Nick Knight is arguably the most celebrated fashion photographer working today. He redefined the industry with the introduction of fashion films via SHOWstudio and has worked with the greatest creatives of the 21st century, among them some of the most acclaimed figures in contemporary fashion, including John Galliano, Kate Moss, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons and Alexander McQueen, as well as pop culture icons and creatives from the world of art, music and film including Tracey Emin, Björk, Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga. Established in November 2000, SHOWstudio’s innovative and ground-breaking projects have defined the manner in which fashion is presented via the internet. SHOWstudio pioneered fashion film and is now recognised as the leading force, working with the latest technology to broadcast live from catwalk shows and fashion shoots, allowing an international audience instant and unparalleled access to the previously closed world of high fashion. Here Knight tells VAULT about his passion for iPhone photography and Instagram.
So Nick, I’m curious, as someone who has exhibited in museums and galleries and published beautiful books, what do you make of the absolute plethora of images that exist across social media today? Images come and go so quickly. What are your thoughts on that as a photographer? Has social media changed what you do?
I first started using Instagram around 2012. I felt it brought me closer to photography, to my initial photographic practice when I first started as a 17-year-old boy, to the sort of things I started looking through my camera and seeing – it brought me closer to those [things]. When you’re working on Instagram, there’s nobody else. There’s literally you and the camera, and you put out the image and it’s a very pure way of delivering your vision and there’s half a dozen filters you use just to modify it slightly. But I found it really refreshing because you get really involved in image making. My other practice is of course a big collaborative process. I work with a designer, with a brand, with a hairdresser or makeup artist, a model, an art director et cetera. And I love all of that, but it is a big complicated process, which is about collaboration. It’s about me getting inside somebody else’s mind, and me seeing through their eyes. Instagram took it right down to it just being me again. And just me looking through a camera or through a lens and seeing something and publishing it. With nobody else in the frame at all. I’m not saying this is the only way I want to work, because I love . .. Subscribe to read this article in full