Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for  images that are punctuated by untamed, energized landscapes and peak moments of adventure. He has accumulated an audience of over one million followers to become a globally recognized social influencer.

Burkard is often central in synthesizing the creative projects he is involved in, across stakeholders. His holistic and visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on global, prominent campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, appear as a TED speaker, develop specialty product lines, teach national and international photography workshops and publish a collection of books, including a children’s book. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his full-scale production studio and art gallery near his hometown in Central Coast California.

At the age of 30, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influencer, accomplishing a prolific portfolio, connecting people from around the world and producing some of the most recognized creative work of our time.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Vast. Wild.

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?


Highlands of Iceland

Pacific Ocean

I owe a lot to each of these places.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?


When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Disbelief. . . I cant even believe they are real. Did a trip flying around the volcanos in the Aleutian Chain. Still think I'm coming down from that experience..

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Excited, most of my favorite moments of my life have occured in that 30 minute window before and after sunset!

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed. Time for a good book.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

I don’t enjoy wind. It’s the most jarring of the elements. I'm more tired after being outside in the wind all day then if it was raining, sunny, or snowing.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

The ocean will always be where I am most comfortable. I grew up in a small beach town on the California coast more known for it's clam chowder then waves but I spent my whole childhood in the ocean. It will always be an important part of my life.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9. Only thing above is my family.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I was lucky enough to grow up on the central coast of California which lends itself to a life lived outdoors. My first memory of being outdoors is for sure days spent on the beach with my family in Pismo. That’s where my fascination with the ocean began and why I started trekking up and down the coast in search of waves, which eventually led to searching along coastlines around the world!. I remember my mom paddling me out on a boogie board pushing me off into the water and saying the ocean is your friend. I was always scared but I loved the beach.

Davis Smith

DAVIS SMITH is the founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission. He is also a member of the eight-person United Nations Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council. Davis is a serial entrepreneur who previously started, Brazil’s Startup of the Year in 2012. Davis holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from BYU. Davis is an adventurer who has visited 70 countries. He has floated down the Amazon on a self-made raft, camped in the Sahara Desert, kayaked from Cuba to Florida, and explored North Korea.

3 words to describe Nature?

Raw, Fragile, Inspiring

3 things Nature taught you?

I began spending time in the outdoors before I can remember, but some of my first lessons learned while adventuring with my father are that:

1. Nature needs to be respected because while infinitely beautiful, it will eat you alive.

2. In my lowest moments, nature has lifted me up and inspired me.

3. I’ve always felt that nature has shown me that there is something bigger than myself. Spending time in the outdoors connects me with things that are truly important.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

1. The red rock canyons of Southern Bolivia, where I lived for a number of years as a young adult.

2. Cotopaxi national park in Ecuador, where I spent some of my childhood and early teen years.

3. The Wasatch Mountains that tower above Salt Lake City, where I currently live.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Small and vulnerable.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Safe, overwhelmed with beautiful sounds, smells and sights.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Humbled and melancholy (I grew up in the Andes surrounded by amazing volcanos which I often summited with my father).

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Overwhelming joy. Is there anything that can fill a heart or bring a smile faster?

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

An urge to run and duck for cover!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Somewhat intimidated, but I love the sound when I’m in a tent.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I’ve spent eight years living in the Caribbean, so I’m obsessed with the ocean. I love kayak touring, diving, snorkeling, spearfishing and camping on the beach. That said, I’ve lived in Utah for a number of years now and have really grown to love the mountains.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is to your well-being?

8. I love the outdoors, but I own an outdoor gear brand and have a small family, both which keep me indoors quite often. I’ve found that surrounded by people I love, I can also get immense joy even when not outdoors.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Some of my fondest memories as a child were spending time adventuring with my dad. We once built our own raft and floated down the Amazon river fishing for piranha. We also survived on uninhabited islands in the Caribbean, spearing fish with home-made spears. My brother and I spent hours every day exploring and building forts in the jungle behind our home when we lived in Puerto Rico. My childhood is full of memories in nature. Most incredibly pleasant, but some memories are of times that were terrifying and scary. It was those moments, however, that gave me such a deep respect for nature and taught me to respect it and always be prepared for the worst.