Featured Contributor: Chris Rod

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Any nomadic wanderer will tell you that a trip through Europe is a great starting point for an epic adventure abroad.  When traveling to new destinations, you may decide to document your travels with a tiny point and shoot hidden in your gigantic backpack or upgrade your photo kit to a fancier high-resolution DSLR to capture those amazing memories. Whatever your format of choice, photographers today have so many ways to express the beauty of travel.

Nowadays, not only do traveling photographers have the ability to bring trendy camera bags filled with amazing equipment on trips abroad, they also have the ability to easily share those experiences with an audience around the world through social media.

We caught up with photographer and Shutterstock Custom contributor Chris Rod on his current trip through Europe alongside his wife Olga. The only plan they've made so far for this trip? To challenge themselves to capture new experiences using only their iPhone 7 and Moment Lens. Read on to hear Chris’ photo tips, and get your pen and paper to jot down some of the incredible European locations they are visiting this trip.

Photographer: Chris Rod
Instagram: @chrisjrod

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We’d love to get to know you. Tell us about yourself!

My name is Chris. I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon since 2012, however, I’m currently in Europe with my wife Olga escaping the 9-5 just... because! I grew up on a little island called Puerto Rico (it’s pretty rough out there right now). If you’ve been to the northwest, it’s pretty obvious why everyone gets into photography here. I’ve always wanted to get into some sort of photography but thought it was too expensive to get into.

It wasn’t until I moved to the PNW that I started taking photos on an iPhone 4 and putting them on Instagram. I quickly started meeting people through it and soon started throwing ‘Instameets’ with friends I’ve met throughout the months.

I’m currently on a 3 month trip across the world (currently in Southern Italy) experiencing new cultures and eating all of the pizza, pasta, and gelato I can before we leave at the end of the month.

5 things you’re obsessed with right now as a photographer.

1. Mobile photography
2. Point and shoot film cameras
3. Everything from Italy
4. Moment Lens
5. I recently started a blog on our overseas adventures, so I've been learning a lot as far as blogging goes.

What does your work week look like while abroad?

My work week right now has been a little chaotic due to all the places, and no set schedules… But that’s why I’ve decided to do mobile photography only on this trip.

What’s currently in your camera bag?

I recently got a Moment wide lens for my iPhone 7+ that I’ve been using for most of my work. I love it, it’s definitely a game changer. Also- a backup battery made by Anker. That's pretty much it as far as gear.

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What are some of your dream projects as a photographer?

I’ve always wanted to see the mountains out in Patagonia, so hopefully I could someday shoot for some ‘outdoorsy’ company to test out their gear.

What’s your photo bucket list while you’re in Europe?

The Dolomites, Florence, and Sicily. We’re also visiting France, Barcelona, Morocco, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and New York so there’s going to be a lot of new content soon.

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Do you use any apps or programs to keep your workload organized?

Lightroom on iPhone, MacBook, and Google Photos. Backup your photos guys! Google Photos also categorizes them pretty well. I also use a hard drive to backup my photos (yes, two backups) and clean out my phone every once in awhile.

When and how did you hear about Shutterstock Custom?

A few friends shoot for Shutterstock Custom, as well as my old housemate worked for the company.

If you had to choose only one photograph to keep with you for the rest of your life, which one would you choose, and why?

Oh man, that's a hard one. There's too many to choose from, but I often think of one from the time I went backpacking with two friends in Alaska along with Kevin Russ. It’s definitely my favorite place to go to for photos as well as getting away from the city life.

How would you encourage up-and-coming photographers who are interested in starting a professional career in photography?

Just start shooting- whether you have a camera or an old phone. Meet likeminded people, follow the ones that inspire you, ask questions on how they edit or shoot, and what tools they use to get whatever “look” you’re trying to go for.

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Thank you for all the great tips and travel inspiration Chris! We look forward to following along on your travels, and to reading your new blog.

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