South’s Greatest Amateur Photographers

South magazine held an online contest for the Greatest Professional and Amateur Photographers. With over 2,500 votes, we are pleased to share the top winners from the amateur category.

Meet Laura McGuinn. Laura lives in Columbia, South Carolina where she manages public relations, web design, and social media for South Carolina Humanities. Off the clock, you can find her and her camera documenting good weather, new recipes, goofy dogs, and DIY projects. You can view more of her photos below, as well as on Instagram @lauramcguinn.

The 150th Anniversary of the South Carolina State Fair, 2019

Still life photo from a photography workshop at the Columbia Museum of Art

Sunset canoe ride on Johns Island, SC

Waterfall in Pisgah National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of Western NC

Beasley, a corgi-pitbull mix, smiling at Pembroke Park in Columbia, SC

The boardwalk at Woods Bay State Park in Florence County, SC


Meet Matthew Binamara Sanders, a freelance photographer and videographer from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He always tries to look to create something with meaning or something that tells a story about the person or place that is depicted in his images and videos. If you would like to learn more about him, check out his instagram @m.a.b.i.s.a and website, there you will find more of his photography and videography, as well as get a better sence of who he is as a creative! View more of his photos below.

Steph on a bench

Fredericksburg, VA. Model and friend Madhavi Patel (@baddiewithabindi) mixes her own style with her own cultural background to give us a stunning image that depicts the power she resonates on the outside, as well as the fire that she holds on the inside.

Richmond, VA. Rainy days in the city may seem like bad days to some people, but to me, they are some of the best days to capture interesting moments within the city. With cars and people speeding by all the time, stopping and looking at what’s around you can really give you a different perspective of the city around you.

Fredericksburg, VA. I teamed up with Kristiana Kuqi (@kristianakuqi) and the Peacaloo Boutique in my area to deliver some great images for the boutique as well as Kristiana’s own portfoloio. This is the best photo from the images we caught that day, which perfectly represents the mood and feel of the day.

Fredericksburg, VA. This image is a self-portrait taken within isolation. It comes from a series I created recently, depicting myself alone with no-one around except for me. The series was inspired by the times we are currently living in as well as by Kelli Connell and her book “Double Life.”

Washington, D.C. An image of the first look of the National’s Stadium, home to the National’s baseball team in Washington, D.C. This is the first look of the stadium you get when arriving and it is one of the best views of the stadium as well. Go Nats!


Meet Ken Kicklighter. When Ken is not busy with his day job working as a Realtor with Judge Realty in Savannah he can most often be found cruising lowcountry waters in his boat. That’s when he is not chasing live music around the country. Getting a good photo is always a great excuse to his the road and is a big part of the fun so his camera is often riding shotgun. View more of his photos below and on Instagram at @kicklighter.

What lurks beneath – Okefenokee Alligator, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2019

New Year’s Day on South Beach, Miami, 2015

Costa Rican Brahman cows, Hacienda Pinilla, near Tamarindo, Costa Rica, 2018

Jason Isbell, Savannah Music Festival, Ships of the Sea Museum, Savannah, 2014

Molly (neighbor’s cat), Ardsley Park, Savannah, 2019

Turner Creek, Savannah, GA 2020


Meet Diane Perry. She is an amateur photographer living in the low country of South Carolina. She loves telling stories with her camera and focuses on all things nature, wildlife, and macro art. View more of her photos below, as well as on Instagram (@diane8513), her website (, and her Facebook page (diane.perry.319).

Jekyll Island Sun

Sunset at St. Andrew’s Beach in Jekyll Island

Frog in Lily taken in my backyard in Hardeeville, SC

Sunrise on Driessen Beach at Hilton Head Island

Goose reflection at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

Shanti at Oatland Island Wildlife Center


Meet Karl Collins. His father had a career in the military and civil service that spanned over 40 years. He was able to visually share a memory, a sight or experience with the images he took. Following in that same vein, Karl has done the same thing for the last 40 years, capturing events and other experiences the way he sees them. Follow along his photography journey on Instagram at @pharmer182 and view more of his photos below.

Ed Lehrter of Groundhog Gravy playing at The Wormhole Bar in Savannah, GA

Clint Thomas (Tie-Down Roper) – Statesboro, GA

Farrier – Richmond Hill, GA

Team Ropers – Casa Grande, AZ

Saddle Bronc Rider – Statesboro, GA

Ben Tucker – Savannah Jazz Festival