When Sven Martin moved to the U.S. in 1998, he was skateboarding professionally. His father and brother were both photographers and when Sven was hurt from skating, he would pick up the camera and shoot his friends skating. Gradually he transitioned into shooting full time. At 28 he picked up a mountain bike and started racing downhill. His personal goals with the sport eventually shifted back behind the lens. He is now one of the most well known mountain bike photographers in the world. He works with the biggest names and brands in the industry and recently pulled together a trip through New Zealand for a client.
“Santa Cruz Bicycles is a client of mine. I shoot a lot of their MTB imagery, racing, trips product etc. They contacted us and asked if we could run a new bike launch/press camp for them in New Zealand. It needed to be Epic, it needed to be awesome and out there. Way out there.”
Santa Cruz was flying in 10 journalists from around the world to try out three new bikes and explore the trails of New Zealand’s South Island West Coast.
In addition to putting the trip together, Sven was also to provide all the imagery for the journalists to put in their ‘first ride’ reports. The trip was to run Monday-Thursday with a world wide launch for the bikes going out on Friday. The journalist’s reports were to go out on their various website and publications to supplement the launch and PR effort.
“What this meant for me as a photographer was that I needed to be able to work every day regardless of where we were staying. One of the nights we slept up top of a mountain on the Old Ghost Road Trail in Ghost Lake hut. The longest continuous single-track purpose built for MTB in NZ. We were remote so there is no power etc. I still had to edit my photos that night and next morning as we had next to no time to do it all the end of the following day when their reports had to be in. One charged MacBook Pro battery wouldn’t be enough for the job that night, so I made sure to pack my Goal Zero and was able to get the job done while working at the hut.”