In this week’s featured photographer on Instagram, I spoke with a personal favorite of mine, Chris Burkard. With over 450k followers, he’s definitely figured out how to stand out against the masses of the popular social media app. Burkard took the time to speak to me about his love of landscape photography, where his passion derives from, as well as his influences.

Tell me about when you first got started in photography.

Well, I always found myself traveling to Yosemite and Utah and with such great landscapes, I felt it was only natural to start taking photos.

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Have you always been a traveler or has photography opened up those doors for you?

When I was younger, my parents would take us on camping trips so I’d have to say traveling has always been inherent within me. Photography has certainly allowed me to explore and discover other parts of the world, opening up even more doors of traveling.

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Tell me about how you got started with Instagram.

I found Instagram to be this great network of individuals who were tuned into social media and the engagement revolving around photos. It became a direction extension of myself to communicate with the masses and share my artwork. In a sense, it was a great way to advertise myself as a photographer and get myself known.

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Who are some of your influences? Do you consider your Instagram feedback to be influential at all to any of your new work?

I’m definitely influenced by Ansel Adams, the father of Landscape Photography. As for Instagram feedback, it’s crucial to listen to it as it allows me to know what aspects of my photography vibes with my fans and friends. Of course, I won’t let my vision become entirely swayed by social media, but it’s still good to know what photos people like and don’t like.

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What would you say to someone who’s trying to get a foot in the photography business?

I’d say the only way to get your foot into the photography business is to actually take your first step. A lot of great photographers never push the boundaries and share their photos, so how can they expect people recognize their work?

What can we expect from your upcoming projects?

There are always upcoming projects in the back of my head! But at the time being, it’s nearing the holidays so I would definitely want to spend some time with family and friends.