Nick Knight isn’t just any fashion photographer. Sure, he travels around the world shooting editorials for famous fashion magazines like Vogue, taking photos of some of the biggest supermodels in the world. But then take a look at his work and you’ll see that Knight is also an artist who embraces digital technology. As he says, "it’s just a way of having more control and a lot more possibilities. It’s a way of exploring the parameters within an image which is extremely exciting."
"The most brilliant thing about photography is that it’s a passport into any social situation whatsoever," says Knight. "It’s a ticket to photograph the President of the US, or a heroin addict in Camden, or a prostitute in Paris, or the biggest recording star in the world. Becoming a photographer is a way of finding out about people – finding out about life – and experiencing what they experience."
Indeed, in his 30-plus year career, Knight has rewritten the rules of fashion photography. He doesn’t just push boundaries, he takes us to new and exciting places that makes us believe in the art of fashion.
"For some reason people always think there’s a lot of post-production in my work but there isn’t always. This image for Yohji Yamamoto is basically as it was on the transparency. There’s no cutting out, no adding bits to it, no bringing one part of one image to another. Sarah Wingate walked out of the changing room looking like that. We put one light on the bustle, so the bustle’s lit, and the rest is in shadow. That’s it."
Recently, when Lady Gaga approached Nick Knight to work on her tour films, she recounts their first ever conversation with him: "I just called Nick. We were struggling to put the tour together so quickly and we wanted to do something very video driven and very interactive and I thought if I am going to do a video based show I need someone who can create videos and visuals who is really a genius. So I just called Nick and said “I’m in trouble. I need to phone God to help me get all this done in time. So naturally I called God, I called Nick Knight.” He started laughing. He just said, “oh thank you very much that’s very nice of you.” In that incredibly polite way he has. I said I wanted him to really push me, to go beyond my limits in terms of what I had done so far. In terms of marrying performance art, music and fashion and visuals. So naturally he wanted me to puke on myself and eat a bovine heart and do all sorts of other things," she mockingly states.