As an award-winning photographer, Ian Martin has many lenses to choose from when trying to capture a scene. As a photojournalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone, he also appreciates the relevance of history to the current moment. Fittingly, Ian’s connections to and perspectives on York are long and deep: he is a York alumnus, parent of an alumnus, and, as of 2019, photography teacher.
As a high school sophomore, Ian’s interest in photography was sparked while photographing shooting stills for the York yearbook with his mother’s Nikon FG under the leadership of Robert Pucci and arts mentors Susan Manchester and Jan Wagstaff. After graduating from York in 1990, Ian matriculated to UC Davis, earning his B.A. in English. While in college, Ian interned at The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia's largest newspaper by circulation, and upon graduation he joined the staff as a photographer for three years. Currently, Ian continues cultivating his craft as a wedding photojournalist and portrait photographer. He maintains a black and white darkroom for his personal work. Currently, he’s working on a non-traditional landscape series.
Ian has fond memories of his formative years at York, recalling in surprising detail various teachers’ hobbies and cars (back then Mrs. Trachsel drove a Chevy). Studying All Quiet on the Western Front in Mrs. Aronowitz’s class instilled in Ian a lifelong love of world history which carries through to this day. In fact, after his tenure at The Virginian-Pilot, Ian was awarded a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, spending over 3 months in South Africa and ultimately self-publishing a book of his work titled Invisible People: Poor and White in the New South Africa. Ian’s current “passion project” involves digging up primary source material about architect Charles Sumner Greene and the World War I memorial Greene designed for Carmel. Ask Mr. Martin about Carmel-by-the-Sea during the First World War and watch his eyes light up.
Generous, enthusiastic and multi-talented, Ian appreciates living on the Peninsula with his wife and daughters and has given back to his community in many ways, including having served for 2 years on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Planning Commission. Photography, though, is his first love. Having guest lectured and mentored for many years in the United States and South Africa, he relishes the opportunity to develop a more extensive curriculum for York students. Registering that photography is subjective and projects each year will evolve based on student questions and interests, Ian knows there will be some mainstays: the value of understanding the behavior of light, using the entire full frame to make compositions and thoughtfully challenging outdated conventions.