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Meet Nikki Rau-Baker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Rau-Baker.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve always wanted to do something artistic, even as a kid, I enjoyed writing stories, painting, and even making what I thought were amazing architectural drawings of the house I would someday build.
Starting in middle school I enjoyed being part of the group that created things for the school play, and in high school I was part of the yearbook committee, putting together layouts and choosing fonts.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered how much I enjoyed photography. I was an art major but later switched to broadcasting. At that time it was required that all communications majors took classes in photography, radio and television, and writing. I started working on projects for the campus paper and provided my own photos for the articles. After graduating from college, I went to work in radio and television and dropped photography by the wayside. I always had a camera of some sort and took pictures of friends and family, but I wasn’t very serious.

When I moved to Atlanta 18 years ago, I took a few pictures here and there, but it wasn’t until I went to Dragon Con in 2004 that I started to take more photos, mostly of panels and guests.

Finally in 2013 after having so many “average” photos I thought I should probably learn more about how my camera works and I started to get serious about photography. That is also when I started my business, Geek Behind The Lens.

Please tell us about what you do.
I like to think I create memories. What creating memories means to me is that I get to capture that split second of life as it is happening and allow people to go back to that moment over and over. Whether I am taking family photos, cosplay portraits, still life, or shooting a concert, I want to freeze that moment in time in the best way possible.

I like to work both in the studio and on location, and it’s always fun to challenge myself with the various lighting situations, especially on location. When shooting cosplay portraits in the studio, I like to use dramatic lighting. I feel that it brings out details that may be overlooked when you are viewing the cosplayer as a whole.

I don’t like to rely too much on post-production and while that might not be everyone’s preference, it’s something I think definitely has a place in the world of art today.

One of the projects that I’m currently working is a series of photos where I photograph the cosplayer in their full costume, and then again just as themselves – no makeup, no filters, no touching up, just them.

With this project, I want to explore the duality of people in the cosplay community and allow them to be their true, authentic selves as well as their fantastic, magical selves. For some, it can be almost like a therapy session when we start photographing. I like to talk to my clients as I photograph them, I feel like people are more relaxed and truly themselves when you come out from behind the camera and engage them.

It’s my hope that when people see the photo I’ve taken of them, they truly love what they see, and feel like they made the right decision to work with me. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone beam with joy when I show them the finished product.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge today is having the time to create art. We are always on the go and in a hurry that we don’t always take the time to indulge ourselves in what we are passionate about.

If you love creating and want to make that a part of your life, you have to set aside time to work on your craft no matter what it is. A little bit every day goes a long way.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be found on social media of course. Like most everyone these days I am on Facebook, Instagram, and of course my website. The biggest way that people can support me is to follow me online and book me for your events! I joke about taking pictures of just about anything, but honestly, I am always looking for new ways to work on my craft, and that means booking photography sessions for everything from family photos to product photos and birthday parties.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Geek Behind The Lens Photography

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