Kim Baker

Kim Baker, MS

Why I am a Photographer
Since I was born, I have loved animals and nature. In grade school, instead of doing my homework right away, I would watch Marty Stouffer's Wild America and any other nature/animal show I could find. I would even pretend to be some of the animals that I learned about on the shows. Crawling around on all fours pretending to be a black jaguar hunting in the jungle, or perching on arm of the couch or chair pretending to be a golden eagle.

My mom would have these huge (we're talking 50-150 people) work parties at our house, and I would go up to individual people and tell him/her the most recent information I had learned on an animal or ecosystem from the one of shows I had recently watched. See, even at a young age I understood the importance of conservation on all levels, and how everything is interconnected. I wanted to share that information with others. I found the information so compelling and important, and hence had discovered my passion and mission to educate others.

In high school I studied art all four years. I learned all about the different types of art, composition, and history. In undergrad school I continued taking art history classes as electives. I was blending both art and environmental sciences. In 1998, I graduated with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor split in Chemistry, Calculus and Physics. After graduation I toured Europe with my cousin Amy and could see first hand the art history I had learned about in school. This is when my photography gene started to kick in.

As time marched on I found myself the designated vacation photographer. I love capturing the essence of a place in an image. I see the major hot spots, but I really love getting off the beaten path and mixing with the locals to uncover the true essence of a place.

In 2005, I completed my Master of Science degree in Integrated Sciences (Applied Biology, Mathematics, and Computer Science). This is where I developed my web expertise with a focus on the environment and online educational web sites.

Since 2009, I have been developing my photographic eye and wanting to sell my images as greeting cards, calendars, etc. It wasn't until late September 2014 that the right workshop came along that propelled my professional photography career forward. As part of the Telluride Photo Festival, a 3 day Conservation Photography Workshop was being held by Jason Houston and photo director, Melissa Ryan, from The Nature Conservancy. This was my chance and opportunity to dive into the work I love doing. I really came to understand what being a conservation photographer meant. I realized this is the same as what I did as a child. Capturing the story via images and sharing with the world why conservation is important. I was taken back to my mom's work parties at our house. The light bulb was on brightly in my head and my heart was singing. 

At the end of the workshop, the Photo Festival began, and here I met the cream of the crop in conservation photographers and photography in general. The door had opened and I walked through it...


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