A picture is worth a thousand words and Sonya Martin is ready to capture that picture. Chi@Glance June Spotlight is shining the light on Sonya Martin of Sonya Martin Photography.
You know the saying “Either you have it or you don’t?” Sonya Martin is a self-taught photographer and blessed with the skills to capture beautiful shots behind the lens. Fifteen years ago Sonya started a hobby that she didn’t realize would one day become her full time job. When her daughter was born 15 years ago she started shooting different creative pictures of her around the house.
Sonya hair stylist loved the pictures and had Sonya do a few photos for her as well. Then prayer and fate took over. One of Sonya hair stylists clients happen to be Diana Davis (married to Rashied Davis) from the Bears. She saw Sonya’s pictures and wanted Sonya to capture her pregnancy and newborn images. Mrs. Davis absolutely loved the pictures and from there referred Sonya to all the Bears team members wives. Sonya has since shot pictures for Devin Hester, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, and Matt Forte (to name a few). Sonya has also shot many weddings for NBA players and celebrities.
Sonya focus now, is more so on corporate events during the week and family photo shoots or senior portraits during the weekends. Her hobby turned into a full time business back in 2008. She contributes her business and how she learned how to work a camera completely to God and her strong Christian faith. Ever since her daughter was born she would practice taking pictures and scrounging through magazines to get ideas. Every mistake she would make would help her to grow. She would pray about it and God would give her the skills to figure out what needed to be done. Sonya spent countless hours researching on the internet until she perfected her photos. Trial and error taught her and her strong belief in herself and God pushed her through to her dream career.
One of the main reasons that Sonya turned her love of photography into a career was to help her purchase more camera equipment. She was going through a divorce and her husband encouraged her to start charging and to see where it took her. Well….fast forward to now this is her full time job and she is highly sought after. She loves that photography gives her the flexibility to make her own schedule so she can still spend time with her children.
Why is Sonya Martin of Sonya Martin Photography a Chicagoan We should know?
“I grew up in the Chicago Land area and I LOVE Chicago. I have shot countless celebrities and families, but there’s one experience in particular that made me realize the legacy I would leave for my kids. I was shooting an event for the YMCA 100 year anniversary event. They had all these pictures from the past on the wall and I standing there in awe admiring the photos. This guy standing next to me said “That’s going to be your pictures on the wall in another 100 years” I started bawling because it was then I realized that OMG this is beyond me.
Every time I take a photo for a family or event in a 100 years someone will be looking at the photo’s I took. I’m leaving my footprint on Chicago. Chicago is my home, it’s a beautiful city, and I think that I have contributed to the beauty of Chicago because people will see my photos somewhere a 100 years from now. I’m leaving a legacy for my children. My children look at me and their proud of me. They see that no matter what their mom went through that she’s done well.”
I love Sonya’s true Chicago spirit and I myself have had the pleasure of getting my picture captured by Sonya at events. She makes you feel so comfortable in front of the camera! How do you capture the magic in an image you might be asking now?!?! Scroll down for my one on one interview with Sonya. She’s giving us her tips to get the subject to relax and how we can pose to capture our good side. 🙂
Tavi J. One on One Interview with Sonya Martin of Sonya Martin Photography
For beginner photographers do you have any camera recommendations?
I’m a Nikon fan. I like the lenses, how it operates, and how it feels in my hands.
How do you capture the perfect picture?
My passion! Whenever I go into a photo shoot I just keep thinking how blessed I am to do what I do. Clients always comment to me that I seem like a sincerely happy person all the time. I’m able to transfer my ease and genuine happiness to calm the client. When I go into a photo shoot I want everyone to feel relaxed and I talk to them to get a better feel for them. When they walk away from me usually they feel like I’m their friend now. My goal is to make them forget that there’s a camera and to relax for the shoot. After they relax they can be themselves. If you’re relaxed and yourself the shots always turn out beautiful.
Which way is the best way to stand in order to look slimmer in front of the camera?
I like the one foot in front of the other technique. Also, if you just sort of turn a little bit to the side and push your butt back that has slimming effects. The thing you have the closest to the camera is going to look the largest. Whatever you want to hide or slim out you need to put farthest away from the camera.
When it comes to shooting kids what’s your best piece of advice?
PATIENCE!!! You just have to be patient. With kids you have to let them do their own thing. You can’t force it with them at all.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow their passion, whether it’s photography or another creative profession?
I would tell them to listen to their heart. They should follow their heart because if you follow your heart the money will come. Your creativity is going to help you to grow and be successful. I never imagined I was ever going to be a photographer. Now I do this full time. I didn’t see a way how this could ever happen or be real. But I just kept pressing and doing what I love. I let my light shine and God worked out the rest.
It was such a pleasure interviewing Sonya Martin of Sonya Martin Photography. Make sure to follow along with her on social media and let her help you capture your future photo needs!
Sonya Martin Photography
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