Chris Walker: Photographer and Professor

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BY KARI HAAVERSEN kari.haaversen@go.mnstate.edu

“What do I love about photography? Everything.”

-Chris Walker

Meet Chris Walker, an MSUM photography professor. While you can find him in the classroom teaching students the fundamentals of photography and film, you are more likely to find him on the road looking for inspiration. With several road trips under his belt, he has quite a portfolio of work to show for them. Whether it be a photography series or a short film, Walker takes his passion outside of teaching.

The First Shoot

Walker using a wooden field camera, his favorite camera

Entering college, Walker was initially attending for biology.

“I would go on hikes to the old apple orchard—I mean not real hikes, but I would walk a couple hundred yards and eat my lunch outside,” he said. “I would just observe the birds and the way they built their nests, and it always intrigued me, so I considered it for a profession.”

Once he picked up a camera at the age of 19, he decided he wanted to focus his energy into this newfound passion.

“The only humanities class that I could take was theater,” he shared. “They needed pictures of old tombstones for the show, and they asked me to do it.”

Following this introduction into photography, he learned he had a knack for it.

From Photographer to Professor

Walker had been told he was a talented public speaker in high school.

“Many people told me I should consider becoming a teacher,” he said.

While he did enjoy many of his undergraduate professors, there were many he disliked.

“I decided to become a professor because I wanted to counterbalance the professors I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to be that professor the students could come to for anything.”

Walker also enjoys the learning aspect of photography.

“Photography is a documentation of views,” he shared. “It’s explorative, and there are endless emotions that can be captured.”

“My favorite part of my job is seeing the lightbulb go on, seeing the understanding and growth in my students.”

-Chris Walker

On The Road

Walker still appreciates the outdoors and can be found enjoying the view during road trips.

“If you count day trips, I have been on hundreds of road trips for shoots,” he said. In July of 2018, Walker took a road trip to Montana. This road trip quickly became his most memorable. While in Montana, Walker shot a fair portrait series.

“I met so many interesting people, and I love shooting them in their element,” he said. “It was my favorite photography series I have ever shot. It was artistically and culturally important to me, and it showed these young people on the brink of adulthood just enjoying themselves.”

Passion

When asked what his favorite part of photography is, Walker simply stated: everything.

“It is such a wonderful thing you can engage in,” he said. “All of these elements come into one, creating something so complex but so simple.”

Whether it be digital or film photography, Walker has a love for both.

“It’s all about the sharing of stories and ideas. It is such an amazing thing.”

Chris Walker

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