As outdoor adventure photographers, we know a thing or two about braving the elements to get the perfect shot. Sitting in frigid 20-degree air for the perfect winter sunrise over a snowy mountain. Hiking miles away from light pollution to capture the Milky Way in all its glory.

Chris Burkard success tips

But only a lucky few of us will get to “suffer” as much as Chris Burkard has in order to build a portfolio and career in photography. In fact, at a recent event, Chris revealed that suffering may be the key to his career success.

“I love to suffer to get the shot,” he told a room full of excited photographers. “When we’re in pain, we’re more aware; We’re more open when experiences are painful. When I give some of myself to get the shot, I feel like it’s better work.”

Chris’ career took him from traveling around the world visiting luxurious, tropical places at 21, but it wasn’t fulfilling for him. “I wanted to travel. I wanted to come back changed. I wanted travel to change me.”

Chris Burkard's secret to career successfor Chris, he says that being an active participant in his work — from surfing to hiking — makes him a better photographer: “Photography is an active sport. You can’t be a bystander”

So the next time you’re out shooting, take in the elements. Be hyper aware of your surrounding and stretch yourself to go farther than you ever have before. You just might capture a once in a lifetime shot.

Chris Burkard success tips
Image copyright Chris Burkard