Sunday, 1 July 2012

Interview with Thomas Knights

Hello Thomas. Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?

My name is Thomas Knights, I’m a photographer and film maker working mainly in fashion and music.

Talk us through an average day in the life of you?

Well I'm a night owl so I tend to work until about 3/4am and get up at 10am. I’m trying to curb this but I think it might be ingrained in me now. I’m really not a morning person. Every day is different, but usually I spend the morning answering emails and organising shoots and the afternoon being more creative; retouching, editing or storyboarding. If it’s a shoot day I'm up at 6am and shooting all day.

That sounds like "hard" work?

Your bio reads that you began your career as a music producer and performer, what made you change it up and embrace the click snap flash of a photographers life?

I was, and still am interested in music, it was my first passion but when I picked up the camera I realised my true calling in life. I think I found photography came more naturally to me and it was a much more positive experience so I naturally moved towards it.

Also, where can we find footage of you performing? Or has it been destroyed already.

It’s all been destroyed... I hope!

Well this is a bit of an exclusive wasps. I have indeed found some early footage of Thomas performing. Let’s take a look…

Okay I lied. But THAT looks fun!

Do you think your early start in music has influenced your approach to photography?

Absolutely. I began by retouching my band's pictures and coming up with the shoot concepts that created a sense of another world we inhabited. It was always very narrative based... quite filmic… I think that is my style really so since then I’ve just honed in on it and refined it.

How would you describe your photographic style?

I've realised recently that I always like to be in control of the shot, I like it to be set up, poised, stylised.... I don't tend to do much naturalistic photography and I think that’s because for me, photography is an escape from reality; it’s about a fantasy.

Oh I couldn’t agree with you more!

I thought I’d get this out of the way and it’s a little bit “awkward” me bringing it up but not many of my wasps will know that you directed a sex tape featuring some well-known faces!!! Would you care to share the experience with us?

HA! Actually there have been three sex tapes so far. It’s a collaborative project with Jodie Harsh for her club night Room Service. I find myself assuming the role of porn director for the day which is as fun as it sounds. It’s quite nice to do a sexy film with a real sense of humour that doesn't take itself too seriously. The last one, Sex Tape part 3 was given an 18 certificate on YouTube but on the whole they are all quite tame sexually compared with a lot of music videos.

Sex now “off the brain” and this is an opportunity for you to show off a little. Which fancy publications might my wasps have seen your work feature in? You have contributed to some very nice magazines fella.

Thanks! Well I did a story for Dazed & Confused Korea recently with Aaron Frew and Suki Waterhouse. I also shot Labrinth for Disorder and more recently shoots for Marie Claire and InStyle.


Who have been some of your favourite people to photograph in your career so far and if you had to pick one male model and one female model to photograph tomorrow, who would you choose and why?

My favourite person to shoot was Roisin Murphy. She gave so much of herself and it was one of the first shoots I ever did so I learnt a lot from her. Male model would be Sean O’Pry. I noticed him years ago and was like, wow his FACE! Female model would be Kate Moss... I still love her, always will, she has just got something.

Yes Yes Yes!

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

Avedon hands down. He has inspired so much of what we see now in fashion photography. I love Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin and James Bidgood who inspired Pierre Et Gilles and David LaChapelle.

Where do you find inspiration for your work on a daily basis?

I try and keep my eyes open and be observant of the world as much as I can. There are some great blogs out there and often I stumble on some random's Facebook page who has made a collection of crazy images pulled from the internet or something, which can set off a whole load of ideas. Also I look back to past greats all the time, old movies and TV performances.

So what does Thomas like to do for fun?

I love gardening which might seem a bit quaint but it keeps me sane. I grew loads of vegetables last summer. I’m lucky enough to have a garden in London and one year I decided to make something of it. It’s so rewarding to see something you have nurtured from a seed produce food you can then eat. This year I've been a bit slack due to work but I try and get outside as much as possible.

Thomas you are far too pretty to be spending your spare time hidden away in a garden. But since you mentioned, please do forward on any spare tomatoes you might have!

If you could be an animal for a day which animal would you be and why?

I would love to be a cat and go and explore the city at night. I reckon they must have some crazy adventures cause all ours does is sleep all day.

Your go-to song should you find yourself in a trashy karaoke bar?

This actually happened the other week with a friend and the singer Karin Park. Until then, the last time I sang Karaoke was when I was 14. I think our best number was 'What’s up' by 4 Non Blonds.

Nice choice and bonus points for dropping Karin Park's name into your answer.

Which item of clothing in your closet gets most wear and why?

My leather Biker Jacket. It’s a reconditioned jacket so its fitted and a bit unusual, I bought it in a shop in Sydney a few years back but I've worn it so much its getting a bit tatty which I quite like.

If the world were coming to an end and you were allowed one last kiss, who would be lucky enough to land on your lips?

Someone really good at kissing. I would hope.

Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question?

Hey! This is my interview!


A guilty pleasure you can’t seem to quit?

A Caramel Frappuccino Light with an extra shot of coffee. Its 'light' but I don't think that really means much... I think they just make it with semi skimmed milk.

Ha, you're probably right. Thanks matey!


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