Chris Burkard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chris Burkard
Chris Burkard.JPG
Born (1986-03-12) March 12, 1986 (age 36)

Chris Burkard is an American photographer and artist, based in the California Central Coast region. He photographs landscape, lifestyle, surf, outdoor, and travel subjects. Burkard takes a photojournalistic approach to make editorial projects, using multiple media.[1] He uses natural light to capture humanizing moments.[2][3][4]

Burkard specializes in photographing in cold places,[5][1] including in Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands, India, Cuba, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, and Italy.[6][7][8] Burkard has been named a top travel influencer.[9][10]

Early life and education[edit]

Burkard was born in San Luis Obispo, California. He was raised by a single mother; she married his stepfather when Chris was 12 and they joined a family of five. He is a graduate of Arroyo Grande High School. After completing high school in 2004 at the age of 18, Burkard enrolled in classes at Cuesta Junior College.[11] He became exposed to photography as an art form and the idea of composition quickly captured his attention.[12] Growing up near the ocean and participating in water sports such as body surfing, bodyboarding, and surfing, Burkard sought to use photography as a mode of expression to highlight the movement of water and document his friends.[13][14]

Burkard purchased his first camera from a Goodwill auction for $65, and after shooting and developing an entire roll 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.[15]

In 2006, Burkard shadowed large format landscape photographer Michael Fatali,[16] whose images of the American Southwest desert are published frequently. Later that year, Burkard interned under Transworld Surfing photo editor, Pete Taras.[7][15][17]


In the early years of his career, Burkard worked as a freelance photographer on both editorial and commercial projects, as well as having work published on over 35 national and international covers of magazines including Surfer Magazine (both print and digital),[18][19] The New Yorker, National Geographic Adventure[20][21]

Beginning in 2009, Burkard was contracted by Patagonia, Inc. as a project photographer. Burkard also operates a full service studio in Grover Beach, California shooting commercial and editorial work.[22] Burkard has spoken at TED.[23]

In 2006, Burkard interned at Transworld Surf Magazine for four months prior to becoming assistant photo editor.[24][25] 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.[15][26] Burkard was hired at Surfer Magazine in 2010. As of May 2013, he holds the position as senior staff photographer.[5][27][28][8]

Personal life[edit]

Burkard is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Burkard lives in Grover Beach with his wife Breanne; they married in 2007 and have two sons, Jeremiah and Forrest.[29]


  • Morro Bay Art Society Award 2005.[2]
  • Follow the Light Foundation Flame Grant Winner 2006,[30] commemorating long-time Photo Editor for Surfing Magazine, Larry "Flame" Moore, who died one year prior. Burkard was able to fund a six-month surfing trip along the California coast, which was later published as "The California Surf Project" by Chronicle Books.[30][31][32][33]
  • Red Bull Illume: Illumination and Overall Image Quest Winner 2010 –[34][35] The work of the finalists is exhibited in a worldwide tour before revealing the winners in a final grand ceremony[7][36][37]
  • 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[38][39]
  • Red Bull Illume: Category Finalist (Spirit) 2013 – In August 2013 Burkard was a finalist in the Red Bull Illume "Spirit" category.[40]
  • 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.[41][42]
  • PMDA Visionary Photographer Award, 2016, in Las Vegas, NV.[43]


  • The California Surf Project (Chronicle Books, 2010) 8 ISBN 978-0811862820 – documents the six-month surfing exploration of Burkard and his friend, professional surfer, Eric Soderquist, down the California Coastline in a 1976 Volkswagen bus.[44] Starting from the Oregon border and heading south to Tijuana, the pair recorded their search for a California of the past and the discovery of California's coastline today, using the Pacific Coast Highway as their guide.[45][46][47][48]
  • Come Hell or High Water: Plight of the Torpedo People (Woodshed Films, 2013) ISBN 978-1938922084 – 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.[49] Burkard served as contributing cinematographer. The film has received "Best Cinematography" award in 2011 from the New York Surf Film Festival[50][51]
  • Russia: The Outpost Vol. 1 (self-published, 2013) – A collaboration with the director Ben Weiland, Russia: The Outpost Vol. 2 is a combination small-format photography book of Burkard's images and short stories by both Ben and Burkard, as well as a DVD documenting their trip to Russia with surfers Dane Gudauskas, Cyrus Sutton, Trevor Gordon and Keith Malloy.
  • Distant Shores (Ammo, 2014) ISBN 978-1623260170 – a compendium of Burkard's work from Alaska, the Caribbean, Chile, Christmas Island, Iceland, India, Japan, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico and Russia. Featuring an interview with Burkard conducted by Steve Crist, the book is composed mostly of highlights from each location.
  • The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth (Dreamling, 2015) – Burkard's first short story, illustrated by David McClellan. A story that follows the young protagonist as he travels through the wilderness. Encompassing themes that are central to Burkard's work, such as exploration, observation, inspiration and the pursuit of joy.
  • High Tide (Mendo, 2015) ISBN 978-9089896544 – a collection of work from Burkard's most recent travels; from the Arctic Circle south to the Roaring Forties. With stories by Michael Kew, Ben Weiland and Zander Morton, High Tide.


  • Russia: The Outpost Vol. 1 (2013)
  • Faroes: The Outpost Vol. 2 (2015)
  • The Cradle of Storms (2014)
  • Under an Arctic Sky (2017)


  • Look Between Photo Festival, Look3, 2010,[19][52]


  1. ^ a b "Rangefinder Radio – Chris Burkard".
  2. ^ a b Casimiro, Steve. "About". Adventure Journal.
  3. ^ "Adventure Journal, Behind The Lens". Archived from the original on March 20, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "View Bug". Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Photographer Chris Burkard on Shooting Surfing in Iceland and Norway – Stunning Photos". Adventure. August 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "Surfer Magazine, Norway".
  7. ^ a b c "Revolt In Style Magazine". Issuu.
  8. ^ a b "SURFER Magazine – Surf News, Fantasy Surfer, Photos, Video and Forecasting". SURFER Magazine.
  9. ^ Street, Francesca (June 27, 2017). "World's top 10 travel influencers, according to Forbes". CNN.
  10. ^ "Top Influencers: Travel". Forbes. June 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "Chase Jarvis".
  12. ^ "INSIVITY – CHRIS BURKARD". Vimeo.
  13. ^ "Chris Burkard – Innerviews". June 29, 2010 – via Vimeo.
  14. ^ "500px". Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c "Chris Burkard > Surf Photographer Interview | Club Of The Waves".
  16. ^ "Fatali". Fatali.
  17. ^ "Visual Supply Company". Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  18. ^ " – is for sale (waveridersgallery)". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  19. ^ a b "Chris Burkard Photography".
  20. ^ "ESPN Chris Burkard Iceland".
  21. ^ "ESPN Simple Pleasures".
  22. ^ "Photography Jobs |".
  23. ^ Burkard, Chris, The joy of surfing in ice-cold water – via
  24. ^ "Transworld Surf".
  25. ^ "15 Best Surf Watches for Riding Mighty Waves". WatchShopping.
  26. ^ Burkard, Chris. "Interview: Chris Burkard". The Inertia.
  27. ^ "The Marc Silbur Show".
  28. ^ "The Cleanest Line – Patagonia".
  29. ^ "Patagonia".
  30. ^ a b "CHRIS BURKARD | Surf News | Surfline".
  31. ^ "Follow The Light Grant, Transworld Surf Magazine".
  32. ^ "Follow The Light Foundation Winner, Surfline".
  33. ^ "Surfing Magazine Archive Archives".
  34. ^ "Red Bull Illume Winners". Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  35. ^ "Chris Burkard". Red Bull Illume.
  36. ^ "Red Bull Illume". Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  37. ^ "HuffPost is now a part of Verizon Media".
  38. ^ "".
  39. ^ "The World Open Winners". Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  40. ^ "2013 Red Bull Illume winners unveiled!". Red Bull Illume.
  41. ^ "Olympus Pro Showdown". Archived from the original on May 19, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  42. ^ "Andy Wright wins Pro Photographer Showdown 2013". Pique Newsmagazine.
  43. ^ "PMDA Visionary Photographer Awards 2016".
  44. ^ "Chris Burkhard Interview". Liquid Salt.
  45. ^ "The California Surf Project".
  46. ^ Soderquist, Eric; Burkard, Chris (April 22, 2009). Amazon Books, The California Surf Project. ISBN 978-0811862820.
  47. ^ "California Surf Project". Chronicle Books.
  48. ^ "The Surfing Blog". Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  49. ^ "Come Hell Or High Water, Woodshed". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  50. ^ "Come Hell Or High Water, New York Film Festival". Archived from the original on March 25, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  51. ^ "THE PLIGHT OF THE TORPEDO PEOPLE book release".
  52. ^ "Wet Sand".

External links[edit]