Cindy Crawford. Taylor Swift. Cole Sprouse. Kristen Stewart. Troye Sivan. Lupita Nyong’o. Looking at this selection of names, you would probably assume that the commonality amongst them would be their shared qualities of fame, fortune, and pure starpower. And while that is in fact a correct statement, what makes this list of names so interesting is that they’ve all had the unique opportunity of being captured by the photographic genius that is Damon Baker.
At a time when most teenagers are contemplating college acceptances and pushing through their self-diagnosed senioritis, Damon Baker took a daring leap of faith to help launch his successful career in the photography industry. At the tender age of seventeen, Baker decided to uproot his whole life and run away from home in order to chase his dreams in London and New York City. After apparently, “walk[ing] into agencies, magazines, music labels with nothing but a racing heart and a few pictures on a broken iPad”, Baker struck gold and was swept up by Jed Root, one of the world’s leading artist management agencies. Thus, in 2008, Baker was only getting start with his career and making moves that would cement his spot as one of the top artists in popular culture today.
Throughout Baker’s decade-long love affair with photography, he has developed a unique aesthetic approach to his art. And, that is one of Baker’s most unique, artistic qualities - his aesthetic. Known for his dramatic use of portraiture, Baker wields only a film camera and his artistic vision to craft photographs that ooze vulnerability, authenticity, and a sense of raw sexuality that draw audiences in. Even more, Baker’s use of black and white film play to that central theme of drama because the distinct contrast of his images result in a raw portrayal of each individual that he captures.
Noted to have once said that his art is like no other, Baker’s ability to capture the unexpected is what makes him stand out as an artist. However, stylistically Baker reminds me of artists like Juergen Teller and Irving Penn. Similar to Penn, Baker specializes in intimate, black-and-white still-life and fashion photos, whilst also mimicking Juergen Teller’s approach at capturing the raw and daring aspects of human nature. Despite any similarities he may share with other artists, Damon Baker stands out as a photographic visionary.
Today, over a decade after those first steps to stardom, Damon Baker has utilized his unique aesthetic and undeniable talents to collaborate with some of today’s biggest up-and-coming actors, singers, models, and pop culture legends. His collaborations with celebrities, like Rami Malek, Lili Reinhart, and Cameron Dallas, have helped to increase his visibility and build his dedicated fanbase. Similar to other contemporary photographers, like Cole Sprouse, Baker has employed the help of his social media platforms to connect with his followers and give them behind-the-scenes access to the thought and intention behind his photographs. The relationship he cultivates with his admirers is what continues to grow his popularity amongst younger and older audiences alike.
Both Damon Baker and his art are mesmerizing forces of nature. As Baker’s visibility grows, the limits to his impact on popular culture and the fashion industry grow with it. Knowing the maturity and sheer depth of his work now, Baker’s cementation amongst fashion photography royalty is only a matter of time.