Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meet: Bob Burkhardt

Meet photographer Bob Burkhardt.

Many years ago Bob and I were colleagues in corporate America. We both longed for something more, that dream of doing what you truly love.

Bob made it happen.

My personal favorites in Bob's body of work are the stark and quietly intense photographs he took in his childhood home before it was put up for sale. I find the images so packed with emotional I wanted to know more about them.

Changes    (c) Bob Burkhardt
Home   (c) Bob Burkhardt

Q. Tell me about the images in your childhood home.
I was an only child. My mom died about 10 yrs ago and when my dad passed it fell to me to get the house prepared for sell. It was always a lonely trip returning to an empty house. On my last trip a friend suggested I photograph the house as a way of processing my feelings. After looking at the photos I was surprised how many people felt the emotional impact of the images without knowing the story behind them.

Sunday Dinner    (c) Bob Burkhardt

Q. How do you describe your work to people?
I think of my work being fairly minimalist. Whether shooting a landscape or a figure I strive for simplicity in my work. I’m often told my work brings about a certain serenity. This is not something I seek out when shooting but more of an end result. My graphic design background draws me to create clean, crisp imagery. Light, and the way it interacts with a subject, fascinates me. My focus is on details, whether capturing a mood or following that alluring trace of light as it disappears sensuously down a subject’s back.

Late Arrival    (c) Bob Burkhardt
(I am lucky enough to own a print of this one)

Q. What led you to the work you do today?
I would have to say my career in graphic design brought me here. Graphics certainly influenced my sense of design. Graphics afforded me the opportunity to work with other photographers images and honed my preferences. 

Q. How did creativity emerge in your life?
I was an only child and would entertain myself as a child by drawing. Its a place where I excelled.

Q. What is the source of your inspiration?
I’m inspired by all that I see and by other artist’s work. For me, photography is about capturing the moment in time... showing the world what I see through my eyes.

Q. What are a few of your own favorite pieces and why?
I’m most pleased with fine art work shot in Piedmont Park and Provincetown, MA. The land and seascapes resonate with me because I love the park and P'town. I also enjoy my more recent exploration into portrait work. I enjoy learning studio lighting and working with the human form. At times feel I’m giving the subject a gift by showing them their inner spirit and often how they do not see themselves.

Windswept   (c) Bob Burkhardt
Pentimento   (c) Bob Burkhardt

Q. When people see your work, what will they know about you?
Hopefully they will see how my eye sees the world and feel the emotion I’m trying to express in the photo.

Kristen   (c) Bob Burkhardt
Q. What other creative outlets do you have?
Music, film, dance and theater.

Q. Who are your favorite artists?
George Hurrell, John Todaro, Maya Guez and Todd Hido 

Tangerine Dream   (c) Bob Burkhardt

Q. What music is moving you these days, and why?
Patty Griffin, Shelby Lynne and Lizz Wright are favorites of mine. They speak to my southern roots and their music speaks to my soul. Its about their voice and not about the production.

Q. What are a few of your favorite things?
A clear, bright day; a small child waddling down the street and people in love.

Q. What would you want for your last meal?
Lasagna and banana cream pie

Destination   (c) Bob Burkhardt 
Q. Any advice for people trying to follow their dreams?
Pay attention to what drives you. Life is short... tune into your dreams sooner than later.

Q. Where can we find you online?
The PBJ Gallery website

Thank you for sharing your work and your thoughts with us Bob. Beautiful.

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