If you’ve never visited Rio de Janeiro, you’ll definitely want to after seeing Arthur Martin’s photography. Hear more from our Fluence curator about what inspires him, his success with Instagram, and his beautiful hometown of Rio.
How did you get started in photography?
It was with Instagram; I noticed my friends started using it with their iPhones but I didn’t have any Apple products. Then I received an Ipad from my aunt, and I got an IPhone but the pictures were terrible. I received a digital camera from a friend and a year ago I bought my first professional camera. I saw a huge improvement in the quality and aesthetics afterwards.
When I started a design course in college, I had an interest in special effects and animation. I was thinking about doing something connected with this or computer games and graphics. Then I started looking at movies, TV shows, and professional videos on Vimeo and when I was looking at those videos, I started researching the graphics from the videos and I got more focused on my photography. It really inspired me.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Landscapes and the beach; I live Rio de Janeiro which is a great city for both.
My photographs tend to show this landscape in a clean, vintage aesthetic, so I try to get less saturated pictures.
You’re from one of the world’s most fascinating cities, Rio de Janeiro. Tell me what is your favorite thing about it?
I think it is one of the best places to live; to live nearby so much nature. I live so close to everything; restaurants, bars. It is a city the where the “day” life and the “night” life are so different, but people always want to get together in the streets. Be out and meet each other. And most of the people are happy besides the problems that we have. They seem to not care about all of the superficial things.
Speaking of people meeting, tell me about how you got started with the Instameets.
When I started photography, I used to get together with friends and take photographs around Rio. Then when Instragram became functional in Brasil, with the headquarters in Sao Paulo, the community grew to Rio because of our landscapes. Some of the Instameets happened here in Rio with Instagram Brasil. Throughout the year, Instagram Brasil asked us to lead Instameets here in Rio. Now there are about 10 of us that are directly involved with Instagram Brasil. In one of the Worldwide Instameets, we invited our followers and the plan was to go walking through Leblon and Ipanema. The first one was between 20 and 50 people. During the World Cup, many people came to Rio to watch and promote the games and some of them contacted me through direct messages on Instagram so we did some Instameets with people from all over the world.
What artists inspire you?
There are some photographers who really inspire my photography work such as Griffin Lamb, Benjamin Heath, and Finn Beales. They take fantastic pictures, like adventure and lifestyle pictures. They are so clean and the colors are shown in a light way. There is a tranquil mood. Chris Ozer and Vutheara Kham, who are photographers from New York and Paris, respectively, photograph cityscapes that have a different style than I am used to, because here in Rio my pictures are nature and landscapes but I like to see photographers from cities and places that I’ve never been to. I really like Ron Mueck; his work is almost reality, but it is a physical representation. You can see all of the textures and the feelings that are so explicit by the figures that he creates. The movie “Her”, really inspired me, too. It’s based in a city, and I really like the way the director captured the feelings of Joaquin Phoenix; the essence of the love he is feeling.
Why did you join Fluence?
I think it is really important for artists to get feedback on their work from different people. And from people who are used to seeing professional work. On Fluence, you can find an idol, inspiration, a person who has amazing work, who you had no idea about that is on the other side of the world. It’s important now that we’re all connected. Fluence is doing this. It also means that your work is getting recognition. Fluence is important for me because my work is beginning to be recognized at a level that I wasn’t expecting and maybe I can change the opinion of the projects and see some others that will inspire me.
What is your favorite technology or social media platform for photography?
At the moment, Instagram is my favorite. But I do use VSCO a lot. I use their software, VSCO Film to edit my pictures and videos through the computer, and the VSCO cam app on the phone as well. Exactly a year ago, my friends and I went to California. We visited the Instagram, Facebook and VSCO headquarters. Instagram and Facebook were more formal; we had a programmed visit and schedule, but the VSCO visit in Oakland was totally different. We were outside taking photographs, and some guy asked us who we were so we just said, “We’re some Brazilians who love VSCO”. So he invited us inside to talk to the CEO, Joel Flory. He is really humble and invited us into his office and told us about some new stuff that they were planning. I love the VSCO grid because you get to share your work and other projects. I’ve seen people in VSCO journal that are fashion designers, or travelers or just different professions being featured and it is inspiring.
What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
As a designer and photographer, I suggest people to look at other photographers, designers, artists and research the work on their sites, and get inspired and amazed from seeing their work. Then, create and design your own concept with an unique aesthetic to your photos so your work will become exclusive to you. I create stories about my photographs or I add what people might be feeling in a picture. I really think people should get inspired by others, but focus on your style. I want people to look at my photography and say “this is Arthur”.
Follow Arthur here on Fluence.