Matt Kelly is a freelance writer and photographer based in the Finger Lakes of western New York State. His stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications.
Born and living his first few years in the beautifully flat state of Nebraska, Matt has since traveled all across North America. He’s walked the ridge line of the Sandia Mountains in a day, pooped with mountain goats in Colorado, backpacked slot canyons in Utah, hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon twice, almost been blown off seaside cliffs in Newfoundland, taken some gnarly headers off his bike in random places (that he can’t seem to remember), and been a K-9 flanker conducting wilderness Search and Rescue. Matt even lived in Turkey for a year, where a series of unfortunate circumstances almost forced him to jump out of a taxi moving at highway speeds.
In between these various travels, Matt acquired bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary, special, and deaf education. He worked as a teacher in both special education and deaf classrooms, picking up a fair bit of American Sign Language along the way. He also did a stint in retail management for the outdoor retailer REI, helping to train staff and open five new stores.
Most recently, Matt has been working as a farmhand on small farms in the Finger Lakes. He has helped grow, harvest and sell organic, regionally-adapted seeds for home gardeners at Fruition Seeds. He has processed chickens by hand, turning birds into food, at Lakestone Family Farm. He is currently working with Hunt Country Vineyards, overseeing their media and communications.
Eventually, all of these adventures led Matt down a road to the most exciting place of all: discovering important stories and sharing them through words and photos.
Feel free to contact Matt with inquiries or ideas for collaboration.