Ben Baker

Ben Baker @benbakerphoto

New York based Australian photographer. Represented by @reduxpictures & @jhutzinc. Creator of @conedogs

Super Bowl champ, NFL hall of fame, Emmy award winner, TV host, author and more. Happy Birthday to this legend and all around good guy Michael Strahan who I recently shot for Parade Magazine.

Happy Birthday Joe. It's been a fun 8 years with you in the White House. This is from a shoot for People magazine a couple of years back.
Some of you know the back story to this shoot with Vice President Biden from an earlier posting, for those who have not its a good one.
I was in a cab and on the way to JFK to take a flight home to Australia, when a call came in from @peoplemag to photograph the @vp in DC the next day. It meant a lot to get that opportunity but it also meant I would miss my fathers birthday back home in Australia. The shoot was set for a Friday afternoon and then I could finally head home. The only problem was the entertaining Joe Biden we all know also wanted to get home to Delaware and was in a terrible mood with a photo shoot the last thing he wanted.
With time running out, nothing was making Joe happy and so I decided to speak up and tell him that I had missed my Fathers birthday who I never see in order to take his picture. You never know what reaction you might get in these kind of situations. But I was in luck and Joe immediately changed and was back to his fun self, he wanted to know all about my dad and had a great chat about family. He went from wanting us to leave to posing with footballs and baseball bats, he kept going upstairs to find more sports gear. As we wrapped he gave me a military challenge coin as a birthday gift for dad and a great story shared over beers back home.
Thanks Karen O'Donnell who made this day possible.

Hot off the press and just in time for today's FotoDC talk and happy hour at the National Geographic Museum. Whitney Johnson of Nat Geo will host a talk with myself and @markpetersonpixs looking at our political work .
Talk is 2-4 and happy hour is 6-8.

Easily the best body of political photography to be produced in years has to be @markpetersonpixs Political Theatre project. He's won pretty much every award out there, and I'm fortunate to be sharing a show with him @fotoweekdc hosted by @natgeomuseum. I've known Mark for years as part of @reduxpictures and is on the road constantly producing amazing work for everyone. He has a book signing for his amazing new book tomorrow night at the museum and we will be giving a talk this Saturday from 2-4pm at the @natgeomuseum.

For those in Washington DC FotoWeek is in full swing and has amazing shows all over the city. Great to see the response from people visiting my exhibition with @markpetersonpixs showing at @natgeomuseum. The festival is running through the weekend with a talk this Saturday from 2-4 and a happy hour from 6-8.

It's been a hell of a week for the country and world. We are all looking for answers, some we don't want to hear.
But we do have our art, music and words that get us through tough times together. Thank you Leonard Cohen for getting me through the last week.
I spent some time living at the Chelsea hotel here in New York and like much of the city it's gone and can never be replaced. But just as Cohen, Reed, Smith,and Mapplethorpe found a way to make sense of it all, we will also.

Perfect opening night at @fotoweekdc. Thanks so much @svetlanabyt for putting on such a great show.
If you are in DC please see all the amazing work that is happening over the city the next 2 weeks. Next Saturday (19th) the talented and prolific @markpetersonpixs and myself have a Q&A at the @natgeomuseum from 2-4 and happy hour drinks from 6-8.

Great to be part of @fotoweekdc with @markpetersonpixs and the amazing series of exhibitions at the @natgeomuseum.

Nice one mom.

Well dressed for a marathon.

This guy ran all 42.192km of the New York City Marathon while dribbling two basketballs. Only in NYC.

Great to be able to share the first image from my recent shoot on the set of the Australian thriller, Rabbit. I travelled all the way to my hometown of Adelaide, Australia and spent a week shooting portraits of the amazing cast led by Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell and Veerle Baetens. Superbly Directed by Luke Shanahan and designed by my super talented sister Amy Baker.

Frank's place, 1998-

Frank's place, 1948-57

Politics poolside.

The city of angels.

I also photographed Brittany Packnett and DeRay McKesson for Politico Magazine's 50 Ideas issue. Brittany and DeRay are the founders of Campaign Zero, an organization focused on ending police violence by making our elected officials change laws that reform police departments.This portrait took place in Baltimore, not far from the spot where Freddie Gray was arrested, and later died due to injuries suffered while he was in police custody in April 2015. These streets might be famous as the location of The Wire to some, but these are real people living in tough conditions who are doing their best to raise their families and live their best lives.
As an outsider coming to shoot a magazine story, I am always very sensitive (and a little bit conflicted) about glamorizing or trivializing the struggles of any community, because far too often, the media comes and goes with no real positive change for the people who need it.
Being there with Brittany and DeRay was a different and positive experience. We stopped taking pictures a couple of times that day so they could stop and talk to people walking by, listen to their issues, and more often than not, they figured out a way to help. Please take a moment to check out to see how you can support their important cause.

At one point during the shoot, we decided to take a couple of shots of the Khans next to a wall of photos and medals of their son Humayun, who died while serving our country. Just being near those photos and medals was enough to cause Mrs. Khan to become emotional, and we ended up having to take a couple of breaks. No wonder she couldn't bring herself to speak about her son on stage at the DNC. As big as the story of their speech became, the reality is that they will always be parents who will never recover from the loss of their child. It's hard to understand how anyone could question any parent who's lost a child, let alone a gold star parent.

I photographed Ghazala and Kizhr Khan at their home for Politico Magazine a couple of weeks ago. It's always a privilege to be invited into someone's home and document their private lives, but this visit was extra special. Between cups of tea and photo setups, we had a great conversation about our shared experiences as immigrants, and the kindness of Americans. The most touching part was when I saw boxes filled with hundreds of letters of support from all over the country and world. I learned a wonderful lesson that day about how good we can be, even in the midst of such great challenges and those who choose division and hate.

Good morning New York.

Good night New York

Office hours

Happy National dog day everyone. If you like to laugh and love mans best friend check out @conedogs, one of my current photo projects that's paws down the most fun to shoot.

When shooting on location I never know where I might end up, and when photographing athletes just before big events I never know how much time or effort they will give me. When I shot Ryan Lochte for ESPN Magazine, he was amazing and gave the shoot 100%. The only problem was dealing with a rapidly approaching thunderstorm and getting my shot before we were kicked out of the pool.

On the eve on the Rio Olympics Ryan Lochte said “I guess you would say I’d be like the Michael Phelps of swimming if he wasn’t there”
Its incredible to realize that Lochte has won 12 Olympic medals and ranks in the top 4 swimmers of all time, yet in every conversation he gets compared to Phelps. I wonder if he and Scottie Pippen are mates? I shot him for ESPN in florida in the middle of a tough training week and he was great to shoot.

Congratulations to the incredible Usain Bolt who just became the first man to ever win the 100 meters three times in a row.
I grew up watching the cricketers of Jamaica who were the coolest athletes on and off the field, and now its known as the sprint capital with the fastest man and woman on the planet.
I photographed him in Paris for Fortune magazine and he was the same cool, engaging person we see in the media. The hard part of the shoot was to connect the tall funny guy from Jamaica in front of the camera as the fastest human in history.

Hard to believe I took this portrait more than 60 years after his first hit. What's most incredible is that he is still at the top of his game. Happy 90th birthday Tony Bennett.

If anyone out there is looking for a new gig there is an opening at the NYPD. Chief Bratton just announced he will be stepping down. Just 40,000 officers to guide and 8 million residents to look after. I photographed him for Politico in the fascinating NYPD command center which felt like the set of Batman.

Happy birthday to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who might not have won an oscar but where would popular culture and politics be without him.
This was from a shoot for Fortune magazine at his Hollywood office whilst he was the Governor of California. I am used to seeing photographs of politicians in their offices but to walk into a room full of life size statues and posters of the person was a little strange.
The shoot went great and as we were wrapping up I cut my right hand on my old camera which began to bleed pretty quickly. I needed to get all the frames I could, and decided to just keep shooting with my left hand. As we shot the last frame Arnie put out his huge right hand to shake, I had to shake with my left hand so not to bleed all over him, and Arnold's expression at my odd left hand shake was priceless.
I couldn't stop to explain what happened as I had run out the door immediately to avoid his hollywood publicist making me sign a crazy NDA and rights form. I never went back.

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