Kevin Russ, Traveling And Paying The Bills With iPhoneography

Kevin Russ, Traveling And Paying The Bills With iPhoneography

A couple years ago I discovered Kevin Russ on Flickr. I love his portrait work and his use of natural light. I hadn't seen much from him on Flickr in a while and just the other day I found out why. Kevin has been traveling the United States, shooting landscape photography with just his iPhone, and living off the print sales.

I must admit I am jealous of Kevin's current life. He hops in his car, looks at a map of places he wants to go in this country, and takes off. When he gets there he photographs what he sees, predominantly landscapes and nature, and most of which he shoots on his iPhone. He is a contributor to iStockphoto as well as sells his prints on his Society 6 page. Check out his work, in my opinion it is absolutely beautiful. He also has a new flickr for his mobile photos, check it out! I think his work is a prime example of the fact that it isn't about the camera, it's about the photographer.

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You deserve a slap just for using the BS term iphonography, you don't hear the rest of the photography world being so up themselves by saiyyng ohhh how to be a better nikonographer or canonographer.

What you have is PHOTOGRAPHY, pure and simple. What you use to make the picture has no relevance.

Very true. They just liked the sound of their own headline.

Well seeing as Nikon and Canon are designed to be predominantly used as cameras I would say Anthoney has every right to use the coined phrase IPhonography because the iPhone is primarily a phone! And seeing as 80% of people can't take more then drunken weekend photos of their friends or photos of their food to post to IG, I would say its a rather big accomplishment to be able to get such stunning photos out of an iPhone. Plus even photographers who use iPhones to take their images call it iPhonography, just the same as if you used a pinhole camera you call is pinhole photograghy. so stop getting your knickers in a twist, and just get over it.

I agree with everything! Except for the slap part. Good point.

 Interesting coming from someone who doesn't appear to be featured on FS. Make that happen and you can say what you want troll.

You are so right, F*** everyone that calls polaroids a polaroid, it's a f***ing photo people. ~Mr. Sarcasm. But it's all good, arguing with you would be like playing chess with a pigeon. You're going to shit on the board, knock over all the pieces, and strut around victorious.

quote of the year ^^^ pure genius. (not sure if you made that up but I lOVE IT. so accurately describes a lot of people in this life)

When people use a Lomo, they call it Lomography....!! It's still photography, but it has it's own details!! You can think in these terms as a specific style, instead of the type of hardware you use!! Also, creating these type of clean well balanced images with an iPhone is an achievment!

Kevin's work is so good! He really pushes the iphone to its limits! I wonder if he sells his images on Foap as well?

Great great work. What does he edit in?

I'm guessing VSCOCam and After Glow. I've seen similar tones with VSCO, and the 4th picture of his is used in the After Glow app.

I was guessing VSCO on some of them because I can see that signature "fill" filter. Amazing work indeed.

As DuChemin say: gear is good, vision is better.
Even if all the photos I looked at in his Flickr page was taken with a Canon 1ds Mark III.

While its interesting that he used an iphone to shoot these images,imo if you are going to go to the trouble of making great photos you may as well also go to the trouble of hanging a "proper" camera around your neck.

He does amazing work with his Mark II "proper" camera as well.

Wow, just stunning work and very well done. Would love to see whats done in post and whether its all done the iPhone or not. The truth is iPhoneography is a real thing ( and I will give all the credit to where it belongs, the photographer, that takes the shot. 

It's never been about the camera, it's never been about the photographer either, it's about what's in front of those two things. The iPhone shoots auto, which does mean that he can spend more time to think about framing, composition and perspective.

Holy cow bells, I can't read comments anymore without getting annoyed by inordinate amounts of trolling. In the end fantastic work, with both his iPhone and his DSLR.

This images are stunning! And it's all to the photographer's vision and talent to capture all this with such a basic camera. However I couldn't stop thinking how better the image will be if he has used a DSLR. Vision is the most important but the medium to capture it is very important too.  

good photos. but i think that lack of experience might be showing, or is it hes taste?

all photographes are centered.but thr low dynamic range really looks great here.

I for one absolutely love these photographs, but, if someone doesn't love them, or disagrees with the way the article titled their feature, I don't think they're being a 'troll' they're just voicing their opinion. Good art relies on critique, I feel like a lot of modern stuff just gets a lot of 'wonderful!' and 'amazing!' 's and then it's on to the next thing. To call someone out and say 'well you're not featured' because they had something to say is immature. You're not featured either so why should you say anything? If my photography was shared somewhere, I would enjoy hearing something more deep than 'amazing!' even if it was a bit of a critique. People need to stop making it taboo to not like something, or to voice an opinion. Congrats to Kevin Russ for living his dream, although I'll be quite honest to say that I doubt he pays *all* of the bills with just his prints... unless he doesn't have many! 

One thing I did miss from this feature is a BTS aspect. Everyone hears a lot about these folks living their dreams but I'd like to know how did they get started, etc. Did he just jump in a car? Did he invest? Where did he get the idea? I'd love to see an article with this man. He's traveled all over the Western US and I really get the feeling of the West from his photographs, would love to know more about what he thinks of his work and process. 

I wonder, do painters argue about the paint, or other medium, that is used by other painters, like this?

Some do, some don't. They quibble more about techniques, although of which the hues and paints are a part.

Simon and Elliot I appreciate  your thoughts. These photos are melting my heart. But I can appreciate that they are from an iphone and that polaroids are from polaroid cameras. I think the tool you are using really does make a difference. Just like a holga shoots holga type photos. This guy has got it goin on. All i really want to know is, can i get his number? 

I don't know how I missed it, but the coyote is missing a leg.  Very cool photo.

So, is the bison, and the elk! Say, what's going on, here?? :) Using an old iPhone3??. So, does the iPhone5 add another leg? Hhmm...?

i don't give a crap what he shoots with - its a tool to inform a creative choice (unless its one of the 30million instagrammers - that is having the effect of imposing a set of v restrictive creative choices in order to make a visual brand IMO) . However there are some gorgeous images here.  I have ordered one in 17" x 17" - I'll be interested to see the quality.

Am I the only one who would like to know more how he manages to generate enough sales to live off from prints instead of worrying what he shoots with?  Would love to see a follow up how he manages to pull this off.  inspiring.

VSCO did a great feature on him recently.

The snowy horse shot and golden hour beach shot were DSLR. Circa 2009 for him - check it out on his old flickr.

Also this article is misleading because for years he's been a pioneer at where he generates most of his living, and continues to do so. 

True. If you look at his profile on iStock, he has over 190k downloads. Even if he made only $1.00 each, that is a healthy check.

Here's a more thorough interview with him:

One thing that has frustrated me about taking photos with my iPhone is that I can't get full control over the exposure. Ex. I'll tap in the brightest spots on the screen and it'll reduce the exposure, but oftentimes not enough. The image is still blown out in spots.

Is there an app that give you full control to dial exposure up or down as much as needed?