|Born||Apr. 27, 1972 (age 41)
London, England, UK
Nigel Barker is a famous Sri Lankan-English photographer, TV show personality, filmmaker and a former model. His is best known for his role as a judge and photographer on America’s Next Top Model. He is currently the host of the reality show The Face.
Nigel was born on April 27, 1972, in London. His dad is of English, French and Italian descent, and his mother is of Sri Lankan descent. His mother, in fact, is a former Miss Sri Lanka who played an important role in Nigel’s modeling interests while growing up.
Nigel grew up in a family with five siblings from three different marriages. He lived with this family until he turned 18. He attended Bryanston School, where he took his A-levels in chemistry, biology, and physics.
Career in Modeling
At first, Nigel Barker wanted to continue his studies in medicine. However, his mother encouraged him to join a televised model search on The Clothes Show. He ended up being a finalist on this show and this marked the beginning of his modeling career.
He continued to be a model for about 10 years in Milan, London, New York and Paris. As a very young model, he observed that the fashion industry was drastically changing. He observed that models were shrinking and a 6’4’’ well-built male model simply was not as popular as they once were. He therefore decided to change careers. Since he loved this industry so much, he chose to be a fashion photographer.
Career in Fashion Photography
Nigel Barker opened his own photo studio called StudioNB in Manhattan. Some of his credits include Lucky, GQ, Tatler, Interview, Town & Country, Nicole Miller, Nine West, Seventeen, TED Baker, Cover, Lexus, Lands End, Beefeater, Jordache, Ford, Pamella Roland and Sony.
Barker was also a judge for 17 cycles on America’s Next Top Model. He was also an official judge for Miss America Pageant in 2007 and Miss Universe pageant in 2012. Nigel made a special appearance as a photographer in third season of Canada’s Next Top Model, the first season of New Zealand’s Next Top Model and Mexico’s Next Top Model as well as the second season of Benelux’ Next Top Model.
Other Career Highlights
Nigel Barker holds spokesperson positions for several prominent brands such as Sony, Crest, Microsoft and Nine West. He appeared alongside Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake in the 2010 Sony national ad campaign. Apart from this, he has loaned his personality to TV and feature film cameos, presenting and event hosting.
He has also hosted many events such as 2007, 2008, and 2010 Emmy Awards. In 2009, he opened a photography exhibit entitled Haiti: Hunger and Hope, in New York. On April 20, 2012, he was fired from America’s Next Top Model by Tyra Banks after 18 seasons due to this show’s low ratings.
Barker’s Personal Life
Nigel Barker is currently married to Cristen Chin, who has been a model and representative for CoverGirl since 1999. The couple met in Milan. According to Nigel, it was love at first sight and he knew he would marry her. The couple lives in New York City with their two children.