Nathaniel Atakora Martin is an adventure photographer based in British Columbia, Canada. With over 92,000 followers on Instagram and a variety of impressive clients including Mercedes Benz, Poler Stuff and Herschel Supply, Nathaniel’s primary aesthetic is focused on vast landscapes and how people connect and interact with them. The inspiration he draws from his environment can be seen in his work through expressive portraiture, or the visual exploration of a rugged coastline. We recently met up with Nathaniel on the day he moved into his new home to have a conversation about what the word ‘home’ means to him, a person who rarely spends consecutive nights under the same roof. Read more about Nathaniel’s interpretation of ‘home’ in the interview below..
Today we are here with you as you move into your new home in Vancouver, BC. Although, what we really want to know is where are you from? And, what are the strongest feelings of ‘home’ you remember from your hometown?
When I was seven my family moved to Red Deer Alberta and that’s where I grew up. Being back in Alberta always evokes those feelings of familiarity and nostalgia. Visiting the forests and parks that were my stomping grounds as a kid always brings back a flood of memories.
What makes Vancouver home?
I really connect with the beauty of the city. Vancouver is a place I’ve wanted to live in for many years. I have a lot of family out here and many friends I grew up with are now in the city. Every time I get to know a new shop or an unfamiliar face becomes a new friend Vancouver feels more like my city.
What does home mean to you?
That’s a really difficult question for me and one that I’ve tried to answer many times. Growing up my family moved a lot so I’m not one of those people who ever got really attached to one house. I think because of that my definition of home is very broad and for me home is more about my community in a city. My friends and family are my home.
What are your thoughts on how our homes impact our overall happiness?
I’m not really a homebody but there is such an amazing peace that comes from having your own space. There is a security in knowing that after a long trip I have a home to come back to and a place to keep me grounded.
How do these thoughts influence your thinking when you’re shooting portraits?
Whenever you’re taking a portrait of somebody you are asking them to be vulnerable with you. The more comfortable they are the more open and relaxed they will be and that will come across in the photo. So I think doing portraits in a space that makes your subject feel at ease will always yield the best results.
Have you found a place to shoot portraits that people feel generally feel happier in?
A lot of my photography revolves around hiking and the outdoors. I think we all connect to nature and when we see something beautiful like a mountain lake or a sunset it will always bring out joy.
What do you look for in a home?
I like big windows so I can feel connected to the outdoors. I haven’t found a place like that yet but a guy can dream. I want my home to be a place where I can host people and where people feel welcome.
You travel a lot. What’s the first thing you do when you get home?
When I’ve been away on assignment and I get back to my home in Vancouver I always take some time to relax and be by myself. It’s nice to have a quiet place to catch up on sleep and recharge, sip some coffee and listen to a good record.
For you, what qualities make a house a home?
I think the difference between a house and a home are the memories we imprint on that space. Without a way to imprint in that space and connect to it a house has no sentimental meaning.