Hear It!
Darren Baker

In this issue of Hear It!, we'll share with you Darren Baker's love for great spontaneous photography. Overwhelmed with unique photographic ideas, this high achiever from United Kingdom nevertheless finds natural beauty the most captivating inspiration ever! You'll be surprised as you find out more about him in this interview.

Photographer: dmbaker / Darren Baker
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
  • Canon EOS 1 D Mk2n & Mk3
  • Canon and Sigma EX lenses
  • Bowens studio lighting
  • Apple Computers
  • Photoshop CS3

2. What do you think of photography these days?
I think it is going through a huge change that will result in a "Brave New World" and benefit those who are prepared to change with it.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
A fighter pilot, a film director, and then (more realistically) a photographer.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I got started in photography when my father bought me a Kodak 155x Instamatic at the age of 5 or 6. From that point on, I never really stopped taking pictures.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
Imagination, dedication and masses of hard work.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
How to make enough money to not give up on the dream and to maintain it as a 'normal' job.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
I get to travel around the world to meet interesting, intelligent and beautiful people.... and be able to create wonderful pictures with them!

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I make very detailed plans in advance; listing everything from proposed shots, to props, locations, food, travel time, weather and everything else that could possibly have a bearing on the success (or failure) of the shoot.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
As varied and interesting as I can make it, it stops me and the viewers from getting bored - I hope!

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
My check lists have all become automatic and subconscious thus allowing me to shoot directly from the heart. It is only when this happens that I feel I'm truly a photographer. It is just like speaking a foreign language. While you are thinking in your own language and trying to translate it to another language that you're not fluent in, then you are truly considered as trying to learn how to talk.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
I find shooting people to be the most satisfying. Taking pictures of someone who has never really been in front of a camera before and see them blossom into a confident model is very satisfying indeed.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Babies and children are the most difficult because they don't really understand what you are trying to achieve and why they should do something they don't want to in order to achieve the result you have in mind.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
First comes the idea, then the hard work, then the reward – and all of these take time to achieve!

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
I find that nature's beauty is most inspiring. From people to deserts and oceans, everything beautiful has the power to inspire.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I can honestly say that that does not happen to me. My brain is constantly overflowing with ideas. Not having enough time to photograph them is the real problem.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
Get up, pick up my camera and head off either to my studio or into the 'real' world to satiate that need – countering that is what allows you to be creative.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
I've discovered that I can work harder and longer than I thought I could. It's like “If you have the passion, you have the energy.”

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
James Nachtwey. He has the ability to capture humanity in all its forms - from the most chilling to the most heartwarming. He is a true genius!

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Aim high, work hard and never, never, never give up.

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