Interview

September 30, 2014

#MobileMonth: Kevin Russ

Photo by Kevin Gilgan.

Kevin Russ is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet. Centred, humble, thoughtful and ever present. Renowned for shooting incredible images while documenting his travels all over the United States, his Stocksy collection and Instagram feed tell the stories of his life on the road. Below, Kevin talks of hopping trains, his Instagram community, and why he shoots for Stocksy!

// How has the Instagram community impacted your experiences as a photographer?

I often get voluntary location suggestions whenever my followers see I’m in a particular area. I usually look them up and visit any that look interesting to me. Many of the people I meet out on the road are from Instagram and everyone is always so kind offering me a place to stay and company on a hike or over a meal. It has definitely helped my traveling and photography experiences in all kinds of areas.

// You have 137k+ Instagram followers! To what do you attribute your online acclaim?

A friend of mine made a short video interview (below) of me at the end of 2012 which was featured as a Vimeo staff pick. Because of that, it was featured by a handful of blogs including Instagram and posted to their millions of followers.

// How often are you shooting with your phone versus a DSLR?

Never with a DSLR these days. The two I have are loaned out to friends. I shoot everything with my phone and recently added a 35mm SLR and some 35mm point and shoots to my arsenal back in April.

// In the stock industry, what are the benefits of being a mobile photographer?

Being able to capture real scenes in a more honest way. Everything is more casual and everyone is more relaxed when there isn’t a large lens in your face.

// In what ways has travel impacted your work and style?

It has given me more variety in what I shoot. I’m always gonna be inspired by nature and wildlife and those will most likely be a constant in my portfolio, but the more I travel the more I want to do things I’ve never done before. Most recently I hopped on a freight train and captured that lifestyle. Some of what I shoot can be predicted but I always need a variation of some sort and even I don’t know what will be next.

// Where do you call home?

Portland, Oregon and the central coast of California. California ’cause that’s where I grew up and my family is still there. It will always feel like home to me. Portland ’cause that’s where my house and friends are. It’s kind of where I became an adult and lived on my own for the first time. The culture there is great and weird and the nature is outstanding.

// Why Stocksy?

Because of the people behind the company and what they value. It’s about the moment and mood captured in a photograph and what it makes you feel and not about the quality. The photographers come first and the collection has award winning photographs. It’s a stock site you can be proud of.


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