Following His Camera and His Heart
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Alaska, Peru, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, the Colorado Rockies, and everywhere in between. CS5 alum Luke Konarzewski has built a life of rambling and photography following his camera, and his heart. Found most often camping, kayaking, climbing, or in a bush plane, we caught up with Luke on a rare quiet day between adventures and asked him to catch us up on his photography and future travel plans. Here is his response in his own words.

“I made a decision sometime around the time I attended Conserve School (CS5) that Alaska was the place I needed to be. Little did I realize at the time that this passion for our 49th state would lead to a growing interest in photography. Graduating high school early, buying a van, putting a bed in it and driving to Alaska was my recipe.

When I first started travelling, I backpacked and climbed mountains without a camera; leaving the moments purely in my mind. The way I thought they should be. It wasn’t until Alex Demets (also a CS5 alum) hitchhiked North and pushed photography on me that I started capturing, in photos, the places I was exploring. In exchange for a ride down to Colorado, after my first summer in Alaska, Alex gifted me my first digital camera and his knowledge of photo composition. Soon I became obsessed with capturing the grand places I was visiting.

Being what I call ‘out there’ is the reason I do what I do. All worries are left at the trailhead or road. One gets into such a routine that nothing else seems to matter, besides your next meal. These ‘out there’ places force one to be more present than ever and is always where I’d rather be.

Social media, a platform which never previously interested me, has now allowed me to expand my photography endeavors in many ways. Upon posting my photos on Instagram (@lukekonarzewski) and gaining an ever-growing audience I’ve found it a wonderful avenue for connecting with like-minded individuals, content creation, as well as pursuing photography as a profession.

Recently I’ve reduced my life to a single backpack. Presently, I’m writing these words from my Dad’s cabin in northern Wisconsin, and tomorrow hitting the road, heading to the Southwest for the next month and a half. In early 2019 I’ll be exploring Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America, chasing the days and places that define everything for me.”

(To keep up with Luke’s photography and travels, follow him on Instagram @Lukekonarzewski)

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK

Denali National Park, AK


Napali Coast, Hawaii