replace fear of the unknown with curiosity
This will not be the last interview Savannah Martiniere gives. At 15, an age where most kids are concerned with passing permit tests, and trying to land jobs at Pizza Hut, this girl is inspiring a flood of followers to dream bigger, and fear nothing. She has become an island for endless fantasy and mouth-gaping creativity. Her images, whether shot from her borrowed DLSR, or her trusty iPhone, tell perfectly executed stories that reach the interior of the soul. They provoke feelings of youth and escapism. Her self-portraits aren’t scabbed in vanity, she almost always hides her face, opting to express beauty and emotion in the movement of her body. The outstretched hands, the free-flowing hair, the curious silhouettes –arguably the best on IG, instill this longing for our own lost youth. Did I ever feel so free as an adolescent? Her posts are so infrequent, usually once a day –if were so fortunate, that they take on this shooting star quality, they jump-start our heart rate, and move us to squeal in glee and make us feel lucky that we were a witness. She has earned the right to put as many N’s in her name as she wants. Her age should be irrelevant at this point. Savannnnnah is our real hope for a creative epidemic. Follow her like your life is dependent on it.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Hi! I’m Savannah Martiniere and I’m fifteen years old. I am currently being home-schooled, and I suppose I am enjoying it. I have two lovely parents and a Chinese sister. (no, it wasn’t a weird birth malfunction. we adopted her from China.) I live on twenty acres in the middle of nowhere with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and a rabbit. I live really close to the beach, but it’s probably the last place I’d rather be. I adore photography, cooking, reading, sleeping, baggy sweatshirts, drinking frappuccinos, and traveling.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU POST ON INSTAGRAM?
Usually once a day, later in the evening.
HOW ARE YOU INSPIRED?
I think that you have to inspire yourself. You think that clump of mud can’t take a good picture? Smear a bit of it on your face, add some dramatic lighting, then edit all the color out of it. You have yourself a photograph. I am inspired by everything!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT INSTAGRAM?
I love being able to share my work with people from all around the world, I think that is just crazy! Before IG my pictures would just sit on my computer, but now they have a purpose. I also love the great community and the wonderful people I have become friends with.
HOW HAS INSTAGRAM CHANGED YOUR DAILY LIFE?
Before Instagram, photography was a hobby for me. I enjoyed it, but it was a bit of a past-time. I remember when I first got IG, I took pictures just for the sake of taking pictures. Then one person started following me. Then another, and another. I couldn’t believe people actually wanted to see pictures of the ridiculous things I snapped with my iPhone. It gradually got more serious. I started experimenting with my moms Canon Rebel, then uploading those pictures to IG. People seemed to like them, and with their support, I got more and more interested in photography. Instagram is what got my photography ‘career’ started. I have realized that this what I am truly passionate about.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE PICTURES OF?
Everything! People on Instagram may think I only take pictures of myself, because thats usually what I post. I love taking photographs of clouds, food, portraits, and landscapes. I can’t just tie myself down to one thing!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND AN IG PHOTOGRAPHER/ARTIST?
I am a self portrait photographer, but I also love graphic design, portraiture, and surrealism photography. On IG, I usually just post self portraits.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE INSTAGRAMERS?
I absolutely adore everyone who I follow. They all have their own unique style and personality. But I suppose you want me to be more specific.
@colerise takes phenomenal landscape shots, and I am constantly inspired by him.
@mattfrench is great with colors, perspectives, and graphic design! He is also super kind and is really involved in the IG community.
@racquelmishel has a great style, and seems like such an inspirational person.
@nickspud gives the most sincere compliments and captions his pictures wonderfully. He is insightful and his feed has such a vintage feel to it.
@inkedfingers takes lovely pictures, I always enjoy seeing them pop up on my feed.
HOW COULD INSTAGRAM IMPROVE?
I would love it if you could post your full picture instead of just a square of it. Sometimes, the square is pretty useful. Other times… you know. It’s frustrating!
IS THERE AN IMPORTANT PHOTO TOOL TO YOU THAT YOU HAVE YET TO SEE IN AN APP?
Nope! I’m pretty sure that you can find everything out there.
WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVORITE PHOTO APPS?
Insatgram!, PictureShow, PicTools, Snapseed, Camera+.
WHAT IS THE MOST UNDERRATED PHOTO APP?
Well, there is this super fun app, but it’s all in Japanese! And I’m not exactly fluent in Japanese, so…
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ON HASHTAGS?
ANY INSTAGRAM PET PEEVES?
YES! When people ask me to follow them. When people steal pictures. When people only care about followers. When people treat IG like Facebook/eHarmony. I have many more, but then I would be ranting.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THOSE YOU FOLLOW?
If they take super cool pictures, if they post frequently, and if I am somewhat intrigued by them
HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITTED FROM IG?
IG has helped me develop as a photographer and introduced me to people who I would otherwise never have known.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER WORK WE CAN SEE?
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PAY THE BILLS?
Well, since I obviously have a TON of bills to pay, I babysit.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR LEISURE TIME?
Reading and riding my bike! I know this sounds weird, but I love going to Publix. It’s the best grocery store ever.
YOU’RE SUCH A YOUNG TALENT ON INSTAGRAM, WHEN DID YOU START DABBLING IN PHOTOGRAPHY, OR HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD THE DESIRE TO BE CREATIVE?
Firstly, thank you! I began photography about six years ago. I have mainly had the desire to be creative in the
past few months. I feel like I have something to offer, so I am trying my best to take pictures that I am proud of and that others will enjoy as well.
DO YOUR PARENTS HELP YOU EMBRACE YOUR GIFT?
They certainly do. My mom, mainly. Since I am fifteen, I can’t drive yet. She is the one who totes me around – pulling over on the side of the highway, trespassing
on peoples property just so I can take the perfect picture. She wakes up with me at five in the morning in order for me to capture the beautiful sunrise that you can only see
if your up early enough. I am so thankful that she is willing to give up her time in order for me to take some pictures.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD THE ISSUE OF BEING TOO YOUNG WHERE PEOPLE DON’T TAKE YOUR WORK SERIOUSLY OR UNDERVALUE YOU?
Yes, and it really hurts. I was going to work as an intern for a professional photographer, until she informed us that she wouldn’t hire me. She did not even look at my body
of work. Why does it matter if I am fifteen? I can do anything that you can do, and I will do it to the best of my ability. People look at me for my age, not my talent.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A YOUNG ARTIST?
Surprisingly, my biggest challenge is my age. It really sucks to be told your not old enough, because I am old enough. Just let me do what I want and need to do.
Another challenge is the fact that I have no source of income. My Canon Rebel is seven years old. Don’t get me wrong – I love it. But it holds me back, in many ways.
I have been saving up for the past year, trying to get enough money for a new one. I am far from the amount I need! But that’s okay. I can work with what I have.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO USE YOUR GIFT IN THE FUTURE?
I know this is a naive hope, but one day I would like to be great. Like a girl version of Ansel Adams, but completely different. (you get the point).
I would like to work for Time magazine, or maybe Vanity Fair. Possibly, I could be freelance and do portraits and things like that. Or maybe my life will take
a completely different turn, and I will end up being a lawyer or something. (I really really hope not)!
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