In March 2013, Stacey Baker took her first photograph of women’s legs. The woman was standing in the Waldorf Astoria lobby, and her legs, lean beneath a spring coat, struck Baker as enviably dainty. Days later, she photographed a pair in Central Park. Soon her Instagram feed was devoted entirely to legs. She’s photographed over 1,000 pairs — many will be published in a book called New York Legs this fall — and her process hasn’t changed much: She sees a woman, asks permission, and uploads the shot. But her perception of what makes legs desirable has shifted. “I am very critical of my body. I’ve always wanted longer legs,” she says. “Christy Turlington’s. Or Cindy Crawford’s. But as the project went on, the legs I thought made the most beautiful pictures were fuller-figured, curvy, more sculptural. To me, that is reassuring.”
*This article appears in the August 8, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.