TEN Women
Written on June 14, 2023


Meet Martika, a visionary photographer whose inspiring journey is a tale of determination and creativity. Her dream has always been to pursue her photography career in the vibrant landscapes of the United States, particularly in the bustling cities of New York City and Los Angeles. However, like many of us, her plans took an unexpected turn due to the global pandemic and the emergence of exciting local projects. Now, she is more determined than ever to take the leap and make her dream a reality before the year comes to an end.


T. What would you like to achieve this coming year?

M. I’ve been planning to move to The States for quite some years to pursue my photography career either in NYC or Los Angeles. But because of the pandemic and new local projects everything got postponed. So I would love to finally make that step before the end of this year.


T. How would you define your signature style?

M. I would describe my style as clean, usually colorful with a strong point of view. As I mostly shoot portraits and fashion campaigns, my main focus is the personality of the person in front of my lens and try to accentuate their unique beauty.

T. How does your creative work empower you? 

M. It gives me the power to share my perspective with the world. I sometimes have younger girls walking up to me saying they got into photography because they saw my work somewhere. I think that’s amazing! Female perspective is much needed in a male-dominated (photography) world, so I’m happy to do my part.


T. Looking at today, what would you want to advise your younger self?

M. I honestly think we learn as we go. But If I would do it all over again I would’ve looked for a photography rep in neighboring countries like the UK or Germany while I was investing in going back and forth to America. I’ve been independent from the beginning and in Amsterdam/ The Netherlands that’s fine. But if you wanna grow faster and get more opportunities, it’s essential to have representation across borders.
I could’ve done that simultaneously, but I was focused on The US only.

T. What inspires you to step out of your comfort zone?

M. My work automatically gets me out of my comfort zone cause that’s what makes it fun! I’m easily bored so I try to work with people and brands that are open for new suggestions. The possibilities to constantly create new ideas and seeing them come to fruition is only possible if you step out of your comfort zone.


T. What brings you joy?

M. It brings me joy to see how surprised or happy people get when they eventually see the results of their shoot. Or when I create something that exceeds my own expectations, that’s a constant goal.


T. What has been your favorite project so far?

M. Earlier this year I independently launched my coffee table book called Seat at the Table. together with my longtime friend Racky Westrik (journalist). It’s an ode to the work and journeys of leading Black creatives that shape today’s culture in The Netherlands – and beyond.
Even though this was the hardest project I’ve ever worked on, looking back it’s also the most fulfilling one. This subject is very close to my heart as I experienced firsthand what it means to be a Black creative in a relatively “new world” with no one to look up to (who looks like me) in the Netherlands. My photography career started over a decade ago and luckily much has changed in the meantime. But what was still missing was; relatable stories of people who work behind the scenes in all creative fields collected in one book. We wanted the examples of successful Black creatives to be more visible and to inform the reader about their journeys towards success including all the trials and tribulations.

Instagram: martika_avalon

Written by TEN Women