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NeoReach Interviews Chris Burkard, Travel Influencer

By January 26, 2018 No Comments

NeoReach Interviews Chris Burkard, Travel Influencer

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NeoReach Interviews Chris Burkard

5 Minute Read

Many people dream of traveling the world, and it stays as a dream. But for him, it’s his career. Chris Burkard– photographer of the world’s most barren places- proudly possesses more than 2 million followers who share the dream of seeing the world with him. In 2017 alone, Burkard received awards for his brilliant photography from Forbes and X Games, setting him aside from his peers.

Although constantly on the go, I got the time to ask him some questions that we all are dying to know.

“Getting to know the people that follow you is crucial.”

NeoReach: How did you get involved in photography?

Chris Burkard: I started shooting photos when I was 19 years old after experimenting with drawing and art in high school. I realized that it enabled me to do art in a mobile state and show people the beauty of the world around me.

At that point, I realized the idea of turning photography into a career was overwhelming. I knew I had to give it 100% if I wanted to make it into something without any formal training,  I quit my job and started shooting anything for anyone.

I would go and shoot surfers at the local beach and try to sell them pictures on DVDs. I shot weddings, senior pictures, and interior store photos. That obviously wasn’t my end goal, but I had to start somewhere.

For the first part of my career I slept in my car a lot, so nothing happens quickly. I would say it was about four years until I really started making an income. During my Transworld internship, I commuted 5 + hours every week and lived in my car. I really look back fondly at those more challenging times, because it makes you appreciate having to work for what you have and giving something of yourself for your career.

chris-burkard-instagram

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

I love being able to share my experiences with the community. I have the best memories of finding the best surf breaks with really talented athletes, I live for that. I also enjoy finding the untouched parts of the Earth and making my own memories.

Where is your favorite place that your work has taken you?

Iceland! No doubt. It’s such a magical place, and no matter how many times I go there, I keep getting drawn back. I’m about to go back for my 29th trip and am just as excited as I was on my first trip.

The key is to go where people aren’t, which is pretty easy. You just venture to the locations that aren’t on the tourist trail. It’s an amazingly diverse country, but I cringe when people just stay in Reykjavik and only explore a couple hours from the main city. The country has so much to offer if you just get out there and explore!

“For the first part of my career, I slept in my car a lot, so nothing happens quickly.”

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

I love being able to share my experiences with the community. I have the best memories of finding the best surf breaks with really talented athletes, I live for that. I also enjoy finding the untouched parts of the Earth and making my own memories.

How do social media platforms affect your work? Do you use them to your advantage?

Social media is crucial in today’s world. Whether we want to embrace it or not, it is going to be a part of our lives for a very long time. I think the way in which we embrace social media is really the important thing. If you simply see it as a way to build your name and grow your “following” then you might be setting yourself up for a letdown. You need to do much more than just use social media to get your name out there.

For me, I see [social media] as a storytelling tool. A way to let people know about the work I am doing, the important things in my life, and how I see and view the world. This is helpful to know who you are actually speaking to.

Getting to know the people that follow you is crucial. If you get on social media simply to plaster the Internet with beautiful images but put none of your own thoughts or stories out there then it’s hard to identify with what you stand for or let people get to know you as a person.

If you could give a beginning photographer advice, what would it be?

The best thing that you can do as an aspiring photographer is to identify a style that represents you well, develop within that style, and keep shooting to perfect it. It’s super important to have your images be recognizable by editors and others who are looking at your work. With the large number of photographers that are out there now, you must find ways to stand out.

 

Chris Burkard Interview by Jake Steel

From Orlando, Florida. Avid music listener. Swim captain. Travel enthusiast. College bound. Excited for the future.

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