Meet Luke Baker
phaze interview exclusive
Conducted by Samantha Jaffe
✨ Luke Baker is a young artist and photographer from North Carolina.
The creative individual who shoots on film is currently a freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design.
He has had the opportunity to shoot artists such as Brockhampton, Jaden Smith, and St. Vincent to name a few.
Find out more about Baker and his photography in his first ever interview.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to get involved in photography? Describe the moment you knew it was something you wanted to pursue.
A: I started taking photos when I was about 11 on my parents' digital point and shoot camera. Probably a cheap Nikon one or something. I guess from there I just did it more and more and eventually got my first "real" camera, which was a Pentax K1000. Ever since I've been shooting on film, which has been almost three years now, I've been taking photography more seriously.
Q: What would you say your photography style is?
A: I'm not sure if I have a definitive style yet, but it's something I'm constantly working on. I try a lot of new techniques every time I shoot. As cliché as it sounds, I love the look of film more than anything in the world. So I guess that's a part of my style.
Q: What, and who, are your inspirations?
A: Frank Ocean is my biggest inspiration. Even though I don't make music, I look up to Frank and hope I can one day be as cool as him. It's hard to explain. He almost doesn't seem like a real person to me. He's just the epitome of cool. Aside from Frank, my biggest inspiration is my best friend, Max. His clothing brand, Kong Regime, is so sick to me. Everything he puts out is amazing. Oh, he takes photos, too. His style is so crazy. I always go to him for advice on photos or other work, even though his style is very different from mine.
Q: What is your favorite thing to shoot? Why?
A: My favorite thing to shoot is definitely people. I love the way different people look; everyone has a different face and body shape, which is mindblowing to me. Lately, though, I've been super into cars and architecture. I live in Georgia currently, and I'm obsessed with the style of architecture here and in the South in general. Also, the cars here are amazing. There could be an old, rusty pickup truck and a muscle car sitting on 30" rims parked on the same block.
Q: What are some issues you care deeply about?
A: I wouldn't consider myself a social activist by any means, but I stand up for what I believe in when necessary. I'm a big proponent of equality; I think everyone should be treated the same no matter what. Except Trump. Fuck that guy.
Q: What photograph or photography project has meant the most to you?
A: I didn't really do many organized or planned "projects" before I got to college. Since I've been here, though, I've been working on a zine with my friend Nick. It's gonna have my photos, his photos, and feature a couple guest artists. So, I guess that's something I'm pretty invested in right now.
Q: What do you like to convey through your photography?
A: I want my photos to be beautiful over anything. Usually if I accomplish that, I find that the photos speak for themselves in their own respective way. I just want the audience to look at my photos and be amazed in one way or another.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years in terms of your life and career?
A: In five years, I'll be a year out of college (hopefully). I'd love to have a job in London or New York, which, I know, sounds like every other starving artist these days; regardless, I'd love to live and work in a big city. I would love to work for a magazine. i-D is my favorite magazine, and to work for them would be a dream.
Q: What are your thoughts on the future of photography with the emergence of iPhone photography and social media?
A: iPhone photography is super cool to me. Anyone who has a smartphone, which is mostly everyone, has the capability to document what they see and how they see it in their own way. That's so cool. But, with that being said, nothing will ever beat a film photograph. I certainly think film is not dead, and it will always be my personal favorite medium.
Q: How would recommend people interested in photography find ways to get involved?
A: This question sort of ties back to the iPhone photography question. If you want to be a cinematographer, photographer, writer, whatever; just start doing. Start writing in the notepad of your phone. Start taking videos and editing them on a free app. Start taking photos and posting them on Instagram. If your work is tight, then people will recognize that, even if all you have is a smartphone. Don't let lack of equipment stop you from doing what you love.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to other people interested in pursuing photography?
A: Advice. This is a tough one. Really, just do what you want. Look at people's work that you like. Study your favorite photographer. Try to figure out how they took the photo, what camera they used, and what techniques they used that you can apply to your work. Go to an art gallery or a photo show. Nothing beats seeing a print of a photo in real life, and for me, it inspires me way more than a photo on a phone screen ever could. Shoot your friends. Shoot anything around you and use what you already have. Like I said before, don't let lack of "good equipment" stop you from doing what you love. Also, don't rely on the device to make your photos better. For example - don't buy a $2,000 camera and then get mad when your photos don't look like what you want them to. Just do it! Seriously!