A new lense

Photography changed Isaac Baker’s world

By Elizabeth Williams

At the age of thirteen Issac Baker realized that photography was more than just a hobby. It was a passion. 

“What makes me interested in photography is being able to share your perspective on life through images with others who might not be able to see the things you see, or experience the things you experience,” Baker said.

After he noticed that his dad and his grandfather were both into photography he started to take it in even more.

“My dad has like 10 or so printed photographs from his international travels, and having those images around my house along with his massive old school map gave me an ideal vision of what I could eventually pursue in life.” Baker said. “I haven’t seen a lot of my grandfather’s photos, but I do make use of some of his gear when I work with film cameras. My neck strap for example, is an item of his that I cherish.”

With both his father and his grandfather being entertainers they had the opportunity to travel nationally and internationally through their work. 

“One of my favorite things are the black and white photos my dad has taken, framed, and hung around his house,” Baker said. “So in a way, you could say this was inherited. But it was a hobby I found that helped me define myself, and it still does.”

His passion forced him to make a hard decision during his junior year. Baker decided to leave the engineering program in order to free up his schedule to take more photography classes.

“I didn’t feel like I’d ever want to pursue some sort of engineering career.” Baker said. “And even though I didn’t enjoy the engineering program and chose to drop out, I think I would’ve had it a lot harder if it weren’t for the friendships I made.”

In addition to giving him another interest, photography also introduced Baker to a different environment. “I think [photography teacher Jon] Twietmeyer and the dynamics within the class just pushed for us to stay motivated and committed to our artistic endeavors,” Baker said.

“Signing up for photography really gave me a community that appreciated me, pushed, and nurtured me,” he said. “If I hadn’t chosen to take photography, I would’ve missed out on relationships and friendships I cherish every day.” 

His interest in photography coincided with a desire to spend more time outdoors. One of his biggest accomplishments is finishing a 50-mile hiking trip in five days. 

After taking photography his sophomore and junior year he wasn’t able to take it this year due to Twietmeyer leaving Riverside during the fall semester, but that won’t stop him from taking it along with him after high school. He plans to attend college, likely Durham Tech, as well as visit Japan and go on a biking and/or camping trip while carrying his camera and taking pictures of everything.  

Baker said he’s motivated by himself, others and God. His mother has also played a big role in his life. 

“She’s really helped me build a strong relationship with God through raising me in the Episocopal church,” he said. 

He struggles to find the words to describe how it feels to finish his last year of high school. 

“I still can’t comprehend it!” he said. “It’s always felt like a few years away but now that it’s here, it’s just hit me like a truck. Looking into the far future, I can’t wait to share the photos I take now with my kids or people who weren’t alive at the time.”

All photos courtesy of Isaac Baker

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