When looking at Chris Burkard’s Instagram feed, two things will cross your mind:
1. Amazing, and
2. I want this to be my life.
Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer who went from sleeping in his car just to be closer to his internships to stacking up 1 million Instagram followers and a steady studio spot out in Grover Beach, California. He’s made a name for himself in the surf and outdoor industries, working with top brands such as Apple, The North Face, Patagonia, and many many more.
I actually don’t remember how I came upon Burkard’s account – I’m an amateur photographer myself so I’m always looking through the various hashtags connected to outdoor photography for inspiration; even though I don’t remember, I’m sure glad I did follow him because I’m given a dose of daily awestruck.
His Instagram feed mainly covers his landscape and adventure shots, but it’s nothing to snuff at. It seems that every picture he takes is perfect: from the lighting to the framing, every moment is captured at exactly the right time. While I can sense that this is dedication at its finest, I can’t help but wonder at how he could possibly take these photos.
The colors and images are insanely crisp, and his stills look totally unreal. Whenever I see a new photo, I can’t help but be jealous – Burkard’s whole life is surrounded by this immense beauty and his job is to capture that. One look at his website shows his passion for his work, specifically within this quote, taken from his thoughts on being a photographer and having photography as a career, “Remember the camera is just a tool. What is more important is how you look at the world. Curiosity and a desire to explore, as well as passion is huge necessity when it comes to photography.”
In regards to this dedication, Burkard held a TED Talk this past March regarding one of his main (and craziest) past-times: surfing in ice-cold waters. I can’t even fathom jumping into freezing water just to get the right shot, but that’s an entire level above that Burkard is on. You can see what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera in the making of these incredible photos, and seeing the conditions that he sometimes works in makes you shiver like you’re out in -10 degree weather right along side him.
Chris Burkard started as a 19-year-old who found he had a talent with a camera and turned into a recognized photographer among many communities. I can’t get enough of his images and look forward to seeing the next each day. The most memorable posts have been from the past few months on his trip to Iceland, which has been a huge throwback for me; I got to take a trip there during the summer of 2013, but just missed the Northern Lights by a week. Sure enough, Burkard posts this rad and almost haunting image of these spectacular green lights and I turned green with jealousy myself.
Make sure to follow Burkard on his Instagram, check out his website to see more of his work, and keep an eye on his Facebook – if you’re interested in photography and live near his studio (or in my case, willing to move to work with him…) he updates his site on internships, though they’re booked out far in advance. He also has workshops and prints available for sale, and recently gave out thousands of free prints (10,000 to be exact) for getting 1 million followers on Instagram. Talented and giving, what more could you ask for?
Adventure is out there and Chris Burkard is running right along side of it. Find your muse or your next travel destination through his work, and I promise you won’t be sorry.