Burdette was born and educated in North Dakota receiving a BA in Theater Arts from the University of North Dakota. He developed an early interest in photography through his father, an inveterate and prolific family picture taker. That interest was cemented in 1964 when he sold two nature slides to the North Dakota State Travel Department. In college at the University of North Dakota, Burdette did yearbook photography for the Journalism Department, learned processing and darkroom basics doing work-study at the University News Bureau and was mentored in photography by a commercial photographer and an award-winning photojournalist while pursuing first a pre-med degree and ultimately a degree in Theatre Arts. A brief invitational stint with the U.S. Army got him to Texas where he managed and owned live theaters over fourteen years in both San Antonio and Austin.

During more than two decades directing and producing live theater, Burdette incorporated photography—doing publicity and production photography for his own and other theaters. His first formal gallery show was in 1980 at a San Antonio gallery and for thirty years a sculptural piece of his has graced the Sculpture Garden at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

In 1982, he took his act on the road with one-man theater performances. Frankly, B. Franklin was his first foray into the exhilarating realm of solo performance and his first in-depth exposure to Ben Franklin. In 1985 he wrote and began performing a second solo show, Shakespeare Live! –resulting in him traveling with two alter-egos, Ben and Will—Benjamin Franklin and William Shakespeare—not bad company.

Since 1990 he has been living in the Adirondacks with the wife he met through the amorous influence of Saranac Lake's Pendragon Theater, and since 2001 has enthusiastically resumed a decades long devotion to photography. However, Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday was too momentous to resist and in 2005 Mr. Parks happily renewed his acquaintance with the good Doctor by writing a new show, Benjamin Franklin, Printer Etc., and slipping comfortably into a freshly imagined, re-invigorated characterization which took him around the country for a couple more years after-which Ben was again quietly retired to a theatrical trunk.

The shift from film to digital photography happened for Burdette in 2001 and he has been diligently working to keep pace with this rapidly advancing technology ever since. Specializing in fine-art landscape/nature work, he has had work showcased in numerous juried shows in the Adirondack region (photographs of his were awarded Best of Show in ACNA's 2009 Cover Art competition, an Honorable Mention in their 2011 show and most recently First Place in LPCA's 2013 Black & White Competition) and featured in numerous exhibits. As a relatively early convert to digital photography, Burdette has accumulated a vast store of information on this evolving medium and has been sharing his discoveries and enthusiasm through classes and workshops. And as a year-round resident in the endlessly scenic Adirondack Park, he is constantly striving to refine and improve his vision of this special landscape.

While people and theatre remain strong photographic interests, Burdette finds the natural studio of the Adirondacks a beguiling place to explore expanding photographic horizons.

Since 2005, Burdette has been leading digital photography workshops for Great Camp Sagamore (an historic Adirondack Great Camp near Raquette Lake, NY) each spring and fall and occasional digital and Photoshop classes for residents of the Tri-Lakes area of Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. He is an exhibiting member of the Adirondack Artist’Guild in Saranac Lake, NY. His work can be seen there and in other North Country galleries.

Great photographs aren't created by equipment, they are distilled through the eye and the heart of a photographer.