A glimpse into Chad Martel's life would make anyone jealous. This 30-year-old professional photographer begins his day by waking up in his beachfront condo (where he lives by himself) and riding his beach cruiser to Starbucks to get his coffee. Then, he usually has a bunch of photo shoots lined up with various beautiful women in his 1,000 square foot studio for the majority of the day. The sun sets, he grabs a bite with his friends, hits up the local bars for whatever dirt-cheap drink special's going on, (he's partial to the $1/pint Guinness nights) and then, weary from his long day filled with scantily-clad women, and other such stresses, Martel crashes into bed, only to wake up to another glorious, sunny morning in Jacksonville, Fla.
So, while we're all turning green with envy, what does Martel have to say for himself?
"My life's a horror story," Martel says, "Sh*t's out of control all the time."
Of course, that quote might have been taken out of context for comedic purposes. Martel is, in fact, more than grateful for the life he's worked hard to build for himself. His resume includes - but is not limited to - impressive photography contributions to Maxim and Stuff Magazine, as well as video credits for a segment of Wild on E!, X-Games, Fox Sports, and more.
Martel's also recently started his own business down in Florida called Kind Industries. Originally, the company began as a surf/skim-boarding clothing line, but Kind Industries is now rapidly gaining fame for their ever-growing collection of fresh-faced models, including the popular feature, "Kind Girl of the Month." The website aims to link athletes, celebrities and models together for promotional purposes.
"[Kind Industries] is a place to network," Martel explains. "A direct link to take the corporate edge off everything."
Martel's a man who's been to the fires of corporate hell and back. He's also managed to make it to the edge of death and back. For this talented individual, it took a near-death experience to awake to his calling in life, and provide him with the confidence needed to take the risks and make the sacrifices necessary to fulfill his passions. This experience happened his first semester at Alfred University in New York.
"My appendix blew up on me," Martel says. "When you almost die, it's different. I mean, I'm not trying to be overdramatic, but you're tripping, you're like, just do it. I just wanted to live my life, do what I wanted to do. I realized life's too short to make everybody happy."
Martel attended Alfred University on full-scholarship for lacrosse and hockey. This was part of the reason he felt obligated to attend. Previously, he grew up in Pawtucket, R.I. with his parents and older brother, Jason.
"I would never be where I am," Martel reflects, "Without having the luxury of my parents loving me, taking me in whenever."