I am fortunate to have many people who have inspired me, mentored me, tortured me, assisted me, had fun with me and just been plain great folks in my life and artistic journey.
I’d like to take these few lines to recognize them.
Ruth is my best photo critic, best friend, and an excellent photographer! I met her through my photo friend Terry Bailey in the Creative Camera Club of Lexington Ky. Ruth shares my passion for the natural world and of being out in the wildest of the wild. She also shares our mutual passions of cooking up great food, of sharing quiet moments, of enjoying wonderful friends over a great glass of a new vintage of red wine, and living life as it should. We have no problem finding our own path, our own way, our own journey… whether through the woods or in life.
Ruth is my first and most passionate thank you… and the most important person I wish to share my remaining years with, shooting, exploring, and smiling.
Next, my sister, Koral Baker Martin:
Koral is a professional photographer specializing in “healing art” for health care. She and I started our photographic journeys together at a young age (Jr highish,) with our darkroom, stinky chemicals, red light and enlargers.
She catapulted into the digital photography world early, and I followed a number of years later. She has taught me much in this new world of digital photography and darkroom, and I, hopefully, have helped her move her amazing work into the marketing world for imagery in health care images.
She has had her photography installed in many facilities that perfectly met (based on evidence based design in health care studies) the best imagery for health care for many hospitals, doctors offices and more. Her work is award winning in nature photography competitions, and has been featured in magazines, television and more. Her work is now incorporated into products that create “spaces” with imagery in hospitals, doctors offices and more.
My “gettin’ lost” photo phriend… Terry Bailey:
I met Terry standing by a pond at the UK Arboretum while I was there shooting. We got to talking, shot some there together, and soon started going out on weekends shooting together…. getting lost! We would take off in a car and just turn based on a whim, shooting all the way. When time was nearly up, we’d get out the GPS and find our way home. Often we were hours away from home base.
We got some amazing shots, and learned so much along the way.
Terry introduced me to the Creative Camera Club… a club where I have found many new friends and like minded folks.
Terry is becoming quite in demand for her photography, and has won numerous club competitions as was photographer of the year. Her candid people shots are totally amazing! Portraits, engagement shots, street shots.. her work is really out of this world!
One of my mentors, nationally known nature photographer John Snell:
John has been an inspiration (to both my Sister and I) even before I got to know him personally. Since then his support, guidance on editing images, suggestions on places to shoot, company, and professionalism have been taken to heart and immensely appreciated. His work is nothing short of phenomenal and touches me as it is mostly focused on images from my favorite places, the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and the Bluegrass Horse Country around Lexington.
John has two books out on the Red River Gorge, and I encourage you to purchase his second “My Second Home, the Red River Gorge.”. His first is out of print and commanding many times its original selling price for collectors.
Check out his amazing work at JohnSnellPhoto.com
My parents are in no small part so much of why I love the (as my mom puts it) “outside world.” My sister and I grew up camping, hiking and fishing from as young as we can remember. Red River Gorge, Tellico TN, Cumberland, Rock Creek, Pennyrile, Land Between the Lakes, Raven Run… the list goes on and on and on. We’ve braved tornadoes, hundreds of bee stings, knocked down by fast rivers, poison spider bites, exploding firepits, assaults by Russian Boars (ok, not assault, just seemed that way) and more both scary and incredible times. But the world outside the cluster of the city is where my family yearned to be, and did.
It is from that foundation, my father Parham H Baker and my mother Kathleen W Baker, that my love and life in the wilds has grown. My heartfelt thanks and love to them both. They now only get to enjoy those places through the images my sister and I share with them.
There are many others I owe much to in my photographic journey, but I’ll leave it here for now.