We had the good fortune of connecting with Mario Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mario, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am Originally from Puebla, Mexico, While I was growing up I heard all kinds of stories about wild animals. I always heard that wild animals are vicious and that they could attack you at any moment. People would always talk about killing wild animals to prevent them from harming people. I grew up feeling afraid of wildlife of any kind. That change when I started taking photos of wildlife. I found out that wild animals will not attack unless provoke or threatened. Spending many hours in the wild helped me to see wildlife from a different perspective. Wild animals are just trying to live their lives. In the last few years I have been fortunate enough to be close to many animals in the wild. Rattlesnakes have allowed me to be inches away from them without attacking me, Mountain lions have allowed me to photograph them from as close as 15 feet way. Bobcats have allowed me to watch them raise a family for months at a time. Hares have been so comfortable around me that they are not afraid of nursing their babies when I am close by. All these experiences have helped me to change the way I used to think about wild animals. I am not afraid anymore and I feel blessed for being able to photograph and videotape wildlife.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am very proud of having mastered the ability to get close to animals without disturbing them too much. It took me a while to get to know animals behaviors and their responses to my presence. When I started taking photographs of animals I used to let my excitement get in the way and in the process I made many mistakes. Whenever I saw an animal I used to moved to fast to try to get a picture and of course animals didn’t like that they would either take off running or in the case of rattlesnakes they would strike a defensive pose. My advice to anyone who wants to photograph wild animals is to always save their excitement for later.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
because I love to hike in the desert I always recommend visitors to visit places like Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon, Catalina State Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank FYE at Tucson Mall for giving me the opportunity to present my work with the community. I have been invited to give a presentation about what I do several times now.