|Kim Baker is an Oklahoma-based nature and conservation photographer. Born in Muskogee and raised in Shawnee, today, Kim lives in the beautiful rolling hills of southern Lincoln County in central Oklahoma. |
Kim has photographed the diverse land of Oklahoma for over 25 years always with the aspiration to bring back images of Oklahoma that are unique and show the true nature of Oklahoma’s natural wealth.
Kim’s nature and landscape photography has exhibited across the state including the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art, the Philbrook Museum of Art, One Williams Center, Visions Gallery in the Paseo, and the Oklahoma Aquarium among others.
Kim’s work has been published in Oklahoma Today Magazine, Outdoor Oklahoma, USA Today GoEscape, and AAA’s Home and Away.
Kim's clients include, among others, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Tulsa Cancers Centers of America, Next Era Energy, Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, Arden and Associates, Jordan Associates, Art Collections Inc, and Ackerman McQueen.
Kim's nature photography has evolved into a deeper occupation as a conservation photographer.
The work of a conservation photographer moves beyond the mere creation of photography that celebrates the beauty of nature, into a position of leadership.
Today, conservation photographers organize conservation initiatives utilizing their work to make a meaningful difference for environmental conservation of threatened areas.
Kim’s photography involves creating work for the specific purpose of environmental and water conservation. Photographs that help in the protection of natural places and biodiversity have strong purpose and can be a powerful tool tthat can change public perceptions and help resolve the growing disconnect between humans and their natural world.
In 2001, Kim started a photographic project documenting the rivers of Oklahoma. Designed to increase public awareness and appreciation for the state’s water resources, Kim’s "Oklahoma Rivers" series exhibited at the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, and the Oklahoma Aquarium, and was profiled in Oklahoma Today Magazine, the Oklahoman, Oklahoma Gazette, Discover Oklahoma and News Channel 4’s, “Great State”.
In 2010, Kim began her project The Illinois River Survey to bring awareness to the Illinois River and the environmental challenges the river faces. The Illinois River Survey brought together Oklahoma photographers from across the state, Save the Illinois River (STIR), the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, the Oklahoma Biological Survey and Oklahoma Natural Areas Registry, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s Blue Thumb program, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, with sponsorship from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
A collaborative project, the Illinois River Survey consisted of three components, first, a three-day photographic survey to capture beautiful photographs that show the true richness of the Illinois River watershed and important ecological aspects of the river system, second, the publication of the conservation photography book, The Illinois River Survey: A Visual Record, and finally, a traveling photography exhibition that toured the state making stops at the Visions Gallery in OKC’s Paseo District, One Williams Center in downtown Tulsa, the Oklahoma Aquarium, the Canebrake, and the Iguana Café in Tahlequah.
The Illinois River Survey received a tremendous amount of public attention with multiple newspaper articles, television interviews with Linda Cavanaugh on News 4, Craig Day on News6, NPR interview with Gerry Bonds on KOSU radio, a PBS documentary, the Earth Chronicles Project, and an interview and exhibition at the Nature Conservancy world headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
My Oklahoma Rivers and the Illinois River Survey project have led me on an incredible journey of discovery. I feel very privileged to have seen incredible moments of beauty - wonderfully remote locations, stunning in their isolation and timelessness - wild and untamed stretches that are rich with wildlife and natural diversity.
Nowhere do I feel more at peace and in my element than when walking along a river. One of the best things you can do is get to know a river. It is important to me that my work help safeguard Oklahoma’s water for future generations. My time spent exploring the state’s life-rich rivers and seeing firsthand the rich diversity of ecosystems rivers support have instilled in me a strong environmental ethic that has come to define my photographic career. As a conservation photographer, I have made the commitment to use my photographs to advance conservation and to put my photography to action. For my work to be effective, it must not only inspire and empower, but also inform and affect change.
My work photographing Oklahoma’s rivers and the ecologically rich regions they traverse have only reinforced my understanding that species-rich, healthy functioning ecosystems are essential to the future of human survival. It is a complex subject, yet simple in its fundamental truth. Every action - good and bad - counts; everything is part of the equation when it comes to the environment. Everything is connected. The natural services healthy-functioning ecosystems provide to human well-being and society are innumerable as they are invaluable.
For information about Kim’s conservation photography project the Illinois River Survey, visit www.OKLACPS.com