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Life is Kind to Photographer Chad Martel - page 2

By Jessamyn Cuneo on February 28, 2006

Chad Martel photography; copyright Chad MartelMartel previously had attended to La Salle Academy for grades 9-12 in Providence and was captain of the hockey and lacrosse team.

"I was the typical 'whatever' guy," Martel says. "I didn't even know I was artistic until after high school."

So Martel rode his athletic abilities through prep school and into a full-scholarship to the university. His near-death experience allowed him to comprehend how much of his life he was living due to other people's expectations of himself. He knew how he really wanted to live life.

"I quit school, moved up to Vermont, and became a snowboard bum," Martel says. "I'm not happy conforming to society."

So once Martel found himself in the mountains, without a car, home or job, he basically just molded his own life, keeping occupied with snowboarding, videotaping his friends skate and/or snowboarding, traveling to R.I. to bartend occasionally, and enjoying life to his fullest.

His girlfriend at the time, Dacia Scarpellino, would often get approached by "sketch balls" offering to photograph her, and this eventually motivated Martel to bridge into photography from videotaping.

"I was like, screw that, I'll get my own camera and figure it out," Martel says.

What's really admirable about this is the fact that Martel actually had no experience with photography. He admits to not even knowing how to read the light meter. All he had was the inner confidence and competitive eChad Martel photography; copyright Chad Marteldge, which kept him from doubting his abilities to excel in anything he desired.

"I shot for five years not knowing anything [about photography]," Martel says. "No one taught me. I didn't get brainwashed into what's 'right' or 'wrong.' I just capture what I like."

Which includes the following; surfing, skim boarding, snowboarding, nature, and, of course, pretty ladies. Martel made sponsorship videos for his friends, which then branched into working for X-Games, Gravity Games and The American Ski. He and Scarpellino eventually met some Anheuser Bush representatives who opened up many promotional opportunities for them both. The two started Premier Event Promotions, and found themselves successful enough to be invited to participate in a segment of Wild on E!. Scarpellino was a guest host with Cindy Taylor, and Martel was the segment producer.

"We turned into corporate monsters," Martel admits. "We became more business-oriented, and weren't happy anymore."