“Julian Martin is an up-and-coming, San Diego based photographer/videographer with unique ability to capture action and lifestyle imagery in both the moving and still mediums.”

– Monster Children

Monster Children put it succinctly back in 2014 when Julian was still coming up. He’s now firmly established himself in Southern California (and beyond) as one of the go-to photographers for stills/motion projects.

Working with brands like Audi, Stance, Swatch and more, Julian has created his own lane as one of the top beach lifestyle photographers. Random label, via me, but I stand behind it as I think he’s got a certain ability to translate moments that communicate fun, summer and good times across his photography.

Granted I’m a little biased given he used to contribute to Empire Ave back when we thought pumping out 8 posts a day was a good idea. So it’s nice to have his name up in lights again on the site. This interview is part of a five-part series of interviews with photographers I admire for no other reason that I wanted to showcase their work. Enjoy 😎

Julian Martin

Who are you and where are you based
Julian Martin based in Encinitas California. It’s a little beach town north of the city of San Diego.

What’s your day to day look like?
Working freelance my days can vary. I really enjoy taking photos so I try to spend most days shooting in one way or another.

How did you get into photography?
Growing up surfing and always flipping through the surf mags were a huge influence on me. Watching all the videos and going to the premieres were huge for me when I was younger.

Current photography setup?
5D MkIV and a few various 35mm

Find out more –
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/juliangoulian/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/juliangoulian/

Website – http://www.julianmartincreative.com/
Email – contact Julian Martin


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt going from dealing with small fry brands to brands like Audi and Swatch?
Everyone has certain needs and at the end of the day, we’re all coming together for one common goal. Working together to push the brand or the concept.

What is the most important thing you’ve learnt about being a successful photographer?
One thing I am definitely still learning is balance. Using the downtime wisely and working effectively when busy.

What would you consider your “specialty” and how did you find it?
I really like shooting film. I don’t think it’s my specialty but definitely something I share a lot of.

Do you have a routine when preparing for a shoot?
Trying to have a clear head and just focus on the current moment. It’s tough to work when you have other things on your brain.

Is there a certain photo/shoot that you’re particularly proud of?
Just anytime I push my creativity and align with brands that feel the same way.

Looking back, what do you think the biggest factors were that got you to where you are today?
My network. My friends have been the biggest factor for me. Without them, I would be lost.

Hacks for the aspiring photographers on the move
Travel light, live in the moment and always bring extra film.

Julian Martin Creative for Empire Ave


You still shoot film. Can you tell me your take on the pros/cons of film
I love shooting film. I love nothing have thousands of images to select through. The only bad side is it’s pretty expensive after awhile.

Do you also use film when it comes to your client projects?
I am always using film for all the behind the scenes stuff.

Do you approach a shoot differently if your using film vs digital
Yeah, just knowing that shooting film will ultimately end up costing you a lot of money so I try to pick my shots wisely.

Shots for the ‘gram – Do you do a quick edit on the phone or take the time in Lightroom?
Take time and edit in Lightroom

Do you have an ideal setup you use, or do you find yourself whipping out the phone?
I never usually post anything I’ve shot on an iPhone. Maybe that’s my fault but I just like the nicer digital cameras or film.

Julian Martin Creative for Empire Ave


What do you listen to while you work?
Current been getting lost on the Spotify shuffle but at the moment. FRITZ – weirdo Waldo

What are you currently reading?
Nothing at the moment.

The best advice you’ve ever received?
If you’re going through hell, keep going.

What apps, software, tools make your life easier?
All the Adobe creative cloud apps are very critical in my workflow.

Where do you love to travel?
Somewhere I haven’t been. I’ll be over in OZ at the start of the year. Looking forward to that.

What won’t you travel without?
Headphones and my passport. Some melatonin if the flights a long one haha

Find out more about Julian Martin –
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/juliangoulian/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/juliangoulian/

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