronx rooftop photo shoot with Melissa. This shoot was the beginning of a new personal project I will be working on for a lil while.

This doorway was the open path to the roof. I think Mel looks amazing in this photo. She is both classy and sexy whilst having her clothes on. I love it. You go girl!

Urban Fine Art

Can I Kick It?

By purchasing a 3 light strobe kit and seamless white background, today I am definitely kicking it. And kicking it hard (I hope).

I have been meaning to upgrade my mini studio with a white backdrop for a while. With the summer weather basically gone in the NYC, I need a space where I can control the light and the room temperature. Portrait sessions in the cold are not always the most enjoyable time in the winter months. Clients want a warm space too.

This new upgrade will also extend my creative work. Now I can explore new lighting schemes as most of my work to date has been with an on-camera flash.

I am believing it is going to be a warm winter. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Step Up Your Game!

So this weekend I had a meeting with a friend who is also a photographer. Somewhere between ordering my waffles and waiting for their arrival, the analytical/strategic consultant in me came out and I "got into" my friend pretty hard. In a loving/shepherding way I SHOOK her awake so she could DREAM again about doing photography as a career.

Many people see me as cute and sweet, but few know about the motivator/instigator/call you out on your stuff Joseph. I do it because I love people. I do it because I see people going in a certain direction and either I want to help them get there or help them go in a more positive direction.

So if you are a photographer or you love photography, trust me that you too can enjoy the pleasure of taking photos as a business. I got my first camera 2 1/2 years ago and have been doing photography professionally for the past year and a half.

It is doable. You need to be clear WHY YOU ARE NOT DOING IT. And you need to know WHAT WILL IT TAKE to invest yourself in actually doing it.

"For a dream comes through much activity" - Ecclesiastes 5:3

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "Z"

Today's Z is sponsored by Zed.

*So this last letter was all about composition. I placed a vignette on it in the CameraBag app just to draw ur attention to the main subject, being the letter "Z".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "Y"

This creative "Y" is sponsored by Yosemite's Youthful Yak Yelp.

*This is the "Y" from the Subway food chain. I just wanted to make it look different.

I added contrast, helga, saturation and a border in the CameraBag and PS Express apps.

The Alphabet Game - "X"

Today's "X" is sponsored by Xyla's Xstatic Xstravaganzas.

*I made this "X" by using two public telephone receivers. It was very hard balancing them w/ one hand while trying to photograph then w/ the

I wasn't in love w/ the photo so I added contrast, sharpening & sketch in the PS Express filter. Then I finalized it with some colorcross in the CameraBag app.

The result is way better than the original shot. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "W"

This creative "W" is sponsored by Wildstyle Waterbury Walrus Water.

*While sitting in a conference room I decided to put the sugar packets together to create my lovely "W". Then I photographed it in HDR w/ my jPhone.

Afterward I dropped it in the CameraBag filter to add some contrast and a border.

The Alphabet Game - "V"

This creative "V" is sponsored by Victor Vega's Vegan Veal.

*I saw this "V" on the exterior of the Valley National Bank in Manhattan. I already liked it's form so I decided to play up it's texture.

I added contrast and sharpening in the PS Express app. Then I added a dreamy look in the Plastic Bullet app. Afterward I added a magazine filter to the whole image in the CameraBag app.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "U"

This creative "U" is sponsored by Uganda Ultrasonic Udders.

*While depositing money from the ATM I saw this "U". Because I had to rotate it 90 degrees I used the PSExpress app. While I was there I added some contrast, sharpening, and this Four Square effect.

I call this photo "4 U".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "T"

This creative "T" is sponsored by Tantalizing & Tortured Tacos.

*I saw this crossbar at a Japanese restaurant. It was part of a room divider.

I definitely highlighted the cross with contrast & sharpening with both the CameraBag app and the Photo FX app. Yeah the apps help me add "extra" to the "ordinary".

The Alphabet Game - "S"

This creative "S" is sponsored by Sassy Sapphire Sandals.

*I have no clue where I found this "S" because I shot this two weeks It is a simple S. I just added a lil character to it with the border and some contrast.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "R"

Today's "R" is sponsored by Roscoe's Rambunctious Ranch Dressing.

I saw this "R" on the window of a store in Manhattan. It looked really flat so I moved to the side to get about a 30 degree angle (math nerd? Yes.) which gave some dimensionality to the letter.

I jazzed it up with the Plastic Bullet app. Then I boosted the contrast in the BestCamera app.

Urban Fine Art Faves - "Rap Fest Treats #3"


As I continue putting together the "Rap Fest 2010 Urban Fine Art Gallery", here is a sneak peek of some of those photos.

Demonic Spirit Skit before Richie Righteous set

HeeSun Lee blazing the mic

Humble Tip

Andy "C-Lite" Mineo


Mele Mel

The Alphabet Game - "Q"

This creative "Q" is brought to you by Qbert's Qurious Queries.

I found very few "Q"s today especially since I was in chill mode. This Q is a vanilla scented candle with a collar pin. Simple & sweet.

Of course I ran it through the CameraBag app to sweeten it

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "P"

Today's creative "P" is sponsored by Pluto's Premier Pyrotechnics.

*This P is actually etched from fragments of the moon. I bought This is the P on the parking muni-meter in NYC. I just used the CameraBag app and the Plastic Bullet app to give it a very different look.

The Alphabet Game - "O"

Today's creative "O" is sponsored by Olivia's Oxygen Octagon.

*This is simply the drain in my bathtub. I gave it a more "interesting" look by adding a dreamy vignette in the PlasticBullet app.

OMG Video (Eurice & John Engagement)


Right now I am editing Eurice and John's wedding photos. It dawned on me I never shared their engagement photos in an amazing way. So of course I called up my boy Usher and we put this lil video slideshow together.

Enjoy the remix of OMG via Eurice and John.

OMG (Eurice & John Engagement) from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

The Alphabet Game - "N"

Today's creative "N" is sponsored by Nenna's Nambia Noni Juice.

*The original "N" I found on the wall of the Hampton Inn in Manhattan. All I did was use an Infared filter in the CameraBag app to give the image a lil more character.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "M"

Today's creative "M" is sponsored by Matilda's Mount Mofongo.

*I grabbed this "M" at the Disney Store. It was on a Mickey Mouse bookbag.

I just jazzed it up in the CameraBag app and then really pushed the color and saturation in the BestCamera app.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

238 Beats - Ras Kass NYC Album Release Party


I went to high school with the three guys who run 238 Beats. The latest event they asked me to shoot was the NYC Album Release Party for the hip-hop artist Ras Kass.

Ice T was the host for the night. There were various opening artists but the one who ripped it up was a female Canadian rapper named Eternia. Her lyric flow, her stage presence, and her control of the audience was phenomenal.

Below is a video slideshow of the night I think you will enjoy.

238 Beats - Ras Kass Album Release Party from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wedding Fave - "Tennia & Mario"


I met Tennia a few years back at Harvest Fields Community Church in the Bronx, NY. She was involved with singing on the worship team and with the R&B/Funk group NuSoul Generation & Da Funk Factory.

While hanging out with some of my friends from Harvest, I had the opportunity to attend a hangout at Tennia's place. To this day I still joke with her about the ingenious door handle she had in one of her rooms.

Mario and Tennia were dating when I visited this hangout so I had the chance to hang with Mario. He is a funny/mellow dude.

Some time earlier this year I had a conversation with Tennia where she asked if I would be her wedding photographer. I was honored.

Since I knew some of the guests at the wedding I had even more access to intimate/candid photos of the night. The wedding was slamming. We definitely partied it up at The Social at Dunwoodie.

[Editor's note: I love photographing and dancing during the reception so it is always more enjoyable when I am doing this with people I already know.]

Congratulations to the fun and very loving newlyweds, Tennia and Mario.

*This wedding portrait which was taken out on the golf course.

Wedding Portrait Fave

Yes, I Do!

This summer has been a busy one, relatively speaking. I have only been photographing professionally for 16 months now. Last summer I was trying to figure out the art of photography and the business of photography. I still do not have it down but thankfully I am much further along than I was last summer. Yet I still understand I have a whole lot more to go.

In the midst of establishing this new business I still get overwhelmed with the work and the learning. I feel like I am in school constantly. Daily I read blogs regarding business, marketing, & photography. Daily I run through strategies of what photos to edit and which ones to post. Daily I consider how to market/promote/share the work I do and connect with various networks.

It's kind of amazing because the only formal training I have had in the Arts is with Acting. So it really is a walk of faith to open a Photography Co. I so enjoy working as a photographer. It is another task I do along with being a minister, director, producer, writer, consultant, and counselor.

My life is definitely an eclectic one. I am so privileged and blessed.

Thanks for journeying with me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "J"

While brushing my teeth in the bathroom I saw this "J". My jPhone would not take an upside down photo so although I shot it upside down I still had to flip it back to get it properly in the PSExpress app.

Afterward I added some contrast & color in the Best Camera app.

So now you have a creative view of my

The Alphabet Game - "L"

Today's creative "L" is sponsored by Loila & Lace

*This "l" was found behind my parent's front door. It is a mini-bat in case anyone gets stupid. Hey, we're from the

All I did was add a little contrast in the BestCamera app.

The Alphabet Game - "I"

This creative "I" is sponsored by Indio's Illest Ideology iKnife.

*Yes with the popularity of iPhone, iPod and iTouch, my boys from Castle Hill Projects invented the new iKnife.

This is not just a blade for shanking people. No you can also slice tomatoes, cut a penny, navigate via GPS, text message internationally, and communicate via ultrasound to dogs and dolphins.

Lol...okay so I came up with this one in the wee hours of the morning...seriously. It is what it is...a knife.

I ran the image through PlasticBullet app to give it more of a vignette/dreamy look.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "H"

So today I cleared out the top row & placed two Motts Apple Juice containers together. I originally wanted to put the dozen egg container in between but I thought that might be dangerous. Instead I placed the Country Crock spread in between to complete my "H".

I then enhanced the photo in the BestCamera app.

The Alphabet Game - "G"

*This "G" is from an "In The Heights" advertisement I saw on top of a yellow taxi.

I added some texture and glow in the PlasticBullet app followed by some Colorcross in the Camerabag app. And voilĂ !

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "E"

Today's creative "E" is sponsored by Ebenezer's Everyday Eggnog.

*I saw this door handle in my parent's home. Well the actual door handle is the upside down version of this. Immediately I thought I could shoot the camera upside down and I would get a beautiful "e". Unfortunately my iPhone kept rotating to landscape mode when I turned the camera upside down.

So I was stuck having to photograph the original door handle and turn it right side up in the PS Express app. This turned out to be not so difficult.

Now that I had my "e", I applied a vignette in the CameraBag app. Lastly I added texture to the image with the BestCamera app. This is how I got this unique looking "e".

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "R.I.C.H. Behind The Mic"


The closing artist/minister for Rap Fest 2010 was Richie Righteous. His set was bananas. God is truly flowing through this brother.

I caught this photo earlier in the day while Richie was in a relaxed mode. He never even saw me photograph this.

I converted it to B&W in post to help us focus in on this contemplative moment.

Urban Fine Art

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "F"

Today's creative "F" is sponsored by Fatima's Fluffy Falaffels.

*This "F" is on the marquee of fuse TV on W. 32nd Street in NYC. It looked kinda boring so I applied multiple filters in the BestCamera app to create a comic book look. I then gave it a slight enhancement with the Plastic Bullet app.

Let The Wedding Be A Wedding

Yesterday I talked with one of the brides I photographed recently. One of the things she said encouraged me and made me feel like I am going in the right direction with my photography. She told me she appreciated how I let her and her new husband enjoy their wedding without constantly asking them to pose for photos throughout the reception. How I was always around snapping photos but in an organic way (without forced posing).

That was important for me to hear. I believe weddings are meant to be enjoyed. I want my brides and grooms to relish this amazing new day and let me capture the amazingness. I never want them to feel like they are a freak show in a circus being pulled in every direction to pose for photos every 30 seconds.

This photo journalistic style gives me the opportunity to capture their essence. The photos will show them really enjoying the wedding because they are so in the rhythm of the moment they are not "cheesing" for the camera. While a cousin or uncle is asking people to pose for his/her expensive camera (which they don't really know how to use), I am roaming around like a duck hunter looking for precious untainted moments. This is how I roll.

Although I was not looking for photography, God placed this in my path and I am very grateful. Next weekend will be my official sixth wedding ever done as a photographer (did about half a dozen as a Videographer). I'm excited as I see I am continuing to build/grow.

*Note - I do shoot Formal poses with Family & Bridal Party after the Ceremony. I also do posed shots with anyone during the Reception as per request or if I see an amazing shot

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "D"

Today's creative "D" is sponsored by Drizzly Drops of Dew.

While walking in the Wall Street area of Manhattan I saw the TD Bank logo on the door of the bank. I quickly photographed it knowing the "T" was a little too close to the "D".

So while I was on the train I decided to use the Fisheye lens in the CameraBag to highlight the "D". And it worked.

Then I used the BestCamera app to add contrast and a border. This gave the image a richer look which I really liked.

This Alphabet Game has been pretty fun. Right now we have about 11 people playing on FB. So if you want to get down, jump on in.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "C"

*This creative "C" is sponsored by Chattanooga's Chocolate Cupcakes.

As I was walking out of the Men's bathroom at an office building I saw my "C". It was this door handle. I quickly snapped a few photos with my jPhone. I was concerned someone would push it from the other side and knock me in the head ("Grease" movie flashback with Kenicke). Three shots and I was done.

I dropped the photo in Best Camera app to add some contrast and cause more distinction between the door handle and the background. Then I dreamed it up in the Plastic Bullet app. This app is very random (literally) so I waited 'til I found this one.

As always you can join the Alphabet Game on FB and/or start your own game with your peoples.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Alphabet Game - "B"

Yesterday I happened to be down near Wall St in Downtown Manhattan working on a video job for a client. This slab of stone was on Broadway so I chose to use it.

As I went to take the photo with my jPhone I saw my reflection in the letter. So of course I incorporated that into the photo. I wanted my face to show prominently in the top portion of the "B".

Afterward I used the PhotoFX app to add contrast & sharpening so both the letter and my face can be seen a lil better.

There you have it. So join us on Facebook or start your own game with friends.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Alphabet Game (backstory)

So Thanksgiving of 2009 I had this funny idea while walking home. I saw this letter "A" with the tooth character on top of it. I took this photo and sent it via text to my friend who was visiting family in San Francisco. My only message to her was "I got 'A' now you have to find "B".

For the next 75 minutes we went back and forth until we reached "Z". I was running around my apartment looking for letters to photograph. The pics we both took were creative and hilarious. From two legs in the air for "V", to the "H" in an uncle's Heineken bottle, to the "R" in the Raid roach spray. It was classic. 'Til this day we still joke about it.

So yesterday I repackaged the concept on Facebook with some friends. I posted this photo and told them to find the most creative "A" and post it on FB. About half a dozen of them responded. It was hilarious.

Sounds like fun? Why don't you try it?

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Outreach"


Nina Leal from Manhattan Grace Tabernacle asked me to come out to the MGT Summer Concert Series on August 22nd and photograph the event. Nicky Cruz was the guest speaker.

My paths crossed with Nicky Cruz in 1997. I had the opportunity to act in the play "Run, Baby, Run" which told about Nicky's life as a gang member in the streets of New York City. The play was done at Crossroads Tabernacle in the Bronx and I played the role of Nicky Cruz. It was a life changing experience.

I call the photo below "Outreach". After sharing his testimony, Nicky invited the audience to make Jesus Christ the Lord of their life. Those you see in the foreground are the ones who responded. On September 4, 1997 I too responded to an invitation Nicky made at a church in the Bronx. And my life has been all the better for it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "HeeSun Lee"


During this summer I had the opportunity to photograph more events than I have ever done before. Last summer I was just at the beginning of my professional photography venture so it has been quite enjoyable both photographing and editing photos thus far.

A couple of weeks ago I photographed Rap Fest 2010. Of all the RapFest photos I have had the pleasure to make into urban fine art pieces so far, this photo below of HeeSun Lee is my favorite. I see Strength, Grace, Focus, and Tenderness.

Urban Fine Art

Thursday, August 19, 2010

RapFest Treats #2


RapFest 2010 in the Bronx on August 14th was amazing. I could sit it and write all about it but I would rather show you.

Check out some of the pics.

Bert Bocachica
is focused as host of RapFest 2010

DeVorah and HeeSun Lee repping for the ladies

Prodigal Son

DJ NuMann looking extra fresh

of Peoplez Choice


Real Ministry [Rap Fest Video]


While photographing a gathering of ministers/artists at the Rap Fest Fellowship, I videorecorded this prayer by Bert Bocachica. Listen to the heart of real ministry and what the Bible calls "good ground".

The Prayer

Prayer (Rap Fest Fellowship) from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doubledge @ Nite B4 RapFest


While photographing the Nite B4 RapFest concert, I also recorded this short clip of video of Doubledge's performance. Notice how the kids in the front are enjoying themselves.

Doubledge @ Nite B4 RapFest from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

RapFest 2010 Video from my jPhone


While I was running around photographing RapFest 2010 in the Bronx, I took out my jPhone and recorded these two short video clips of artists performing.

Check them out and enjoy.

Richie Righteous


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RapFest Treats


In 2001 and 2002 I had the privilege to videotape the RapFest concert. This year I decided to tell the story via photos.

So stay tuned as I post now and in the near future what I am calling "RapFest Treats". Check below and see some portraits from this Gospel Hip Hop Concert in the Boogie-Down Bronx called RapFest.

DJ NuMann on the Set

Bert Bocachica prays for RapFest 2010

HeeSun Lee ripping the mic

Shirt worn by a RapFest Volunteer

DJ Wade-O on the 1s and 2s

"What Would Jesus Do" Grillz? Wooooow!

Richie Righteous was the closing artist and truly represented God.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Humphreys Bunch (Family Portrait)


I met Jose and Mayra three years ago at an ACTS Urban Youth Leader Training Program presented by the Latino Leadership Circle. Immediately I connected with their realness and their genuine love for people.

Over the past few years I had the privilege to watch them start a new church plant in Harlem. Along with pastoring a new congregation, Jose and Mayra are parents to their son Javier.

This past weekend I had a great time photographing portraits for this family in Central Park. Below is my favorite photo from the session.

Family Portrait

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Rooftop Leaning"


This was one of the first photos taken during our photo shoot on a rooftop in the Bronx last month. It did not take long for Melissa to settle down with the camera. Her beauty comes across so clearly.

I look forward to sharing more photos of her from this shoot.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Around The Way Girl"


Melissa and I had a conversation a couple of months ago where we set up this shoot on a rooftop in the Bronx. I had always wanted to do a shoot like this and it worked out perfectly.

This is the beginning of a new personal project. And this photo is the exact image I had in my mind to take when I envisioned this shoot. I have loads more but I will share them in time.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mother & Daughter - Sweet 16 Portrait


A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure to photograph Stephanie's Sweet 16 in Queens. It was a very hot day but we were able to beat the heat and have a lovely time.

This portrait of Stephanie and her mother Arlene was taken in Stephanie's room.

Sweet 16

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photo Slideshow - Follow Oscar's B'day


It was great to surprise Oscar with this slideshow of photos from his party. He did not expect it which made it all the more enjoyable when I posted it on his FB page.

I love the song you are about to hear. It fit perfectly with the crowd and the photos from the night.


Follow Oscar's B'day from Joseph D. Martinez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "On The Waterfront"


As I was editing the selections Valerie and Jose chose from their Engagement Photo Session, this photo caught my eye. I love the look, the sightlines, and of course the Manhattan backdrop. It has the feel like it belongs in a men's magazine.

I call this photo "On The Waterfront".

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Solomon Starr"


This is one of my favorite photos from the shoot I did with Solomon Starr. This brother is really cool. He is an intellect, a rebel, a friend, a minister, an artist, and so much more.

I have had the opportunity to break bread with him and have real talk. I truly respect and honor him. He is a good dude.

You can follow his music on MySpace and his blog at Fight Back 2010.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "Queens Love"


Last year Valerie and Jose met with me regarding my photographing their wedding for this September. Since then it has been a joy to watch them prepare for their wedding and share their love with one another.

Last week I had the pleasure to hang with them in Long Island City by the pier. This is the spot they wanted to photograph it. They were especially excited to take photos with the Manhattan skyline behind them.

This urban fine art portrait I call "Queens Love".

Urban Fine Art

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Urban Fine Art Fave - "The Lone Star"


With the star above Flora, I just had to emphasize the "illumination" in this Urban Fine Art Portrait.

Flora's energy is definitely in overload when she gets excited. She is a very passionate and determined woman.

Urban Fine Art

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fav Pics from the Puerto Rican Day Parade


The National Puerto Rican Day Parade took place on June 13, 2010. Here are some of my favorite pics while walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marc Anthony & JLo


This past Sunday New York City celebrated the 2010 National Puerto Rican Day Parade. This annual celebration is the biggest parade in New York City. I had the great privilege to photograph it as a member of the Press.

When I was in my late teens, I remember participating in the parade dancing mambo up and down Fifth Avenue. So it was a joy to be participating this time loaded with two cameras and capturing all the festivities.

The King of the Parade this year was the amazing singer Marc Anthony. He was accompanied by his wife Jennifer Lopez.

More pics will be coming soon.