We catch up with Red Bull Illume winner Chris Burkard and find out how winning the 2010 Image Quest has transformed his life.
Has winning made any difference to your career?
There is really no way to describe the type of fire Red Bull Illume lit for my career. I feel like it put my work on the map and it truly allowed my voice in the action sports industry to be heard. Many magazines and companies have enquired about my work as a result of this recognition. The winning image has been published so many times I can’t count them all. It is an image that to this day gets compliments as a fan favorite.
Any tips for aspiring photographers?
I think it is really important to begin to make a name for yourself through developing a style. Companies need to be able to identify your work from a batch of photos and this is what will give you more and more recognition within the industry. Being able to harness social media in this day and age is vital and the better you are at self-marketing the bigger name you will make for yourself. I also believe it is important to find inspiration beyond photography. Often time spent looking at other art forms is a great way to develop your own personal work.
What projects are you currently working on?
I had the chance to work along side Keith Malloy in his recent award winning bodysurf film Come Hell or High Water. This project was one of my favorites and the entire film and production turned out amazingly. I’m currently working on a book that follows the making of the film. It is filled with great storytelling and photography from across the globe.
What’s next for you?
I want to continue doing what I love. Hopefully I’ll be doing some work with some talented filmmakers in the future working on long-term projects that have a little more depth than just strictly surfing pictures. I love working on books, films and anything that inspires me.
Have you planned your submissions for the 2013 Red Bull Illume?
I have a few images that have been floating around online that I think people are going to be stoked about. My recent trips to a place I like to call the frozen north have produced some images of surreal landscapes with perfect waves. I can’t wait for people to see them. My submissions aren’t usually planned as so many of the images just happen. I feel like that is the best way to bring forth your best work.