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Meet Juan Martinez of Beers And Cameras in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juan Martinez.

Juan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Our Beers And Cameras meet-ups started simply as a way for a friend of mine and me to meet-up and nerd over gear and photography. We met via a Craigslist transaction and kept in touch. Whenever either of us got a new camera lens or had questions about photography we would contact each other. When my wife and I decided to sell our condo and move into a home in the trendy North Park neighborhood, our small get togethers over coffee with our cameras moved to local craft beer spots. A few more friends were attending at that point, maybe 5 or so. After one of these get-togethers, I decided to start an Instagram account where we could post photos and shared the login info with those buddies. Nobody but I posted or took it seriously, so I just continued on with the postings myself. Using the account I advertised our next meet-ups and pretty grew from there. Now we have over 7 chapters with “pop-up” meet-ups on the rise.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are no smooth roads when embracing a new passion project, probably why these projects are cut-short. Learning to work around my busy work schedule, keeping-up with social media posts and creating conversation on the platform. Interacting with people is a huge part of what I do, both at the meet-up and as a brand. Its all a huge learning experience for me.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Beers And Cameras – what should we know?
Our company is actually owned by my beautiful wife, Raquel Martinez. She’s at the rock and foundation to all we do and definitely keeps my dreamer vision a bit more grounded at times but never dulling the progress or keeping our community from its organic growth. We are known in San Diego as a casual photography meet-up, meeting biweekly for over two years now at local breweries and restaurants in San Diego county. We provide a place for novice and experienced photographers, videographers and general creatives to meet other like-minded individuals, get hands-on with camera gear they wouldn’t normally get to experience, film photography, photography brands and new adventures. Many of our attendees meet outside of our bi-weekly meet-ups and participate in street photography, wedding, and projects, plus become extremely close friends. Our community is amazing and we are stoked to have similar chapters in other cities, states and even in the U.K.

We aren’t like the more “typical” get togethers on Apps like MeetUp or photography clubs. We dont focus on individuals or long talks by supposed experts. We focus on casual conversations with no pressure to discuss anything in particular but let the conversations grow organically and in the moment.

The venues we visit love our attendance because who doesn’t want 35-45 photographers at your location ordering food, beer and taking photos and sharing them on their social media accounts. The organic marketing we provide is off the charts.

Furthermore, we work with quality brands to bring their products to the attention of our following, meet-up attendees and via our network of chapters. Working as a content creator of sorts is a huge part of what we do.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
In the early days, those that shared their time with me and our hang-outs helped kick-off a more organized meet and especially Pocholo Francisco who was the co-founder. Furthermore, everyone I have met and continue to meet at our meet-ups, basically the community at large deserve credit for shaping Beers And Cameras and its success. Beers And Cameras is about community and if it’s not the first thing, besides beer and cameras that you think of, then I’m failing.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 619-743-0336
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @beersandcameras
  • Twitter: @beersandcameras

Image Credit:

Juan Martinez, Chris David

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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