Nigel Barker (photographer)

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Nigel Barker
Nigel Barker 2008.jpg
Nigel Barker in the 2008 The HSUS's Protect Seals event.
Born (1972-04-27) 27 April 1972 (age 46)
OccupationFashion photographer, author, spokesperson, judge, filmmaker, former model
Spouse(s)Cristen Barker (1999-present; 2 children)

Nigel Barker (born 27 April 1972) is an English reality TV show personality, fashion photographer, author, spokesperson, filmmaker, and former model. He is best known for his participation as a judge and photographer on the reality show America's Next Top Model, and is now the host of reality show The Face.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Barker was born in London. His father is of Irish and Portuguese descent;[3] and his mother is of Sri Lankan ancestry.[4] His mother, who was a former Miss Sri Lanka contestant, played a significant role in forming his respect for the modeling profession as he grew up.[5] Barker grew up in a family with five siblings from a total of three marriages, and lived there until the age of eighteen. Barker attended Bryanston School, a boarding school, where he took his A-levels in biology, chemistry, and physics.[6]


He planned on continuing his studies in medicine, but Barker's mother entered him into a televised model search on The Clothes Show. Barker wound up being a finalist on the show, which started his modeling career. He modeled for around 10 years in London, Milan, Paris and New York City. As a young model, he observed that the fashion industry was changing - that "models were shrinking and a 6’4" well-built male model was not selling".[5] Being adaptable to change and loving the fashion industry, in 1996, he transitioned himself from model to fashion photographer.[5]

Barker opened his own photo studio, StudioNB, in the now-fashionable Meat Packing District in Manhattan. Barker has shot editorials for GQ, Interview, Seventeen, Town & Country (magazine), Lucky, Tatler, and Cover. He has shot advertising campaigns for Land's End, Leviev, Nicole Miller, Nine West, Ted Baker, Jordache, Pamella Rolland, Beefeater, Ford, and Sony.

Barker was a judge for 17 cycles on Tyra Banks' reality show America's Next Top Model. He was also an official judge for the Miss America Pageant in 2007 and Miss Universe Pageant in 2012. He also serves as executive producer for the VH1 photography-based reality contest, The Shot. In February 2013 Barker became the host of The Face. After a successful first season with supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha by his side,[7] the show is now going into its second season featuring supermodel coach Naomi Campbell, and supermodels Anne V, and Lydia Hearst.[8]

Barker made a special appearance as a photographer on the third cycle of Canada's Next Top Model, and in Episode 10 of the first cycle of New Zealand's Next Top Model. Barker appeared as guest judge and photographer on the first cycle of Mexico's Next Top Model.[9] He also made a guest appearance on the second cycle of Benelux' Next Top Model.

His directorial debut was a highly acclaimed[citation needed] documentary that he also produced called, A Sealed Fate? - followed by, Generation Free and Haiti: Hunger and Hope, which partner with respective charities: The Humane Society of the United States, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Edeyo Foundation, to highlight some of our world’s most pressing issues. Additionally, Barker is a celebrity ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Do Something, The United Nation Foundation's Girl Up initiative and campaign shooter for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

Barker holds spokesperson positions for prominent brands including, Microsoft, Sony, Crest White Strips and Nine West. Barker appears alongside Justin Timberlake and Peyton Manning in Sony's 2010 national ad campaign. In addition, he has lent his personality to television and feature film cameos, event hosting and presenting. Barker appeared as a celebrity judge for the 2008 Miss America Pageant and had cameo roles on several TV series including, The Young and the Restless, Privileged, Stylista, Style Her Famous and Ugly Betty, as well as a cameo role in the feature film Arthur (2011), with Jennifer Garner, Russell Brand, Nick Nolte and Helen Mirren. He has hosted and presented for many events including 2007, 2008 and 2010 Emmy awards on Fox Broadcasting Company, the 2008 and 2009 Go Green galas in New York City, the Genesis Awards and the 2010 Global Fashion Awards. In 2017, Nigel Barker became New Zealand winery Invivo's official "glambassador" [10] Barker published a book on beauty, Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation: Revealing a Better and More Beautiful You, released September 2010, from Abrams Image. The book guides the reader through a series of self-portrait and journaling challenges, which help the reader to discover their inner beauty by building confidence and self-esteem and in turn, enhance their outer beauty. [11][12]

In January 2009, Barker opened a photography exhibit, Haiti: Hunger and Hope, at the Milk Gallery in New York City. His work in Haiti earned him a Do Something with Style Award nomination from the VH1 Do Something Awards. The awards show, produced by Vh1, is dedicated to honoring people who do good and is powered by Do Something, an organization that aims to empower, celebrate, and inspire young people.[13]

Barker teamed up with Taylor Swift to shoot a photobook of the young superstar titled 8 hours which made its debut in November 2012.[14] In September 2013 Barker shot Nadia Lacka, Liliane Ferrarezi, Jordan & Zac Stenmark in 'Bedtime Stories' featured in the September issue of Numero Russia.[15]

In 2016, he was one of the guest judges in the final of Miss USA 2016 in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

In November 2016, Barker teamed up with Adorama on a new web series called "Top Photographer" which drew its inspiration from Banks' "Top Model". The season's winner was Academy of Art University alumni Scott Borrero.[16][17]

In June 2017, Nigel Barker was signed as New Zealand winery Invivo's official "Glambassador" [10]

In 2017 he joined the tenth cycle of Holland's Next Top Model as a judge. In 2018 he joined the judging panel for the first season of Curvy Supermodel, the spin-off of Holland's Next Top Model.

Personal life[edit]

Barker is married to Cristen Chin, a model and CoverGirl representative since 1999. The pair met in Milan through Cristen's agent; and for Barker, it was love at first sight.[18] "That night," Barker explains, "I called my mom and said, 'I've met this girl, and I'm gonna marry her.' The ground moved. As beautiful as she is on the outside, she's also got an incredible heart." [3] The couple reside in New York City with their two children Jack and Jasmine, and dog, Memphis.[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Krupnick, Ellie (25 July 2012). "Nigel Barker Lands His Next TV Gig!". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ a b Prato, Alison. "View from the 'Top'". NY Post. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Peterson, Jasmine Rhey. "Nigel Barker". Drip Magazine. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  6. ^ Nigel Barker: the man behind the lens 20 July 2007
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Develadas las 20 aspirantes a convertirse en Mexico's Next Top Model 1 November 2009
  10. ^ a b "Model confirms love for Invivo NZ wine brand with US ambassadorship". Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  11. ^ "Photographer and Judge from America's Next Top Model, Nigel Baker, talks to ePHOTOzine". 22 January 2010.
  12. ^ Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation at Abrams website
  13. ^ "Do Something". Do Something. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  14. ^ NUZHAT NAOREEN (8 November 2012). "Taylor Swift's new photo book -- IMAGES". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  15. ^ "'Bedtime stories' by Nigel Barker for Numero Magazine Russia September 2013". 2013-09-24.
  16. ^ Thurston, Anthony (30 November 2016). "Nigel Barker's 'Top Model'-inspired web series awards 'Top Photographer' prize". Digital Trends. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Top Photographer with Nigel Barker". Adorama. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  18. ^ Couple profile: photographer Nigel Barker and Christen Chin Barker's red carpet romance history 6 February 2013
  19. ^ Nigel Barker Welcomes Baby Girl 8 December 2008

External links[edit]