Central photographer shines bright in sports coverage


Esteban Serrano, Lead Editor

If you’ve been to a Central athletics event at any point so far this year, you’ve likely seen Lauren Martinez, an independent photographer who has been the face behind the camera of many infamous action shots from this year. She has been running up and down the sidelines and baselines of various venues to capture the moments this generation of Central Catholic athletes will remember forever.

“Honestly, I hadn’t thought about photography until I had my last job,” she begins. She says similarly to yearbook in middle school, she was a photographer and shot the school’s sports games. Martinez is a graduate of Holy Spirit Middle School and a graduate of Incarnate Word High School. She graduated college from the University of the Incarnate Word, where her major had nothing to do with photography. Primarily, she explains that her experience in school holding a camera helped prepare her for the job she has today. “I was always with the camera,” she said and explains how an unhappy position she was in with her previous job, made her realize photography was an old passion she wanted to pursue.

“When I actually started to rethink back on my life as to what I really liked, I realized photography was one of the big parts of it… My sister growing up being a sixteen-year difference, I wanted to make sure to capture her athletic career and her life, so that she had something to look back on.”

She pours that into her thought bubble as to how she got to taking pictures here, whether at the stadium every Friday or on the court every week. “Last year, during COVID, I was one of the only people allowed in the gym for all the girls…” She’s talking about photographing games at Incarnate Word High School. Her brother is a graduate of Central. With her gig photographing most, if not all the sports, she said someone approached her and gave her the “challenge” of shooting male sports. “I had someone approach me, saying, ‘oh, have you ever tried guys? I don’t know if you’d be able to keep up with it though, they’re a little too fast for you.’ And I was like, ‘oh, okay, that’s a nice challenge.”

She was an athlete herself while in middle and high school, and she says it slightly prepared her to keep up with the fast-paced sports that high school athletes perform, and at the same time, uses her college major in a unique way. “Being able to grow up in high school and middle school prepared me for that, helped me.. and I majored in psychology, so being able to read, and adjust to people… because I mean if you’re a psychologist, they want to run for the doors? Right? Nobody wants to open up and get help but athletes are definitely the ones who need someone to talk to, being able to show them and ‘portray’ how amazing they are with that fade-away shot, that touchdown, that teamwork… it gives them that boost of confidence.”

Her fan base among students, faculty, and parents has definitely grown in the past couple of months. Nonetheless, this is Lauren’s first full year of photographing for a school, or in her case, a couple of schools. She shares her experience and thoughts so far, saying, “I love football, but I’ve taken a whole new level of love for football.” She stumbles over her thoughts for a moment, and says, “There’s no words to capture how exactly it felt. It was just an amazing experience to see the team and where they were at. I didn’t realize how good the team was. I started getting prepared by reading stats and being able to understand the boys.”

This all comes as the Buttons went on a historic run in football, making it all the way to the TAPPS semi-final game in Brownwood. She was at every game capturing those still photos that athletes have bought, and reposted from her on their social platforms. She has also covered plenty of other events, including the Pillars Dinner just a few weeks ago, and she was the official photographer of the Marianist Classic Tournament that took place at the Kahlig-Cowie Convocation Center at the end of December. She has also photographed galas for many schools including Central and Incarnate Word.

Managing time is yet another piece of cake for Lauren, as she has gotten the question asked before. She says she loves it, and simply calls it the “life of a photographer.” She says, “There is nothing else I would rather be doing. I luckily have a partner who is very much enjoying and loves to see my passion growing, and I just love what I am doing. So, to have the support from family and friends, it just helps me to be able to focus but, time management is definitely the best thing. High school, college… all prepared me for that.”

She adds, “I look out for Central, and Central looks out for me. I love it. I love that we take care of each other… I really don’t want to go anywhere else.”

And as for her iconic and unique logo seen on her Instagram page and website, the parabolic curved star, she shares the story behind that as well. She explains the custom and personal origins saying, “My original business name was called Counting Stars Photography, (named) after a song called ‘Stars’ by HUM. A song I like and something I love to do- just stare at the sky. I drove out to Marfa to see the stars, so I still wanted to incorporate my original business name with ‘Lauren Elizabeth Photography’.”

Lauren will be around covering all the spring sports including baseball, lacrosse, softball, and more. Currently, her focus is covering basketball as the season is just about to wrap up. She says she is currently working on individual modeling sessions that will be published on her website soon, and into the summer months. She also says that she has no plans to leave Central’s student and athletic environment anytime in the near future, when it comes to making those special memories for the students.