Meet the Media: Genna Martin

Erin Dubots / May 28, 2019

Genna Martin photographer with sumo wrestler

We’re bringing you another Meet the Media post. This week, we met Genna Martin, a photographer at SeattlePI, covering breaking news, politics, events, sports and social issues in the Puget Sound. Learn more about Genna by reading below, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram to see her stunning work.

1.   How did you find yourself as a photographer at SeattlePI?

I studied photojournalism at Boston University eventually ended up as a staff photographer at the Everett Herald, by way of Victoria, TX and Portland, OR. I worked at the Herald for three years before getting hired on at the PI in 2015.

2.   Which of your stories are you most proud of? 

In 2014, I was a part of a team at the Everett Herald that reported on the Oso Mudslide, a tragic natural disaster that killed 43 people and destroyed a neighborhood. I ended up spending much of the following year in Oso and Darrington photographing the aftermath of the slide and courage of the community who came together to rebuild. I was extremely proud to be a part of the Herald’s compassionate, community-based coverage of the tragedy. 

3.   What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love getting to be a fly on the wall in people’s lives, getting to learn new things and meet new people every day. I am happiest when I am able to share stories that cause people to empathize with each other and see the things we have in common are far greater than the things that make us different.

4.   What is your interview style? 

Like many journalists, I’m a naturally curious person. I think I just end up asking people about the parts of their story I find most interesting and then let them expand from there.

5.   What do you look for in a story?

I look for something that sparks my interest or a way to tell a story that I haven’t seen before. If you work in journalism long enough, especially if you are in the same town or publication for a while, you end up feeling like you are photographing the same events or telling the same stories year after year. I’m always trying to find ways to do something new and different.

6.   What is your day like at your job?

It’s different every day and that’s what I love about it. I love going into work knowing that anything could happen and I will have to figure out how best to cover it. At its core though, it’s research, photographing and editing.

7.   Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry? 

Seattle is brimming with excellent journalists who are amazingly supportive of one another. It’s one of the best things about this city. I would have to write a novel’s worth to mention every journalist in this city I admire, foremost my own co-workers at the SeattlePI. But, I will mention two people who’s work defines great Seattle journalism. The Seattle Time’s Erika Schultz is one of the most compassionate, thoughtful and talented photojournalists I have ever known. I should really get a WWESD? (What Would Erika Schultz Do?) bracelet made because it’s what I am thinking going into every assignment. The other is Crosscut’s city reporter David Kroman, whose stories are so consistently thorough and well-researched, and can make even the most mundane, byzantine minutiae of city government readable and easy to understand. 

8.   What is your favorite news outlet?

I think part of the benefit of living in the internet age is we don’t have to pick just one. I get news from everywhere and my favorite is always whoever is doing the best reporting on the subject at hand.

9.   Fill in the blank: 

    1. If I am not reporting, I am… riding motorcycles, playing water polo or binging tv shows.
    2. If I could photograph anyone, it would be… I don’t really have a grand wish list because I’m more interested in photographing regular people than anyone famous, but I just heard NASA is going to send a woman to the moon for the first time and I think whomever they pick would make for a very cool photo subject.
    3. My favorite thing about Seattle is… the Northwest photojournalism community and being surrounded by water.

10.    What is your guilty pleasure? 

I watch a lot of TV, like a lot a lot.

Thanks, Genna, for taking the time to answer our questions! You can view her full portfolio of photojournalism on her website. Looking for more Meet the Media? Check out our last post, where we spotlighted Tim Newcomb, a freelance writer.

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