Sunny Bak was born in Manhattan. She was a photographer for her junior high school newspaper in Queens, New York. She shot the cast of Broadway shows for the paper. She went on to study at The School Visual Arts Nikon House and at The New School for Social Research under Philippe Halsman.
In 1976, while still in high school she opened her first studio in Manhattan. During this time Bak photographed hundreds of entertainers including members of 10,000 Maniacs, Madonna, and Philippe Saisse. She may be most well-known from this period for her work on the Beastie Boys album, Licensed to Ill.
From 1986 to 1991, she had studios in New York and Los Angeles during this time she also photographed fashion in London, England. In 1992 she relocated to Venice Beach, California.
Bak’s works have appeared in British Elle, Cosmopolitan, Details, Hampton’s Newspaper magazine, Time Magazine, Woman’s World and one of the bestselling issues of Newsweek. Her portrait photography includes images of Carol Alt, Danzig, Seth Green, Gregory Peck, Jason Priestly, Keanu Reeves, Slayer and the Village People.