The Photo Dork

Minneapolis freelance photojournalist Tom Baker likes to share stories about the stories he shoots. This photo blog is where he'll say a few words and share some photos about the work he does.

Covering the Gamut

As a freelancer, work can sometimes be hard to come by, especially when your true passion is photojournalism. Sure, I photograph portraits and weddings and the occasional event or corporate gig (visit www.manitouweddings.com to see my work), but telling a story with my camera is what truly makes me feel alive. That’s why I feel so fortunate to have a contract with Minnesota Public Radio News to provide photography and multimedia for mprnews.org. Since my last blog post (where did the time go?), I’ve covered a gamut of stories, with most recently being the Golden Valley Pride Festival and a vigil held in Minneapolis, both on the day of the recent shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. I’ve pulled a selection of favorites for this post and have included captions for info about the story.

Tony Osman, 33, poses for a portrait in his home in Golden Valley, Minn, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Osman’s first cousin, Amir Meshal, of Bloomington, is under scrutiny from the government and local community members for being a possible terrorist threat. Osman, along with some of his family, believe Meshal is dangerous and has possibly received terrorist training overseas.

Tony Osman, 33, poses for a portrait in his home in Golden Valley, Minn, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Osman’s first cousin, Amir Meshal, of Bloomington, is under scrutiny from the government and local community members for being a possible terrorist threat. Osman, along with some of his family, believe Meshal is dangerous and has possibly received terrorist training overseas.

Janice Constable, left, a volunteer with The Raptor Center, releases a juvenile bald eagle at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, while volunteer Steve Masten controls the line the eagle is attached to. The two volunteers work with birds to help prepare them for flying once released back into the wild.

Janice Constable, left, a volunteer with The Raptor Center, releases a juvenile bald eagle at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, while volunteer Steve Masten controls the line the eagle is attached to. The two volunteers work with birds to help prepare them for flying once released back into the wild.

Janice Constable, a volunteer with The Raptor Center for over 20 years, releases a juvenile bald eagle at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. She says her favorite part of volunteering is, “Seeing the birds I’ve worked with be released. It makes my work fulfilling.”

Janice Constable, a volunteer with The Raptor Center for over 20 years, releases a juvenile bald eagle at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. She says her favorite part of volunteering is, “Seeing the birds I’ve worked with be released. It makes my work fulfilling.”

A juvenile bald eagle flies after being released at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Volunteers from The Raptor Center bring birds out for test flights once a week to start with, and three to four times a week before they are released back into the wild. A rope is attached to the eagle’s feet so it can’t fly away.

A juvenile bald eagle flies after being released at Como Regional Park in St. Paul, Minn., as part of its rehabilitation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Volunteers from The Raptor Center bring birds out for test flights once a week to start with, and three to four times a week before they are released back into the wild. A rope is attached to the eagle’s feet so it can’t fly away.

Mohamednour Aded, 38, poses for a photo in the hallway of former Garfield Elementary School, which is now a mosque that was started by the Islamic Center of St. Cloud in St. Cloud, Minn., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Aded came to the United States in 2013 and was injured while working at American Food Group. While working at American, Aded had to pray in the bathroom after he was denied to take prayer breaks.

Mohamednour Aded, 38, poses for a photo in the hallway of former Garfield Elementary School, which is now a mosque that was started by the Islamic Center of St. Cloud in St. Cloud, Minn., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Aded came to the United States in 2013 and was injured while working at American Food Group. While working at American, Aded had to pray in the bathroom after he was denied to take prayer breaks.

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., is a fixed roof stadium with a translucent roof and movable front windows. The windows and roof allow natural light to enter into the stadium, and give fans a view of downtown. During a media tour on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, it was announced that the stadium is 90 percent complete.

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., is a fixed roof stadium with a translucent roof and movable front windows. The windows and roof allow natural light to enter into the stadium, and give fans a view of downtown. During a media tour on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, it was announced that the stadium is 90 percent complete.

Dave Mansell, general superintendent of M.A. Mortenson Co., talks about the progress on completing U.S. Bank Stadium during a media tour of the arena, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dave Mansell, general superintendent of M.A. Mortenson Co., talks about the progress on completing U.S. Bank Stadium during a media tour of the arena, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Peter Southard, a member and volunteer with Twin City Model Railroad Museum, works on preparing a carnival display as the museum approaches its re-opening set for mid-May at its new location in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, April 2, 2016. The carnival display has multiple moving displays including a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, merry-go-round, and a mini drive-in movie theater with a screen that shows a live view from a camera mounted on the front of the model train running on the track. Southard, an associate professor in the operations and supply chain management department at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, is an avid collector and model train enthusiast. He has been heavily involved in the moving of the museum from its former location at Bandana Square to Transfer Road in St. Paul, Minn.

Peter Southard, a member and volunteer with Twin City Model Railroad Museum, works on preparing a carnival display as the museum approaches its re-opening set for mid-May at its new location in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, April 2, 2016. The carnival display has multiple moving displays including a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, merry-go-round, and a mini drive-in movie theater with a screen that shows a live view from a camera mounted on the front of the model train running on the track. Southard, an associate professor in the operations and supply chain management department at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, is an avid collector and model train enthusiast. He has been heavily involved in the moving of the museum from its former location at Bandana Square to Transfer Road in St. Paul, Minn.

Todd Roach, left, and his son Brendan, 3, of Dellwood, Minn., watch model trains go by on a display at Upper Midwest Train Show and Sale at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., on Saturday, April 2, 2016. They were among hundreds of people that came out for the train show, which was a popular event for families, model train collectors, and railroad history enthusiasts.

Todd Roach, left, and his son Brendan, 3, of Dellwood, Minn., watch model trains go by on a display at Upper Midwest Train Show and Sale at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., on Saturday, April 2, 2016. They were among hundreds of people that came out for the train show, which was a popular event for families, model train collectors, and railroad history enthusiasts.

A fan pays his respects to Prince at an impromptu memorial for the musician that was set up at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minn., by mourners the day the musician died, Thursday, April 21, 2016 (visit my multimedia page to see a video I did covering the reaction of fans to Prince's death).

A fan pays his respects to Prince at an impromptu memorial for the musician that was set up at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minn., by mourners the day the musician died, Thursday, April 21, 2016 (visit my multimedia page to see a video I did covering the reaction of fans to Prince's death).

Pastor Harding Smith poses for a photo at the Spiritual Church of God in Robbinsdale, Minn., Friday, June 10, 2016. Smith, an anti-violence activist, has become a controversial figure as some believe he takes advantage of media coverage of those he tries to help after experiencing a tragedy, primarily in the neighborhoods of north Minneapolis. 

Pastor Harding Smith poses for a photo at the Spiritual Church of God in Robbinsdale, Minn., Friday, June 10, 2016. Smith, an anti-violence activist, has become a controversial figure as some believe he takes advantage of media coverage of those he tries to help after experiencing a tragedy, primarily in the neighborhoods of north Minneapolis. 

Carlos Antonio Saldana embraces his friend David Brink while attending Golden Valley Pride Festival, in Golden Valley, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Saldana is originally from Orlando, Fla., and was emotionally struck by the news of the shooting at Pulse nightclub as he is familiar with it and has friends that go there sometimes. Saldana said at this point he does not know anyone who was there at the time of the shooting.

Carlos Antonio Saldana embraces his friend David Brink while attending Golden Valley Pride Festival, in Golden Valley, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Saldana is originally from Orlando, Fla., and was emotionally struck by the news of the shooting at Pulse nightclub as he is familiar with it and has friends that go there sometimes. Saldana said at this point he does not know anyone who was there at the time of the shooting.

Mara Glubka, of Richfield, Minn., yells at a yells at a Christian protester while attending Golden Valley Pride Festival, in Golden Valley, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.  She was so upset when protesters started to quote the Bible saying all homosexuals are sinners and in response yelled, “Shout them down! Shout them down!”

Mara Glubka, of Richfield, Minn., yells at a yells at a Christian protester while attending Golden Valley Pride Festival, in Golden Valley, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.  She was so upset when protesters started to quote the Bible saying all homosexuals are sinners and in response yelled, “Shout them down! Shout them down!”

Two men listen to speakers as hundreds of mourners gathered for an emotional vigil to show their support for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Two men listen to speakers as hundreds of mourners gathered for an emotional vigil to show their support for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Ilhan Omar, left, and Erin Maye Quade hold hands as Quade says, “Hand in hand, we move forward,” while speaking at the a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Ilhan Omar, left, and Erin Maye Quade hold hands as Quade says, “Hand in hand, we move forward,” while speaking at the a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Ilhan Omar embraces a friend after she spoke at a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Omar is running for Minneapolis House District 60B and is a supporter of the GLBTQ community.

Ilhan Omar embraces a friend after she spoke at a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Omar is running for Minneapolis House District 60B and is a supporter of the GLBTQ community.

Stephanie Peck, of Burnsville, Minn., holds a pride flag while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Stephanie Peck, of Burnsville, Minn., holds a pride flag while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

From left, Laura Sanders, Jonathan Knudson, and Ethan Meyers hold candles they lit while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. “We’re fortunate to have a community here in Minneapolis that shows support for what happened,” said Sanders.

From left, Laura Sanders, Jonathan Knudson, and Ethan Meyers hold candles they lit while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016. “We’re fortunate to have a community here in Minneapolis that shows support for what happened,” said Sanders.

From left, Hattie Hsu, Steph Theisen, and Chandler Daily, all of St. Paul, Minn., hold candles they lit while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

From left, Hattie Hsu, Steph Theisen, and Chandler Daily, all of St. Paul, Minn., hold candles they lit while attending a vigil held for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

A man wears a rainbow flag in his hair during a gathering of hundreds of mourners at an emotional vigil supporting the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

A man wears a rainbow flag in his hair during a gathering of hundreds of mourners at an emotional vigil supporting the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 12, 2016.