Brand Ambassador Profile: Brandon Burk
Brandon, tell us a little about where you live and what you do.
I reside in Salt Lake City, Utah with my beautiful wife Leia and two daughters, Ella (4) and Eden (2). I specialize in wedding portraiture, family portraiture and product photography. Photography is my full time job. I enjoy creating everyday. I am extremely organized, meticulous and detail oriented.
I love exploring the great outdoors. I love hiking, A-frame cabins, leather goods, mountains, ranches, lakes, canoes and evergreen trees. I rarely go anywhere without my camera, tripod, and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Photography Experience: 10 years
What drew you to photography? Was it always your passion?
Growing up I always loved to express my creativity. My junior year of high school I took a photography course where I learned to shoot and process film. After high school I served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was located in Atlanta, Georgia during that time. In Atlanta, I focused full-time on serving the Lord. After my return home I started doing photography as my occupation and the rest was history.
How did you learn your craft?
I started my photography career working at a upscale photography studio in my early twenties. No college – just hands on experience. The photographer I worked under had been in the business for some 25 years. While I was working at the studio, I was simultaneously building my own clientele on the side. Once I had enough clients, I left the studio to work my own photography business full-time.
Your photos have a refined sense of arrangement and composition. How long does it take you to set up a shot?
A set up for a product photo can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour. Flat lay photography definitely takes longer. Over the last year I have also created pieces where the product and elements are built upward, vertically – I call them “Vertical Builds”. The key here is to build different visual levels: high, low and medium height levels. I did a flat lay photography job for my good friends over at Clif Bar where I spent around one hour setting up each photograph in addition to the 30 hours searching antique shops and Ebay for all the vintage items I used in my set up. You can view my Clif Bar photos here .
Do you have any advice for people who look up to you?
I would advise to work hard at your craft, pay attention to the smallest details, be original and create often.
That is wonderful advice. What draws you to Heritage brands?
Heritage brands are classic and timeless. They never go out of style. Made in America manufacturing is important to me. I love the quality of workmanship that comes with a good Heritage brand.
What is the secret to the distinctive and warm look of your photography (or as much of the secret as you’d like to share)?
Some key items that make up my style of photography on my Instagram account. Lighting, attention to detail, warm brown tones, reclaimed wood and adventurous vibes.
Are there other photographers you admire that we should check out?
One of my favorite photographers is Roberto Dutesco. He photographs wild horses. I love how it’s his sole focus. Website: dutescoart.com
What do you love most about Instagram?
I have always loved creating. Instagram is the perfect way for sharing my creativity to the world. I also love being able to see what others are creating. Instagram has been a great way to improve and sharpen my photography skills. I am able to analyze which photographs my following like best and continue to create imagery based around that.
What made you decide to showcase your sense of fashion on Instagram?
I first started my account showcasing some of my scenic and portraiture work. As I continued to spend more time on Instagram, I started to network and follow other people posting their sense of style and threads. It slowly evolved into me starting to do the same.
Where do you find inspiration?
One person who inspires me is Albert Einstein. He had the most incisive mind! I love his creativity and unique way of thinking. I am also inspired by a lot of what I see on Instagram. It’s amazing how much better of a photographer Instagram can make you. Every image you put out there is a open critique for the world to see, comment, like or dislike etc.
What have you learned from creating your art?
There are people who do art to do art and then there are people who do art to make a living. As artists a lot of us are perfectionists. We want to hang onto our art and work on it for days and months making it perfect. We have a hard time letting go of it. To be a full time artist and make a living at doing so, you have to learn to let go of your art – get the job done and move onto the next one.
What are some of your favorite Pendleton pieces?
I love the Chief Joseph Blankets – I use these all the time on portrait session.
I also love my Pendleton pillows and my Sky Stone Turquoise Gorge Jacket.