Story by Courtney Fields
Images by Matt McGuire
As a member of the art community in Columbus, witnessing the inception of The Columbus Collective has been inspiring and powerful. To better understand the team behind this new artistic venture, our spring intern Courtney Fields sat down with one of the founders. Meet adventure photographer, Matt McGuire.
The youngest of the four Columbus Collective founding artists, Matt is currently homeschooled and a dual enrollment student at Southern Union. But don’t let that fool you, as he balances high school, college, and a part-time job, he still dedicates himself to being a travel/adventure photographer.
At the budding age of 13, Matt’s cousin, Trey Walker - who is also a co-founder of The Columbus Collective, gifted him a camera and encouraged his cousin to develop his skills. As Trey mentored him, McGuire says he fell in love with photography and the fact that every good picture has a story behind it.
The cousins, who are affectionately known as “The Adventure Boys” now work together by scouting out a random location, exploring the area, camping in their cars, taking photographs, and then sharing them on social media.
McGuire’s dream adventure shoot is to visit Iceland “because it’s untouched by the human hand” plus “there is everything from beaches to waterfalls to sulfur mountains.” He typically shares his photos on Instagram and has even partnered with different brands and organizations as a brand ambassador. His favorite photography adventure so far has been at Stephen’s Gap because of the emotions and experiences he felt through the trip.
A photo taken by McGuire at Stephen's Gap.
Though McGuire’s dream is to become a full-time adventure/travel photographer, he also is interested in becoming a youth minister. Upon graduation, he will attend Liberty University and pursue youth ministry in the footsteps of his father and brother who are currently youth ministers in Lee County, Alabama.
Beginning next month, McGuire will bring his love for nature and aspirations to work with youth together for the God’s Green Earth Project. The goal is to take groups into different Alabama State Parks to help with cleanup projects, have worship, and to break up into small groups.
For anyone that may be interested in photography, McGuire says that you should “jump in - whether on a phone or cheap camera - every day ‘til you learn more, and move on to the next.” If you’re wondering where to start, McGuire was kind enough to list his top three photo locations in Columbus. His favorites are the Water Tower (which he calls ‘iconic’), The Chattahoochee River with morning dew, and the rail yard.
If you are interested in seeing McGuire’s work in person, visit The Columbus Collective’s event calendar. Want to participate in his upcoming God’s Green Earth Project? Simply shoot McGuire a message via his Instagram page. ◼︎