From New Zealand and Australia to the Dominican Republic and Vietnam, freelance adventure photographer, Taylor Burk has travelled all over the world. In 2013, Burk began documenting his travels on Instagram where he quickly gained a following. With over 370,000 followers and a stunning portfolio to boot, Burk is one of Canada’s top travel Instagrammers. When he’s not traversing the globe, Burk keeps busy exploring his new hometown. Read on for details about Burk’s dream-worthy career and his Vancouver must-do’s.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a freelance travel and landscape photographer. Ever since I was young I had a fascination for travel, this then led to a career in photography. The end goal with my images is to encourage others to enjoy the natural world around us and help create a passion for environmental respect.
Was there someone or something in particular that inspired you to pick up a camera and start shooting?
It started with Instagram, as weird as that sounds. I used to be against social media, I didn’t have Facebook or any other apps, I wanted to spend as little time online as possible. One day a friend told me about Instagram, it ended up being a great place to share photos of my travels with my friends! From there my passion for photography started and it grew to the point where I had companies reach out wanting me to shoot for them after they saw my images through the app. I had so much photography work coming in that I couldn’t take any more holiday time from my full-time job as a plumber, to shoot for my clients. I’ve always liked to try new things and take risks so I decided to end my apprenticeship, quit my job and start my own business!
Where did you learn photography?
Lots of trial and error, learning from other photographers, watching online tutorials, asking questions and reading books. With anything, if you push yourself and want to learn, you will succeed.
What is one of your most memorable travelling experiences?
On a recent trip to Jordan a friend and I were 45 minutes deep into a canyon, we were swimming near a waterfall then decided to climb up the canyon wall for a better view. We were pretty high up when my friend reached around the corner to grab a rock but his hand unexpectedly went through a giant, 6-foot tall hornets nest instead. Instantly hundreds of giant hornets swarmed us! We tried to climb down as fast as possible while literally covered in hornets who were stinging us and biting chunks out of our skin. I had 19 bites and stings total from head to toe. We hiked back out to the desert in the middle of nowhere and eventually got to a hospital, which was a little sketchy. Thankfully neither of us are allergic to bees and we walked out with only minor injuries, it was quite the experience, type two fun at its best.
As far as memorable landscapes, I’m in love with BC. I always love coming back here. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to see so much of the province. BC blows my mind. I just want to see it all. I’m looking forward to spending more time at home and seeing as much as I can. I’m so happy to live here! BC is by far my favourite place.
What was your first impression of Vancouver?
Everyone is so active and people spend a lot of time outdoors here. I moved to Vancouver at the beginning of 2016, I was drawn out here because of the outdoor lifestyle. You have everything you could ever need, you’re only minutes away from the ocean and mountains. You can even get to trail heads by public transportation – everything is so accessible and it’s right at your doorstep.
What is your favourite thing to do in Vancouver?
I love walking over to different beaches to watch the sunrise and sunset, it is such a treat to have so many beaches and parks near by.
Have you come across any hidden gems in the city?
I wouldn’t really call it a hidden gem but I highly recommend going to wreck beach for sunrise. There is a good chance that you will be the only one out there and it feels like you’re far away from the city even though it is just around the corner. Keep an eye out for seals!
What are your favourite Vancouver eats?
The spot I frequent the most is Chronic Tacos, they make the best burritos. I also really enjoy The Naam, Cartem’s, The Birds & The Beets, and Postmark Brewery.
What would you recommend to someone seeking an outdoor Vancouver adventure?
Kayaking up the Indian Arm to Granite Falls out of Deep Cove. There are a few campsites out there where you can spent the night falling asleep to the sound of nature while still only being a short distance away from the city. Another recommendation would be St. Mark’s Summit, it offers a beautiful view of Howe Sound.
What are the top items on your bucket list?
To ski, kayak and surf in one day, which you could easily do here. You could ski down Cypress, Kayak to Horseshoe Bay, catch a ferry and head over to Tofino to surf! Another would be a helicopter tour over the city and surrounding mountains.
Follow Taylor Burk on Instagram, @taylormichaelburk
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