Enjoy our latest conversation with travel photographer and guest judge Kenneth LeRose.

What type of personality does it take to live on the road? Well, I don’t exactly know the answer to that. However, I can tell you all about mine and what brought me to where I am today. Let’s start at the beginning. Once upon a time, there lived a bodybuilder who dwelled in a big ‘old house. He did what he wanted, ate what he wanted, and went on little weekend road trips with his pup, and the comfort of home always waiting upon his arrival. One day, out of the blue, his friend suggested that he live out on the open road in an RV or something. “Well, hot diggity dog, do people actually do that”, he said? And so I did just THAT.

An undeniable seed was planted by my friend. I started googling RV’s and quickly found that my budget couldn’t afford my jeep(I already owned) AND an RV. I had no idea that my jeep had towing capabilities until after an hour of RV searching on a used lot and the salesperson said “why don’t you just tow a travel trailer”? Wait, what?!? My Jeep can tow? As you can see, I was pretty oblivious to this lifestyle and my options. Another explosion in my brain and I rushed to google to see what my new found options were. Fast forward (not very far) to 3 days later…I purchased a 16-foot Airstream unseen from a lot in Scottsdale, AZ. Mind you, I have never towed even a U-Haul before this day. I was not looking forward to the learning curve (especially backing up). A week later, with no practice, I set my sails and drove to Death Valley from San Diego. It freakin’ worked, my buddy Todd taught me how to hitch the trailer before I left and I didn’t even crash it…at all…ever(knocks on the composite wood counter). Since this day, I haven’t lived anywhere else that didn’t have wheels.

So how the heck do I make this lifestyle work? A rhetorical question to myself is “am I making this work”? Living anywhere as an entrepreneur has its challenges. Covid has presented some unique issues, especially in March when the unknown began unfolding. I was in Austin, TX area and decided to head west to Big Bend National Park. Lockdowns? Marshal Law? No toilet paper? What the heck?!?! I had to boogie out of Texas because the weather was changing and it was starting to get hot outside (I travel with the seasons). No way in hell did I want to get stuck out in the middle of nowhere aka Big Bend, TX! Arizona had a good month or two left before the sizzle of summer was going to hit. I also love to chase wildflowers so it seemed like the perfect place to quarantine in March/April.

Pre Covid, I had just finished releasing my 2020 Photography Workshop schedule that typically began in March. Yep, I think we all know how this one goes. We had to cancel most of them. However, we had a few small 1 on 1’s and an awesome group we were able to socially distance on the Oregon Coast. I make a majority of my living from group Workshops. Or so I did… I’ve had to evolve my business to a more online model. Offering Zoom editing classes and pushing sales for my prints. The government doesn’t like me it seems, so I received nil from them. Am I bitter? That did sound a bit bitter. I’m not (that much).

How did Covid impact my travels? Pre Covid, I was traveling freely and knowing I’d have income from each place I traveled to. My travels typically revolve around work aka workshops. No income = No gas! I’m so fortunate to have an awesome network of friends that have offered me their driveways and gyms to hang at during this time that travel has been so restricted. One of the major allures of this lifestyle is getting the opportunity to spend days/weeks secluded with my pup and not relying on anyone else to live. I’m an introverted extrovert. Basically, I love exploring in between workshops all while getting my social fix with the company of students and friends. It’s a humbling experience to accept the help of others while I weather…No, WE weather this storm of a pandemic together.

Has my overall mission changed over the last 3 years of living on the road? If the original mission was to live in and embrace the unknown, the unexpected, and the challenges of minimalism; Mission accomplished! You know something I’ve never told anyone? I won’t stop living this lifestyle until my photography business will allow me to afford a home base in addition to my airstream. Till then, I will keep pushing the boundaries, evolving, and doing what I do best. Making things work!

Kenneth LeRose from @KRL_Photo and @PhotoRoamers

We recommend you check photoroamers to learn about their awesome photography workshops.