Matt Payne is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, an award-winning travel photographer and writer, public speaker and adventurer. He is the travel editor for 405 Magazine, the producer of the television show Mosaic Oklahoma and bas been a contributing writer and/or photographer to National Geographic Traveler, Travel Age West, Explorer Magazine, Apartment Therapy, themanual.com, vagabondish.com, Austin Monthly (digital), San Antonio Magazine (digital), Communities Digital News and many other travel publications. Matt is an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University and travels the Midwest, inspiring audiences with talks covering a range of topics from travel writing and photography to screenwriting.
In 2017-18 Matt created a three episode documentary-series called Mosaic Oklahoma for the OETA Foundation. The series focuses on different aspects of Oklahoma culture and featured stories. The first told the tale of Pawhuska and how Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman phenomenon revived a small town, touching on Osage country’s famed Tallgrass Prairie preserve and the now infamous Osage murderers. The second, an in depth look at the love story that led to the establishment of Oklahoma’s first arts district and the penultimate, an hour long special on how among other factors, the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina led to the Oklahoma City Thunder and how the team changed the city for the better. Matt is currently producing a pilot episode of a new documentary-series on extreme weather for Griffin Communications, the Oklahoma-based company that owns both of the state’s CBS affiliates.
Matt’s awards include a 2018 Emmy nomination for the project OETA Foundation project “RARE,” two prestigious Bill Muster Travel Photography Awards given out by the Society of American Travel Writers, the Society of Professional Journalism’s first and third place awards for Magazine photography and the 2018 PBS Special Achievement Development Award for his television show Mosaic Oklahoma. Matt is a member of The Writer’s Guild of America, Society of American Travel Writers, the Oklahoma Conservation Leadership Academy and sits of the board of directors of the Oklahoma City Zoological Society. Matt’s Instagram account “Matt Payne Travel Photography” celebrates 13.6k engaged followers and grows daily.
In 2015, Matt and his wife moved to Oklahoma after 15 years in Los Angeles. There, Matt worked in the film and television business where he wrote episodes of hits shows including Vegas and Defenders for CBS and TNT’s Memphis Beat. He was also part of the staff of the FOX hit 24 and CBS’s Without a Trace. Matt currently lives with his wife, daughter, six horses, two donkeys, three chickens, two pigs and a rooster named Wayne on a farm outside of Oklahoma City.