Six years ago, keen photographer Jonny Baker was sitting in a front row seat at Tel Aviv Fashion Week, taking casual shots of the models with his iPhone, as they strutted along the runway.
Inspired by renowned American photographer, Bill Cunningham, who first introduced the idea of shooting fashion shows from the side, rather than from a photographer’s pit at the end, Baker wanted to create something different from the usual portrait shots taken by the accredited photographers – and his strategy worked.
Within hours of posting his unique shots to his blog, the designers were reaching out to Baker.
“They wanted my pictures. They said they were better than the ones taken by the pool photographers. That’s where my career started”.
Since then, the British-born photographer has become a familiar presence at Tel Aviv Fashion Week, his home city since moving to Israel in 1996, as well as Paris and London, having achieved accreditation from the British Fashion Council – and his pictures are always in high demand.
Known today for his impressively candid shots from the runway, as well as backstage, Baker – who studied fashion at Salford University – actually began his career not in photography, but as an assistant buyer for M&S in Israel, before working in the production office for German retailer, Otto Versand, which owns a range of mail order companies, including Freemans and Grattan in the UK.
“I always had this creative side as well,” explains the 47-year-old, who was born in Manchester and grew up in Bournemouth. “Coupled with a connection to fashion, I was eventually brought to photography.”
Shooting full frame on a Canon camera, Baker has had his work shared on social media by Israeli model Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, the first Ethiopian Jew to win Miss Israel, as well as captured Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow on the catwalk. He also shot designer Rahul Mishra’s collection at Paris Fashion Week, as well as for Danish designer Malene Oddershede Bach during London Fashion Week in February.
“Jonny has a great drive and knowledge of his work,” she says. “We will definitely be working with him for future seasons.”
Baker is now looking forward to returning to the capital once more for London Fashion Week Men’s show, which runs from 8 to 10 June- and is as excited about capturing the scene backstage, as he is front of house.
“For me, having access to all the prep, the make-up, the hair and seeing the models candidly and in real time, is what I really enjoy, while for the catwalk, capturing the perfect picture means watching the model closely and making sure their facial features are right before I shoot. For me, it’s always about quality over anything else.”
Jonny Baker is available for personal photoshoots, professional headshots and documentary wedding photography. Details: jonnybakerphotographer.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit #jonnybaker on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.