We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeffrey Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeffrey, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
There’s a satirical version of the saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day” that goes “do something you love and you’ll work every day.” I’m the kind of person that always has multiple irons in the fire, seeing what sticks. Right now my work/life balance is leaning very much on the side of work, but I’m constantly re-evaluating and making sure to prioritize gigs and jobs that make me happy. So even if I’m working a lot, they are projects that engage my mind and bring joy into my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
So I’m a photographer, but before that, I was a musician first and foremost. So I found myself in photography through my relationships with other musicians. I think it’s also my greatest strength as a photographer. I know how awkward it can be to be the center of attention and have a camera in your face because I’ve been there. So it helps me to alleviate stress and have a more relaxed vibe in a session setting. For stage photography, I always think “how would I want to look if I were up there.” And I try and capture that. So because of my connection to other musicians I’ve been able to spin it so I’ve been getting into shows and taking photos, which then builds relationships for both my photography and my music, and it’s this really nice synergistic relationship between those two things. The lesson I’m constantly reminded of when I start new things is: don’t be afraid to start new things. It might take a while to get good at something, but that’s not a good excuse to not do it. Sometimes you need to prioritize, but overall, don’t be afraid to change your narrative. 3 years ago I never thought I’d be saying this but just yesterday the lead singer of the band CHVRCHES shared my Instagram post. If you want to do something. Learn how and find people who support you in it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Seattle is known for its nearby mountains and the outdoors, but I have a love of the city itself. So I would start with my classic tour and head down to the Central Library in downtown Seattle. Then walk to Pike Place Market to see the fish throwing and grab some snacks at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Then that night I’d find a show at The Sunset or Tractor Tavern in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Once we’d had our fill of Seattle I’d probably head toward the coast to see the Cape Disappointment lighthouse or up to La Push to see those MASSIVE rocks along the coast of Washington.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has always pushed me to work hard, and proven to me over and over again that you can re-invent yourself. Never let yourself be trapped by the narrative that you are one thing. Do you want to change something? Learn something? Do something new? Go after it.
Photo of me by Sarah Brunner. All other photos by me.