In the 14 years since Martin completed her Bachelor of Communications degree, majoring in photography, her career has gone from strength to strength.
The award-winning, internationally acclaimed photojournalist said she had always had a strong commitment to social and environmental causes. Photojournalism gave her the opportunity to give those stories a voice and, after graduating, she spent four years travelling through Canada and the US where she honed her skills.
“I didn’t try to jump into being a professional photographer too quickly,” she says.
“I just wanted to take some photos that I was proud of, that engaged me and my imagination.”
Entering international photography competitions opened the doors to networking opportunities and helped her set up her career. Winning first prize in the Sony World Photography Awards for an Emerging Portrait Photographer took Martin to Cannes, France, where she met editors and professional photographers from across the globe.
This provided valuable contacts in the industry and she soon joined the Australian photography collective Oculi, which helped her secure freelance work via an agency in Europe and America.
“You do one assignment and then they just start rolling in,” she says.
Martin’s works have been published in publications across the world including Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Monocle magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Time.
She says her favourite editorial commission was an environmental climate change story in Kiribati, in the South Pacific.
“I was working with Bloomberg for an amazing editor,” she says.
“Since I was a teenager, I have always been an environmentalist, so it was amazing to work on something I cared about in such a stunning, amazing place on a message for our time.”
Living in a squatter community in the Colorado Desert in California, where she produced a series of works titled, ‘Slab City,’ was another favourite.
The squatters had created a home among abandoned concrete slabs left behind from a World War II base, and the focus of her works was drug addiction and mental illness.
“I loved Slab City because it gave me such a different perspective,” she said.
“The people there have found joy and pride in their lives that they were able to achieve because they have isolated themselves from a society that labelled them problematic.”
Visit Claire's website to view her portfolio.
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