Cade Martin's Imagery Encapsulates Care, Healing, and Love

“I can’t think of much better than celebrating 150 years of Children’s National Hospital, except for maybe celebrating 151 years and beyond.” 

Cade Martin

Clients appreciate it when a photographer is ready for anything. Whether short timelines, nervous talent, or unexpected obstacles, Cade Martin is an artist who is comfortable with the unusual, taking it all in stride. A prime example is Cade’s recently released work for Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC. Having worked in the past with Rachel Phillips, Creative Director at Children’s Hospital Foundation – Children’s National, and Bill Cutter, Creative Director at SmithGifford, Cade knew he would be going into the shoot, not knowing who he would photograph and their conditions. He’s learned to anticipate challenges, being ready with smart solutions to keep anyone comfortable. We spoke to Cade about this project, and his comments began with admiration, “I’m grateful to capture some of the care, healing, and love that drives this extraordinary place.”

What did you learn on this project? 

In some ways, working with Children’s National, I get the distinct pleasure of learning the same thing each time – how important their work is and how wonderful they are. I’ve been collaborating with Children’s National Hospital DC for a number of years now. I’ve consistently witnessed the relationship between the hospital and families, gaining a deeper understanding of the labor of love that drives both families and the amazing staff at Children’s.

What was your most memorable moment on this one? 

A lot of times, when photographing real kids (and adults)– you walk in with a truckload of equipment, and they look at you and everyone else like you are from the planet Mars. My job is to make them as comfortable as quickly as I can as well as to capture an emotion and a moment in time. On our very first location for this shoot, we were in a little girl’s room, and the subject was more than a little nervous. I looked around, and she had a whoopee cushion on a little chair. Unbeknownst to her, I picked it up, had her look into the camera, and let the whoopee cushion rip, and watched her eyes widen as she broke into a huge smile and laugh.

I now have a whoopee cushion in my kit.

What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?

Throughout my career, more often than not – I do not hear anything once my work gets out in the wild. Social media has changed that a bit, and I’ve enjoyed the comments and feedback on the work. I hope that people recognize the power of storytelling in photography, to see care present on both sides of the camera. I’ve never been one to seek attention for myself, but one comment on a post gave me pause: “You are a good man Cade Martin. Tenderness and dignity shows in your work”. I’ll take that ten times out of ten. 

Follow Cade on Instagram for more imagery and motion, finding beauty in the unfamiliar.