Lives & works in Champlin, Minnesota


Freshwater Weatherguide Environment Calendar

Outdoor News

Owl Eye Magazine

National Weather Service

Fox9, Kare 11, and KSTP contributor


Loon photo on exhibit at the Rejected Art exhibit in Minneapolis. 

Sub-Arctic Great Horned Owl on exhibit at the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota. 

Recognized at a freshwater society banquet as a contributing photographer to the weather calendar. 

On the day after Christmas in 2013 my mom and dad mentioned that there had been some reports of a snowy owl hanging around a nearby farm field. My mom, brother, nephew and I decided to go out hoping to catch a glimpse of the owl. What happened next changed my life. Driving around on gravel roads looking for the owl, naively I was mostly looking in trees and in wooded areas (those familiar with bird watching know that snowy owls are usually spotted in farm fields and on lights poles). We came up to an intersection and I noticed some cars parked along the gravel road.  About 100 yards into the field, a few photographers walked back towards the cars and we engaged in conversation. They told us that the owl is there and in a good location for viewing and photographing. My brother got out and took some photos while the rest of us hung out in the car and viewed the owl from a far. My mom convinced me to grab my little Nikon J1 that my wife bought from target with gift cards we got from our wedding (a camera I was opposed to buying but caved). At the time, I did not really know how to change the wide angle lens to the 110 mm “telephoto” lens. Lucky for me my mom figured it out. Ill prepared and not really knowing how to use the camera I walked out into the snow covered field and started taking photos of the snowy owl. I was able to get a few nice photos, one of which my parents printed, framed and gave to us to hang in our home. The picture still hangs on our photo wall today. This began my passion for wildlife photography.

My favorite subject to photograph is owls. There is something about these majestic birds that leaves me in awe every time I am able to see them in their natural habitat. I spend much of my free time wondering through wooded areas and driving the countryside searching for owls. Now when my wife and I travel I always bring my camera along. I have made some slight upgrades form the old Nikon J1 days. My photography friends still like to give me a little bit of grief about shooting with that camera. Finding and photographing that owl in Sauk Rapids, MN has led to landscapes, cityscapes, wildlife, milky way, northern lights, portraits and even a wedding. Hope you enjoy the site! 


 All images are for sale, please email to inquire.

© 2020 Joel Bakker. Proudly created with 

ALL images ©  2013-2020 Joel Bakker

 All images are for sale, please email to inquire.

Champlin, MN USA

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