Sabrina Martin transcends your common definition of a travel photographer. Sure, she travels and photographs her journey, but she just as easily falls into the definition of a conqueror. The more you learn about Sabrina, you find that she uses her art to conquer her fears and overcome the mundane.
Her fearless spirit shines through in her photography and reminds us to appreciate each moment – from life in the busy city to the quiet simplicities of nature.
The Sabrina Martin Interview
Hi, Sabrina! Tell us a bit about your journey as a travel photographer.
I love adventures. Period. I love experiencing new things; including and not limited to: cliff jumping into beautiful watering holes, trying different foods and recipes (I thoroughly enjoy cooking), attempting new body positions like in yoga or gymnastics, traveling the world and immersing myself in the cultures – which brings on my love of photography.
I’m also Hawaiian and Italian. Most people don’t get either of those on the first, second, or third guess when trying to figure out my nationality.
Oh, and I work for a major U.S. airline, which fuels my traveling urges and social interactions.
What’s your favorite travel memory?
I would have to say my most recent international trip to Australia that included a spontaneous visit to Bali! In both of those countries, I was able to pet and feed a bunch of wild animals (in a controlled setting). The elephants and kangaroos were definitely my favorites!
As a travel photographer, have you found yourself attached to any specific place you’ve visited?
So far, I would say Greece has been my favorite place for photography. I was blessed to be able to visit Santorini and Athens for my birthday this year and I swear, I had the hardest time putting my camera down. From the ancient ruins, the gorgeous skyline, the city feel and the delicious food, I never ran out of subjects for my lens!
What do you shoot with and what gear do you recommend for traveling photographers who want to pack light?
I own a Canon Rebel T3 with a 55-85mm lens and a 75-300 mm lens. Whether I’m going cross-country or across an ocean, I always make sure I have the following: Camera body (of course), both lenses, battery charger, two empty SD cards, my mini tripod, mini reflector and wireless camera remote. Depending on my destination and bag availability, I also consider bringing my extendable, taller tripod.
What are your thoughts on altering travel images? Do you limit post-processing to preserve the image as you originally saw it? Or do you prefer extensive editing for artistic purposes?
I do photography because of the art – the creative perspectives you get to exhibit and share. With that said, I love the editing process, but I only do minimal touch-ups. Sometimes, you have to brighten the shot up or add some saturation to really show what you captured is what you physically experienced. I try to wow the audience with a different angle and perspective of a beautiful view.
I would definitely describe your style as authentic. Right now, what would be your favorite image?
I captured a rare moment last year while at the airport: a lightning strike right behind the Air Traffic Control Tower. The background story is what makes the photo. Long story short, I’m afraid of thunderstorms, but like I mentioned before, I tend to be adventurous. I got up early, still in my pjs and house-slippers, to try and capture lightning because I was A.) Trying to demolish a fear and B.) Testing out the settings I learned while reading up on how to capture lightning. I tried a couple weeks before with no luck.
On this day, I was running around the rooftop of the garage trying to get to the right spot, just following the storm as it moved across the city. The rain was falling. I was attempting to dodge under whatever cover I came across. Then it happened. I was in shock, not literally, but I could not stop smiling! I got it! It turned out to be one of my favorite photos and one of my favorite moments ever! At my company, the pic ended up winning Top 3 out of 600+ employee submissions of epic photos throughout 2015! In case you’re wondering, I’m still afraid of thunderstorms but I still enjoy chasing them!