Photographer, Grover Beach, CA
At twenty-nine, photographer Chris Burkard has seen more of the world than most of us could possibly hope to see in several lifetimes: from Iceland, Norway, and the Russian Far East to India, the Pacific Islands, and South America. He has always gone his own way, against the grain, impelled by his idiosyncratic desires and in defiance of the expectations of others.
Burkard is often referred to as a surf photographer, and for good reason. He began contributing to Surfer, where he is now staff photographer, in his early twenties. But that description may leave too much out. Ultimately he’s a landscape photographer with a peculiar relationship to the sea. Unless, of course, he’s shooting portraiture or travel or street photography or photo reportage.
Burkard has published several book projects: The California Surf Project (2006), with friend and co-author Eric Soderquist; Plight of the Torpedo People (2012); Russia: The Outpost Vol. 1 (2013); Distant Shores (2013); High Tide: A Surf Odyssey (2015); and, most recently, the children’s book The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth (2015).
Burkard’s commercial clients include Apple, J.Crew, Land Rover, The North Face, Belstaff, Patagonia, and Toyota. And his work has been published in National Geographic, The New Yorker, GQ, Men’s Journal, Vogue, and Surfer Magazine. Last March, he gave a TED talk, “The Joy of Surfing in Ice-Cold Water,” in Vancouver (watch it below).
Burkard and his wife, Breanne, have two sons, Jeremiah and Forest. They live in Grover Beach on California’s Central Coast.