Q: Has there ever been a time when you felt you lacked a clear direction or purpose?
Chris: I think that it’s common to feel uninspired or even have a lack of direction. The important thing is that you don’t wrap your whole identity up in your work, and make sure that you give time to all the things you want to do. Ideally, you want to balance your work and what you love. Ultimately that is where your mission statement should come from. For me, the camera is just a tool to help get the job done.
Q: You have over 2.7 million followers on Instagram, do you feel a pressure to portray a certain image on social media?
Chris: That’s interesting. Maybe there’s some internal feeling in wanting to create engagement [with followers]. [Being successful on Instagram] shouldn’t be the reason we get on there, I guess is what I’m saying.
Q: Do you think photographers or entrepreneurs have to use Instagram to be successful?
Chris: Yeah. I think it’s an easy, free way to share your work. I don’t think you need it to be successful, but I don’t think it would be wise not to use it. Instagram shouldn’t be a tool to just share your highlight moments of your life. It should be something where you feel some engagement with people, and then it can be a way to communicate, and share what you care about and love.
Q: Plans or dreams for the future?
Chris: Just spend more time with my family and promote the places I care about.
Q: Anything else?
Chris: My one piece of advice to any young creative would be to not describe to people what they can already see. In a photograph, we have so much opportunity to tell stories. I think that we often lose those opportunities by pairing other people’s words to our photos or our experiences. So I would urge people to start pondering a little more. Think about if you had to make your own quote, what would it be? If you had to say something significant what would it be?
Talking with Chris Burkard reaffirmed the idea that if you always strive to do what you love, it will be easier to stand by and be proud of the way you live your life. I hope that people like Chris inspire you to do what you love!
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