FocusOn 1.63: Kevin aka @KevinKuster on Instagram
Instagram is a great creative field for talented people.
Instagramers.com helps you to discover, sometimes unkown, surprising users. People addicted to Instagram, telling about their lives, revealing their passions and sharing Instagram tips.
His name is Kevin Kuster…
If you are using Instagram for a while you probably already know @KevinKuster. Kevin works for @JoshJohnson community, the first and largest photographic Instagram community in the world. (also known as the #jj community.). Josh Johnson was one of the first to promote Art, Creativity and Mobile Photography through its own hash tag called #JJ and tons of variation. One day, Josh asked Kevin to help him in this crazy daily curating works. Today, Kevin is Chef Photo Editor of the Josh Johnson Project and we thought it was great to host him on our Interviews section.
During is day time, Kevin is a partner at Creator Gallery in North Aurora, Illinois. Prior to joining Creator Gallery, he was employed at Playboy Magazine for 18 years. He served as the Senior Photography Editor and Managing Content Director for Playboy Digital.
While at Playboy Magazine he had the opportunity to create and produce photographs for many famous Hollywood celebrities, professional sports, political and world events.
“Photography has taken me all across the globe and has provided me the opportunity to produce images under many types of situations, locations and environments” says Kevin.
Additionally, he sits on a board for a charitable organization called Watts of Love, www.wattsoflove.org and handle all of their content creation and marketing materials. Recently, he photographed Watts of Love’s latest solar light delivery on Ilain Island in the Philippines and while on the island was also fortunate enough to photograph the joint wedding of 40 couples too poor to be married.
After the wedding ceremony he provided each couple with the first printed photo they ever had in their lives. Several people across the globe from the #jj community donated money to make this historical event possible.
Dedicating part of his free time to other people is part of the soul of charitable men and women like Kevin Kuster and I thought he deserved to have his own feature on our blog.
Let´s discover an amazing and merciful guy called @KevinKuster today!
You are: Equal parts Photographer, Art Director and Producer.
You would like to be: Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Bono or Phil Gonzalez. (hahaha, I´m honored…but i think I don´t deserve it- The editor of this post)
3 items to take to a desert island: iPhone (provided it has cell service so I could post on Instagram.) Suntan lotion. (I am Irish so my skin burns like a fried egg on a skillet.) Bear Grylls. (He can help me survive and hopefully get home.)
What has been your most bizarre life experience: Watching a few of my dear friends go from being unknown average people to becoming “instant celebrities” over night. Fame has some benefits but, it can really mess with your head if you are not grounded and surround yourself with true friends.
A super power you would like to have: The power to fly. Who wouldn’t love to be able to fly anywhere at anytime. Next stop Ireland, Spain, Russia and then onto New Zealand and Australia!
If you ruled the world: I would tell, whoever put me in power that they made a BIG mistake.
In ‘real’ life
Happy alone (with Instagram), in love, married or it’s complicated: Single but I have mobile photography as a part time mistress on the side. Shhhhh! Keep that one secret
You love: Teach and share everything I have learned about photography over the past 20 years.
You can’t stand: Spam on Instagram. Taxes. Roughing the passer penalties in Professional Football. Security lines in airports and folding laundry.
Your hobbies: Photography, scuba diving, music and drinking coffee.
A trip you dream of: Traveling across Europe in an RV with a handful of great photographers, taking pictures, sharing ideas, telling stories and exploring the world through pictures and relationships.
A quote: “A photographer rejecting a cell phone is like a painter rejecting a pencil. It’s not the tool that makes the image, it’s how the artist uses the tool to express his vision.” -Kevin Kuster.
A wish: Changeable lenses for my iPhone.
Some-one you admire: Photographer James Nachtwey
What more must we know about you in one phrase: I am a work in progress and I haven’t taken my best photograph yet.
Your life on Instagram
Your Instagram birthday: I am reborn with every Instgram picture I post so, I would say my Instagram birthday is tomorrow.
iPhone, Android, DSLR: iPhone for fun, creativity and everyday postings. DSLR to pay the bills. I hope to eventually add the iPone into the paid category more often but, clients are slow to accept it as a viable image source.
How did Instagram change your life: Instagram and mobile photography has completely ignited my passion for photography. While I was at Playboy Magazine I lost the love of photography to process, production and formula. Mobile photography has stripped all of that away and infused my passion for story telling again. Mobile photography encourages me to constantly be looking to take photos and limits me to use the two best tools possible…my imagination and my vision. Instagram has allowed me to connect and share my photography and thoughts like never before. It has also introduced me to some great photographers and really good friends.
Instagram for professional or personal use: Both. I love that the lines for professional and personal photography are getting blurred for me. Regrettably, when I lost my passion for photography I stopped taking personal pictures. (Thankfully my son’s mom took pictures of him when he was a baby otherwise I would have so few images of him at that precious time.) Now, I shoot pictures almost every day regardless of whether I am getting paid for it or not. If I go a few days without shooting images I honestly feel off and force myself to search for something to shoot in order to get the creative juices going.
We are just about to announce a great sponsored event on our #jj community (@joshjohnson) that is going to completely ROCK the instagram and mobile photography world. We have been very selective and rejected a lot of sponsorship deals because we want to maintain true to our #jj communities core beliefs and insist that our community members always come first! Most sponsors want us to do what they want and we often have to say “thanks but no thanks.” Once you stick to this belief system and the right sponsor comes along and says “what would your #jj community like to do” then we have the opportunity to develop something amazing. I can honestly say that will be announcing one of the best events on Instagram ever!
Define your style in one word: Evolving
Daily time spent on Instagram: I have to be careful and use my time wisely since the #jj community (@joshjohnson) can be overwhelming. We average between 5,000-30,000 submitted images a day so both Josh and I have to rely on our #jj_editors to help us edit and highlight the best images each day. I am not sure how much time I spend on Instagram but if you are passionate about something I think it’s time well spent provided it doesn’t consume your every waking moment. Like everything in life, it’s all about balance.
A filter: None. I am an emotional manipulator and photo editor that makes changes quickly and rarely remembers how something was filtered once completed.
An App: Snapseed
A gadget: Can’t make it without my Mophie extended battery.
Pictures that make you laugh on Instagram: I love good humor and truly love discovering an image that makes me laugh out loud but, I don’t believe I could put it in a category.
Pictures that must be forbidden on Instagram: I wish we could ban from this day forth any pictures of people’s coffee. Not much can really be done to push the coffee photo and I think it’s been pretty much exhausted.
An improvement for Instagram: The ability to know who began a hashtag and the ability to curate a hashtag once it is launched on Instagram. (info: you can´t find the hashtag creator with Tag Finder tool at Instagramers App)
Life without Instagram would be: Like living without oxygen. It is one of the greatest inspirations for my creative life.
An Instagram user we can’t miss: @joshjohnson otherwise know as the #jj community.
Anything else? … Yes can anyone tell me where I find the button to press so I can put film in my iphone? I have looked everywhere and I can’t find it!
Describe your favorite pic: (see first pic below)
D-Day on North Ave Beach. It was shot with HDR pro and the type was added with Phonto. Although I love the image, it was one of the best times I have ever had with my son. It was one of the last days of summer, the sun was setting, we were playing and both he and I worked on the set up of the image with his toy soldiers. Great father and son moment and so thankful I have a good image to remember it.
I am a very spontaneous and emotional editor so I often don’t remember how I created an image. I just keep playing with apps and filters until I find something I like and then post it. I wish I was better at recording how I edit images.
Thank you very much Kevin! Hope you enjoyed the interview!
Follow Kevin Kuster
You can see Kevin Kuster´s favorite pics here below
D-Day by Kevin Kuster
Too poor to be married. Shooting on Illian Island with Watts of Love.
Up in smoke
Two roads diverged in a wood
Concrete jungle or human zoo?