THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | A PRO PHOTO & VIDEO BLOG

ARC Presents: Ben Baker

Posted in Photography by Nathan Lee Bush on March 25, 2011

Some of the best photographers and videographers in the world walk through our doors every day. ARC Presents is our series highlighting their work on our blog.

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Photographers and filmmakers love control. Predictable, good light and longer days are, after all, major reasons most American films now come out of Hollywood. The seemingly endless supply of artificial light sources and modifiers and expensive studio spaces point to the obsessive desire and endless lengths photographers will go to escape the fickle whims of natural light and complications of location shooting.

But some photographers have another erratic variable thrown into the mix, and it walks on two feet and talks like…well just talks. A celebrity portrait photographer has the unenviable task of making people look good. And not just any people, but celebrities, the size of whose egos are often matched only by the brevity of time they have available. Besides technical and aesthetic considerations, the portrait photographer must also finesse the person before him, setting the tone with all the subtle cues any social interaction involves, all while adjusting the factors that contribute to an aesthetically compelling image. Ben Baker performs admirably on all these fronts, giving us fresh perspectives on the most known people on the planet.

Ralph Lauren, his weathered face hidden behind sunglasses, bounces a basketball with a teenager’s vigor. Obama, pre-office, points directly into the camera with a confidence and coolness that reads “Presidential material.” Architect Richard Meier peers through a tangle of buildings reflected through a window, with an architectural model of his own swallowing the foreground. Donald Trump and his progeny practically interact in a tetraptych of portraits, implying a family drama worthy of a Greek Tragedy.

Whatever his method, Baker clearly understands, besides composition and lighting, how to get people to open up and show a lesser-seen side of themselves to him, and by extension, to us.

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Nathan Lee Bush is a photographer and filmmaker in New York City. His work is on his blogsite and Vimeo.

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  1. […] this blog, Through The Looking Glass, I highlight the celebrity portrait photography of Ben Baker, who captures a lesser seen side of the most known people on earth; and I share the week’s […]

  2. […] Baker and his photographs are featured on the Adorama Rental Co blog. Click here to view the full article and […]


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