Ian Martin

(b. 1972)



Ian Martin is a freelance photojournalist who predominantly works in black and white. He is a 2008 recipient of a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography and his work has appeared in a myriad of publications including Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone. He is also a former staff photographer for The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia's largest newspaper.


Ian received the Getty Images Grant to pursue his project "Hidden Minority: South Africa's White Poor." He spent over three months photographing in South Africa in the fall of 2008 and beginning of 2009. Ian has created a book of the work titled Invisible People: Poor and White in the New South Africa.


Photographing for Newsweek in February and March of 2009, Ian spent two and a half weeks in Arizona and North Carolina covering law enforcement efforts to contain violence spawned by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. In May of 2008, Newsweek sent him to Texas and El Salvador to photograph the repatriation of 120 Salvadorans who were deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. 


From the beginning of 1997 through the middle of 2000, Ian worked for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA. His assignments for the Pilot were broad in scope covering three hurricanes, general news, sports and fashion. In 1998, he spent a month living on various US Navy ships that were patrolling the Persian Gulf enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq. Other documentaries included and in-depth look at life in a Virginia Beach police academy; Marine Corps training; an exhaustive look at the James River and the fading, centuries-old culture of Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay. 

In 2000, Ian left The Pilot to return home to Northern California.


"The people concerned were yearning for respect, battling for respect from others, and aching to respect themselves. [Ian] was rendering the invisible visible--creating awareness in our minds of elements of the dignity of others that had been covered by the imperious shrouds of their poverty. Yet something wiser and sadder than rescuing respect for down-and-out individuals emerged. The project tells us of the universality of deprivation. The new democratic South Africa neither protects nor condemns people because of their skin color.'

- Albie Sachs, from the foreward to Invisible People: Poor and White in the New South Africa.