on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Shanda Akin – Portrait of a Photographer

A Photography Journey inspired by 25 years of service

Matt Payne

Matt Payne

Matt Payne is a landscape photographer and mountain climber from Durango, Colorado. He’s the host of the weekly landscape photography podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen,” co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance, and co-founder of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards. He lives with his wife, Angela, his son Quinn, and his four cats, Juju, Chara, Arrow, and Vestal.


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I recently had a conversation with a fellow photographer about the influences on our images and how it seems like some of these influences are conscious, but surprisingly, many more are unconscious. Clearly, the paths we consciously choose to take throughout our lives have a significant impact on the direction of our photography and what motivates us to create artwork. What’s perhaps more interesting, though, is how our unconscious selves and our history as human beings play a huge role in shaping what interests us as photographers. These things may include our upbringing, our friendships, our failed or successful relationships, where we’ve travelled, where we’ve lived, and what we find interesting in the world. After all, it was Minor White who coined the phrase, “All photographs are self-portraits.” As such, I would like to take the opportunity to apply this idea to the subject of today’s article, a photographer I’ve grown to admire here in my hometown of Durango, Colorado – Shanda Akin.

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