Say Yes To What You Want
Chris Burkard, Chase Jarvis
Say Yes To What You Want
Chris Burkard, Chase Jarvis
1. Say Yes To What You Want
Say Yes To What You Want1:22:54
Say Yes To What You Want
Hey, what's up? It's Chase. Welcome to another episode of the show. You know, the show is where I sit down with the most amazing humans and do everything. I can unpack their brains and help you live your dreams and career and hobby. And in life, my guest Today we were talking before the show like, What's the best way to introduce you? And when I was very inspired by his, the first word out of his mouth was a dad. So this guy is a father Ah, husband and one of the top photographers in the planet who focuses on action sports, outdoor and conservation photography. Huge inspiration to me, dear friend. Please welcome to show Mr Chris Burkhart in the house, man. No, it means the world. Yeah, I'll start to be here. Wow. Has been so fun to watch at. I wouldn't say a distance because we communicate. Usually were ships in the night, But it's been so fun toe a lot of like I'm in this city. You're in this city. We should get breakfast, lunch, and then it's like I took a 6 a.m. Flight. You know, it...
's totally a lot of that stuff, but it's been so fun. Teoh be I guess I'll just say be near you watching your career explode and continue develop And, uh, with such things, like your new book at Glaciers end. Yeah, congratulations. It is so beautiful. I just got my hands on it. Confession here, Like maybe 6.5 minutes ago. Yes, absolutely gorgeous. It's a real passionate, You know, you've paid a Brazilian books like you put your heart on a plate, you put it out there, you hope people care, and then it's kind of that if you build it, they will come scenario. Like I feel like that's such a really thing in this day and age where we're in this self publishing, self made, self promotion type of world where you never really know if people are going to carry, there's no guarantee. Then you put something out there and to see people show up and be excited and believe in your message, you just it's so empowering, so fulfilling in it. It's a real testament. I think the times that we're in that we have the ability to create something like this that's meaningful and you can actually turn a profit in some way to amazing and help the environment. Well, I definitely want to get into some business model stuff. You're my background as a photographer makes me. I know just enough about what you're doing to be ableto I think maybe you and I can turn some pages or open the kimono for some for some people in that position here. But just keep going down the lane of this book. So ah, I know how much work goes into these things. Stunning, stunning work. Um, it's called again at glaciers. And when you give us the like the 30,000 on this project, well, yes. So as ominous is the title sounds that glaciers. And this is not a book about, you know, climate change and the world coming to an end. It's actually a book about the path water takes from the glacier to the ocean, which is a really beautiful journey from the Headwaters flood plains, all the way to basically spilling into the Atlantic and thes basic braided glacial streams There, really, incredibly beautiful from the air can in many ways only be seen and appreciated from the air. So it's been a seven year journey to document Iceland's rivers, basically from from a small Cessna with with a wireless camera and that body of work really overtime turned from being just this really incredible, passionate personal project all of a sudden feeling absolutely indebted to the landscape and wanted to give something back to after I realized that all of these rivers are threatened to basically aluminum smelters, energy export and overfishing, not to mention basically extractive industries. And so, having been nice and 40 times over the decade off over before it was cool, Burger was going, Yeah, well, you know, you, you Maanshan ARD said it best. You know, you spend enough time in these wild places and you feel a sense of responsibility to want to protect them. And I I couldn't agree with that more when I realized what was Steak. My mission for photographing these turn very quickly from I wanted to share something pretty with World that maybe I can make into a book or some prints, whatever to be like. There is a clear message to create a national park in the center of Iceland, protect all server systems for future enjoyment of you know our Children and our Children's Children and the people of Iceland. We worked hand in hand with the government to create this book. We had their blessing. We actually spoke at the Environmental Conference of the Iceland Ministry of the Environment. They do it every once every two years, and I spoke at that in 2018 and that was really the turning point for me to be like, I need to do this and that's that's why it's here. It's, um it's way outside of my realm of commercial photography or directing this and that. It's a riel it to boil it down. So real passion Project does that doesn't feel like having, you know, done one of those that you want to do more because you were ableto build it from the ground up According to your specs. I understand we can talk about sort of some of the ways that you decided to reasons behind self publishing. But just as a was a creator, did it feel fulfilling, such that you want toe? Always have one of these in your back pocket or on your radar, really in process? I think, and that's that's a great point chases like the concept of always having something in your back pocket. I've read, and this is kind of getting more into a, I guess, long term business plan, which sounds very unsexy. But for me, it's always this idea that you have this kind of baseline, which is what you're doing. You're shooting, you know, your commercial work into this and that and the stuff that makes you money. You know, for me, I've kind of broken that down in different revenue streams. But there's always this back pocket plan, which is like, Well, I needed to do blank on the side That's gonna keep me inspired. Keep me happy, Keep me excited and also keep me sharp because there's an element to like when I started my career, and I'm sure when you started yours, there was it was all fear. It was all it was, all reacting to what was happening, and I realized very quickly that long term projects were always the catalyst for more growth. My business for always because the thing is is like every every sort of rise and fall within my career over over these last 10 12 13 years whatever have been kind of based upon doing projects like this, books or films and what happens is usually it's Ah, it's just a funny kind analogy, but there's almost, like a ah year of plenty, followed by sort of a year of that's open, Not so planning. And in those years of not so plenty I'm on. I'm often working on something like this. Like, for example, my film, um, you know, the kind of the quick analysis that this is viewers would appreciate this, but like, you know, I was working for magazines, shooting all these Arctic surf stuff, and I did a trip to Norway with a with a team from, Ah smugmug. They wanted to make a film about me shooting in the Arctic. And I was like, This isn't gonna pay anything. It's not gonna make me any money. Why should I go do this? This is like, you know, I had a kid on the way. I'm like, I can't weeks a commitment. I can't through wasting time to go make some video that's gonna go on the Internet, you know? And obviously I understood that there was value there, and I was like, OK, well, is this gonna benefit my career? And so I did. It came back that went online, you know, was really successful. It's called Arctic Swell and had millions of views because of that. Somebody from Ted reached out, and I was asked to give a Ted talk because of that, I got all this other commercial work because of that, you know? So all I'm saying is that in these years where I've invested more time and energy into stuff like this, where I've had a turn down work, I've had to miss this conference about to miss this event. And I missed this. Whatever. It's benefited me greatly, and I've always urged the younger, um, up incoming photographers. Don't be afraid of these projects like this is this stuff that's long lasting. That's tangible. It's going to be far times greater in the long term than that, you know, high paying tech job that you could have shot of that automotive thing or whatever it is like. This is crucial to the career, so I'm always looking at two years from now. For me, it's usually on a two year scale like what's the next thing and in 2021. As I was saying before, I have I have a contract with Abrams to write to write a memoir that's more about that critical time of my life shooting a lot of surfing in the Arctic and sort of what I learned from that and dealing with family and life and growth and all those things. So there's always that little you know, that sort of long term goal. I guess your eyes are set on two different things. Ones right, what's right in front of you and ones like what's down the line. I think it's really beneficial. It's so hard, Teoh coach that, too, until you've actually experienced it. Like I think that's part of, uh, the same exact thing is true for me. Like the more commercial word. Commercial work begets commercial work, but that, to me, is like a baseline of operations. And we ran a very profitable photo studio that allowed us to invest in, you know, things like self published books in developing APS, even like Creativelive was largely born out of having a lot of equipment, some experience, some free time and maybe add a little money. You're like maybe we can help people learn this stuff on the Internet. And so whether it's a book or ah, you know, just this that second focal length that you're talking about, that's, you know, I've had a lot of photographers on the show. No one's ever really talked as concretely as you just said about that. I think it can't be overstated. How important, Right? And I think it's a fear based thing where when you're starting out, there's so much fear. I remember the day vividly going from like being on contract for magazines, on be on staff to being like now in full freelance, and I'm still full free. Let's say there's no check coming in next week from so and so that's just it's It's always that worked its perspective and you hope it comes and again. If you build it, they will come sort of scenario. And so I feel like these projects, be it books, be it films, be it small pieces were putting online, um, you know, submitting to film festivals, whatever those air, those are my those are my ad campaign, those air those banners that I put in the ground that say Hey, remember me and luckily it's been beneficial, and I think that the right people have seen it, and it keeps us busy throughout the whole year. But again, again, when I made on Arctic Sky, there was a year following that This film where I've toured the thing all over the world and I had to turn down so much work and I don't know about you, but coming from a blue collar family where fame, like the one thing my mom and Dad never taught me was to turn down work they never teach you to say no. They teach you to say yes, day everything because saying no would be like it would. It would be asked night, but you couldn't fathom it. So I grew up in this methodology where it was like you say yes to everything, and it's made me a self professed workaholic. And so it's really been the last four years that I learned to start saying no, and I think a big portion of that is like listening to a lot of your advice. Listening to it, I would say people who have been down the road a bit more and and are real. And I'm realizing now you know, basically that saying no is saying yes to what you want, you know? And you're saying yes to time. Which time is everything so true and to focus Because that's the flip side. And it was the same thing. When you are saying yes because of the fear based like I don't I don't know where my next meal's gonna come from. And I think we're painting a little bit like you know you. You is a freelancer. You're always putting money in the bank for the rainy day and whether we needed it comes or not, right. There's that fear that that is certainly a part of all the your your thoughts. But it's just suppressed now more. It's still there for sure. For sure, you get a little bit better of dealing with it, but I couldn't agree more with that. The best stuff comes from differentiating yourself. And how do you differentiate yourself, other than doing books and films that air so signature and so such a right indelible mark on something that you and only you could have this point of view? This is a beautiful piece of work. Thank you so much. And and I think t kind of speak on a more I would say focused aspect as to how it benefits people. I know it does. It just sounds like, you know, you take risks, involve on you know where people are, like I literally like I'm gonna be going to shoot Senior Portrait's this weekend because I need to make my I've been there, done that. And so I I know that struggle and I I lived in my car below poverty level for a a long enough time to realize, like the rial reality. But I think the benefit of these projects, if I could speak on a more focused aspect, is that the goal should always be Teoh. Get your work in front of a new audience, and that is truly what it's about, because again, it's it's like since social media, you know, you're sharing the same things. The same group people. What's the point? When I made my Children's book two years ago, which was this awesome project work with a small publisher out of Salt Lake City, and it was their idea. They came to me and I was like I had always wanted to your Children's book. I have two kids. Um, that again, it was this tool that was a personal project wrapped up with, you know, time and energy and commitment, everything. But when it released, it was on, you know, Mommy Blog's and all of these stores and in Patagonia and in National Park stores. All of my other books never saw the success that that did. None of my other books got me to where that did audience wise in terms of being in front of a new group of people. And I I think you contribute the same successes. Like all of a sudden, you do you realize that it's not about doing the same thing over and over. It's about, like, How can this next project get me in front of a new audience so that the crisper card baron of the Chase Jarvis print of the Creative Lybrand's all of a sudden, you know, cared about by a whole new group people and I think with creative life specifically, that's, I think, a big part of your guys. His plan is like, you know, really started out with, like photographers helping photographers. But now you're gone. Then there's, like, you know, typography classes. And there's like, You know, it'll be cooking shows everything you could imagine. We have wine classes. Yeah, and that's so cool. Yeah, toe to feed all of those people's needs. I think that is very hard. I said this a second ago. I'm gonna re say it here. It's very hard to overstate all of those powerful projects that you don't actually know the outcome. And any time you you sort of professed to know the outcome like it probably is the wrong thing is this. What is? You don't know quite what's possible, but new audience. Your work's going to get in front of, um, and to be able to walk and chew gum or juggle different balls of different hands. One is this. You know the path where you know you have, uh, the next job in the next job in the next year, whether that's commercial photography or otherwise, just hard to overstate it. Um, so But I I love that opening salvo for our conversation, but I want to take that now and say you mentioned several times, like living in your car below poverty level. You're gonna family. There's so let's we're all the same time. Luckily, yeah, that's how diamonds are made a lot of a lot of pressure, but let's go back there cause I think a lot of, um, you mentioned how action, how sort of doing these projects has move your career forward. And I think there's a lot of, um, when I get asked, like, how doe I do this or how Doe I do that most of it's rooted in action and playing through fear and most of the people that I feel like there's a gap between where they are and where they want to be there, either they don't know that you have to be afraid and do hard things. So take me back. Teoh. Yeah, the early days when yeah, you went from a not being a photographer to identifying as a photographer and then stay be that part where you left being a staff photographer and went freely. Give me those two different I know I will just just book in that first with kind of ah, one thought, which I really love. What you mentioned about people wanting this this advice on where to go. And what I always find is that and this is usually tell the same thing. Everybody's. I'm like I could draw you a beautiful road map if you had an ending point. But you don't. And when you don't know where you want to end up, it's impossible to give someone directions. And I I kind of pride myself on being able to give good advice and be able to give good criticism, being able to help people weave through challenging narratives that whether they've made for themselves the world as or whatever but it. But it's so hard when people they want you to kind of tell them where to end up and I'm like, that's for you to decide. That's the introspective part. And I think for me I sort of made that decision fairly early on. I was, um, 19 years old. I quit my job. I quit school. I was working in a magazine store in Personal Beach, California. Um, every single day I would sit at the magazine store and I would stare at the ocean because it was right out the window and I would sell magazines and the goal. Honest to God, was that in some capacity, By being close to all of these beautiful travel magazines that were off here to my left, the nudie magazines were back here to my right here that I could have this like, I shot of, like, you know, far. And, you know, Nat Geo Traveler and I would outside, and I had somehow get closer to being there, and I realized that all that job did was drove me absolutely insane. And I was shooting a lot in Ah, three end of high school college. I was taking a black and white photography film class. So again, college junior college, I only went to college mainly because I wanted to make my mom happy. Um, a consistent answer. Yeah, you know, I mean, we were byproducts of Yeah, we want to make people happy. I was the only person in my family at the time who had the opportunity potential scholarships to go on, basically have a college degree. And so and I think because we were lower income housing and I have, you know, quite a bit is a bit of Hispanic and made American. I had a lot of, ah, good financial aid options and benefits there. So, um, worst piece of advice ever. I took all that money, and I basically spent it on everything I could accept school. Um, and I I took the minimum minimum amount of credits to basically acquire that financial aid. Um, and at a certain point, I realized like, this is just it wasn't that it was dishonest. It just wasn't. I wasn't fulfilling my potential in this school room. But again, like there was no creative life, there was no internship opportunities. What I wanted to shoot in photography, which was I dreamt of being a landscape photographer. Um, and I loved action sports. That's kind of what I grew up doing is I grew up surfing, right? There was no where that was gonna teach me that Brooks was an hour and 1/2 South and 50 Randy and 50 grand a year. And it was, at the time, still reputable. Luckily, the San Frisco Art Institute was even mawr, and it was like what was I gonna learn? Like I didn't want to know how to do portrait photography or studio photography. I wanted Teoh. I wanted to emulate. You know, Michael Vitali or Ansel Adams Or, um or, you know, these sir photographers that I idolize, you know, flipping through the magazines. And, um, I realized at that time I was like, What's gonna happen is I've always kind of had this visualization that all of us at different stages of our life are standing at the train station. And basically, what happens is the train is coming to you and it slows down for just a second. You have an opportunity to get on, but if you don't, you're kind of like, Well, I can catch up to it if I just start running. And I think what ends up happening is that most the time we don't jump on when it slows down and you start chasing after it and you're always chasing after it, and I've felt that multiple times in my life, whether it's opening a new studio and taking that leap, it's always a leap like you're not quite ready. Your bags aren't totally packed, and you might have to jump on the train with with not everything with your toothbrush is still together, but it But again, it's It's like at that moment. I was like, I'm going to give it five years, and I'm gonna give everything I have to photography. And there was no hope of being like, Oh, well, you know, I'm an adventure photographer. Now, this was, like, literally getting up, going to shoot a senior picture, going to shoot a wedding going. I mean, I've told this story to I was asked a sheet of midget rodeo. I would have done it. I didn't have to do that, but I would have shot anything that was offered to me to make a living. And so those were 5 to 6 years of absolute, um, you know, living with passion. Passion, I think requires sacrifice. That's a part of what passion means. And, um and so, Yeah, I lived in my car. Large grade a time. I was I interned at Transworld Surf. I would drive to Oceanside, had an Oceanside instigated. Exactly. Because you shopper trends over time. Yeah, that office. It was kind of cool. Yeah. First time, going to creative studio, being like this is rad. I would leave my my parents house at 3 a.m. On Monday. Drive down there live in my car for the week. Come back. I do that for four months, and I just basically, after that kind of realized that life on the road was, was where I was going to be the most effective. And so I kind of moved into that little Toyota Tacoma and Ah, and that was sort of the the impetus of the career path and there and that. The funny thing is, and I'm sure you get this so much chases, like where wind is all change, when does it get better? And you're like, Well, I'm an overnight success. Just took 13 years, you know? And so there was not a single like there wasn't a single, quintessential moment where things shifted. It was like 1000 little Yeah, it was small decisions. And I think a big portion of that was was that I absolutely did not take the fastest path to success. I just took the path that I think taught me the most lessons made the most lasting impression. And I think that, um, you know, there's a really beautiful analogy of these four burners, and I think you probably know about this, but like you know, if you have four burners and one of them's health and one of em's family and one of them is friendship in one of them is, um, you know, work. Basically, what's gonna happen is, if you want to be successful, you have to turn one of those off. If you want to be really successful, you have to turn two of those off. And that's pretty bleak, like so basically, I turned off the friendship burner and I turned off the health burner because health wasn't really important to me. You know, I was living in my car and even, you know, scrounge up 50 cents to buy Del Taco or something like that. Embarrass exactly, eating copious amounts of government. It was like Feaster famine sort of thing, and then friendship. Like I started my career young. I kind of totally disconnected from every group of friends I have just now. I would say in the last 4 to 5 years and my learning how to be a better friend. And I'm only saying all this stuff because I want people to understand that there are riel sacrifices that are made, and that was like a very, very challenging aspect of my life that, like it's lonely out there on the road Crazy. Only no one to call because you basically burn all your relationships, nobody to rely on. I just had my girlfriend and sort of my pay my family, who was busy raising other kids and work, you know. And, uh so that was the that was the impetus. But that's but it's such a heartfelt and honest answer. I don't know anyone who's achieved. I would call world class level success without that trade off. And there's this, you know, I hear all I think I have a bog post something like It's like work life balance, like I don't I don't understand it. Yeah, I think there can be harmony, so I get some. But this, like your home, life is ringing in your work. Life is ringing, but these other two are largely dead in the water. I couldn't agree more. So if we you clearly said all of that stuff in a way that is oriented around your background in your path. Yeah, yeah, but there's a prescription there. I think if we if I'm listening to the show, are watching it. And for those people at home, most of whom are somewhere like they've they've put their toe in the water, but they haven't really committed. What's your What's your advice? Um, man, I look back on those times and they were hard, like, I look back on. Um Do you mean the reality is that there is no amount of there's no amount of suffering? I think it for something you love, Um, that in the end, is it gonna be worth it? At least for me? Like I have always felt like I could block out all of the, you know, terrible night sleeps and all the food and all the ball blonde, all the disappointments when I knew I was pursuing a path that truly, intrinsically felt like this was like I was following What? Whatever you wanna call it, You know, your your north star, you're you know, if you want to get voodoo here and call it your energetic center, whatever it is like and I I just There was something so right about that, despite everybody else telling me that it was wrong. You know, parents being one of them and doubts from relationships and this and that and even editors I had worked with and stuff. But the joy that it gave me was incredible. And I think that first and foremost I would not jump into a career like this or any creative career because because money is the first thing. Yeah, and I'll tell you what that was a hard lesson to learn was the fact that, um, I'll be totally honest. You know, I got into this career because I wanted to get in my small town. I wanted to get out of the six oclock news and the dinner table conversations. I didn't have a passport till I was 20. I didn't travel. I never left the U S. At all. Just wasn't in the cards for us income wise. And my mom made a lot of sacrifices for me when she was young. And I'm only I tell you this because I wanted to be super clear that you need a driving force bigger than collecting a paycheck and collecting stamps in your passport. If you want to do this long term for five years, yeah, you can get by with that. You could be happy for 10 years even. But there will be a point somewhere along the lines where you're gonna realize this career path or whatever this is, is not gonna be worth the sacrifice if I'm not truly fulfilling myself feeling like I'm truly giving of myself. And for me, what that North star was was that my mom, we I grew up in a single parent home is me, my mom, she on your shoes. 17. Um, everything that I've done career wise was to share those experiences with her because she never traveled. She never went anywhere. And, um and that was that still is the greatest gift that I could offer. And when I would come back from trips, it would be like I'd come back and I share this experience with her and that I'd come back and I share it with this kind of immediate group of friends doing slide shows or whatever for my surf community. Now it is. I share that with millions of people, and it's a really joy, and it's the same thing. It's the same. It's the same thing. It's just it's just changed. You know what I do with my thumbs now? instead of clicking on slides. But what I'm getting at here is that if you don't find that if you can't boil down why you do what you do into a mission statement, it feels true and honest. I just don't see it lasting or you'll end up being jaded and you'll do. This is a career path and you'll never excel above that, you know, like Oh, I got I became this and this became safe because the crazy thing about this career or any creative career and you can test for this I've heard you speak on this just about your last book, too. Um, is the fact that, like it could become mundane like anything can. It doesn't matter. Like my level of risk and what I'm capable of one of comfortable with is obviously way higher than the average person. But the reality is for me. I have to push myself into different capacities to feel like I'm growing, and this is why public speaking is a huge part of that cause it terrifies me. This is what making books on an environmental issue that terrifies me because I'm really you know, I never considered myself an environmentalist. This is why I made a Children's book yada, yada, yada and that that is critical. You know, it's not just like I'm doing a creative career path now. All of a sudden, I'm I'm on this trajectory of self growth and awareness and everything, you know. It's only waited. Answer. I'm sorry. No, that's the best. That's why we're here. OK? Don't ever apologize for this TV. They cut you off like a commercial break. I This is pure, pure gold. You talked about the North Star? That's like, literally why I wrote the book creative calling because that was amazing. Whether that is a, um, the creative part, it's actually the calling and the creative partner, actually a little bit separate. I put together in a nice, spacey little I love a book. How the very beginning like you, you know? Ah, good talk. A good book where it needs a thesis, and it needs to cut straight to the point. Like that book, like right when you open up in the first thing, you're like, OK, I get it like this is rad. Yeah, two pages in, Yeah, it's just like and it's it's It's easy reading in the best kind of way, cause you can digest it and it's actionable. And I think that there's just too much in the world nowadays. It's not actionable. I mean, I think most of the big political and environmental issues we deal with people, just they just want to shout, And you're not hearing a lot of like things you can do that are really you can put into practice. And that's important. Yeah, well, thanks for that. But that that, like what you're focus on your North Star, to me is is everything. And if you don't have that, when the way I say is when shit gets hard and it will, there's not a career, not a career path, not a line of work. Where shit doesn't get are doesn't matter how much you like it or how good you are. And it's on Lee that gut check like, Am I doing this for the right reasons that will get you through that? Are you one of those people that, like when it's not hard, you kind of make it hard? Oh, for sure. If this is the worst, you know, talking about your your like all those ways that you wanted to put yourself out there was speaking in doing books. And there is a time where you said also that anything could be mundane. And I remember I was on a shoot when we had we had, I think, 99 crew members and four helicopters. Yeah, right in, you know, And it was 30 days of shooting in New Zealand with that sentence that literally if that was the first day you ever picked up, I can't like in the beginning, there was like, This is the dream. There's nothing better there, literally, This is Apex could never get better. And I little remember, got jacking. And this is something Maybe I'm confessing in a some stuff I've never confessed before, which is like when I was like, Man, I really hope we can wrap this up because, you know, and was like not not grateful, right. But to the point that anything congee mundane and that was in this an era where I was, you know, Launch launched the photo app and Creative live and knew that I wanted to expand the footprint of what was possible for me. So in both the sense of like keeping interest are but also making it complex for yourself. Then I started like, OK, great. How can we shoot the again? I've seen this. You shoot the campaign, you direct the commercial, you're actually talent. Also, there's, you know, little you're in the US full circle. Yeah, you're in front of the camera. It's like when we think about making things complicated. And I see other people my peers like yourself do that. I'm like, I know that part of the career right there we want to make it is complex is possible. I'm a big fan of just the folks who are deep in interesting and have the, you know, the pollen maths. And they have, like, the multifaceted skill sets and it gets big portion of live looked up to you. And I love the fact that you're now doing a podcast because obviously communicating is a great talent of yours, and I think it's again for myself. It's like I forced myself into these situations where I'm like what is if this is no longer serving me, You know, if this certain type of you know creative outlet is no longer serving me. What? What would be challenging me and helping me grow? What I I I reach for that. You know, it's again. It's like the public speaking things. It's the writing thing. It's the making books. Writing a memoir now is like it's the biggest joke in my household because I'm like, I tell my wife and my publicist and everything I'm like. I don't want to write memoir there like I'm like I don't want to remember Adul. I have no desire and they're like Chris, it's not a biography. It's about a moment in life that was important to you, and I've had to come to the terms that the fact that I don't want to do it is the reason I need to do it. Because if it could benefit one young kid who felt or can relate to my experience as a youth feeling the you know, the need to validate and the need to have self worth and dealing with self worth issues, then then this is beneficial and it's it's a crazy thing and I just I really empower people to do that, like, I don't even call myself a photographer because I think that being a storyteller's all I really hope to dio and whatever skill say I need to do that is the one I want to pick up. So, so beautiful, so well put and I couldn't agree more. It's I'm doing the same thing I'm writing. I probably 150,000 words for ice for 75,000 word book. Not good. Not fast, you know, slow, hard, excruciatingly painful. But I wouldn't have, you know, traded it for the world. I wanna, um, circle back on something you just talked about with identity e. I think so much of, um our either opportunity or are limiting beliefs are tied to our identity. What we see is possible for yourselves. Yeah, and so take me through your journey. I think I got a hint there that there was some self doubt at some point. Yeah, some heritage stuff and part of, you know, telling stories and having conversations in front of the cameras and whatnot. Here is about helping people understand that they're not alone, that I think when we watched instagram lifestyle or see you on outside TV or pick up your book that everything is easy and and always has been. Yeah, I mean, it's different early. Yeah, and it's a hard one because I never I really want to be that person, like, let me, you know, sing you my sad story, how hard I had it, because I think like everybody has it hard in different ways. And I think in this day and age, it's you never know a person, you know truly until you you chat with him. But I do love the fact that I feel like given the situation that I was I grew up in and or the challenges or struggles I had, I feel pretty strongly that if I could do it, many people can do it, you know? And I wasn't born into an ideal scenario to do this again. Um, Mom had me when she was 17 years old. My biological father passed away for I was born while she was pregnant. Um, she had the very, very, very, very real Option two forego that pregnancy. But she didn't. So I've spent a large portion of my adult life of my teenage life and my youth feeling issues of self worth because I wanted Teoh I wanted to make sure that I lived up to those expectations. I mean, that's just straight out there. And the reality is, you know, it's hard because it required sacrifice on her end. You know, it's not fun to go to high school being pregnant. It's not fun to miss these. You know, these awesome epic, you know, life changing experiences, you know, as a youth going dances, and this and that because you're giving birth. So, um, I think the greatest accolade I could ever give myself in my career was that I was able to take my mom to Iceland last year, her first trip out of the country. It was, by all means, beautiful experience to be able to share. Ah, place. That means so much to me with her in a place that I love and just toe see her be a kid again, was amazing. And she's childlike in many ways because she kind of had to grow up real fast. And, um, you know, she's since married and have an amazing step down. He's Iraq and super solid and whatnot. But, um, there are some really, really hard times. I mean, it was it was bare bones for a lot of time. And I think that, um that has been my you know, beyond like, the oh, yeah, you know, lived in my car and it was hard and I struggled for this career path. I mean, it's funny because, you know, just like we talk about alpine climbing or, you know, ski, mountaineering or whatever it is like these are things you get yourself a new issue situation or it's cold, or it's hard. You're there on purpose. You're there because you want to be chose to be. Just remember this elective suffering Nobody forced you to go to the top of Everest. Nobody ever held a gun to your head and like you have to go. Okay, So the fact that it's hard is irrelevant to me in that in those regards, the fact that my career in the beginning was hard is kind of irrelevant. I chose that. I literally quit my job and quit school being like I'm gonna be uneducated, you know, I'm gonna you know, I'm gonna like work. How many poor is hell for logs? I've Yeah, but the rial deep rooted issue to me was Maurer of the cell. Fourth, the validation, Um, how you receive that, where it comes from and what you do with it, to interpret it in a healthy way, you know? And that's, I think, the rial kind of root of. I think my, um, my desire to to work hard and efficiently and fast and maybe sometimes a little too much so and maybe not smell the flowers much, But it's been a just again in the last couple years. Have I been able to kind of come to terms with this full circle reality that that I can't live with that guilt and guilt is a terrible thing, And guilt is not healthy in any capacity, and I think a lot of us carry it for some reason or the other. Whether you know, I you know, I know you're on rituals podcast. He's a he's someone who I really look up to. Her boys loved the way he's talked about, you know, alcoholism and his whole issues, and I'm just I love that honesty now, whatever it is, whatever we get into whether it's early in life for later in life, that's something that stacks up it it changes the way we decide make decisions in life and we treat people. And so that's been, I think my really Achilles heel on really one of the things that I've tried to empower others to move beyond. Yeah, you've done such a nice job of that in your tears are hard things to kind of like know that that is. And there's an element of your creativelive class where you talk about the same journey and doing things that matter to you. That's a way of developing relationship with yourself and honesty and authenticity and integrity. And, um, is there a time when you felt go back to your statement? There was no time Where you, um you know, there was no break? Lucky break. It was 1,000,000. There were. And that's thing is there were. There were blips along the way again, uh, publishing my first book, a California surf project. It was a I want a grant for the best upcoming sir photographer through a magazine surfing magazine. Yadi yada, yada. Long story. Sure, I took all that money, and instead of buying camera gear and, you know, paying for some parking tickets. Putting my tires had metal coming through. That would be great or anything else like that again. I took that money was five grand, and I put every single dollar of that into doing another project. And in doing this road trip of California, North, the south, that was hopefully going to be in a book. But we weren't talking to publishers. I have never spoken your publisher. I didn't even know what a publisher was. I had no clue. I was I was literally 21 years old, and so I spent all that money on that trip. And I think the main part of it was I think that a big part of my personal story is I've, you know, the cell four thing, but also sort of wanting validation from my peers. And when I won this grant, it was honor of Larry Flame. He was the old under surfing magazine, a portion that was like, Yeah, you get the money based upon your portfolio, your images. But we want you to write what you want to do with it. So I wrote this is what I wanted to dio. And it was challenging, not just be like, Well, I just needed you want to use this check for so many things, but I felt indebted to them toe honor them and to be like, No, I'm gonna do this. And so I did it. And even if it's unsuccessful, I'm gonna do it. And that's what I did. And I We came back and we had, you know, you know, 80,000 images or whatever it was from this trip, you know, shooting with a canon, 20 D at the time and two lenses, one borrowed traveling up and down, you know, the coast in a Volkswagen bus. Like I said, it was absolutely the most game changing thing in my career because it did get published. It was a good idea. It was a focused ideas, you know, with publishers, all they want is focused. Idea. We don't want this retrospective of your whole life and career and your thoughts and ideas. It's like, give me a book. That's about one thing, and I And that's what we had. And they loved it. Chronicle books published it. And when that came out, this was the first. And it's funny, cause I don't really think of the blips is like, Well, this was a huge success thing. It was more like I was having a little mental spark of like, Well, this was successful because of this, And you can connect the dots. Yeah, I connected the dots like, Yeah, I mean, my my, uh, my royalty for the first book was it was 5% provided to split that with a co author. And so I think we we got $9000 advancement relatives that we split. And every couple years from that, we've received, like, 1000 bucks. But again, their trip in and of itself costs more in five grand. That money went to pay for $2000 parking tickets. The bus broke down all this stuff, But when it came out that book was in Urban Outfitters. It was in Barnes and Noble. It was Costco for a period of time. I mean, it was everywhere because of a couple things. First of all, we shot it in a way, and this was, I think, the biggest I would say shift in my career and life and everything and really that trip and I want to get into this more. I think you'll really appreciate it really, To this. That trip changed my life in a couple of ways. It was the first time I wasn't working under this sort of The guys have an editor or somebody who is like telling me what to do or or saying, Hey, Chase, we'd you shoot the Trans World, you know, snow way, you know, or whatever. And it was it wasn't about feeding advertisements or feeding logos. It was about basically creating work that I knew they that was they were gonna be stoked on like like the general public, right? Basically, the people out there in the world who were going to read this and pick it up, you or anybody, right? Could could appreciate it because it was shot in a way that was timeless. We tried to basically stripped down all the logo's make this a non commercial venture, which at the time I didn't know what commercial was or it wasn't. But when the book came out, it appealed to everybody. That appeal got me in front of a lot of people. That's where my very first commercial stuff came from. I think it was like a ah winery wanted to license a tote bag for an image for a tote bag, right? And then I got a call from, like Daphnis California. Greek, and they wanted photos on the wall. But these weren't prints like, you know, Prince. For somebody, this was, like, you know, a PLP or display for like, for a shop. And my first commercial work spun off of that which was actually shooting, um, a ah, wine release for Dave Matthews because he released a wine and I traveled up enough, So that's a long story. But all I'm getting out is it? That was the catalyst, That book, that trip, that investment into a long term project that was totally fearful. I had no idea what it was gonna end up. As you know, this not that was the thing that really, I think set my my this trajectory, that okay, investing in long term projects is not a bad thing. It's actually really beneficial. Um, I developed a sense of style and persona, and I spent every day for 50 days waking up, going to bed with my camera and that 10,000 hours thing you've talked about that, too. Like the 10,000 hours rule Israel, like I had spent my 1st 10,000 hours I was with the camera, was shooting as much as I could. And I wrote an article years ago on. And I would love to get your interpretation on this road in article years ago about the importance of a road trip in a photographer's journey or a creative journey. Corey Rich, you know, Korea, Jimmy Chin or non Osterc Tim Kemple, myself, even Ansel Adams. I did the research, and I talk to these people on. Basically, every single one of our careers was drastically changed, morphed, created. What have you from a road trip from a road trip is just one way of putting it from a in depth, long shooting experience where there wasn't the distractions home of life or girlfriends or this and that. And I've often told people like, if you want to find your style, it's simple. Wake up every single day with the camera, go to sleep with the thing, shoot sunrise, shoot sunset. You you get can't be something that's just there, and you're gonna pick it up on a Monday casually and pick it up on a Thursday and there has to be an investment of time. It's muscle, and if you flex it, it comes stronger. And and I would just love to know what that is. Things I tell you, you know, my there was a handful, and they all had that same rhythm, whether it's a road trip or just a commitment to make a body of work right when I first remember, my first portfolio involved driving from, uh, Steamboat Springs where I was living at the time up to British Columbia, down West Coast, out to Death Valley. And, you know, over the course of the powder highway you have and then coming back for sure. Yeah, and shot everything from landscapes in Death Valley to surfing at Huntington to mountain, biking up in BC on one trip with the goal of making a portfolio. And it I feel like that. The focus and the depth of you think you said it best with investment like you don't you can't start reaping rewards without planting seeds right now. Yeah, and this seed planning, it's sort of like the universe is saying okay, show me this level of commitment and you I have seen in my own career and with others be curious to see what if you had any of this where you get these little like you get an opportunity while you're sitting at home, so to speak, and you might be a campaign or a gig or a p o. P. Or a license deal or whatever. But that's not that doesn't sustain. You have a little a little hires, a little buzz like someone like my work. Yeah, but there. But it's not riel until there's this massive investment on the side of the Creator, and it's almost like declaring your intention. You wouldn't feel that connection to it. You know, there would be no risk, right? So risk is obviously a buzzword these days, and it's a good one. I love it. I think that when it comes to investing into a portfolio, that's one of my favorite things to tell people, because this concept that you're just gonna sit there and put good energy out into the world, think real hard and that somebody's gonna come to be like, You know, I have a feeling that you would be interested in shooting an automotive campaign. You never done it. Never seen me work from you. But I think you're gonna be good at this. Said no one ever said no one ever. I and I use this calm in my workshops that I've taught in the past. I've come across this a lot, and we always have this funny analogy. Were like, um and I'm And this is there's nothing wrong with either of these career past, but it's always this constant, this constant question of like I'm a wedding photographer. But I really want to shoot Moto Cross. And I use this analogy because they're polar opposite. And I think it's always funny because oftentimes that's kind of what it is like. I was literally shooting senior pictures. I wanted to be out shooting, surfing, same thing, right? So how do you get from one to the other? And and here is the terrifying thing is that when you have to tell someone, I'm sure you've done this. You're like, Hey, you know that, um, consistency and that income and that steady flow in the bank account and all these niceties that you've become accustomed to from shooting this thing and doing it really well, but now you're unfulfilled, yet you're gonna have to backtrack and go back to that place where you're scraping pending off the floor. Your car. Whatever the reality is is that unless you invest in these portfolios you want to create for me, it started with automotive. I was going to Iceland, shooting surf trips from magazines. That was it, you know, making kind of pennies on the dollar editorial. You know, its more glamorous than it looks. Trust what? You see your pages in two page spread in magazine. Your lace. I got, like, 800 bucks. If you're lucky or you're like, Oh, great, yeah, like a translator. You're like, this is like, $300. Well, I slept in your car for Julia three months later. Get paid 90 days after the day. Um, Anyway, if you don't invest in those portfolios, they will never come for me. It was on on the surface, ships ice and where I was I remember 2006. I'm driving around in a minivan is the most affordable thing. We could get the time, and I've seen all these awesome just, you know, lend over defenders, jeeps and land cruisers driving around this beautiful landscape. And I was like, I was like, I have so much downtime. I want to be shooting that stuff. But they were like, six grand to rent for the week. Yeah, right back in the day when the economy collapsed and I realized I was like, Screw it in the next trip, I went there I was like, I spent the money every waking second that we weren't chasing waves or being at the beach. Whatever. I was shooting that I was shooting these cars. I was driving around, put in this spot, and I was doing so to create a portfolio that I could then put in front of an automotive client if one ever reached out for bid, that be amazing, right? But that I was proud of. And this being proud of something is so critical. It's not even just a matter of investing. It's matter investing to the point where you feel proud of it and you feel confident. And I think with aerial photography, same thing. Like I've invested hundreds thousands of dollars in aerial photography, this book will never make up for that investing, having no chance in the last three years, I finally start to get hired to shoot jobs, and I did it really cool one for a couple different brands over the last couple months. Even that we're focused on purely that. I was like, Wow, what? It wouldn't amazing thing to see and reap the benefits of that. So that investment is critical. And it is. It's actual money. Yeah, actual income money end up money in times. Yeah, it's not like we're not saying that word, like in a fake way like this is, you know, in, like, Bitcoin things. Tha Israel, right? Like, yeah. So it is that investment and some of it's just again. It's It's time. It's it's and what it is. It's time away from things that could be making you money. Yeah, which is scared is an opportunity. Casa. Yes. Yeah, I love and I think I'm am actually his wedding photography and motorcross. I'm not even kidding, like, really stole that. You know, you could analogy, though. Yeah, it's like how you literally how are you going to go from shooting one thing to the other and that transition in anybody's career? And again we're talking about photography here because it's with Chris Barker. But it's literally any creative endeavor. It doesn't matter. You go from filmmaking book writing, yeah, between any of those things, even different segments within design from illustration too graphic design or whatever. And it's so like that is another one of those truths that you really only know if you've lived it. And the, you know, the way I think about it is like you have to actually take the action because all of the thinking about it in the world is not going to get you anywhere if you You said no one is going to hire a photographer based on you thinking that you could do it if you had all the right ship putting good energy out of the world and even having the equipment that's like such a small part of you. I think now it is, you know, a backward. And I think you and I were starting out, you know, And I could only imagine, like, you know, like 10 years on me almost doing this. You've been do this forever, like renting gear was not even a thing, you know? Now what is it so easy. Like you could be like, Oh, cool. I'm gonna do this. Shoot. I'm gonna rent the gear. I'm gonna reach on, reach out online to somebody who has X vehicle or is a pilot or or is a model or whatever. And you could connect the dots like so easily. Um, and I think that, like, taking advantage of those things, you know, you she's you can watch creative life class. You could learn all about it. Like I think that that trial by fire was a big part of, I think my career. And I think I've just always been too thickheaded to realize that, like, you know, I've had to learn things the hard way. But one of the things I've really tried to empower up and comers or what not to do. And I think that one thing that we you and I share a lot is like I find I know about you and I'm just speaking for you here. But now I take it we find incredible joy in seeing the next generation find success, and I'm told just skipping my last thought here. But I just want to touch on this radically because it wasn't long ago, 10 12 years ago where the most successful photographer was the one who made themselves maybe the least attainable. You know, the more detached you are, the more sort of elusive and secretive you are about your your time and talents and how you invest in this. And that makes you sort of this. I don't have this snow leopard in some way. And I think over the last 10 years, and this is a text that I've absolutely taken from you and realizes, like it's actually been totally the opposite. The photographers, that and creatives and I'm using the word for talking That's good, director, Whatever. Who are the most valuable in this day and age are the people who seem to make themselves the most available and willing to share concepts and ideas and, um, and industry secrets and this and that. And I think that's something that I pride myself on. I think obviously the proof is in the pudding. It's why you made for your mate. Yeah, and I just I remember seeing that early on is watching, and I you got shit for it to you have talked about sure Like like I remember some of the first, like Blawg posts and videos, like sharing about like your processing height. And I was just I always I feel like now it is specifically that, like the fact that that's available to people like Please don't take it for granted, right? It's like a digital camera you can learn so fast. Now, the digital camera. Can you take a picture? And then you get the result versus having to take a picture of a film camera right down all of the settings and notes that this yeah, for when then develop your film, You know, 10 days later, right, right, and then realize that you blew it. Yeah, I know you know those days slide phone way back. Yeah, that that action over intellect, that actually taking steps and the community aspect of it. And there's a whole section of creative calling where it's basically it's about community, and I think it's the most misunderstood aspect of forging a career, both cultivating it when there isn't community and participating in it. When there is and it's been also reflect back to you. Now it's been very, very inspirational to see even on this book to hurt, like the community that you've built driving ah up the coast and having you know, totally blown out shows in these in these, you know, climbing stores and outdoor adventure places. Internet, Your mirror in Seattle, you were in Portland, you know, like that has a massive sense of community. Like you can tap into a little bit of Chris if you come to this climbing store in Boulder, Colorado. Right? And I just love the fact that when people like I just never take for granted, that's just the reality. Like I just people come and they see me. They're going to get 100%. I don't care if they want to talk about, you know, Mile Pack is being pregnant or what it was like to be stuck in a jail cell in Russia or whatever. Like I'll talk about anything. I don't care. And I think that that willingness to be open is is to be honest, it's ah, it's Ah, it's what the world needs more of its storytelling. And if you are not like, how can you call yourself a storyteller if you're not willing to tell your own story in an honest way, and for many years I struggled with that, and I'm sure as many of us have rightly so it's really challenging. It shouldn't be easy, like my ability to be open and transparent is a a learned skill that I've had to introspect and come to terms with, and I'm still not totally there like and that's OK, you don't have to have it all figured out. I don't like I don't know what the next five years will be. I don't know what the next project is kind of do, but, um, but I don't know what the next thing is and if or the next portfolio I want to invest in is, but I But I I have learned to just find joy in the process of not having it all figured out because I was very much in the beginning of my career, like what's five years out with 10 years out, you know, and then you're there and you're like, you know, I kind of enjoy what I'm doing right this second, like I love this. You don't have to see the whole staircase. You just need to see a couple steps. Yeah, just like there's something to be said for just enjoying this. Yeah. Yeah. So speaking of storytelling like, I can't just let you gloss over being in a jail cell in Russia. Yeah, I was in jail. So in Russia, how did that happen? I mean, the full. That's one of the fun ones to write about in the memoir. But yeah, it's a really simple story. Ah, but it requires time in a back story and basically, yeah, you know, I was in a point my career when I was like, I was just ready and raring. I had figured out and realised that warm tropical places weren't doing it for me. And, you know, they were ripe with WiFi and tourism. And all this stuff that I just felt like was sucking the adventure out of the photographs. And I also kind of felt like I was being used my creativity to, like, sell these places that were supposed to feel remote and wild, and they were high rise hotels. And that's kind of the back story. I started going to colder places like Iceland, Norway, pharaohs, Alaska, whatever. Russia, because I Yeah, well, because they were further from the equator. There are more remote. The chance of finding new and wild surf was was exciting. And, um, we settled on this place called Vladivostok, and we had found a contact who was, like, who? Noose a lot about it and wanted to invite us out. Um, and it was inside the CIA. Japan. It gets wind swell fairly frequently. And we planted, allowed and point here, is that basically I produced the trip. Um, and I dealt with all the visas and for everybody, for the writer, for the surfers, for myself, and every single one of them goes through this, you know, visa process with customs office right there. You know, it's getting their passport stamp on this, you know, tall, blonde Russian ladies like staring. Everybody boomed. She gets to me and I look at her and she looks at me and I look at her and I'm immediately realize there is not something is not clicking here. And she calls over comrade. And then he points at this, and I look at my visa and I realized the entry date is two days off, and I'm just like Oh, my God. Like I'm, like, no big deal. I'm already here. Whatever that turned into a six hour interrogation. My fixer Olga basically came over, was trying to help. And I could just see the sort of the joy and the hurt, the blood leaving her face and the when she had to tell me you're gonna have to stay overnight in a jail cell because the last flight to Korea just left and you're gonna be deported in 24 hours. And I was like, Okay, so I got walked from the airport hand hand. Russian guards put into a holding cell. This wasn't like a jail, Not in a prison, right? It was like a basically airport jail. It's off the premises across, and I walk into this building thrown into this room bars on the windows. The door has no handle on it. Um, there's a little bad right there. And I'm just there with my stuff. Long story short cause, um, raising story. Don't do the book. Eventually, but ultimately, like, I tried to leave all of my you know, I watched a lot of double 07 in my day, and I try to leave all my sort of, you know, all the things I thought about Russia at the door. But when the guard opened my door and his name was Igor and he had one eye and I was just like, just like somebody's got it in playing a prank on man, I'm looking for Ashton Kutcher. Like your I'm sorry. I was like and I almost got out of the jail because of they weren't creating me, treating me cruel or unusually at all. But we were I was talking to the U. S. Embassy called me. Why, if I my phone with me, I'm like, Tell me what's going on. She stressed out, My parents stressed out, and you can imagine 22 3 and newly married and halfway across the world. And now I'm like, having these feelings. If I can let my family down, I let my mom down, you know, how could I be so untrustworthy? And, um, basically, I was going to get out because they weren't gonna feed me, and they eventually fed me one am they dropped. They walk me down to this like steel tables and underneath this thing, and it likes I was like, What's about to go down, knock on the door, It's It's Igor. He's like, you know, telling me to come with me. I will tell you one thing. The absolute best part of this experience. You know, when you're young and like there's people in your life who are like, Oh, I've been there and your mom's like, Oh, well, so and so has been there. You should talk to her and they like, you know, like a foreign exchange student from So they never actually went to Russia. So this gal had their Harris. I'll never forget her name. She's like, Oh, Chris, you know, there's only three important things you need to know. One of them is this, you know? Hello. Thank you. One of them. Is this, like, how to use the back? Like, where's the bathroom? And then one of them is like something else I forget, and And, um, I'm like, OK, cool. Thanks. Heather and I remember Igor opens the door and ah, the the bathroom. Igor, you like you can't make this up. No, no, you can't make this up. I g o r and I just like I, like, saw and I was like, Oh, my God, Like the bathroom in this little cell thing was like leaking like water was leaking out of the floor. It was like, You don't even want to touch it cause it was like, you know, like, hover over the toilet. Igor opens the door. And I wasn't aware that he was about to bring me to get some food. I'm just thinking this is the end or what's gonna happen. They're gonna take my phone or they knew I was calling The embassy eventually did take my phone, but in some random attempt to, like, speak Russian like this was the moment to do that to kind of break the ice. And, like, I kind of wanted to tell him like I need to use the bathroom cause this didn't work, and I repeated what I had thought was I need to use the bathroom. She's, uh, butcher this, but was like, Coach, you please move. And, um, he looked at me with a look that I have never seen on a man's face before. And it turned out that Heather had played a practical joke on me and what she told me was I need to use the bathroom. Was I need an animal now. And so I'm sitting here with Igor and he looks at me and I'm like, I'm like, I realize in that moment I'm like, I'm just after the wrong. That's the wrong thing. And I'm all of a sudden, like, like, change of subject. I'm like, Oh, yeah, Let's go, Let's go, Let's go. Yeah. No, no food Sounds good. You know, Whatever I'm like, take me wherever you want me. Just do whatever you want. Just don't give unanimous because I think like I was bringing in all these cameras. Bloody Bostock is one of Russia's, like, main naval bases to and a lot of their warships go to basically be, you know, sit in the ocean. So you're bringing in cameras and surfboards? You, you know, huge lenses like you look like whatever. You know, the deal have been held before. Yeah, so I get deported to Korea. I go downstairs, I eat some weird soup. I have diarrhea the rest of the night. I get deported a career. I come back a day later. That's the story. Point being. I just I just want to cap this with one quick because there's a There's a real message here, and this is a part of that introspection. This is a part of that story telling is that if you live stories, but you don't ever take the time to digest why they were important. There's a beautiful speaker PICO Ire, who roots amazing books. And I saw him at Ted one time, and he always said these, like the real stories come to you when you're sitting at home and you're thinking through it because when I was in that cell, I was just pissed off. Yeah, I was pissed off that the embassy was pissed off with Lady. I was all these things I was mad about, but the truth of the matter was, there was no one to be upset about but me but at me, because I made the mistake that the dumb mistake of not looking over my visa and I was so bullheaded and just focused on what I wanted that I didn't take the time to respect these places, that I was going to to take the time to do the proper research, take the time to even double check my visa. And so when I got home, I really had the realization of like, you know, that thing they say about traveling is true. You want to travel to be a better person, but the process of being a better person doesn't just automatically happened from buying a ticket going. They're coming back. You know, if you start up Everest National, you're gonna come down the same way. Yeah, it starts before you leave your front door. The process of becoming a better person starts before you leave your front door. The act of sitting on a plane burning carbon and going somewhere and taking pictures does not make you better. And so I really had to realize that I need to pay more respect to these places I needed. Consider why I'm going there. I need to, you know, just be doing my due diligence as a storyteller. So again, long winded. Answer. Beautiful. No, no, but thats the reality. That's what. So that is a great door that I have to walk through. Like what is your why Why do you touch yourself about a storyteller which your are on a world class level? Ah, in many different media. But why do you wake up and do this every day? I think it's changed over the years. You know, there was a time when it was more simple. It was like I want inspire people to travel and see the world because traveling is what has made me who I am today. And I absolutely feel like I would be a worse person if I didn't have that. It was my education. It was my first love. It was my outlet. It was the thing that I would go to during hard times. I would even use it as an escape is a drug. I think understanding new cultures and people and filtering through my lens was a huge part of that. But that's still very true. But it's changed. I think the beauty of a mission statement is that it can change. Um, and I think the one beautiful thing about mission statements, if you don't know what that client magazine boss, um, it's a mission statement is you will never work for them. Like I've always told students, I'm like, I sit in these classrooms and I'm like, if you wanna work for not Geo, raise your hand, Every raise their hand. What is their mission statement? Nobody can answer it. I'd like to inspire people to care about the planet, all of everything they do lives with under this umbrella. And if you don't understand that, if you haven't done the time to do the research, like, why would you want to work for somebody to understand? And it's such a true thing. And I think for myself I'm constantly re asking myself that why and nowadays I think it's evolved into something more personal, like I really want to tell stories that are often about issues that I have or struggles that I've dealt with, um, through a lens that feels approachable, safe and inspiring. And my newest project, which is a story about a friend of mine, Ellie Thor. He's a dad. Um, he's an Icelander who ah, basically right around 20 had a near death experience. Kayaking got sucked behind a waterfall and almost died hypothermic, blacked out. Woke up 1/2 mile down this river, and, um, it's a story about him raising a daughter and dealing with risk and parenting and raising your kids in a way that inspires them to be live the biggest life that they can. And it's a story about something that I fear and think about every damn day, you know? And I think in many ways it's easier to tell a story through the perspective of somebody else than it is you and you. So we just actually, that's a short film. It's gonna be free. We just submitted it Tribeca and got accepted premiere in TriBeCa That's used. Oh, yeah, and it's like I mean, I watch it. I ball my eyes out like huge. So I mean, this is a foray into a world I've never explored. And so I think that just like just like your work, my work, it changes. We evolve, the things we care about evolve as you have kids and you you deal with these internal issues and you want to share those issues of the world. I think that I change that mission statement from time to time, and I wanted to grow with me. So that's a brilliant answer. Also, don't think that that is common knowledge. I think that people's your North star will change and evolve in right. I've always looked at the folks who had the same North Star is like. Should I be more like that? Because that just seems so consistent. And then I go back to that thing and there was a time where I was like, just doing commercial access ports photography. It's like their people to my left and Emma write them and do this for 35 years. And I'm like, Wow, I need to do something different and that allowing yourself to change and grow and focus on new things is actually part of the To me, that's part of the magic. Oh, totally. And And one thing I want to say about that, too, because I see that a lot within the surf world that I was a part of is like there's a lot of guys who were shooting this, Um, they're lifers. You know that the students for a career forever, and I want to make sure that the world knows there's nothing wrong at all. There's nothing wrong with your on the sidelines of the MBA and you're shooting and you've been doing it for 40 years. Badass like you're a legend like Wilshire. Everybody in the whole universe knows your name, and I think the reality is like for you and I and I think many of our circle of friends, whether it's like, you know, Corey or run on or those people, um, photography and or creative outlets. They've always kind of been that, like, This is what I do to get out of my comfort zone and grow and learn. And so for a lot of people who are maybe doing that as lifers like, that's their career and the things that they do to grow and learn. And this night, that could just be totally something else that you don't know about. You know? Sure. And that's rad. You know, you look a like again. There's people I know who are like their world class climber, you know, and that's what they do to, like, push themselves this and that. But you know, commercial work. Or, you know, being a DP like That's just kind of the career path. And I think I think it's more about what how you you sort of use those things. I think at times in my life, I've kind of shifted to be like I'm just gonna like fall back on. This is the career thing. And, like, go through the motions. But on the side, I'm doing something else. I did like a you know, six years ago, my wife convinced me to do yoga teacher training, which I was like, This is ridiculous because I don't ever want to teach yoga, But that was something that helped me access a deeper part of myself. So that during that period of time that sufficed, You know, having kids for people during a period of time that can suffices that crazy everything. Yeah. It's just a matter of not losing it, you know? And in whatever capacity it serves you. So you've already give us a couple of hints with respect to what's next? You get a memoir. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, film Rebecca. That's hugely site. I really want to send you a screen or to toe, like, check it out because it would be really funny. Your take. Oh, I'd give a lamp like you're not leaving here. Now that I know possible, I'm gonna gonna, uh, pull the spark plug. Got your back. Um, but so those air are huge things. What about, um, within the world? of photography. Yeah. You know, within the world of photography, Um, I don't really have any thing that I'm like, you know, if if I'm being honest, there's a lot of times where I feel I get a little sad, you know, I see, like, a lot of these, like, action sports photo contests. And I'm like, Damn, you know, I haven't shot anything. That signal. Look, you know what? I did this amazing, amazing, incredible, You know, job for this Fortune 500 fruit company, if you know I'm talking about But nobody's ever gonna see that or know that my name was on it for sure. So that's like a little It's a little challenging, you know, at times to be like, you know, I mean, it's ego. I'm just transparently This is ego. And I'm sure you've seen your photos on the cover of magazines, and you know that pays you 1000 bucks, and you just made $10,000 a day for 20. But there's some part of you. There's some deep part of you that's like no one's ever gonna nobody cares. Nobody cares that you shot the campaign for the you know, the Amazon, this mike or the Toyota just like it's hard because, um, I again like with the personal projects I look forward to, like, kind of having one hair brained idea that that I bring to life every couple years I think of you to and that's a That's a challenge. You know, I get sad a little bit. I flip through the magazines. I don't see, Um I don't see my name there. Ah, lot and or I, you know, look at these contests. I don't but so every couple of years, I in addition to kind of a personal project or whatever, I try to do something that's like back to kind of my roots or my core. I just got back from a trip to the Illusion Islands about two weeks ago. That was a place that when I went there originally, six years ago, it changed my career. Was this beautiful volcano in the Surfer and talk about the ends of the earth searching for perfect waves, which, to be honest, a work like this like advocating for Iceland's environmental, you know, spaces is way, way better and something way more honest and real on an actionable, but the ego part of me wants toe like still have a little thread in the surf world or in the climbing world or in the ski world, I'd like for you There's gotta be some years like same thing, a ton of ego run that when you decide to like and for my lens was like trying to fry ultimately away bigger fish in terms of potential impact and opportunity and certainly interest for me when you that's, you know, reference that earlier point I made about, you know, flying Ah 100 people into the New Zealand you have? Yeah, literally. There's a schedule for helicopters moving back and forth between locations. This is the penultimate. There's no, you know, there is no higher, better place to go on your career path, and then you're already thinking about the next thing. And that's part of to me this, whether it's growth or change or whatever it is that we're managing. I love that you cower student you because there was a huge, you know, probably window of five years, where that was like that heartstrings, usedto walking by any magazine rack and seeing five of your images on the on the on the front of those magazines. Yeah, yeah. Such an ego trip it is. I mean, I'm sure you have a bit of this to like, you know, you ST Stephen's past lot, right? That was Jay. Yeah, I'm sure you think like there's days where you'll be like a man. It's like a fresh powder. There's had two feet of fresh shelling Mountain like that used to be like I'm packing up, I'm going. I'll be there the night before ball. That was your life, for sure. And now you're like, Well, I've got this conference call and I got this meeting and like, it's same thing for me. It's like for me to go to the beach sometimes, like, not only tried to clear my schedule, life, too. Pay my my office manager to clear my schedule. Then that puts all those people out. And I'm like, kind of burning all those relationships and then available. And I just for me just to go like, you know, go to the beach, take color. Pictures like that sounds so on trivial, but it's like there's a part of that that I need that calls me. There's a part of that that, like, I don't and I there's that struggle in there. Sure, for you. It's like a similar thing. You're in Seattle sitting here. I am not a tech CEO by any classes right now. Just look at me. Listen like a fun. Yeah, there's is very weird. And when I'm in those environments, why, I may have done those things like I don't Those are not my people and bad people. They're just not the people that I'm like aligned with emotionally, spiritually from a values perspective. And those continuing to and I also had a certain amount of pride than I can recognize this in you and being able to, you know, step outside of the mold of what are you what you think a fill in the blank is? Um, it's really inspirational here about your TriBeCa project. Thanks. So, so, so cool. While these they're just they're adjacent. Like that's a whole other world to We watched our friend Jimmy you with three solo. And you know, that is just an epic outcome when I think it's a byproduct of seeing all these people making great work. That still, um, it speaks to their core who they are. Obviously, um, you know, Maru free solo. What? Not a lot of all renounce films to, you know, in this not in Cory's book to is me book thing. Um, just amazing. And I think for me, what I realize is that there's growth I need, which is the advancement of storytelling in mawr. Deep, meaningful ways. There's growth I need internally, which is like, I need to get some things off my chest. And I need to address something that I fear and think about every day, Um, and put it into a good story. And then also, this is a healing thing for my friend. My one of my best friends. Yeah. Ellie, which he, um when we shot this film, we went back to the waterfall. He hadn't been there in he had been there in 12 years hoof, and we're sitting there were filming this, and it's all very real. Like, were there. He's staring at this thing, and he's like, you know, I got sucked under here, you know, and I've got washed out through here, and he's looking through this river, and there's just like, you know, you can see the emotion, his eyes. I'm like, This is why you do this because it's healing for him. It's healing for me, like somebody's gonna watch that they're gonna care deeply. They're gonna understand, You know, he's got this incredible daughter who he's like given up so much for two to raise and raise well and and make sacrifices so she can have been made. And I'm just like, this is what the world needs and he's a surfer. And so there's still this this slight connection to this core audience because to me, it's this access point like I'm this stretch dinner. This is for everybody. But how much cooler can it be when you know there's a core audience that you're a part of growing up being a server being at the beach, what not and being able to give that kind of gift to them to be like, Hey, guys or gals or moms or dads or anybody, okay, Like he's still doing what he loves you. Despite these fears, despite these responsibilities, he's made making it happen while making these sacrifices, and that's kind of it. And I think that again, um, you know the thing about it is like it doesn't matter if people know the whole ending or the crescendo or whatever. It's more about the visuals that was created. But I just hope to do more of that in the end. And I think that, you know, as you work on more films and projects, you kind of like, Well, people need to care about the character Character development is so huge, and I really aspire Teoh to create meaningful characters, and that's just like a huge part of it. But yeah, well, you have done that. Yeah, like in spades over your career and this new area of opportunity and expression and ah, a congratulations. Super excited to be, in case you are, uh, curious. It's at glaciers and available only that your Yeah, right now. Well, I find distribution early next year, but right now it's all available through our shop in this. Oh, cool. That's the best line. But I've ever worked on. It's been amazing. I'm really humbled to put it out. And then, ah, coordinates on the Internet. You're at CRISPR crowd and instagram millions of followers. Where else What's the best place? Toe? The girls were them, you know, just a Google search and some stuff pops up. Uh, yeah. There's a film I made on Arctic sky. That's a really fun product about, you know, trying to do hard things with your friends living from them, you know, like everything. And yeah, I guess. Ah, if you want to really know more about my story and look for my memoir, it's gonna be called the Hard way Home. And it's gonna be on 2021 I believe through Abrams. Wow. How's the project going? So far, no con. Never tried more comment there. We know how hard that is. Uh, you also have a cross on CREATIVELIVE for anyone who's interested is amazing door class. I need update because I feel like a lot of things have changed. I needed I needed All right, team about that done. We'll figure that out as a part of our post interview conversation here. Thanks. All for tuning in, uh, at wherever you are in your car running your commute. Sitting at your desk is round of applause from a man here. Mr Chris Barker. Thanks for show, but I appreciate you, man. Everybody see tomorrow
Ratings and Reviews
One of the best interviews to date. Thank for sharing your insight Chris and Chase. It's really nice to hear honest feedback about the process and the journey.
Great interview. Thanks for be so transparent and speaking your truth.