The best thing about Instagram is probably how easy it has become to discover ambitious photographers. Berlin-based Jeisson Martin is one of them. He regularly takes us on a beautiful journey through his feed, whether it is rooftops with a stunning view, underground tunnels or exotic places all around the globe. What fascinates us most about his art is that he goes to great pains to discover hidden spots that would stay invisible for most of us – if we weren’t able to see them through his photographs. We caught up with the 23-year-old explorer to talk dangers, travelling and his favorite summer hangouts.
How did you get into photography?
I started to get into photography, because I was following a few serious Instagrammers, but at that time my feed was just random stuff. I wanted to make it visually more appealing, and that’s how it all started, from iPhone shots to what I am doing now.
What makes Instagram the perfect medium of publication for you?
Instagram is very useful in many ways; you’ve got in one hand immediate feedback to your work, which was very important in the beginning for me, to see if my style was liked. You also get inspired by scrolling down the feed, which develops your own style as well. Lastly, but for me the most important is being able to connect with other creators or brands on projects and campaigns.
How do you find all the secret places that we see in your photos?
Haha if that wasn’t a secret then the spots wouldn’t be secret. But I really just walk around with very open eyes and see possibilities where others only see an impossible roof.
What was the most dangerous environment that you’ve been in for a photograph?
There where a few occasions that weren’t too safe, to be honest. But I would say any subway system, there are risks you don’t want to think of…
What makes a photo a great photo? Which elements are important to you?
That really lies within the observer, for me though it is very different. I like to put a person as a reference of scale in my shots, and symmetry always works as well.
How do you know that you’ve found the perfect subject for a photograph?
99% at the first sight, but then 1% after I am done editing.
Which other photographers do you like?
I really enjoy portraits and also really good commercial stuff. I would say for nice shots of beautiful ladies I can recommend @apricotberlin, other than that my good friend @franz.becker, with whom I am doing a lot of photo-video related work separate of Instagram lately.
In which way does Berlin influence your work?
As far as architecture Berlin is pretty basic for me, there are way more beautiful cities. But it’s the flair of the city, the feeling you have when you walk around, the people with all their different stories. That’s what keeps Berlin the most interesting city for me!
You’re not only taking pictures in Berlin, you’re travelling the world – in your opinion, what’s the best way to travel: alone, as a couple or in a group?
Yes, travelling always is key to love your hometown even more! The best way to travel is to have one or two people to join you. It doesn’t really matter if it’s in a couple or a friend, but what matters is not only being very good friends, but also have the same hobbies. See if a friend has to wait 10 minutes for me to take a shot or if we can discuss the angle with each other that’s two worlds.
What’s your favorite summer hangout? What’s the most exciting place to be around?
My most favorite summer hangout must be a hammock! And the most exciting place, is the place I haven’t been to yet!
You’re well known for climbing rooftops – what is the nicest to enjoy warm evenings?
Every moment is really special and has its own feeling. Having a BBQ on one of the rooftops with my ex-girlfriend two years ago in a building which is now a very expensive apartment house, that was really special!
And where to find some cooling?
There is nothing better than to ride the bike around Berlin in the evening and then just stroll around to find some spots. That’s where I find my cooling! Apart from that, subway tunnels are mostly pretty cool.
What photo of summer ’16 is the perfect sum up for that time?
This must be this one, such a crazy spot:
Where will you travel next?
I’ve got a lot ideas. I would love to make a project with 2 min videos of different cities like on my Youtube . Go to Barcelona and London for 48 hours and stuff like that.
All photos by Jeisson Martin
By Marieke Fischer