“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the
minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon Alder
For the third time this year, Texas PPA has lost a dedicated Past
President and a friend to all. Sharon Baker, of Mansfield, Texas, has
been a familiar face at TPPA events for many years. She served as TPPA
President from August 2004 to July 2005 and has been “Head Wrangler” for
the Texas School of Professional Photography for a decade or more. Her
smiling face and lively personality will be missed by those of us who
knew and loved her.
Her entry into the photography profession came somewhat by accident. Her
husband, Steve, worked for a newspaper in Mansfield during the 1980’s
and opened a studio “after hours.” One day Sharon asked the innocent
question, “What are you going to do if someone needs a photograph during
the day?” That began her learning experience and is how Image
Photography was born. Her involvement in TPPA soon followed along with
mentoring from the late Roy Madearis and others.
Sharon believed in Texas PPA and often used the word “family” to
describe it. “We celebrate the good times and suffer through the bad
times with all our members as if they were family,” she once commented.
“We are like a group of artists who are always out to show the world
what we see through our own eyes and camera lenses. Ours is a gift that
the world treasures. You never know what the future brings and how much
that image would come to mean for someone.” This would become tragically
true back in 2003 when she and her husband, Steve, lost their 21 year
old son, Samuel, in a drowning accident and it was during this dark time
that they learned that renowned photographers Joseph and Louise Simone
had used Samuel as a model at Texas School and presented them with a
portrait of their son. That priceless presentation would be a shining
example of why we do what we do as professional photographers.
Don Dickson, Director of the Texas School of Professional Photography
commented, “She loved the school and was always there to do whatever job
needed to be done. Her work ethic was the best in the world. She loved
her family and was a strong Christian friend to so many.” In her memory,
a Sharon Baker Scholarship is being established in her honor to promote
the love she had for the Texas School of Professional Photography.