We caught up with Timberland MarkMaker Kevin Russ to talk about what inspires him most in his line of work as photographer and visual documenter of contemporary life. Traveling the world with just the contents of his backpack and whatever else he’s managed to pack into the trunk of his car, Kevin’s life takes him on the kind of journeys most of us could only dream or perhaps read about in books that hark back to the likes of the beat generation...
Never content with staying in one place for too long, Kevin’s lust for adventure knows no bounds. Documenting his own modern trail using just his iPhone camera, and yet still managing to get across the authenticity and humble nature of his journey to his hundreds of thousands of social media followers is an accomplishment in its own right.
But in such a globetrotting career, would it be possible to select just one success story to share? When we asked Kevin, he was quick to point out (before we’d even finished the question, actually) that he already had his answer at hand…
Hey Kevin, so what’s your biggest success in your photography career?
“I guess my biggest success was simply getting out of my house! That was my plan, to get a house and have an easy life – I did that for two years and then I just felt I needed to do something else. I think that’s kind of normal, wanting that – a lot of people can just stay in that kind of life because it’s easy and comfortable. But I packed up my room into my car, and one thing just leads to another and I end up doing things I never thought I’d plan or do. It’s definitely my biggest success.”
What would you say was your most memorable moment to date?
“On the trains for sure [in train-hopping groups]. Seeing anyone who lives and/or travels in an alternative way is pretty inspiring to me. Just not doing what society tells us – what we’re taught growing up. Some people are forced to live the life of train-hoppers but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s still inspiring so I try and live like that… And I was able to for a time. It’s so different and free. If you don’t have a car, you can’t drive anywhere you want or eat out. You’re dependent on finding food, or on people being nice enough to give you some food. When all the stuff you have is on your back, there’re so many more opportunities you can take advantage of and explore than if you were to live a less nomadic, more traditional life."