Use Instagram? Go Professional! (Maybe)
Kevin Russ is a photographer. He makes a living selling his pictures to people around the world. Here's one of his photos:
Kevin takes pictures on his iPhone, adds some filters, posts them to Instagram - and then, sometimes, sells them through iStock, or printshops like Society 6. He lives out of the back of his car, and this year has planned a road trip around the US, taking in some of the country's more scenic places and photographing all the while.
This is the apotheosis of the trend that started with mobile phones being fitted with cameras a decade or so ago - and possibly the apogee of the democratisation of the artist's trade. Russ uses filters for his photos that anyone could use - he's a good photographer but not an exceptional one, and the pictures he produces are certainly not beyond the reach of many other amateur snappers with access to decent scenery.
What sets Russ apart is his willingness to be flexible, work from anywhere, and leave his friends and home behind to pursue the pictures. What his story shows, though, is a shift in opportunity - in many respects, it has never been easier for artists to make an income from work. Whether that income will, for most, ever be enough to have what might be termed a 'traditional' existence, though, remains to be seen.