Damon Baker is famous for his celebrity portraits, but the English photographer doesn’t like to associate his photography with celebrity culture. The famous personalities he portrays are nothing more than human beings, friends, and people with whom he establishes a genuine connection. It seems that this is Damon’s gift: to read into the souls of his subjects and bring out their authenticity through the empathetic power of his shots.
Every project shot by Damon Baker is a story. The photographer’s strong communicative force is coupled with a true vocation for storytelling. «I dance with my subject, metaphorically,» says Baker, referring to the genesis of his work, to obtain two versions of the same story within his shots. Even the photographer’s experiences and struggles related to this painful theme find their place within the shots – starting from the dark atmospheres we find in the background of many photographs – sending a message of rebirth and openness.
In the series “There’s Something Beautiful,” one of the most powerful shots is the one where the subject sleeps embraced by a mohair sweater, an item that Damon says comes directly from his own closet, a piece of clothing that makes him feel safe. It is in this photograph that the photographer’s empathetic strength is fully recognized, unfailing in conveying the emotions of his subjects, whoever they may be.
In the photographs, there is also a lot of Damon himself, especially when he seeks to express himself through his subjects. First by capturing the subjects in moments of euphoria or elation, and then in moments of vulnerability. His quest speaks to the way he sees the world and mental health through the lens of a photographer capable of looking within himself and at the world.
ph. courtesy Damon Baker