Born in a rural village in western New York, Andrea Baldeck began photographing with a simple box camera at age eight, imagining herself a Life photographer canoeing through the jungle to meet Albert Schweitzer. This interest and dream pervaded years of musical study at Vassar, medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and practice as an internist and anesthesiologist. On medical trips to Haiti and Grenada, camera and stethoscope occupied the same bag.
In the early 1990’s she left the operating room for the darkroom, to work as a fine-art photographer in black and white. During the following decade, her portfolio grew to accommodate portraiture, still life, and landscapes, as featured in her books The Heart of Haiti (1996, second edition 2006), Talismanic (1998), Venice a personal View (1999), Touching the Mekong (2003), Closely Observed (2006), and Presence Passing (2007), and Himalaya: Land of the Snow Lion (2008). Since 1996 she has exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad, and her images are found in museums and private collections
Three of Baldeck’s exhibits – “Touching the Mekong,”“The Heart of Haiti,” and “Himalaya: Land of the Snow lion” – have traveled under the aegis of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. “The Texture of Trees,” her latest in a series of botanical essays, debuted at Philadelphia’s Morris Arboretum in 2008. Projects in development include “Shoreland,” an exploration of tidal landscapes and communities; a still life series, “Balancing Acts;” an in-depth look at the peoples, culture, and terrain of Burma (Myanmar); a photographic essay evoking the history of medicine, “Bones, Books and Bell Jars,” as well as ongoing collaborations with her husband, poet William Hollis. When not in the darkroom, she explores mountain peaks, far-flung islands, fields and gardens, seeking to entrap the transient through the magic of her photography.