PORT HOOD: Taking care of photographic needs is name of the game at Compass Art Works.

“Being a photographer for 35 years, I know how to get the colours right,” said Rob Martin, the owner and operator of the recently opened photographic studio located on Main Street in Port Hood.

“I started out shooting the performing arts 35 years ago: dancers, a lot of actors. I’ve shot 20 or 30 people a day, and that’s how you hone your craft.”

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Martin has had studios all over the world, including cities like New York, Miami, Denver, Hollywood, and Toronto. It was in Toronto where he met his wife, Patricia Wayling, who is originally from Antigonish.

“She worked at the Toronto reference library and upon retirement she said, ‘I’m going home’,” Martin told The Reporter early last week, working on a canvas piece at his studio.

“I needed a place to call home, and I think I found it here.”

About two months ago, Martin had a discussion with J.R. MacDonald, the owner of several properties in Port Hood. Martin was interested in renting space at the location of the former North End Home Hardware building, a property for which MacDonald holds the deed.

That conversation led to a bit of remodelling, and Martin moved his printing equipment to the new location. Prior to that, Martin ran his photography and printing service out of his home. That operation can also be found at Compass Art Works.

Martin’s work space is onsite, as well as a number of his photos and those of his clients.

Photo by Grant McDaniel
Compass Art Works photographic studio is now open for business in Port Hood. Seen here are a number of Rob Martin’s pieces.

The studio is a brick-and-mortar extension of Romeo Martin Photo Arts, Martin’s business. It can be found on-line at: romeomartinphotoarts.com. Martin provides high quality prints (both paper and canvas) to local photographers. He’s also an accomplished photographer whose on-line gallery can be viewed at the Web site. His images are for sale.

Several high profile local photographers like Jack Ronalds and Steven Rankin use Martin for printing, but Martin is also happy to accommodate rookie photographer too.

“Everybody takes that one great shot in their lifetime that they want to print, and that’s where I come in,” he said. “I can do little ones [12x18s] and I can do large ones [40×100 inches]. I did a 3×10 foot piece a couple weeks ago.

“Whatever people want, I can give them,” he said. “We’ll print whatever means something to someone.”

On the subject of well-regarded local photographers, Bob Martin is also a client of Romeo Martin Photo Arts. In an effort to avoid confusion, Rob uses his middle name, Romeo, in his business. He assures us that he’s willing to greet customers who call him either name.