March 12, 1986 |
San Luis Obispo, California
|Residence||Arroyo Grande, California|
Chris Burkard (born 1986, San Luis Obispo, California) is an American self-taught photographer and artist, based in California Central Coast region. Burkard’s work is layered by landscape, lifestyle, surf, outdoor and travel subjects. Burkard takes a photojournalistic approach to conceptualize large-scale editorial projects that extend across multiple mediums, formulated for digital and print content platforms. The use of natural lighting techniques is prevalent throughout Burkard’s work as well as capturing humanizing moments in both cultural and natural landscapes.
Contrasting the idea of surfing as a sun-drenched, bleach-blonde experience, Burkard gravitates toward and leads assignments using photojournalism documentation to colder oceanic regions of the North Atlantic and elsewhere in order to demonstrate the ability of the surfer to survive in extreme conditions. Burkard has led trips to some of the coldest regions of the globe. Burkard’s travels seek out adventure and perfect waves in some of the coldest harshest conditions known to man, including over 7 trips in Iceland, Norway and other parts of Europe.
- 1 Education
- 2 Career
- 3 Family life
- 4 Awards and recognitions
- 5 The California Surf Project
- 6 Come Hell or High Water – Plight of the Torpedo People
- 7 Sponsors
- 8 Endorsements
- 9 Representation
- 10 References
- 11 External links
After completing high school in 2004 at the age of 19, Burkard enrolled in classes at Cuesta Junior College. He became exposed to photography as an art form and the idea of composition quickly captured his attention. Growing up near the ocean and participating in water sports: body surfing, bodyboarding and surfing, Burkard sought to use photography as a mode of expression in order to highlight the movement of water and document his friends.
Burkard purchased his first camera from a Goodwill auction for $65, and after shooting and developing an entire role of slide film he realized the camera didn’t work. He then borrowed a camera from his girlfriend’s mom, and began shooting regularly, experimenting with different lighting and contexts. Raised on the cusp of photography’s mainstream transformation from film to digital in the mid-2000s, Burkard is self-taught in both.
In 2006, Burkard shadowed large format landscape photographer Michael Fatali, whose images of the American Southwest desert are published frequently. Later that year, Burkard interned under current Transworld Surfing photo editor, Pete Taras.
In the early years of his career, Burkard worked as a freelance photographer on both editorial and commercial projects, amassing a client list that includes: American Airlines, Nikon, Volkswagen, Apple Inc, Fuel TV, Burton, Volcom, RVCA, Poler Stuff, Pacifico, among others, as well as having work published on over 35 national and international covers of magazines including Surfer Magazine (both print and digital), The New Yorker, National Geographic Adventure, ESPN.com  Starting at the age of 21 and between the years of 2008–2010, Burkard served as the senior staff photographer at Surfline, a global, surf forecasting and content site, based in California. During this time, he was also senior staff photographer for Water Magazine. Beginning in 2009, Burkard was contracted by Patagonia, Inc. as a project photographer, a role he continues to maintain with the active outdoor company. In 2010, Surfer Magazine offered Burkard a position as senior staff photographer, a title he has held since.
Follow The Light Foundation Flame grant
In October 2006, Burkard was awarded the first ever and prestigious “Follow the Light Foundation” grant, commemorating long-time photo editor for Surfing Magazine, Larry “Flame” Moore, who died just one year earlier. Burkard was able to fund a 6-month surfing trip along the California coast, which was later published as The California Surf Project by Chronicle Books.
Red Bull Illume Awards
In August 2010 Burkard became the Red Bull Illume Overall Competition winner as well as the Red Bull Illume Illumination winner for the second occurrence of the international image quest. This highly coveted adventure sport photography competition occurs once every three years and is narrowed down to 50 finalists in ten categories. The work of the finalists is exhibited in a world-wide tour before revealing the winners in a final grand ceremony.
After working at Surfline and Water Magazine, Burkard was hired at Surfer Magazine in 2010. As of May 2013[update], he holds the position as senior staff photographer. In June 2010 Surfer Magazine announced in a press release that they just hired the next generation of creative talent: photographers Zak Noyle, Chris Burkard and journalist Aaron Carrera.
In 2008, at age 21 Burkard earned a position as the senior staff photographer at Surfline, a global, surf forecasting and content site, based in California. At this time he also served as senior staff photographer at Water Magazine until his departure in 2010 to leave for Surfer Magazine as senior staff photographer.
Burkard worked briefly for Esquire in 2006.
Awards and recognitions
Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown April 2013 – As part of the World Ski & Snowboard Festival held in Whistler, British Columbia, Burkard was granted the People’s Choice Award in the action sports photography competition.
The World Open of Photography 2nd Place Open Winner 2012 – An international photography competition spanning multiple categories, The World Open of Photography named Burkard the 2nd Place Open Category Winner 
Look Between Photo Festival 2010 – A photography festival dedicated to the still image, taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia and produced by non-profit Look3, Burkard was invited to participate in 2010 
Red Bull Illume: Illumination and Overall Image Quest Winner 2010 –  In August 2010 Burkard became the Red Bull Illume Overall Competition winner as well as the Red Bull Illume Illumination winner for the second occurrence of the international image quest. This highly coveted adventure sport photography competition occurs once every three years and is narrowed down to 50 finalists in ten categories. The work of the finalists is exhibited in a world-wide tour before revealing the winners in a final grand ceremony 
Follow the light Foundation Flame Grant Winner 2006 – In October 2006, Burkard was awarded the first ever and prestigious “Follow the Light Foundation” grant, commemorating long-time Photo Editor for Surfing Magazine, Larry “Flame” Moore, who died just one year earlier. Burkard was able to fund a 6-month surfing trip along the California coast, which was later published as “The California Surf Project” by Chronicle Books.
Morro Bay Art Society Award 2005 -Burkard was awarded the 2005 Morro Bay Art Society Award in 2005. With two large galleries, the Art Center Morro Bay is one of the largest California Central Coast venues for exhibiting original fine art and photography by local artist.
The California Surf Project
In 2009 Burkard wrote his first book The California Surf Project published by Chronicle Books, this book documents the six-month surfing exploration of Burkard and his friend, professional surfer, Eric Soderquist, down the California Coastline in a 1976 Volkswagen bus. Starting from the Oregon border and heading south all the way to Tijuana, the pair recorded their chronicle on the search for a California of the past and the discovery of California’s Coastline today, using the iconic Pacific Coast Highway as their guide.
Come Hell or High Water – Plight of the Torpedo People
Come Hell or High Water, Plight of The Torpedo People (2011) – Burkard was named principal photographer documenting the debut film release directed by Patagonia Ambassador, Keith Malloy. This bodysurfing film and book documents “The Plight of the Torpedo People,” a type of graceful water movement using the human body to carve in and around ocean waves. Burkard served as contributing cinematographer. The film has received several awards, including “Best Cinematography” in 2011 from the New York Surf Film Festival  Published by Woodshed Films, in 2013, Burkard, along with Malloy and body surfer, Mark Cunningham toured cities on the East and West Coasts of the United States promoting the book and film together.
- F-Stop Camera Bags
- Aquatech Housings
- Wonderful Machine
- Poler Stuff
- Stock Agency A-Frame Photo
- Patagonia, Inc.
- Peak Design
- Goal Zero
- Induro Tripod head
- Kenko Tokina
Represented by: John Feldman at Massif Management
- "Lonely Leap".
- "Adventure Journal".
- "Adventure Journal, Behind The Lens".
- "View Bug".
- "National Geographic Magazine".
- "Rangefinder Magazine Interview".
- "Surfer Magazine, Norway".
- "Revolt In Style Magazine, Through My Eyes".
- "Surfer Magazine, Behind The Lens".
- "Chase Jarvis".
- "Korduroy tv, Innerviews".
- "Club of the Waves".
- "Michael Fatali".
- "Visual Supply Company".
- "The Inertia".
- "Wave Riders Gallery".
- "Chris Burkard Photography Facebook Page".
- "ESPN Chris Burkard Iceland".
- "ESPN Simple Pleasures".
- "The Cleanest Line".
- "Surfer Magazine".
- "National Geographic Adventure Magazine".
- "Follow The Light Grant, Surfline".
- "Follow The Light Grant, Transworld Surf Magazine".
- "Red Bull Illume".
- "Surfer Magazine, Staff".
- "The Marc Silbur Show".
- "Transworld Surf".
- "Surf Pulse".
- "Olympus Pro Showdown".
- "Pique Magazine, Olympus Pro Showdown".
- "The World Open".
- "The World Open Winners".
- "Wet Sand".
- "Red Bull Illume Winners".
- "Red Bull Illume Photographer Profile".
- "Red Bull Illume, Huffington Post".
- "Follow The Light Foundation Winner, Surfline".
- "Follow The Light Grant, Surfing Magazine".
- "Morro Bay Art Center".
- "Barnes And Noble, The California Surf Project".
- "Liquid Salt Magazine".
- "The California Surf Project".
- "Amazon Books, The California Surf Project".
- "Chronicle Books, The California Surf Project".
- "The Surfing Blog".
- "Come Hell Or High Water, Woodshed".
- "Come Hell Or High Water, New York Film Festival".
- "Plight Of The Torpedo, Magic Seaweed".
- "Come Hell Or High Water Signing Dates".
- "Torpedo People, Plight Of The Torpedo".
- "FStop Gear".
- "F-Stop Gear Team".
- "Aquatech Housings".
- "Wonderful Machine".
- "Poler Stuff".
- "Patagonia Video".
- "Goal Zero Team".
- "Induro Team".
- "Kenko Tokina Team".
- "Matador Network".
- "New Yorker".