Nigel Barker Is a Real Photographer, Okay?

Barker
Photo: Getty Images

Last night we ran into noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker at Maggie Norris's pre–Fashion Week party, and we're happy to report that the man who can most often be found sitting behind the judge's stand on America's Next Top Model does in fact have legs. We asked him if he was going to be bringing his expert opinion to Tyra's new show, Fashionista, in which women will compete to become assistant editors at Elle. "I was asked to come onboard today!" he said. "I said I'd love to." So what is it going to be like? we asked. Will it be like America's Next Top Model only less pretty, and more passive-aggressive? "I think the fashionistas are going to go out there and realize how hard and how cutthroat and ruthless this industry can be," he said. But won't it be kind of mundane? He waved this away. "People are obsessed with all aspects of this industry," he explained. "It's sexy, it's cool, it's unattainable." Which is why, we guess, none of the Top Models have gone on to become, you know, top models. Speaking of the industry: Doesn't Nigel ever miss being a real-life fashion photographer? Apparently, this hit a nerve. "I shoot all the time," he huffed. "Every day! Yesterday! I'm doing a big David's Bridal campaign, and I just did some stuff for Microsoft. I'm a photographer, that's what I do." But what about, um, fashion? He nodded sagely. "You never see me when I'm taking pictures because I'm on the other side of the lens. Look closely at their eyes, and you'll see my reflection." —Amy Preiser

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