Fresh off of an assignment, he tentatively made his way through a checklist. With a friendly demeanor and calming presence he visited his colleagues, as old friends do. His intricately inked arms revealed stories untold with each tattoo beneath his neatly rolled uniform sleeves. With hazel eyes, he processed each story as he listened to its thoughts and goals.

Muralist, painter, street artist and 315th Airlift Wing Reservist, Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg, combat photojournalist with the 4th Combat Camera Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, used his creative talent and public affairs training to win 2018 Air Force Photographer of the Year and first place in the 2018 Military Visual Awards portrait category.

“On a daily basis we are involved with creativity, adventure and challenge,” Lundborg said.

At a young age, Lundborg began developing his talent through murals and street art that at times brought a little trouble, so he turned to boxing as a creative outlet. These two outlets led him to a crossroads when it came time to choose between a career in art or fighting. Lundborg found that way through the Air Force.

“Corban is tenacious,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Herrick, 4 CTCS combat photojournalism superintendent. “He wants to grow and find a way to expand his capabilities and contributions.”

Lundborg’s active duty Air Force career in logistics led him to Korea where he was able to reignite his dream to be a full-time artist through an apprenticeship at a local tattoo parlor where his creativity flourished.

Lundborg said, “I find peace and fulfillment in creativity.”

Soon after returning to the states, Lundborg was able to combine his passion for art through his military career at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station, Minnesota as a photojournalist.

“Lundborg is extremely talented, selfless and quite the servant-leader,” Herrick said.

In Minneapolis, Lundborg reached out to his community as an educator to inner city teens.

“The classroom was my new found joy and the objective of my class was to engage, inspire and change each student’s life,” Lundborg said. “I aim to help them find their identity and their voice through the arts and pull out the greatness already within them.”

Through various combat camera projects, Lundborg found his voice at JB Charleston where his imagery contributed to every mission accomplished.

“Staff Sgt. Lundborg’s imagery wasn’t just utilized at the tactical and operational levels,” said Maj. Meg Harper, 4 CTCS flight commander. “It ended up having strategic impact as well.”

“Lundborg’s work often went straight to the four-star commanding general while overseas,” Harper said. “His talent strengthened the Air Force mission through on-target, high quality photos.”

“I consider Lundborg an absolute key to our combat camera mission,” Harper added.

As a key Citizen Airman, Lundborg brought his talents to the battlefield for a purpose.

“I believe each person’s life is an intelligently placed brushstroke on a large canvas intentionally placed by the creator for a larger purpose,” Lundborg said. “Each day I have really been living a dream.”

Lundborg now lives his dream as a founder of COLD studio and CALM Collective Productions Company in North Hollywood, California while serving at the 315th Airlift Wing, JB Charleston.

All in all, Lundborg has risen above life’s challenges to provide excellence in all he does by bridging the gap between the artist and the Airman.

“When facing a challenge, I would encourage others to seek the opportunity in the difficulty,” said Lundborg. “Hard times are just a foundation to greatness.”