Born in 1962 in Johannesburg, Kirchhoff spend his early years in Norway and Massachusetts before returning to Johannesburg to complete his schooling.
He studied Land Surveying at Wits University, and spent 14 months working in Antarctica as both a meteorologist and surveyor. He spent many happy hours taking photographs and working in the base darkroom. He has spent the last ten years in private practice as a land surveyor and whenever possible travelling. Over the last three years he has become fascinated by ceremonies and celebration. His photographic endeavours have concentrated on trying in some small way to record the joy, beauty and passion expressed by the celebrants.
His photographic philosophy is best expressed by Sheng-Yen a Ch'en Master:
"Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go it's own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you there. "
Month Of Photography 2002
Fragments of Travel - a photographic exhibition of Architecture and celebration (Hugh Fraser and Chris Kirshhoff), June 2002