Frequently Asked Questions
I've compiled a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience. If you have any other questions feel free to email me at info@TravisBurkePhotography.com. Please be aware that I travel full time and usually prefer locations with very little service, so my responses may be delayed.
"First and foremost, it takes passion, dedication, and the belief that it is possible to accomplish anything in life. Don’t be afraid to push past your comfort zones!"
1. How did you get started in photography?
The initial spark was while my parents were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail 8 years ago. I met them in Yosemite National Park and had decided to buy a Nikon D300 to document as much as I could. Having a camera made me slow down and appreciate the beauty, and really search for ways to capture it. When I got home, I decided to enroll in a few photo classes at a community college, participate in various workshops and listen to guest speakers to start learning the basics and gain all the knowledge I could. From there I worked for years as an intern and assisted professional photographers in multiple fields to get hands-on experience before slowly taking off on my own.
2. What type of equipment do you use most frequently?
My go-to camera set up is the Sony a7R iii with a 16-35mm f/4 lens and the GoPro Hero7 with the 3-way mount. But I also have a Sony a7S ii with several other lenses: 24-70mm f/4, 55mm f/1.8, 14mm f/2.8, and 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6. The rest of my gear consists of a tripod, an intervalometer, neutral density filters, and multiple GoPro accessories in my backpack ready to go. Shown here is the adventure gear that I have on hand at all times.
3. How can you afford to travel so much?
I am an Outdoor Adventure Photographer, so traveling is my job. Everything from commercial work, brand ambassadorships, product testing and reviews, social media content, freelance work, etc. all helps me continue to do what I love.
4. How did you start working with companies and/or acquire sponsors?
It's all about making connections and getting your work out there. My first major photography job that I was passionate about was a staff position with GrindTV, which fell together by attending a journalism class and having a portfolio ready to show. From there I have been able to connect and build friendship/relationships with all types of amazing companies.
5. I see that you have been traveling around the country in a van for over three years, how can I find out more information about the van and how you converted it?
I took my grandmother’s old campervan and personally converted it into my dream adventure-mobile. Goal Zero put together a fun little video about the van (here). If you have more specific questions you can try emailing me but unfortunately, I may not have the answer you are looking for. Each van and conversion process is completely different and you really have to figure out what will work best for your vehicle, needs, and comfort.
6. What made you choose a life on the road?
Traveling allows me to constantly shoot in diverse locations & meet with different adventurers around the world. Choosing the van life made the most sense for me because it fits all my essentials (ie: my surfboard, skateboard, slackline, camera gear, mountain bike, etc.) yet can still get me everywhere I want to go.
7. Do you have any quick advice for novice travelers?
Be flexible. Try not to have a minute to minute itinerary, the more open you can keep your schedule the more you'll be able to adapt to life as it unfolds. Unexpected adventures can sometimes be the most worthwhile. Anything from weather conditions to meeting new people in an airport can alter your path.
8. Where is your favorite place you've been so far?
I love seeing diverse landscapes and participating in so many different activities that this is a challenging question for me to answer! I narrowed it down to a few of my top spots and wrote a blog post for Goal Zero (here).
9. What do you consider your specialty?
I enjoy adding a human element within a landscape photograph to help capture the perspective and emotion of the scene. Night photography has always been one of my biggest passions too, finding unique ways to illuminate the landscape while capturing the stars and Milky Way can be challenging yet rewarding.
10. What activities do you enjoy when you’re not taking photos?
There are too many incredible things to see, do and learn for me to ever consider myself bored. So whether it's picking up a new book, backpacking the entire John Muir Trail, or highlining over a 400-foot tall canyon, I constantly try to push myself both mentally and physically in every aspect possible. A few activities I try to participate in regularly are; surfing, skateboarding, reading, slacklining, ping pong, freediving, backpacking, mountain biking, jogging, rock climbing and snowboarding.
11. What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
I really hope to inspire people to get out and explore their own backyard. You don't need to plan an elaborate vacation to wind up in a beautiful and unique landscape. By constantly trying to push myself to the next level I hope that I can creatively encourage others to do the same.