Your photos are beautiful! Do you find it difficult to process and fine tune photos on the small screen of the iPhone?
Thanks! That hasn’t really been an issue for me. I think I’m looking at the picture more as a whole now than when I processed on a computer screen. I also use filters and so there aren’t many small, fine tunable adjustments.
You're work makes me feel alive. What you're doing is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Photography has been a hobby of mine, but I've never been able to achieve shots like you have. If you wouldn't mind me asking, how did you get into photography and develop your skills as one? Did you take classes or are you just naturally gifted in it? What would I need to do to be able to do what you're doing? Thank you.
When I got a camera I shot a ton of pictures. I didn’t take any classes but learned the basics by trial and error.
Are you wanting to just travel or sell pictures and travel? If you’re wanting to do exactly what I’m doing I would start by getting your pictures on iStockphoto or another stock site and maybe a print site and see if that works for you. I think there are many paths that can lead to a lifestyle of travel and doing things my way might not be the easiest. I didn’t start out with a goal to travel and take pictures. The opportunity was there and I took it. Good luck to you and feel free to ask if you need more help.
You said once that you started off just going on a mini adventure when you had time off work, but now that you are a full time explorer, what do you do for money?
My wording may have been a bit confusing. My main source of income has been from selling my photos since 2005 so I’ve been able to travel for a while. I’m a pretty conservative and cautious person so I started out taking short trips just to see how it would be and if it would be something I could do full-time.
Have you used any other online company to do your prints, or has it just been with Society6?
S6 is the main one. I’ve sold some prints through One Kings Lane but they do flash sales with hand-picked photographs. It’s not they type of site where you can open up a print shop and have photos for sale all the time. It’s been a good place though. I was also recently contacted by RAD, a French company who aims to open up a print shop soon. And just toady I started a 500px account where you can sell canvases.
Hi Kevin! I love your photography and find it very inspiring. As a fellow photographer who often shoots with my iPhone, I'm wondering - do you edit on your phone and do you ever struggle with white balance? If so, how do you deal with it? I often find that photos look different (bluer, brighter, more constrast-y) on my iPhone than they do when viewed on a computer screen.
Thank you. I always edit on my iPhone. If you’re using an iPhone 4 or older, the auto white balance wasn’t nearly as good as it is on the newer models. I have noticed not all iPhone screens are the same. Not all computer screens are either so it can be difficult to figure out the problem.
Has anyone at Nat. Geo. seen your pix? You're just the kind of photographer they hire! Write to the head of Photography and direct him/her to your site. You're great, and I wish you all the luck in the world.
I entered a few in the Instagram contest they were doing last year so they’ve seen some of my stuff. Thanks.
So which one's the more recent photo, the one on Forge Mag's post or your display picture? Would you mind telling us about both? :)
Forge Mag pic was taken in Oct 2012 and my display pic was summer 2008. The more recent one was taken with a self-timer in the San Juan range of the rocky mountains in Colorado. I was working with the company One Kings Lane who needed a picture of me for the feature they ran. The older pic was taken by a friend named Phoenix at Pacific Market in Portland, OR.
For the past few months since following you I've noticed your popularity grow constantly on my tumblr feed. When I first came across your photography I was stunned to find out that you primarily use your iphone now and are able to capture such quality pictures. I'm happy that this has taken off for you because you deserve it, you're an extremely talented. You bring me inspiration and I hope one day to partake in traveling and selling my photography. Wish you all the best, Jeff Filman.
Thanks so much Jeff. I hope you will partake in the traveling some day. There’s really nothing like it.
Your work is amazing! it's very inspiring because i also shoot a lot with my iphone ! I recognized your photo from the afterglow guest filters, i wondered a long time about the photographer of the buffalo ! I even used you as a subject for an essay about young renewing artists ! Great job !
Thanks! Flattered you used me as an essay subject.
If you’re on Instragram or Tumblr and not following Kevin Russ, what are you doing with your life? If it’s beautiful, and on the west coast, Kevin has probably photographed it. Landscapes, nature, women, nature, animals, cars, food, or nature, Kevin has done it all.
I stumbled onto your work today and I am so impressed that you have ventured into nature to take these photos. Its a mix of John Muirr and Ansel Adams with an approach to life. I've been wanting to take a sabbatical sometime in the future and travel and design. How has funding for food and gas served for you? I have an Explorer I would love to do the traveling in. Do you find work in various places or did you save up money before the trek?
Thank you. All my funding comes from selling my photos as stock photography and prints. Traveling like this wasn’t something I planned on but just happened as the opportunity came.
Hey, I had a question about selling your photos (and forgive me if it's been answered before; I noticed you get a lot of similar questions about things like editing apps). How much of your income is generated from iStockphoto versus Society6/Getty? I would love to be doing what you're doing and I've saved some startup money but since I'm not a well profiled stock photo contributor I'm worried about said money running out.
If you build up a good-sized portfolio, the income can be fairly consistent. I can imagine there are thousands of other location independent jobs out there but if you’re wanting to sell photos as stock and print it could take a while to get things rolling.
Here are some approx figures for income % and files for sales from those three sites: iStock 75% (13k files), Getty 12.5% (3k), and Society6 12.5% (128).