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Cade Martin Brews a Little Controversy & Whimsy with Tazo Tea

By Pye Jirsa on April 4th 2013


“When you look at things differently, stories emerge. There is a beauty in the everyday. And when people learn to look for it, they’ll find inspiration in the least likely places.”
~ Cade Martin

Cade Martin is an award-winning photographer known for his work with advertising, fashion, and corporate clients internationally. In 2009 Martin collaborated with Design Army and the Washington Ballet to create Wonderland, a series of images for a one-of-a-kind book. The whimsy of the images, along with their fluid movement is reflected again in his new campaign put together for Starbucks and Tazo Tea.

Largely influenced by film and cinema, Martin likes to use elaborate settings, costumes, and movie crews. The Tazo project was definitely shot in Hollywood style production mode, with all HMIs (mostly Arri) lights, as well as grip and generators. The sets spanned from Beverly Hills to Pasadena, California over the course of four days.

The effect is a series of images that both invoke a sense of wonder and enchantment. Each photograph carries its own narrative and life beyond the crystalline lens.

Cade Martin’s Wonderland for Starbucks and Tazo Tea





Rodney Smith Scolds PDN

The campaign is not without its critics though. Photographer Rodney Smith claims the PDN cover image from the campaign is a copy of his own work. Yet, in such a visually inundated society, is it possible for all things to be completely “new” and “fresh”? As other artists inspire photographers, individual expressions of ideas and thoughts are often built upon each other, and are not always mutually exclusive. Is this infringement?


Or is this a form of visual conception that is similar to that found in portrait painting dating back to the Masters? I’m pretty sure I have seen baroque paintings that featured beautiful women in volumes of fabric lazing in a large estate, tea cup in hand.

What do you think?

See more details on Martin’s work from this campaign on the cover of PDN’s March lighting issue and here.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via PDN]

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice work.

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