Destinationbetween with Christa Funk
First off, what do you do?
I’m a photographer.
You live a life pretty much always moving. What does home mean for you?
Home is where my family is. It’s where I don’t have to be anything other than myself.
When you're on the road there’s always so many temptations. Do you have any tips on how to focus when you need to get the boring stuff done?
Sleep less, sometimes you have to not get as much rest as other people on the trip to get the job done. If people are taking naps, you can sneak in work during those moments too.What do you always bring on your travels?
A rock carved and polished into the shape of a heart that my Dad gave me. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and died in 2019. Taking the heart with me feels like he’s part of my adventures.
What would you tell yourself as a teenager?
Your Dad is right about you applying for a military academy; stop wasting your energy fighting him about it. Your Mom is right about you holding off on Photojournalism and getting a science degree first. Your parents hit the nail on the head by helping you sort out what to do with your life; photojournalism or marine science. You’ll be using every hour, every lap, and every distance set from swim team in the best way possible. Don’t worry you’ll be setting yourself up to be in the ocean almost every day and shooting photos; you’re taking the long road but you’ll get there.
Which is your favourite destination?
I can’t say, I’m sworn to secrecy.What would you tell people who would like to follow your path?
Buckle up and put your nose to the grindstone. Photography is hard to make a living at, it’s possible but don’t go into it halfway.
Have you studied?
Yes. I studied and graduated with a degree from the Coast Guard Academy in Marine Environmental Science.
What was your first job?
Lifeguarding at the local pool.
Which stuff brings creativity to you?
Reading. I think it’s the best way to exercise your imagination. I try to pull ideas or thoughts from books and apply them to photography.
Do you have any packing tricks that you use while always on the move?
Don’t pretend like you don’t need a list. Write everything down a few days before a trip and add or takeaway items as needed. Which is advice I fully did not follow for my current trip. I think I had about 5 working lists by the time I got to the end of it.How does your average bag look when going to the beach?
Depends on what I’m doing. For starters, I always have a suit, towel and sunscreen. If I’m shooting surf I’ll have my housing, helmet, wetsuit (2mm or spring suit), and fins. If it’s going to be a long day, I’ll put together a Ziploc bag to stuff in my suit that includes spare contacts, sunscreen face stick, neck rash cream, 2 cliff bars, and extra wingnuts. Trust me, it all fits. For diving I’ll have my housing, mask, fins, snorkel, dive suit, weight belt, dive knife, booties, gloves, and towel.
What was the first camera you started shooting with?
A borrowed Canon Eos Elan II 35mm. Once my Dad knew photography wasn’t a passing fad, he got me a used Canon Eos Rebel 2000.
How do you decide that swimming through impact zones with your camera is what you want to do for a living?
I love it. The adrenaline that you get from scary situations where you don’t wind up hurt is addictive. There’s also that feeling of working in nature when everything comes together and it’s so flipping satisfying. Also, it combines all of my passions: swimming, shooting, and the ocean.Do you have a travel workout that keeps you fit while traveling from place to place?
Yes! I’m an avid Jazzerciser (kidding). I’ve been honing my travel workout since I was in the Coast Guard. Working out kept me sane through a lot of wild situations and it helps me focus my thoughts. Since I always have a tendency to pack heavy, I keep my gear simple with a pair of running shoes. Once I get the schedule down for a job, I’ll fit workouts in where they make sense.
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