Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ross Oscar Knight

Good wedding photography tells the story of the wedding day. But exceptional wedding photography does so much more than tell a story, it draws you in and evokes emotion, even if you don't know the couple. Ross Oscar Knight is without a doubt an exceptional wedding photographer. Once exposed to his work, it leaves an indelible mark on you and you never forget the photos or the photographer.
Ross has stopped by today to share his work and his passion for photography. So sit back, relax and get to know a little about Ross Oscar Knight Photography.

Lemiga: How did you get started in photography?

Ross Oscar Knight: How did I get started in photography? The story is quite interesting. As a child, I can remember sneaking into my parents bedroom to get the family polaroid camera and snap a few candids of my six siblings. Of course, I would always return the camera before either of my parents came home. Ahh, the 80's... By the time I was in high school I was "upgraded" to a small 35mm camera. It was a Christmas present from my mother. I promise it would have taken a small army to pry that camera from my hands.

I used to travel around the neighborhood taking pictures of everything in sight. After an afternoon of photography I would race to the local grocery store to get my images developed. During the early 90's one-hour photo was still new technology to me. I would actually wait outside the store with my claim ticket in hand for the entire hour. If my finished pictures were over one minute late, I exercised my right to free 3x5 prints!I kept the same 35mm camera throughout college and suffered ridicule from my friends for always having my camera with me. I took pictures at football and basketball games, parties and homecoming festivities. On one of my holiday trips back home to Pensacola I asked my father about his experiences in college and growing up in the south. He was able to tell me about them but could produce very few pictures. So I decided to get even more serious about documenting my college experiences. Further, I gained an intense desire to trace my heritage and locate old photographs of my relatives. Finding several damaged pictures, I learned to use computer software to digitally reconstruct the images. This is when I was first introduced to complex digital editing. To date I have collected over 100 pictures and gained information on six generations of my family.

Being a broke college student, photography became my therapy for stress. I would drive for hours around the city of Atlanta and small towns throughout the state to find interesting locations. I didn't even use a map! I still use some of these little known places today for lifestyle portrait sessions. It was not until I graduated from college that I had enough money to retire my faithful 35mm Olympus and purchase professional equipment.
Lemiga: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Ross Oscar Knight: I enjoy traveling and connecting with interesting people. The goal of my company is to Build Community Through Photography and I feel that my photography connects people from all over the world. I challenge my audience to explore cultures other than their own and to see that love is universal no matter your race or creed. I believe that everyone on earth possesses a gift that must be unlocked to achieve true success and self-fulfillment. My job as a photographer has given me both! The key is to love what you see...and I love everyone that I come in contact with and have the privilege to photograph. I get satisfaction knowing that 100 years from now my images will still be enjoyed by people all around the world and that families will share stories together based on special moments that I've captured.
Lemiga: You have photographed all over the world - is there any place you haven't been to yet that you would love to shoot a wedding at?

Ross Oscar Knight: I would love to shoot a wedding in Australia! I have heard so much about the beauty there. Any takers?

Lemiga: What details within the wedding day play the most important part in your photography?

Ross Oscar Knight: Its the small details that really count. I'll list a few.

1. Gifts. When the bride and/or groom send each other a little gift or note before the ceremony it is really sweet and the reactions are so sincere. I love to photograph the gifts and the intimate moment when the gift is first opened.

2. Colors. I love black and white photography but nothing beats a great splash of color. I have had clients that are adventurous with their color schemes and some that are more reserved, however, when the colors compliment the personality of the couple it shows through my photographs. Special note: choose colors wisely, especially when you want timeless photos.

3. Flowers and Shoes. Two of my favorite things to photograph. Maybe its because I grew up with five sisters but I know how important shoes are to women. The bride's shoes are one of my first shots. A well-made bouquet photographs perfectly and is a symbol of the couple's style. Simple, elegant or sophisticated. Every wedding I take the dress, shoes, rings, and flowers off somewhere to do creative compositions. My clients appreciate the extra time I take to document these details.
4. Groom's Details. I always find it so cool when the groom and groomsmen find a way to inject a bit of their personalities in their wardrobe. Whether cuff links, eccentric socks, cool belt buckles, custom shoes, monogrammed shirts, or power ties - the details make for awesome images.

5. Location. The location of the wedding really does matter. My favorite weddings to shoot are outdoors. I specialize in natural light photography and taking advantage of the sun's different hues and shadows create opportunities for unique photographs that can never be replicated. When the sun sets, whether on a golf course or a beach, I love to take the couple back outdoors to capture powerful images.
6. Receptions Details and Decor. The most detailed reception I shot was out in Dallas. From the table displays, to the cake, to the spotlights on the dance floor - this wedding was amazing. It made my job easy as the space I was shooting was just beautiful. No matter where the couple stood or danced in the room, the background was perfect.

7. Wedding Planner. When you find a Wedding Planner that understands your needs you have found a gem. And so has your photographer. Many of my clients spend a substantial portion of their wedding budget on me as the photographer. After all, when everyone goes home and the flowers wilt away you'll only have your photographs for memories. If you express the importance of photography to your Wedding Planner and that Planner can work with the photographer's schedule then you are well on your way to the most exceptional photos ever seen. Why? Great photography takes time and planning. Some Planners can cram your schedule so tightly that everyone gets frustrated and your wedding feels like "The Amazing Race" reality show. When my clients and the Wedding Planner agree on the schedule we produce to shoot all of the photographs you want then it makes things much easier.

8. Attitude. Can you believe that some people get to their weddings and they are cranky the entire day? I've seen it all. A bad attitude can show through your photos because the camera doesn't lie. Getting the proper rest the week of the wedding, making sure to eat properly, and expecting the unexpected can keep you from being frustrated and help me as the photographer to photograph you at your best. Assigning duties to your planner or wedding party can relieve you from unwanted stress. I'm used to working in stressful situations when people are late and even when lipstick drops on a wedding dress (ouch!) but when the couple I am shooting keeps a positive attitude so does everyone else.
9. Flexibilty. I once took a couple in New York from the church back to the family home to shoot formals. Why? I visited the bride's childhood home two days before the wedding and I saw infinite possibilities to shoot. The church did not excite me that much. The couple was very flexible and arranged transportation for the wedding party to the home. The resulting images were fantastic. Not everyone has time to travel to different locations to shoot on a wedding day but it is important to trust your photographer's wisdom about where to shoot and be flexible enough to consider alternative ideas.
10. The Entrance and the Send Off. When the bride enters for the ceremony I create my best shot of the day. I love when flowers are intricately placed down the aisle as opposed to a traditional runner so that I can focus back and forth between the petals and the bride. The shot at the end of the reception is equally as important. When the couple exits to jump in a golf cart, race through sparklers, or carefully pace as guest blow bubbles make for fun and memorable images.
Lemiga: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

Ross Oscar Knight: Going to shoot weddings in Africa for my first book: Weddings Around the World!

Lemiga: I know you are a newlywed yourself - how did the experience of getting married change your perspective on wedding photography?

Ross Oscar Knight: The experience of getting married did not change my perspective on wedding photography. I will always want to have fun shooting while producing images that document a story and show my client's real personalities. On another note, my recent wedding has brought me closer to brides and grooms on a personal level. I understand firsthand the joys and the pains, the laughter and the cries, the budgets and the splurges. Most of all, I have a deeper appreciation for love and how to capture intimate images that will be relived for generations.
Thanks Ross for stopping by and sharing your work! Truly works of art!


Lara @ Southern Weddings said...

We are excited to work with Ross on an upcoming spring wedding of ours!

Ondia said...

I love his work! He is truly amazing photographer.

Inspired Events by Nycia said...

Girl, I am a Ross Oscar Knight stalker. I love to follow his work, he has mad talent!!

KNIGHT said...

Hey Michelle - It was fun stopping by to chat! You are fabulous at what you do. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.