The T+L Social Ambassadors are a team of photographers who are taking it to the next level on Instagram. These are the people we see living their best lives, and inspiring our travels on a daily basis. These ambassadors help us all discover the world, whether it’s exploring a set of national parks, embarking on an African safari, or just taking some time to enjoy the sound of waves from a beach in Europe. Follow along as we introduce more of our ambassadors on the T+L website and social accounts.
Meet Kevin Lu—you may know him as @sweatengine on Instagram. Lu has been documenting sights across the United States for over a decade, with a few overseas adventures here and there.
But he wasn’t always a travel photographer; in fact, he even admits that there was a time when he couldn’t take a good photo. That point of his career came after he starting a marathon running blog in 2003, and he soon realized managing a website took much more than writing chops. So, he bought a camera—and he hasn’t stopped taking photographs since.
“I had never traveled before—I was a biochemical engineer,” Lu says on a phone call with T+L. “I didn’t get to see the world; I never went anywhere.” He spent the next couple of years figuring out the art of taking a photo (“I have an engineering background, so I like to figure things out”) with help from YouTube tutorials and meeting like-minded photographers. And then Instagram came along.
“Someone told me, ‘Hey, you could promote your website on this app called Instagram.’ I had just bought an iPhone, so I downloaded it and it took over my life. I started to see the world differently.” Shortly after, Lu met someone about to embark on a cross-country road trip, and couldn’t help but invite himself along. “I picked up a following and got a lot of press from that trip. I started to do more work in social media and that’s kind of how I got started. I had never traveled before this—I had visited Japan when I was really young, but that was it. After this opportunity, I just never wanted to stay home anymore.”
While you can look forward to seeing more of Lu’s work on the T+L website and on our social media accounts, we asked him to share his very favorite shots with us. Check them out, and take a cue from Lu’s book: Get out there.