Follow Your Dreams

They say when one takes flight in following their dreams their spirit soars to new heights. Here is a perfect example of one’s spirit taking flight. Follow your passion and never let anyone bring you down for you are better than that! It is so easy to give up on things when they don’t go your way. We must learn to stay with our dreams and never let them stray. If you live to ponder the what ifs, then you will continue to ponder. Life can be hard, but you must work hard and stay the course and you will never wonder. John Martinotti

Rome is my soul Italy is my roots

My wife and I just came back from Italy, Greece and Turkey. The food was delicious, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain were simply amazing sites to see in Rome. What really took my breath away was being in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City which is the official residence of the Pope. Michelangelo’s work was awe inspiring. I studied Michelangelo’s work in school, but to be there seeing it with my own eyes was something else. I just stood there staring up at the ceiling and trying to soak it all in within a short amount of time which was just not possible. The place and the art is one of the most beautiful collection of works I have ever seen.  In Turkey, walking the streets of Ephesus and visiting the house of the Virgin Mary was to me a very humbling experience. I felt closer to my God than I ever have in my entire life.   I must say Rome is my soul and Italy is a land where I found my roots.

The most romantic place I have ever visited is the Greek island of Santorini. The architecture there is simple, but elegant at the same time.  The people and food of the Santorini is addicting.  We rented a quad and drove all around Santorini, stopping at local restaurants and meeting the locals.  The photos I have attached are just a small sampling of the wonderful places and sites we had the pleasure of experiencing. 

Returning on the long plane ride back home, I was looking forward to getting back to my regular routine, but a the calling for Italy and Greece is strong and I am counting the days of returning soon.

Please check the travel portfolio on my site and feel free to friend me on Facebook so you can see even more of the wonderful people and places I have visited. 


This blog is dedicated to four special people:

Brian Harrison is a professional musician, songwriter, music teacher, and folk Rock, Blues musician and my personal friend who resides in Happy Valley Oregon.  Brian has given me a fantastic opportunity to photograph a private benefit concert in Boring Oregon.  The event is being held in a private helicopter hanger belonging to a USMC Ret. Colonel.  I want to thank you sir for your service, your hospitality and for letting me photograph this event and for all who served and gave it their all.  To Brian’s wife, thank you for supporting Brian’s dream. 

Amanda Brooks is a successful construction project manager from Molalla Oregon who has stepped into a man’s world with both feet and proven herself through the quality of her work and her fair practices that have gained the respect of her peers. Thank you to you and your family for trusting and allowing a stranger/photographer to photograph your horses and hybrid dogs.       

Krystal Lechner of Woodinville Washington is the business owner of Smashing Divas Beauty Artistry.  I have only known Krystal for a short time, but she is a wealth of fashion knowledge and has worked with some of the best designers in the industry.   I was able to collaborate with her on a few projects where she put her extraordinary stylist skills to work; it was a pleasure to observe.  I have tapped into Krystal’s knowledge base and in return not only do I learn something new, I get leads on possible clients which help to grow my business.  Krystal, I thank you for all your support. 

Agnieszka Szczurowska is a skilled photographer who assisted on my last shoot, thank you Agnieszka and yes people I did spell her name correctly, geez! 

Did You Know??
The song by AD/DC “Hells Bells” was recorded a few months after lead singer Bon Scott drank himself to death on February 19, 1980 at the age of 33 years old in a London club called the Music Machine? The album is a tribute to Scottish born Australian rock musician the late Bon Scott.  When the song became a hit, AC/DC added a 2-ton bell to their stage show. Fact about Bon Scott’s hat, the hat he wore onstage was his brother's hat and his idea, to help keep the sweat out of his eyes. His brother loaned it to him and never got it back. Funny how such a simple thing would turn into branding image for Bonn Scott.

Did you know

Did you know?
Jann S. Wenner is founder and editor of Rolling Stones Magazine. In 1967, at the age of 20 years old, he dropped out of Berkeley and started the magazine featuring rock music.  The first issue featured John Lennon on the cover and 40,000 issues were printed and 34,000 came back unsold due to the fact the magazine was in the beginning stages.  Jann S. Wenner is also Chairman of the Rock and Roll foundation which celebrates artists whose work has helped shape the rock and roll genre. Lastly, did you know Jann S. Wenner was actually born Jan S. Wenner? He switched to "Jann" several years after founding the Rolling Stone Magazine.

Did you know?
The brand we know of today as J. Crew was incorporated in 1947 as Popular Merchandise, Inc. by Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles. The first catalog was released in 1983 and in 1989 Popular Merchandise Inc. changed the company name to J. Crew. 

Today, J.Crew president and executive creative director is Jenna Lyons, who has become the epitome of J.Crew style, practically the brain behind the whole operations.  Jenna got her start at J.Crew when she was 21, as the assistant to someone’s assistant after graduating from Parsons School of Design in 1990 and has  been with J.Crew her entire career. 

If you want a brand that looks good and feels good, J.Crew is for you.  I like the selection of clothing they offer.  The fashion photography used in the catalogs is simple yet elegant.  Maybe someday, J.Crew will see my style of photography and say “hey let us use this guy as one of our photographers’ he’s good. Wouldn’t that be a feather in my cap? 

What's Next

 It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you, song writer and musician, Jessica Domingo!  On May 16, 2013, she appeared and performed on a Los Angeles television  show: TV18.  On June, 26, 2013 I completed a 14 hour photo shoot capturing images for her soon to be released album “Dream”.  Jessica is smart, witty and working hard to make her dreams come true.  I personally find her music a breath of fresh air and I am honored for the opportunity to work with her on this project.

On my webpage in the fashion portfolio, I have added a couple new images of Jessica from that photo shoot.  

 I would also like to thank Ron Reeder, owner of Ballard Foto Studio, where I finished up the last part of my 14 hour photo shoot day at his studio.  Ron’s studio setup made it possible to complete this project on a high note. 

Additional thanks goes out to model and makeup artist Justine Marie who I recently photographed on June 28, 2013. Right from the start I knew this was going to be a great collaboration.  I had the pleasure to network with a great photographer John Shiel at his studio where I photographed Justin Marie. Thank you both for a great shoot.

I am currently looking to find a photo agent that can help manage my workload and provide new opportunities to expand my business.  So, for those of you who work in the industry reading my blog, please pass the word on.  I never knew that fashion photography would be so rewarding; however, the clients I have helped market their product and vision has been rewarding.  Now it’s time for an agent.

In parting, I would like to recognize some photographers that continue to inspire me.  I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, these photographers I consider some of the best in the world; their work continues challenges me to up my game, I still take time out of my day to thumb through their photography on the web and their books I’ve purchased. These artists help charge my batteries and I’d like to take this time to thank a few who inspire me.   So, that being said, a heartfelt thank you to:  

Nick Brand

Michael Kenna

David J. Eisenlord

Richard Phibbs,

Bev Pettit

David Hiller

Last, but not least

David R. Stoecklein

To all who are reading my blog, may your next shot be a photgasm like the ones I have.  Life does not get better than that.

John J. Martinotti






Never Alone

 Never Alone

This weekend I spent time with my family to do a walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness supporting a family member who has turned her life around thanks to the love and support of her family and friends.  I would like to thank some of the band members from Ants In The Kitchen showing up and giving their support……………Thank you. 

My friend Chis shared a picture of a young Marine who had been severely injured serving his country.  Today, he stands tall and proud wearing his dress blues.  Although his facial wounds are visible, he is still a beautiful young man who makes a difference. 

To that young Marine and all who serve and give it their all, to my family member who has also made a difference, I dedicate this blog to them.

John Martinotti

Another Great Band Shoot - Ants In The Kitchen

Summer is now just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest and when it is sunny, it is absolutely beautiful, makes one feel good to be alive.  So, for those who have not experienced a spring in the Northwest, you are truly missing out on a great show.  Last weekend I was able to photograph one of my favorite bands again, Ants In The Kitchen, but this time it was just the four piece band.  MAN……they rocked the house playing Soul, Funk, Blues, rock and roll like no one else can.  People just dig this group so much. 

Geoff who is the lead singer has a voice that is as cool as Phil Collins except about 15 years younger. If Phil were to hear Geoff he would say just one word………WOW! And the way he jams on the guitar, incredible!   Jimi Hendrix would “sprint” from the audience, jump on stage and jam with him if he were there.   I kid you not people!   But what topped the day was I got to see two of my good friends, Peter and Paul Brown.  Paul is not only damn good photographer but he too knows how to do a little guitar jamming.  When a band like Ants In The Kitchen has the pleasure of having two experienced photographers capturing images of them, the only end result is pure gold.  Great Music and Fantastic Images…….just does not get any better than that.  Makes me feel alive!

Here are just a couple images from that day and feel free to go to my webpage and view the portfolio, “Music To My Ears.”

Have a great week everyone!


My Identity

Growing up I sometimes thought I was odd and unusual, not fitting in with the rest of the kids.  Oh sure, everyone liked me and I was fun to be around, but I felt like I could not identify with the other kids.  I got decent grades, was a good Catholic boy and played sports.  I was damn good at multiple sports, but the bottom line, it just seemed I never really fit in.  Maybe because I did not party like the rest of my teammates late into the night and then wake up looking like fresh road kill.  Today looking back, I didn’t care much then or now whether I fit in or not.  I have reunited with some of my high school friends and have realized what a bunch of wonderful people.   I am fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know these folks better and share some laughs and good times.  The point I want to make, as a photographer, my identity has surfaced in the photographs I create and I am experiencing and seeing amazing facets of my own personality.

When I pick up a camera, God it feels so good, it’s like an extension of my soul and you know what? I fit in and am accepted where ever I am and that is such a great feeling.   I have photographed and felt welcomed by some of the greatest musicians, folks in other countries and worked with the incredible photographer Paula Da Silvia.  I am currently working with some local models who are just fabulous:   Samm Harrison, Nicole Williams, Khue Doan, AKA “Lisa” and Ann Curry.  Do they have the skills, aptitude, look and moves to be super models?  Hell Yes!  When we work together it is like being part of a rock band, we are in perfect harmony and what comes out of each shoot is pure gold.  Case in point, just recently, I did a pinup photo shoot of some young models where one gal is fighting a serious illness and she was great and had the best attitude.  These pinup gals are “beautiful” and they in my book are my super models. This was a fun shoot.  I was able to capture their identity as well as share a part of myself.  Take a moment to view my images; I hope you are able to see one’s enigmatic soul full of mystery and of a story that has yet to be told.

Lastly, trivial question time.  I am not sure, but last time I received no replies with the correct answer.  So this time an easy but fun one with a great door prize for the winning answer.

Trivia Question with a two part answer and if you are close…… WIN!

Part A: What year was Vogue Magazine founded:
            A.  1938
            B.  1775
            C.  1892
            D. 1959

Part B: Who founded the magazine and what was original vision of Vogue Magazine.

A New Year A New Beggining

Today is the first day of 2013 and it’s cold here in Seattle but a beautiful sunny day.  I must admit I am glad to shelve 2012. I think this past year has been trying on every one throughout the world and some will say there was some wins.  So with that said, I wish everyone a very Happy New year and may it bring peace, happiness and fortune to one and all.

 JM Photoworks traditional trivia question with a cool fun prize for the one who answers it first and correctly. Since it is the first day of the New Year 2013 here is the trivia question:

The United States and Europe celebrate the New Year on January 1 of which calendar?  “No Cheating!”
a Lunar calendar
b Julian calendar
c Gregorian calendar
d Saka calendar

Thirdly, it’s the New Year so might as well start it off right with a yummy recipe. You’re going to Love It!

Lemon Bars


       1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup lemon juice with zest of two lemons


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.   NOTE:  You can use a sheet of parchment paper which extends out over the edge of the length of the pan for easy removal later.

In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice with zest. Pour over the baked crust.  NOTE:  Crust is still warm which is fine.   Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool.

When completely cooled, dust with a fine coating of powdered sugar and remove from pan and cut into squares.

Last but not least, a bit about JM Photoworks. It has been a great year where I was able to photograph some amazing Brazilian models and what could be some of the best horse trainers and horses in the world.  The families shared their homes with me while I was there and I am humbled by their kindness and honored to call them my friends.  Thank you Brazil and thank you Paula Da Silva RE!

I also had to the privilege to spend time with some of the most talented musicians.  I am not kidding, they all have pure raw talent, masters of their trade with such a unique rich sound, and it is pure heaven.  I was accepted into the inner circle to hang out and photograph them which is truly an honor.  Thank you all.

I want to thank my clients and the wonderful models I have had the privilege to photograph.  They may not be super models, but each and every one is in my book.  From the time we hit the studio through completion of producing a print, we were in synch with each other and everyone including the clients had fun.  I have attached some examples of my fashion work for you to view along with my webpage URL. I hope to have a chance to do more wonderful collaborative projects in 2013.


        2929 171 PLACE S.E. BOTHELL WA 98012   T:  206 818-5194   E: Webpage:

Another Great Photo Session

Hello everyone and Happy Monday!   I hope for all those who celebrated Thanksgiving in the US, you all had a nice relaxing Thanksgiving Holiday.  This last weekend was an action packed weekend.  Friday, I had an “amazing” photo shoot session with some great models at Studio 912 in Seattle Washington.  All of the models were great and I had very talented Apparel Designer “Tan Tran” prepping the models with closes he designed.  Tan’s designs are a culmination of fine materials where he incorporates innovative cuts and an attention to their relationships with the body.   Here is Tan’s webpage for you to view some of his sensational clothes he has designed.


Everything he did was great and every model I photographed, they knew exactly what to do.  Both the models and I had our A game on, it made the job easy and fun.   Please feel free to view my fashion gallery to see just some of the models I photographed and Tan the designer. 

Special thanks to Jim Hadley of Studio 912, Apparel Designer Tan Tran, the all models and makeup artist.  Thank You.

Photography Thoughts Holiday Recipe - Exercise Your Brain

Today posting has a few subject matters:
1. My thoughts on photography

2. Recipe for the holidays

3. Trivia question and a fun test that will exercise your brain.

John’s thoughts on photography:
I find my sanctuary and strength when I am out doing my photography.  It is like a perfect marriage and the proof is in my images.

I can handle constructive criticism like any other person, but if you try to make me into some mainstream robotic photographer, then my spirit and vision is dead.  When my clients allow me the freedom to capture and create images based on their needs, I know they will appreciate the careful attention and beautiful results suited to them and their business needs.

Holiday Recipe:

Russian Crème Custard. 

It’s a luscious smooth and elegant dessert with a swirl of crimson raspberry sauce that will make your taste buds go crazy! The recipe is from Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. 

·         1 ½ cups whipping cream

·         ¾ cup sugar

·         ½ cup cold water

·         1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

·         1 8 -ounce carton dairy sour cream

·         2 teaspoons vanilla

·         Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)

·         1 cup fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries

First Directions

1.     In a small heavy saucepan, combine whipping cream and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; set aside.

2.     In another small saucepan, combine water and gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Heat and stir over medium heat till gelatin dissolves. Stir gelatin mixture into whipping cream mixture; transfer to a medium bowl. Stir sour cream and vanilla into cream mixture; mix well.

3.     Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or till mixture thickens like the consistency of yogurt. (Or can place gelatin mixture in a bowl of ice water and chill about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.)

4.     Layer cream mixture and Raspberry Sauce in each of 6 parfait, martini, or wine glasses, ending with Raspberry Sauce; swirl sauce into the cream with a thin metal spatula. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours. Top with fresh raspberries just before serving. Makes 6 servings

Final Directions

1.     Place 1-1/2 cups raspberries in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process till berries are pureed.

2.      Press berries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Repeat with 1-1/2 cups more berries. (You should have about 1 cup sieved puree.) In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch.

3.     Add sieved berries and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Makes 1-1/4 cups.

Trivia Question:
What country has the only “city” in the world that is located on two continents?  No cheating and the winner receives a very cool and functional collectible, BUT!  No Cheating!     LOL!

The Impossible Quiz

I recently visited Whistler and Vancouver BC and took some fantastic shots.  In my Night Illumination Gallery they are images 1, 3, 6, 9, 14 and 17 and in my Ships and Boats Gallery they are the last three images.  The scenic drive to Whistler was absolutely breathtaking and it’s only 77 miles away.

Vancouver BC is a fabulous city to visit and if you want a good place to stay while touring the city, I highly recommend the Opus Hotel. It’s strategically located right in the heart of Yaletown where there are great restaurants, boutiques waterfront parks and cafes. Here is their link:

Well, until next time, have a great week everyone. 



Come check it out!

I am happy to unveil my new web site:

Please enjoy the various editorial, commercial, personal and fine art portfolios projects I have included for your viewing pleasure.  The site features new images for purchase. 

My blog site is now incorporated with the website, easier for you and me to keep in touch about my work and upcoming events.  Be on the lookout for additional features in the near future.

I look forward to hearing from you and I thank you for your time.


John Martinotti