I'm Matt Payne, ask me anything!

Hi Vanessa! Thank you for your kind words!

Your question is a good one for sure. Interestingly, the majority of my photos have not been planned out very much with some minor exceptions. My general approach is to put myself into interesting places at interesting times and then find something awesome to make an image of, more or less. I am MUCH more happy with images that I am able to discover and make sense of than the images that are pre-visualized; however, there is a certain thrill I do get from executing on a more planned shot. Great question and thanks for asking it.

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Apologies if this has been asked, a lot of reading to catch up on!

@Matt_Payne as a content creator as well as photographer I am curious about how you maintain your drive to continue producing content for your podcast. 282 episodes is a massive undertaking, and it looks like you are keeping it fresh with adding some different formats (having two photographers ‘interview’ each other as an example.

Is there something you want to achieve with the podcast somewhere on the horizon? How have you maintained your motivation to produce such a massive body of educational content?

Thanks Matt! Look forward to having a proper read of this thread soon and also chatting!


Hey Matt! It’s great to see you here and I’m looking forward to our recording! The podcast really is a massive undertaking, and I’m not sure most folks really understand that, but that’s OK! I actually recorded Episode 294 this morning, which will be released on 12/5.

At this point in my career it has become a large part of my life and my identity but there certainly have been times where I’ve wanted to just give up. The podcast has really opened a lot of doors for me and has become a platform for me to be able to hopefully change the world a little bit at least in this tiny circle of influence! I also am a big time people person so it fills a need for me to socialize and make connections.

I should probably ask myself this more often; however, I think the podcast will eventually become an integral part of how I make a living eventually. I’m still slowly piecing that together though. Ultimately though I just want to leave a positive impact on this community and hopefully make a difference in a few people’s lives with it. For example, it’s a great way for me to advocate for ethical practices and for folks to think about their environmental impact. That helps me extend my own personal reach of reducing my carbon footprint by helping others do the same. That’s really important to me right now.


Thanks Matt! I think you’ve already achieved parts of your stated goals - certainly in advocacy and helping others while building a community. I find the great thing about photography is that the possibilities are pretty infinite though, and no doubt you and your community can achieve even greater impact. Have a good one!

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Hey Matt,
Having followed your work and podcasts for so long, and seen how your thinking has evolved on some topics, I’m curious to know what you think the progression of landscape photography will look like going forward? And, related, is there anything that you would like to see change?

Also echoing what others have said about you finding the time to do all this… I struggled to find the time to write a question! Kudos

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Hey Anna,

It’s wonderful to see you here. Your podcast episode was one of my favorites to record :slight_smile:

Great question! With the advent of AI, I think we are going to see another shift. I am not totally sure what that shift looks like yet; however, I do think @Tim_Parkin was on to something with his question too.

When we created NLPA, we really wanted to move the dial of Nature & Landscape Photography so that folks placed a bit more emphasis on more realistic images. I think we’ve done that just a smidge so that’s great to see… I think AI could have either the same impact or could push people another direction altogether as well, it’s hard to say really.

I’d like to see people embrace of individualism in their photography and for people to experiment and try new things. I’d also like to see more emphasis on personal expression and project-based work. I think this type of stuff has a lot of potential to make an impact.

I guess lastly, I’d love to see the community rally a bit more around a general sense of camaraderie even when there is disagreement on a subject. I know sometimes it might seem like I’m fanning the flames to cause the opposite to happen but I genuinely do care a lot about my fellow photographer!


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Thanks for the thoughtful response! It will be interesting to see how AI shakes things up…
I had fun on the podcast too :slight_smile:

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Thank you to everyone who stopped by to ask your great questions! I had a wonderful time answering them and hopefully people got something out of the exchange of ideas. We surely covered a lot of wide-ranging subjects, which was awesome!

If you enjoy that sort of thing mixed in with nature photography, be sure to subscribe to my podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen” on the various podcatching platforms:

Apple Podcasts


Amazon Music

Google Podcasts


And if you’re already a listener, great! Please support the show on Patreon - it’s how I keep it running!