Cade Martin and a Reminder That Inspirations Aren't Always Linear

It’s easy to think of a project as one solid idea or theme. But when you have an imagination like Cade Martin, it’s not always so straightforward. He traveled to Mexico, a place that he feels called to and has a deep interest in its culture, landscapes and people. There in Mexico was where this new story began to take shape. While his inspiration is always revving, ready to take us to a different time and place, it was in Mexico where the light hit just right and this story took off.

Inspirations aren’t linear, and why limit it to one storyline. This project incorporates Mexico, Film Noir and Westerns. Just Cade in Merida, Mexico with his camera and imagination.

"As a photographer, I’m always chasing stories, happy to be caught by one." - Cade Martin

What was one thing you learned on this project?

That inspiration doesn’t have to be linear. I am often called to Mexico, a place I have returned to time and again for a spark, to follow a kernel of an idea, or for a reset. This time, in Merida, I was given a gift of perfect lighting that in turn sparked inspiration and my love of film. 

It was Film Noir, Westerns, Mexico. Mixed influence, blended genres, but rooted in a sense of place. I answer when Mexico calls, not sure what I’ll find, but knowing something will find me. I’ve been traveling to Mexico since I was young, and always have had a strong affinity for its people and the place itself.

What was a memorable moment from this project?

The moment that a story came to me through my lens, when the shadows and light filled and hit spaces just right so that I saw each image like stills from a film. From there inspiration built and I was invited to imagine a full story with what came before and what was next.

What is one thing you want people to take away about you and your work after seeing this?

First, I hope people enjoy what they see, that they are put into the middle of a story – probably a different story than I imagined – and are inspired to imagine what happens beyond a frame. 

As a photographer, I’m always chasing stories, or happy to be caught by one.