"Inspiration is Beauty"
February 6, 2014         (updated on March 29th, 2014)

Q: Where are you located?
A: At the moment, I’m living and working in Austin Texas.
Q: What’s with the “TR” thing?
A: Good question, my given name is Todd, Todd Martin. I created the TR moniker for a couple of reasons. The first reason was to separate my professional work from my personal life. The second reason was to give my business some internet uniqueness. There are a ton of “Todd Martins” out there, most notably a tennis professional. I needed something that was both personable and unique. So I followed some other famous nom de plumes: T.S. Eliot, M.C. Escher, H.G. Wells, W.C. Fields, and B.B. King.
Q: I thought the “TR” thing was odd but what do you mean by designs?
A: At first I was going to use ‘TR. Martin Photography’ but the more I worked with people I realized my responsibilities as the photographer were much more than just taking the photographs. This realization made me look for a name with a larger scope but still had that artistic reference and “designs” was the word I thought was a good fit, so here we are.
Q: You went from corporate computer programmer to photographer?
A: Yep, I spent 25 years programming computers for a living. In the beginning the company I worked for was small and we were trying to change the world, it was an incredible time. However as the company grew corporate policies and procedures mechanized the culture and stifled creativity. I needed to find my passion again and photography has that mixture of technical rigor and artistic freedom that I find exciting and ridiculously fun!
Q: How long have you been a photographer?
A: for about 20 years when I wasn’t doing my day job I was shooting photographs and studying light. However I would consider those first 20 years as study years. Technically I’ve been doing professional work, portrait sessions and second/third camera at weddings, for about two years.
Q: Do you do portraits?
A: I do a few portraits here and there but it’s not my primary photography niche. My work aligns best with lifestyle photography I’d rather be hanging off a ledge capturing a portrait of a rock climber, bouncing around in a speed boat trying to catch that epic action shot of a wakeboarder, or freezing a mountain biker flying through the woods at 50 MPH.
Q: I like your photographic style could you shoot my wedding?
A: I’d love to tell you “yes” but I have to say “no”. I’ve done some second shooter gigs for more veteran wedding photographers and to be honest I don’t have the passion for it. A good professional wedding photographer has it down; they have a huge list of contacts, relationships with most of the wedding vendors, they know the tempo of weddings, and they’ve been to almost every venue in your area. I don’t have those resources and someone’s wedding is just too special of an event, you’re better off hiring a photographer who specializes in weddings.
Q: What are your rates?
A: Boy I honestly wish I could just post a rate on the website and be done with it. But the complexities of each individual shoot just can’t be accommodated with a simple blanket dollar amount. You can contact me with what you’re thinking and I can work up a bid proposal and we can go from there.
Q: Do you travel for assignments?
A: You bet, I love traveling. To be honest I’ve chosen my gear specifically to be mobile, dependable, and rugged. I’ve been to some amazing places just to take a photo and loved every frustrating minute of it.
Q: Why do you only use speed lights?
A: I catch a lot grief about this from my photography friends, “Todd, when are you going to grow up and get adult strobes”. Just like I explained in the travel question I like to be portable. With the Strobist movement and the advancements in flash guns I decided speed lights where the way to go. This is especially true when it gets down to me having to backpack my gear to the location. I have more information on this photography style in my gear blog.
Q: Do you do any nonprofit work?
A: You bet, I have done some pro bono work for a few small nonprofits that needed some help with materials for contribution campaigns. However I do review each request, the work has to be something that is sustainable and practical.
Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate! Throw in some freshly sliced strawberries and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Q: Can’t find an answer to your question?
A: If you have a question that’s not answered here, please feel free to use the Contact Page to send me a question.

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