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Interview with a World Traveler- Matlock Reeves by Craig Alexander


Interview with a World Traveler-Matlock Reeves by Craig Alexander.
C.A: Hi! Thanks for granting me the interview.

First off, give give us a quick description of yourself, as a photographer, a traveler and anything else you want to share.

M.R:  I’m a self taught photographer that prefers to be in the thick of the human experience when I’m traveling. Some of the places I’ve visited would be a “Oh, you didn’t really go to that place did you?” sort of place.

I have followed your work for the past few years and I have to say, your portraiture is incredible! I love what you do with light, and in particular when you shoot into the sun! I've seen some incredible portraits with this beautiful yellow and orange haze in the background, juxtaposed with sharp and contrasty foreground of people. Anyways, I'm a big fan!

Thank you good sir! I appreciate that. I’d have to say you really have a knack of taking pictures of cities that are extremely enjoyable to look at. Mine just never have that wow factor. Haha!

Well thank you! Right, with this being a travel piece, talk to me about the traveling you've done. I know you've been all over the world. What was the most inspiring place you've ever been to?

Totally. The most inspiring has to have been Japan. I was in the North eastern region of Japan known as Tohoku. I went there for 3 months to do disaster relief after the 2011 tsunami and what I found most inspiring were the people. These people’s cities had been washed away and they still asked me how I was doing, while I spoke to them in the rubble of their cities. Truly remarkable people with a care factor like you wouldn’t believe.

Wow! Sounds incredible. What is your greatest specific memory from that country?

It’d definitely have to be the 8.2 Richter scale earthquake I experienced! I was out on a balcony smoking a cigarette when I heard from my right what sounded like a herd of 18 wheeler trucks ploughing through the neighborhood I was in! At first I didn’t know what it was and as I glanced to my right I saw the balcony start to literally roll with the power of the quake. As I grabbed the railing, holding on for dear life, the electric transformers attached to the nearby power poles began to explode and shoot blue lighting with loud explosive sounds. It truly sounded like World War 3 was happening as it continued past!

That sounds nuts! I'm glad you escaped with your life!

What do you think the biggest surprise is, when you travel to exotic lands? I know for myself, there can be little things that one has just been so accustomed to living with in the west, that we take for granted which other cultures might not have. Like 24 hour supermarkets, and having 15 food choices even at 3am!

How truly nice people are. The media gives you this very skewed view of how the world is a dangerous place. I’ve been to some of the most dangerous cities in Mexico as well as Cape Town, South Africa- and all the people I encountered were extremely nice to me. I never felt truly unsafe anywhere I’ve traveled.

Great point! I've encountered that too! Being an urban landscape photographer, I'm oftenup at 3am wandering the cities I shoot alone with expensive camera gear on me, and in 5 years of this, I've been treated with almost nothing other than kindness, respect and helpfulness.

When has travel really gone wrong for you? Tell me your most intense, shocking crazy travel story. Don't hold back on the details either!

Good Question. Shockingly, I haven’t had too many hiccups. One of the worst was when I traveled to England and was totally flat broke. I only had a 5 pound note in my pocket to my name, and my travel buddy was going to foot the bill for the trip and I’d be paying him back. Risky move. We rented a car and stopped at a gas station I believe in High Brooms or 7 Oaks (rural southern suburbs of London) to fill up and grab some snacks when he decided to pull cash out of the ATM.

Mind you, this is 2008 so no easy fixes like in today's world of technology. Anyways, he puts his card in and for some reason the ATM sensed a crack in his card and decided to eat it. Right when that happened, I felt my heart sink to the floor. He and I looked at each other and knew we were in trouble. Luckily, some guy behind in line behind heard our struggles and gave us 80 pounds, which is a good little chunk of money. Once everything had been squared away down the road we sent him 100 pounds back. He saved our biscuits that day.

Wow! That's gotta be a shock to the system! =)

Would you recommend more people travel the world? Where would be the top 3 places you'd recommend people go?

Absolutely. The more you travel the smaller your world becomes in the best way.

Obviously, I’m very partial to the first place, Japan. I think going to a place that's SO different than your current culture is a great learning experience and very exciting as well.

Second would be Curacao (Dutch Colony in the southern Caribbean, off the coast of Columbia). So many cultures colliding and the beauty is unreal. Plus, not very expensive to go down there.

Three, Cape Town, South Africa. Just stunning. The beauty is great and the land is still very wild and untouched.

Awesome! I've been to Curacao, but haven't been to Japan yet, I'm going at the end of this year to photograph Tokyo and the rest of the country. It's been my dream since a kid to climb Mt Fuji too! =)

So when you have kids, where is the first place you'll take them outside the US, and why?

Mars. Hahaha! No, I’d either say Toronto or perhaps Quebec City just to get their feet wet. Very close and easy to get too and not that big of a change for a first outing.

Wow! This has been incredible, thank you for taking the time and sharing. I've been back in this country for just 2 months now, and you've got me already itching to travel again soon! =)

Thank you all for following and check back here soon for the next interview with a world traveler!

I'm currently in Pre-production for a web show I'm creating, where I will be interviewing all kinds of people from around the world live on camera in the studio! It will be all about travel, adventure, broadening horizons, tips on where to go and how to do it all on a budget!

ML, Craig Alexander

Ps. Check out Matlock’s photography, he’s incredibly talented.
insta @matlockprime

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