Happy Friday everybody! Welcome to my first Fan-Girl Friday blog, dedicated to my buddy, Marty Fitzpatrick. Not only is Marty a great photographer—as you’ll see in the pictures here—he is also an interesting guy. Read on and see what I’m talking about.
I met Marty over ten years ago and became an instant fan. I’d find myself looking for him every time I’d stop at Sportsman’s for a beer after work. He’s easy to spot – standing at six feet four inches, you can’t miss him. If I couldn’t find him there, I’d catch him on the other side of the bar at the old pool hall where he bartended a few days a week. Back when the pool hall was the pool hall, the place to hide out and Shiner (Hooter’s little Jack Russell) was allowed in.
Marty is a quick-witted, quiet guy with a dry sense of humor who knows his way around a charcoal grill. His parties are the best—you never know who you’ll meet at one of his get-togethers, because the man knows everybody and you will have fun. Especially if you like to play poker. (I may or may not have saved a man’s life with a gravy boat at one his parties, but you’ll have to ask Marty about that)
He’s a New York City native, but Marty’s lived in Nashville for thirty years. When I say he knows everybody, I’m not kidding. Between working in radio, at XM and WSIX, his bartending gigs, and bar-stool sitting days at Brown’s Diner he’s made many friends and has a ton of great stories.
He’s photographed enough well-known Nashville musicians to fill a book, every portrait capturing the magic between the person and their instruments like no one else but Marty can do.
He took a trip to South Africa two years ago, completely on his own – not with a travel group or friend – just took off without knowing anybody there. I just loved that! Marty enjoyed the trip so much, he went back a year later. I asked Marty if he would share a little bit about that here and he was nice enough to be my first Fan-Girl subject.
Marty – On my first trip, I chose South Africa because I enjoy the music. The only reason I went back so quickly was because I met a man named Sibu, who just happened to overhear some of my stories from the first trip. He was going home to visit, so I went with him. Best decision ever, ’cause I got to see so much more of the country, from a native’s perspective. Johannesburg, Durban, Indian Ocean, Pretoria, Zululand… Amazing trip! If I ever go back, I think I’ll try Kenya.
Wonderful, hospitable people, but bar fights are much scarier when the combatants are yelling in another language.
While Marty was on his first trip, he went on a safari. I assumed he was riding in a vehicle with a group of tourists, but no. He actually camped in a tent in the middle of nowhere – just him, a guide, tents and a campfire.
Marty – First time, I slept in a tent in a campground. Second time, I was in a lodge, with good meals, morning and evening. Saw a scorpion crawling out of the lodge kitchen. One dinner was out in the bush, but no animals came to visit.
I asked Marty to share some quick, random memories on the safaris and his experience in general.
Marty – Looking forward to waking up at 4:00 a.m., so as not to miss anything.
Giraffe kill surrounded by lions resting in the shade.
Zebras, buffaloes, giraffes , rhinos, so many antelope (impala, springbok, kudu). They were everywhere! I ate springbok pie and kudu jerky.
Elephants threatening our vehicle. Adrenaline!
Wildebeests, warthogs, jackals, hyenas…
Most of the animals were as close as you’d want them to be, sometimes brushing against the vehicle.
He told me “The South African authorities can be quite pleasant, even while searching every piece of luggage in the car, after a “random” stop on the road between Pretoria and Durban.”
If you would like to know more about taking a trip to Africa, Marty is happy to share what he’s learned.
Marty – The trips were far more affordable than I ever would have imagined. I may have a Happy Hour meeting somewhere, for folks who may be interested, but don’t know where to begin. We’ll talk about cost, flights (16 hours from Atlanta to Johannesburg. Yikes!), accommodations, etc.
If you want to see more of Marty’s work check out his website, www.MFitzPhoto.com You can also find him on FaceBook and Instagram. Here are some more of my favorite photos –
Thanks for reading and if you’re interested in a photographer for family photos, weddings, headshots, corporate events, etc– I know a guy 😉.