High school sports photographer, with one arm, chases his dream

BOSTON — Brando Martinez tells stories through his pictures, but the 20-year-old Boston man may have the most inspiring story of all.

“I was in a house fire back in my home country in Guatemala when I was 7 months old,” he said.

Martinez was rescued by a cousin, but the fire left him with 50% of his body covered in severe burns and his left arm had to be amputated due to an infection.

He and his mother moved to Connecticut and then Massachusetts so he could be cared for at Shriner’s Hospital For Children in Boston. He’s undergone more than 20 operations and often two surgeries per year, many to his face.

“I like the way that I look. I accepted this is me, this is who I am. I can’t do anything about it, you know, so I said I’m just going to accept what it is,” Martinez said.

Martinez isn’t letting the scars and the loss of an arm slow him down. After graduating from Winthrop High School in 2019, he has been a fixture on high school sidelines, shooting pictures and highlight videos of games as he chases his dream of becoming a full-time, professional photographer.

“It’s so much more than creating a video and like taking photos. For me, it makes me feel like I’m part of something, you know,” he said.

Martinez is gaining a big following from high school players across the state due to his highlight edits on his Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/iibrandoii/.

Martinez is living life with no regrets and he has pictures to prove it. He hopes to catch on with a local college to create content for their teams or even become a personal photographer for professional athletes.