Chris Knight Biography | Dramatic Photography & Retouching

(fast piano music) – Pursuing photography for
a career was a little bit of a happy accident. It started off as an obsession, which I think it usually
does for a lot of people, and it just transitioned
into what it later became. I went to school for broadcast journalism. After I graduated college, I decided I didn’t really
want to do that anymore, and I got my first digital camera, and I just… I fell in love. I saved up. I was waiting tables,
and I was bartending, and I’d work these shifts til, you know, 11, 12 o’clock at night, and I’d come home, and I’d research, and I’d retouched until
three or four in the morning, and then when I had to shoot, I was up at seven or eight in the morning. I didn’t sleep much. There are always a few
things that I say equate to success. There are like three pillars. One of those is effort. One of those is attitude,
and one of them is talent, and talent comes, but attitude and working
hard are two things that anyone can do right now, and so my equalizer, even though I didn’t
really have the talent, was that I’d be willing to work when other people would sleep, and one of my favorite things
to photograph is portraits and editorial portraiture. I probably see myself
doing a lot more of that. I also loved character portraits and the elaborate character portraits. Art history has just been
something that was a hobby for me. I never went to school for it. I just got interested in it
at one point and was like… It was an obsession. Because it was a love
and obsession of mine, it was something that I wanted
to incorporate in my work, and it took me a while to figure that out, that I wanted to put our
history into the work. It kind of slowly crept in, and then once it became
a conscious decision and once it became something that
I was a bit more aware of, the work started to make
a little bit more sense. I had the opportunity
to come up to New York, and I said, “What do I do now?” So I went back to shooting more regularly, and I was shooting, and then ultimately, I had
the opportunity to teach, and I did that, and I started teaching at
the New York Film Academy, and I’ve been there for
about three and a half years. Teaching has made me an
exponentially better photographer. When you have to break
down a problem or an idea from all sides, you think about
it completely differently. I’m very fortunate that
I have the opportunity with teaching to work surrounded
by something that I love, even if I’m not shooting every day, I am surrounded by
photography, and I love that. I love that I get to spend my time talking about something that means so much to me. (slow piano music)

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