Laurent  Martrès
   B I O G R A P H Y    

Online portfolios    Print Sales    Show Schedule    Book Sales    Printing service

mug shot 

I was born in Paris, France. Thanks to an open-minded family, I attended school in Paris, London, Barcelona and several cities in Germany. I hold degrees in modern languages and international business.

A couple of years after college, I did the best thing a young person can do to widen his/her horizons and gain an understanding of our world and its wonderful diversity: I set out on a 20month trip around the world, photographing extensively.

From 1976 to 1981, I lived in Tokyo, becoming a permanent resident of Japan and teaching at Sophia University. During that time, I also worked as a freelance photographer and pursued my research on the origins of Sumo and its ties with the Shinto religion, resulting in my book Sumo – Le Sport & le Sacré published in 1984. My years in Japan have had a profound influence on my life, my philosophy, and my photography.

I immigrated to the United States in 1982, settling in Southern California and creating Graphie Int’l, Inc, specializing in software, multimedia and, later on, internet technologies. Constant exploration and photography of the Southwest resulted in the publication of Land of the Canyons in 1998. In 1999, I permanently switched my focus from the software industry to a full-time career as a fine-art photographer, author and publisher, spending a good deal of my time in the Southwest.

In 2002, I released a set of books entitled
Photographing the Southwest, which sold 12,000 copies in its first edition. In early 2006, I released the first of three volumes of the Second Edition of Photographing the Southwest, with greatly expanded content and full color. The series has been an instant commercial success, not only with my core audience of photographers but also with the general public, and has won the most prestigious award in the publishing industry, the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award, in the Travel category. To date 35,000 copies of these landmark books have been sold all over the world.

I have been photographing since the age of eleven, paying my dues to the B&W chemical lab for many years. While in Japan, I became an early adopter of Cibachrome, enlarging and processing my own prints.

I prefer shooting 2” medium format. Although I have shot Hasselblad and Mamiya in the past, I now do the majority of my photography with two Fuji 645 rangefinder cameras, which I find well-suited to my style. In the past, I have also used a 35mm Olympus OM-4 system extensively, especially for extreme wide-angle and long-telephoto shots. More recently, I have used Canon and Olympus dSLR cameras. When shooting film, I use Fujichrome Velvia and Astia exclusively. In my work, I seek to challenge the imagination with images characterized by bold colors, unique textures and a striking sense of depth, ranging from starkly minimalist compositions to complex abstracts.

# # #