Jared Douglas Martin is the artist behind jdmphotographs

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Jared.
I suppose my craft here is clearly photography, but I don't usually think of myself as a photographer. When I think of a photographer, I think of someone who has a camera on their shoulder at all times, ready to capture an available moment or "happy accident" or just document in general. My work is more conceptual and I am completely in control of the art direction on all levels well before and during the creation of the image. I feel the process is more comparable to a painter creating a painting.

To answer the question more directly, I was always interested in painting and drawing very surreal imagery starting at an early age, but several years ago around age 18, I then became very intrigued with the idea of using a camera to capture reality and integrate surreal subtleties. This became the most pleasing/rewarding medium for bringing this type of imagery to life.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
The majority of my work is shot in vast spaces during the very quiet, final hours of sunlight, and some of the interior images were shot in old farmhouses and an abandoned mental institution outside of Princeton, N.J. (both with hundreds of years of history behind them). Whether I am photographing or not, one of my favorite things to do is to spend time in these environments and escape the "everyday" scenery that most people are accustomed to. It is now especially rewarding to return to these places (and find new ones), since I have been spending a good amount of time in New York City lately.

..but on a much more serious note, my favorite thing to do is to swim, and when swimming opportunities in the ocean, lakes, quarries, rivers, swimming pools, etc are not available, I enjoy taking long baths.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I met someone who was initially a fan of my work, then became a friend, and has now been actively selling my photography through a gallery that she curates for. That has proven to be the most successful in terms of business. I kind of hid this series away for a few months after creating it so I could finish drawing conclusions about it, and I have only started showing it during the recent past few months. I was then advised by a friend/fan of Etsy that I should put the series on Etsy.

Regarding Etsy.com and challenges, I think my biggest challenge has been the uniform size and price of my work. I think there is so much great work on Etsy and a lot of the purchases are more impulse purchases. A fine art print priced at 200 USD takes a little more thought since it is more of an investment. It's a bit of a difficult spot for me because this is the most moderate price I have ever put on this work. I think a major key to monetary success on Etsy is having a variety of different price points. For instance, If you sell multiple smaller sized 40 USD paintings to a buyer and they start to become a collector of sorts, it will give them more of a reason to eventually purchase your larger sized 1,000 USD painting down the road. Also, unless you are constantly updating new items to your shop, your shop starts to get buried under all of the other great work and it's harder for someone browsing to come across it. Anyway, these are just some conclusions I have drawn about the site, but I have only been involved with the site for five months, and I definitely have more to learn. Regardless, I am very grateful for the exposure, opportunities, and very kind letters I have been receiving since joining Etsy. Afterall, my main goal is to share this work with as many people as possible in hopes of finding people who relate to it and enjoy it.

I have just created a very affordable 7'' x 7'' photography book titled "Family Tree: Volume I" which has this whole series in it which I have been selling independently to close contacts over the past couple of weeks, but I am making it available on Etsy very soon.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
For me, each image has a number of sides to it; the original story when first approaching the image, the experience while taking the image, and then the conclusions that are drawn afterwards, but I do not like to push these stories on a viewer unless they ask. "Kingston", "Lake", and "Farmhouse" seem to be the most well received on Etsy, "Grace" seems to be popular amongst my artist peers, but I'd have to say "Conus", "Ship", and "Farmhouse" mean the most to me. ..but again that is my biased opinion based on the three sides to the images that I mentioned earlier.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I'm still fairly young, but I think at one point I wanted to be a big wave surfer, a pro golfer, join the US Coast Guard, become a commercial fisherman, a farmer, a filmmaker, a marine biologist, and join the FBI...all at the same time.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
I don't really know maaaany Etsy shops, but I really love Amanda Blake's paintings. They are really perfect and I remember reading an interview about her and really liking what she had to say and what she was all about.


I grew up with a print of "Evening at Kuerners" hanging in my family's home and it always had a very strong impact on me as a child. I then gained even more of an admiration for Andrew Wyeth after reading his biography "Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life". I feel very lucky to have had the chance to have realized this admiration while he was still living. He just passed away in January of this year (2009).

Another artist who means a lot to me and my work is Samuel Beam, the musician behind "Iron & Wine". I have actually been listening to him while I have been filling this out which has made this a lot easier.

If you are interested in looking him up, a few of my favorite songs which are a good range of where his music can go are "Sunset Soon Forgotten" off of "Our Endless Numbered Days" "Bird Stealing Bread" off of "The Creek Drank the Cradle" and "Lovesong Of The Buzzard" off of "The Shepherd's Dog". I am trying to live in all three of those songs.

What does your future hold?
Hopefully continued opportunities to be free and creative.