We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Presnell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chris, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I started my travel Instagram page, I was really just looking to build an audience that might be interesting in buying a photo and poem book from an epic trip I took up the West Coast of the US after I got married. When the book project ended up taking much longer than anticipated, I fleshed out the Instagram page to become a full travel social media page. I wanted to not only showcase my photos, but give travel advice and drive narratives about travel based on my own thoughts.

Starting one Instagram made me want to start another page based on sports, which has taken off even more. I’m in the process of building up my income strictly from social media and writing for websites so that I can transition to running the travel and sports pages full-time and make them as awesome as they can be.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Everyone can take pictures nowadays with their phones having such good cameras. If you’re going to try to be a photographer and stand out, you have to tell a unique story.

I’ve got the privilege of getting to travel a lot in my lifetime. Ever since I was 12 years old, I took photos along the way. In my adult years, I’ve tried to think more about what the photos represent and the story they tell.

I often see a big difference between the stories that Instagram tells about travel, and what travel is really like. While influencers often take lavish vacations where everything is fun in the sun, I try to represent what travel is like for average people who work desk jobs, have kids, or can’t get away for more than a few days. I’ve spent the majority of a year living in China and really struggled to feel comfortable, despite my youthful ideals of adventure prior to leaving.

Those are the stories I want to tell- the battle, chaos, and the beauty that comes out of that process. I told the story on Instagram of my honeymoon and this roadtrip my wife and I took last year, and it seemed like the days swung between bliss and disaster. That really resonated with people I think because our vacations never go exactly like we planned. The project of this photo and poem book follows that path of alternating between beauty and chaos or embattled thoughts while in a spectacular environment.

It took me a ton of work to learn the ins and out of Instagram and how to get the right people finding my content. I tested a lot, watched probably a hundred hours of YouTube tutorials, and made friends along the way. I learned how to manage my own time a lot better and become driven to think outside the box to think creatively about how to grow. It’s been a wild, tough journey to try and “make it”, but I’m really happy of what I’ve been able to give the world so far.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to Estes Park to my wife’s grandparents house where we stay, ha. Every other day we’d take them to one of the many insanely beautiful hikes in the Rockies- Sky Pond, Longs, Flattop, and so much more.
In between that, I’d just chill and just chill at coffee shops and in downtown Estes, eating ice cream, getting Indian food, and playing board games outside.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Alli has traveled with me on most of the trips I showcase on my platform. I process absolutely everything I’m thinking about travel, and so much of the good that comes out of that page is because of the encouragement and help from her!

Instagram: cprestravel

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.