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How One Creative Finds Therapy In Taking Photos

For Jonathan Martin, the act of taking a photo is more important than the photo itself. 

This Phoenix based freelancer has been playing around with cameras from the fifth grade, when he discovered his knack for composition on a family vacation. Since then, he’s found a passion for shooting clean, yet contrasting images without taking himself too seriously.

We caught up with this budding photographer to learn more about what inspires him, his favorite artist to jam out to during a photo shoot, and how he persuades his friends to model for him. (Hint: It involves fast food.) 

Be sure to follow along on our Instagram feed as Jonathan posts his favorite photos, plus a few more fun facts about himself throughout the week. 

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Jonathan, but my friends call me Jmart. Never Jon. I am a web design student and just moved to Phoenix as a freelance photographer and designer. I look like I could be athletic but I’m not. Sometimes I just sit and look at fonts and it makes me happy. I like non-fiction books more than fiction and puns make me belly-laugh every time. Oh yeah, and Coke never Pepsi.

What inspired you to start taking photos?

I got my first camera in 5th grade. My family was on a flight to Italy to visit my sister when my parents passed me a cheap, digital, point-and-shoot camera. I spent the entire trip snapping everything and anything I saw. When we got home, my dad helped me get some of my photos developed and was surprised at how well I had composed a lot of shots. He told me that I had a natural eye for photography and I immediately started learning everything I could about cameras and the basics of photography.

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What do you like most about photography?

It may sound weird, but I actually like the process of taking pictures more than my actual photos. I love being able to talk with people and share an experience with them. I’ve learned so much about some of my closest friends just from dragging them with me to take pictures. I’ll text a friend and say, “Hey, I want to take pictures and I need someone to be in them. I’ll buy you Taco Bell.” Once they agree (who wouldn’t?), we blast some Tay Swift and head out. Those are the moments that I remember when I look at a picture I’ve taken. Those are the memories that make me smile the biggest. The cherry on top is I get to express a piece of my creative soul that other people seem to appreciate.

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?

I like to shoot in nature a lot. Whether it’s landscapes or portraits, there’s something about being surrounded by natural beauty that gets me pumped.

What are 5 words that describe your style on Instagram?






Zoë Björnson is an Editorial + Social Media Coordinator with She is a graduate of Tulane University. You can find her on Twitter @kzoeb.