Gerard Burkhart, a photojournalist whose work was published in Newsweek, U.S News, World Report, USA Today, Washington Post, People, Der Spiegel, gave Cougar News an exclusive interview about himself, his photojournalism career, and what inspired him to come to teach to College of the Canyons.
“I worked as the professional photojournalist here at Los Angeles since about 1989,” Burkhart said. “I was a part of Los Angeles Times Freelance Nation as we called it.” As the Los Angeles Time photographer, his photos were a part of three Pulitzer Prize winning group entries. During his career, he covered 11 Academy Awards ceremonies with Agence France Presse.
He started his career in college in late 70’s, “I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, like some college students; and I walked into the college newspaper newsroom and they had cameras to lend students, while talented photographers who could teach everyone.”
About his inspiration and artistic role, Gerard says that he is “a photo generalist.”
“I really like shooting everything, shared Burkhart with Cougar News. “Generally I really like people-related stories. I love doing portraits because you always meet interesting people and have great conversations.” He also likes the idea of being a cultural anthropologist where the photographer captures the moment how people act and interact in a particular place.
Professor Burkhart teaches photojournalism classes at Santa Monica College; and now, COC students have a chance to take his classes at College of the Canyons. “This is my first semester at COC,” Burkhart said. “The thing I’m impressed with at this college is that students are really getting a technical and artistic education here. COC prepares students to be excellent photographers a good business people.”