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Fashion Photographer Empowers Youth To Get Up & Do!

Nigel Barker is an English fashion photographer and former model. He is regarded internationally and best known for his role as photographer and judge on Tyra Banks' reality show America’s Next Top Model. Barker runs his own photography studio called StudioNB and his work has been seen in GQ, Seventeen, Town & Country and the list goes on. He is a filmmaker, author and spokesperson as well and represents brands such as Sony, Nine West, and Microsoft just to name a few. This mega philanthropist is also a Cause Celeb veteran, this is Barker's third interview with us!

Donald Bowers/WireImage for Bing & DoSomething.org

Nigel Barker at Jacob H. Schiff Playground on July 10, 2012 in New York City restoring CITYarts Mosiac Peace Wall.

DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change with an active goal of 5 million members by 2015. DoSomething.org encourages teens to get up and do something in their community. They launch new campaigns almost weekly for bullying, animals, disasters, education, homelessness, human rights, sex and relationships, mental and physical health etc. These campaigns are created, run and supported by teens across the country.

DoSomething.org teamed up with Bing to create the Bing Summer of Doing Campaign. This event was kicked off to celebrate the new Bing where you can search with your Facebook friends and get ideas for what to do this summer and how to volunteer in your local communities. Check out the new Bing here for ideas and watch this video from one of the first Summer of Doing Events.

Introduction by Meg Zrini

Interviewed by Giacinta Pace

Q: How did you get involved with this organization?

Nigel: I’ve been involved with Do Something now for many years. I’m a friend of Nancy Lublin who’s the CEO and chair ambassador of DoSomething. I’ve got two kids of my own and so does she and it was really about getting our own kids to do something in their lives. Not just talk about things but action speaks louder than words. It starts with simple things like getting your son to get the newspaper from the front door, take the trash out, do the washing up to then taking a role in society at large and making a difference and empowering children to realize that their vote counts and that when you get out there in the community and actually do something yourself and not ask someone else to do it then you can actually be a part of the change. That’s a very empowering feeling to have and that’s what Do Something is all about, is empowering the youth of today to realize that they do make a difference, can make a difference but they have to do something about it themselves.

Q: Have you had any particular moving moments while working with the organization?

Craig Barritt/WireImage for Bing & DoSomething.org

Nigel and some teen volunteers Doing Something for the community this summer.

Nigel: I’ve had many. I actually got the opportunity to go to many of their events and one of the most sickly moving events was meeting this young man whose name [is] Kennedy Odede. He just wrote on my blog for me. This gentleman, this young man was presumed dead, was thrown into a mass grave, dug his way out and then basically managed to get on a boat, come to America, raise money, become relatively successful, go to Wesleyan and then bring his mother over from Africa. The fact that you can do so much with your life when you come from nothing, the inspirational stories that I hear time and time again from the kids that are doing things on Do Something whether it’s just raising a few thousand dollars to completely life changing stories like that to inspire kids to think. What? You think you’ve got it so hard? You haven’t. There are kids out there who’ve got it real hard and they’re not set feeling sorry for themselves and licking their wounds but rather picking themselves up and making a difference.

Don’t forget to look for summer volunteer ideas here with Bing and DoSomething.org