Barrie Martelle

Career Spotlight: Barrie Martelle, Founder of, Freelance Photographer for Ultra Music Festivals

Today’s Career Spotlight we feature Barrie Martelle, Founder of and Freelance Photographer for Ultra Music Festivals. If you are looking for work in the industry, be sure to check out all open positions here.

Who are you and what is your background?

I’m Barrie Martelle from Ottawa, Canada and I’m thirty one year old Entrepreneur. I have a fantastic background in Auto Mechanics, Software Engineering, and Psychology all of which is self taught.

How did you get to where you are now?

It really all started when I got a DSLR for Christmas. I started going to my brother’s hockey games and just started to snap away. After about 4-5 years of straight spray and pray it started to become somewhat of a addiction.  I found myself missing my own hockey games just so I could snap some cool photos of my brother playing hockey. Eventually that started to get old and I needed something with a little more action. So I started to show up at the local semi-pro games and started taking photos. Someone noticed me posting on social media and eventually a team manager said you could travel with us and at the time I was like SWEET. So I stuck with that for a couple of years and eventually a startup media outlet noticed my photos and asked me to align with them. One day, out of the blue the outlet asked me to shoot a festival called Escapade Music Festival by DNA Presents. Little did I know the first ever EDM music festival in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada would open the doors to the most amazing opportunities. I was then asked by DJ MAG CANADA to be the director of Photography. Soon after I would connect with the beautiful Jackie Bray of BE-Artists who would connect me with amazing opportunities and new clients. Around the same time I acquired and the rest is history.

barrie martelle

Escapade Music Festival 2014

When did you realize that you wanted a career in the music industry?

I realized it when I noticed people commenting on how amazing the photos were after I uploaded my first EDM photo gallery. I kinda got emotional because for the first time in my life I was seeing the memories I created come alive with engagement like nothing I had seen before.  It’s really something I will never forget.

You grew up in the best part of Canada, Ottawa. Can you tell us a little about the music scene there and how you started shooting local gigs?

Ottawa is certainly a great city but when I was first getting noticed in the photography world EDM events were almost non existent here.  Everybody would either go to the famous Beach Club or New City Gas in Montreal. Thankfully a company called DNA Presents who now hosts one of the largest festivals in Canada came to the rescue. Without them putting Ottawa on the map I don’t believe I would be here giving this interview. They were certainly the company that opened many doors for my future success.

Barrie Martelle

You shoot photos for some of the biggest artists in EDM. Who is your favorite to shoot for?

The first person that comes to mind is Tommy Trash. I’m always looking for a challenge and he is one of the few DJs that takes all your skills to capture. Thankfully my ‘A’ game was on that day because his management was so happy with one of the photos I took that they decided it belonged on his website as the opening image. I believe it was the opener image for over a year.

barrie martelle

Tommy Trash and Zedd sharing a few laughs backstage

You work for Ultra Music Festival all around the world, which Ultra location was your favorite to shoot at, and why?

Oh man that’s a hard question. I think Miami is my favorite location simply because you get to see the whole Ultra family in Action. Not just the photographers but everyone who makes these events tick. It’s there that you realize how important each and every person is. Most people could never understand what goes into these events behind the scenes.  It’s next level production combined with thing’s never tried before. It’s never easy days but it always ends with a smile and cheers.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?

It’s definitely the traveling and new people you meet. I have been super lucky in that every new experience has been mostly positive for me. Oh and I get to work with the most notable photographers in the world Rudgr & Rukes along with many other top talents who inspire people everyday.

barrie martelle

What is your least favorite aspect?

Excessive use of fog hazer machines and long flights are the worst.

Is there anything you do for work on a daily basis others might be surprised about?

I have the need for speed and I love fast cars. I love to tinker with my cars and I do software calibrations specially for BMW Engines as a side business.

Is working in the music industry as challenging as many people make it out to be?

I think working in any industry can be challenging if your not willing to adapt or work hard.  The music and EDM scene in particular is ever evolving. If you are not on your ‘A’ game there is someone behind you ready to take your job.

barrie martelle

If you could change one part about the work you do, what would it be?

I don’t think I would change anything. I could die tomorrow and die very happy knowing my work made a difference in the scene.

Do you have any advice for those trying to find a career path in the professional photography realm?

My best advice is to ask yourself how badly you want it. Anything is possible and today more than ever you need to be creative because the photography market is saturated beyond belief.  If you plan to make a career out of this type of photography you better be prepared for the ups and downs because there will be lots of those moments. It’s how you handle those moments that will eventually allow you to reach your goals.

barrie martelle

A big thank you to Barrie Martelle for taking the time to share his EDMJob with us in this Career Spotlight. If you are interested in a job in the industry, check out and follow us on Facebook!