Philip Martin has the official title of Visual Content Creator, but to those who know him best, he’s so much more. He’s a father, a Washingtonian, an imaginative photographer, and lastly…he’s autistic.
Martin has big goals. He’s currently working on two projects near and dear to his heart. The first is a photo project highlighting the stories of people from around the country on the autism spectrum. “Being autistic, this is close to my heart,” says Martin. The other is a commercial for his biggest client– Amtrak. “I want to do everything on my own with no help from anyone and then present it to the client. It might sound small but its big to me.”
We caught up with Philip for insight on the art of his hustle and how he juggles it all. Here’s what he shared:
Why are you passionate about your occupation or side hustle?
“Being autistic affects the way I interact with others. It makes things like boarding a bus or walking into the supermarket a challenging task. Eye contact and creating new connections simply unravel me. So what’s the hardest type of photography someone with those barriers can do? Portraiture.
I became a portrait photographer to force myself out of that safe space and into the lions den. Where I have to look at people through my viewfinder and I have to get to know them and I have to connect with them. It’s why my images carry so much emotion. And in turn why people feel I’m a pretty decent photographer.”
How do you currently juggle all of the priorities in your life?
“I tried juggling and all the balls came crashing down. I’m not the best juggler in the circus of life. Ha. I’m slowly getting a better hold on the important things in my life but I don’t really have a trick yet to share. I’m just focusing on being a great dad, creating images that people will remember, and saving a couple of dollars up.”
When you’re not working, where can we find you?
“Probably on a metro train or platform taking candid photos of passengers. I know the question was “not working” but when I’m on any railroad with my camera in my hand, it isn’t work. If I’m not there, you can find me tucked away at Ted’s Bulletin eating a sloppy joe or grilled cheese!”
Anything else we should know?
“I’m truly blessed to be a photographer in DC. We have the smallest, most important city, ever! But I always share with people that DC isn’t the amazing city it is because of the big white buildings, the monuments, or the politics. DC is amazing because of the people. The people of this city have more compelling and heart-filled stories, better stories than I can get from anywhere else. I love being able to share stories of Washingtonians through portraiture. I love it almost as much as I love trains… I still love trains more tho! Ha.”
Feature photography by Someguy