In life, everyone collects experiences and memories, some good and some bad. Sometimes we tend to make those memories or experiences last through a video or a photograph, whether it is a birthday, a marriage, a graduation, the birth of a child, or something else. Although thanks to the advances in technology today any of us can take pictures from our smartphones, certainly not all of us have the knowledge and expertise of a professional photographer who can ensure that a moment is captured forever with great quality.
May Martinez is a Venezuelan photographer who specializes in newborn, maternity and family photography. She arrived in the United States in 2016 after she had already run a successful talent agency and had started her photography career.
“I graduated as a publicist at 21 years old. Then, I began to work in the media industry working in an advertising agency and in a commercial production company. At 23 years old, I set up a talent agency for TV commercials with a partner. This agency lasted only one year since I then began to study social communication while continuing to work in the marketing industry.” May shares.
It was while working at the commercial production company that May met Marcel Boldu, her husband, who at the time was one of the most recognized advertising photographers in Venezuela.
“After a while I went to work with him in the area of corporate communications of his company. Since the company offered comprehensive photography services in the advertising area, I suggested setting up a talent agency.” May explains. “That’s how El Clan talent agency was born–an agency dedicated to the management of models and personalities for television commercials.”
At the agency, May used to do weekly casting of photos and videos with new and existing talents in the day to day. Eventually, she realized that she had a particular interest in photographing babies and mothers.
“I remember that I lasted researching it until 3 am fascinated with this art. At the beginning, the images did not reflect what I wanted since I did not have the experience. I started with maternity because it was easier than dealing with a baby. I had to take into account the lighting and the poses. I would also practice with friends’ babies, but it was more complex–not only the lighting was important, but also the props and most importantly, the treatment of the baby.” May recounts.
May’s first official session with a baby was a resounding success. That session inspired her to continue for more, and that led to where she is now. With a lot of practice, study and preparation, she has been able to master this profession she is so passionate about.
It was 12 years ago that May started doing maternity and baby photography. With that and her experience in commercial photography, she has identified the key to starting a business: passion, love for what you do, constancy, perseverance and discipline.
“All photographers have a differentiating element. Although we know the same techniques or use the same equipment, we will always have a differentiating factor in terms of the perspective that each person gives to the subject that is being photographed. Everyone has their own style.” May states. “In my case, I like to be very versatile because taking the same shots bores me so I try to vary a lot. Overall, I love what I do, I look for excellence and care for the details“.
For May, the biggest challenge to starting her business was taking the first step and trusting that she was doing the right thing. For her, fear can actually be the fuel to achieve certain goals. Success, on the other hand, is being able to do what she is passionate about and to earn a living doing it.
In terms of mindset, May believes that anyone can have a creative mindset, but what matters is actually acting on it. To materialize ideas and be able to execute them. In 2021, she is looking forward to continuing to create more products and improve her craft.
Learn more about May and her work here.