Los Angeles-based photographer Sunny Bak started shooting at the age of twelve in Manhattan, NY, when her father loaned her his Nikon Rangefinder.

A young Broadway groupie, she began by hanging out backstage and documenting some of its biggest stars, including the original cast of A Chorus Line, Chicago, Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse. A year later she sold her first photo of Carly Simon, her next was a shot of Billie Jean King to People Magazine.

She studied at New York’s prestigious The School of Visual Arts The Nikon House, and at The New School with Philippe Halsman whose work was a major influence in her early career. While still in high school she opened Sunny Bak Studio, which would become a salon to the burgeoning rock and super model scene in New York. It was during this period she captured portraits of hundreds of entertainment luminaries including Madonna, Philippe Saisse, 10,000 Maniacs and the Beastie Boys, for whom Bak would create the iconic images featured on their multi-platinum album Licensed to Ill.

From 1986 to 1991 Bak operated studios in both New York and Los Angeles, with a year’s sojourn in London where she focused on fashion. Her editorial, fashion and portrait work has been featured in Time Magazine, Details, British Elle, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s World, the Hampton’s Newspaper Magazine as well one of the top ten covers of Newsweek. 

She was also the photographer and co-creator of the bestselling parody of People magazine Pupple.

Her portraiture also includes images of Gregory Peck, Keanu Reeves, Gene Simmons, Seth Green, Jason Priestly, Danzig, Slayer, The Village People, Carol Alt and for Jay Z’s book Decoded, among many others. 

Her work can be seen in the upcoming Rizzoli anthology Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label.

Since 1992 she has made Venice Beach her home where she is a board member of the Venice Art Crawl. 



Interested in purchasing a hand-signed

 Beastie Boys print by Sunny?

Email her for order details below.

Site design by

© 2024 Sunny Bak Studio  •  All Rights Reserved