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Chris Bickford: The churning water of the Atlantic ocean and the perilous grind of photo theft

by | Jan 11, 2019 | 0 comments

I’ve known Chris Bickford for a very long time —  since he was my roommate in college, in fact. Of the many things I learned at the University of Virginia, one of my foremost discoveries was that Chris had an incredible eye for beauty. It was also not lost on me that he excelled in nearly every creative pursuit he tackled. Music … check. Painting … check.

Photography … well you guessed it, X marks the spot.

Last year he dropped by my house with a gift. In one hand, he had an autographed conch shell. In the other, he held his book, Legends of the Sandbar. Two men who grew up idolizing Jerry Lopez had a lot to catch up on.

In this interview,  Chris takes us deep inside the swells of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We meet surfing legends, a drill instructor from Blackwater, and learn how a stolen photo takes on an unintended transformational identity. 

The NY Times calls Legends a “book of fantastical images that make you feel as if you are in the tumult of the raging ocean.”  

Chris says, “Turned on by the rawness of it all, I borrowed my father’s old Nikon FM2 and started photographing the dunes, the ocean and the ever-changing sky. It wasn’t until I started paying attention to the way the light danced upon, around, and through the sand-dunes and clouds and white-caps and fields of sea-grass on this wild Atlantic outpost, did the potential of photography as a medium for seeing the world and exploring the world really hit home.”


About Chris: Chris recently left the beach for country music.  He is a freelance photographer and writer, currently located in Nashville, Tennessee. His photography has been featured by New York Times, National Geographic, NPR, Time Magazine, Captain Morgan Rum, The Grand Ole Opry, Milepost Magazine, Carnival Music Company, and various international publications. 

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