10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nick Knight

Nick Knight is a name almost synonymous with avant-garde and experimental fashion photography. For over three decades, Knight has been redefining the boundaries of photography, digitally manipulating images, and meddling with reality versus concept. In this interesting piece, we delve into ten eccentric facts about Knight’s life and work that you might not have come across. Buckle up and unlock a world that weaves together fashion, imagery, and imagination.

1. Nick Knight Dropped Out of School

Born in 1958 in London, England, Nick Knight was no academic overachiever. He left school at 16, with just one O-level in Art. The following two years were spent working in a design firm where he found his true passion, photography. He decided to pursue it further and enrolled at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design.

The lack of a conventional academic background did not restrict Knight’s growth. His unconventional style and passion were all he needed to shape his illustrious career.

2. His First Project Was on Skinhead Culture

Knight’s first major photographic project would surprise you. In 1982, while still at college, he completed a project showcasing the British subculture of skinheads. The project named ‘Skinhead’ was a documented journey into the lifestyle and ethos of the subculture, distinguishing him as a unique, ebbing talent.

The book was met with acclaim and paved the way for Knight’s multidimensional approach to photography and his desire to engage within the cultural discourse.

3. Knight Double-Majored in Film and Photography

In his college days, Knight’s interest was divided between film and photography. He graduated with a degree in both subjects, demonstrating an early desire to push boundaries and explore new mediums.

Today, we can appreciate the cinematic quality of Knight’s work, from his impactful stills to his captivating video content, showing how his integrated learning contributed to his expansive career.

4. He Delved into Music Album Photography

Besides fashion photography, Knight has been equally influential in the music industry. He stepped into music by photographing album covers for artists like David Bowie, Morrissey, and Björk.

His shot for the cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine’ is recognized as one of the most iconic album covers. This shows that Knight’s creative genius extends well beyond the confines of fashion.

5. Knight Created SHOWstudio

In 2000, Nick Knight started SHOWstudio, a cutting-edge fashion and art internet broadcasting company. SHOWstudio has always been ahead of its times, pioneering fashion film and live-streaming, long before it became mainstream.

SHOWstudio has become Knight’s digital home, showcasing his personal and collaborative projects. It is emblematic of Knight’s forward-thinking ethos and commitment to digital innovation in the world of fashion.

6. He Embraced Digital Technology Early On

One thing that sets Nick Knight apart from his peers is his swift embracement of digital technology in photography, long before others caught up. He became one of the first fashion photographers to experiment with Photoshop and digital manipulations in the 1990s.

His use of digital technology has often stirred conversations and created a unique narrative that differentiates him from others. It indeed broadens the horizons of photography and leaves an indelible impact.

7. He Photographed Queen Elizabeth II

In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip chose Nick Knight to shoot their official Diamond Wedding Anniversary portrait. Despite the controversy over the Photoshopped image, the end result was a testament to Knight’s propensity to shatter conventions.

This commission elevated his status to one of the most revered photographers in contemporary history and showcased his ability to successfully blend tradition with modernity.

8. He Created an Interactive Project with Björk

Knight collaborated with singer Björk to create the highly interactive ‘Biophilia’ app in 2011, blurring lines between technology, fashion, and music. It was hailed as the world’s “first app album,” revolutionising the way audiences connect with music.

The app takes interaction to another level with games, scores, and custom-made instruments, highlighting Knight’s innovative thinking and firm belief in extending the boundaries of creative interaction.

9. He Pushes for Diversity in Fashion

Knight has always been an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry. His photographs have continually challenged conventional beauty standards and have included a wide variety of models from all walks of life.

His desire to push for real representation and constantly challenge perceptions makes him one of the most inspiring photographers in the industry.

10. Knight Photographs with iPhone

In a world where high-end camera brands are seen as the gatekeepers of great photography, Knight has openly confessed his love for shooting with his iPhone. This embraces a wider conversation about accessibility and the democratisation of photography.

Knight has shown that the true essence of photography lies not in the equipment, but the creative vision. His projects using the iPhone exhibit his remarkable adaptability and commitment to innovate, irrespective of the platform.

From embedding himself in cultural discourse, embracing new technology, to redefining beauty norms in fashion, Nick Knight is an icon of 21st-century photography. His work raises important questions about the intersections of technology, fashion, and imagery, consistently pushing the industry forward.

Discover more about his work and contributions via the following links:

Nick Knight Official Website

SHOWstudio: Home of Fashion Film and Live Fashion Broadcasting

Nick Knight Instagram