interview travel

Talking Travel With Danny McGee

10/05/2016Jake Ryan

Danny McGee is a 19 year from Colorado who I recently discovered online. Upon stumbling onto his Instagram page, I was stunned by a collection of incredible images from his travels. 
I recently asked Danny a few questions about his photography and his travels, see what he had to say. 

Hey Danny, tell us a little bit about yourself. 
Hey there! I’m Danny. I’m 19 years old and I was born and raised in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I graduated high school just over a year ago and spent my freshman year of college studying biology. This year I decided not to go back to school to work on photography and filmmaking full time. And it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made :)

You take some incredible travel photos. Is photography how you make a living? 
Thank you! I first picked up a camera about two years ago and immediately fell in love with the craft. Since then I have been doing freelance work for different companies and brands and am always searching for jobs like that to pop up. For now that isn’t quite enough to support myself, so I also have a “real job”. I work about 30 hours a week, and spend the rest of my time adventuring, shooting or working on projects.

It looks as though you have been on some pretty incredible adventures. What’s been your absolute favorite?
Backpacking through Iceland. Last August I spent 10 days there camping and hitchhiking my way around. Iceland is one of those places that is hard to imagine even exists. It makes you feel like you’re straight out of a scene from the Hobbit. There’s glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs and huge amounts of pure, untamed wilderness to explore (not to mention gas station hot dogs, it’s an Icelandic thing).

Where did you learn to take such great photos?
I’m actually completely self taught. Over the past few years I’ve realized that you can learn just about anything from the Internet. I learned a lot of the basics and technical skills from either YouTube tutorials or Internet articles. But going out and actually shooting is where I learn the most. Like anything, if you spend enough time doing it you’ll start to catch on to what works and what doesn’t. So if you’re thinking about getting into photography, the best thing to do is to just get out there and shoot!
What do you usually shoot with?
Sony A7II
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced
GoPro Hero 4 Black
How important is the edit of a photo to you?
I believe editing is just as important as the shot itself. When you take a photo, the camera really can’t capture the feelings and emotions that you felt when you saw it in person, no matter how nice your camera is. Post production allows you to kind of play around with the feeling and vibe to better convey how the moment actually felt. It also gives you the opportunity to be creative and stand out against other photographers.

What place would you most like to visit?
People always call me crazy when I say this, but North Korea. Because of how isolated its been, it’s almost like this real word time capsule of a time when dictators and tyrants ruled the world and it might not be around very much longer. It is one of the world’s last surviving dynasties, and to see something like that before it is assimilated into the rest of the modern world would be an amazing opportunity.

When did your love of travel begin?
Growing up, my family always took cross country road trips. We would all pile into the minivan and take off across the country. There was something magical to me about falling asleep for a few hours and waking up to entirely new scenery. New sights, sounds, smells, and people. It still blows my mind that you can hop on a plane for 12 hours and be almost anywhere in the world. You have to be crazy to not want to take advantage of that!

What’s been your proudest moment in life? 
Hmm. Its hard to pick a single moment, but one that comes to mind happened pretty recently. I spent a month in Puerto Rico this past summer doing photography work for a mission company and worked on a personal passion project while I was there. I posted the video on Facebook and it went semi-viral. I had all kinds of messages from Puerto Ricans telling me how proud the video made them feel of their island. One lady even messaged me saying the video had made her cry. Realizing that something I created could have such an effect on people really made me feel like I’m on the right path.

And finally, what do you have planned for the future? 
Tonight I’m gearing up for the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones, which I’m beyond stoked for. But as for the rest of the year I will be staying in Colorado working on various video/photo projects, snowboarding as much as possible, and saving up for my 2017 plans. In January I’m buying a one-way ticket to Bangkok and traveling around Southeast Asia for 3-4 months. While I’m there I’m going to work with different hotels and travel boards creating content for them. By the end of 2017 my goal is to be traveling full time doing photo/video work. I could not be more excited to see what the future holds! 

Find all Danny's work at -

And be sure to follow Danny on Instagram HERE 

Thanks to Danny for taking the time to speak to TravelFoodFilm

All images in this post belong to Danny

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