If a picture is worth a thousand words, I still favor my images over adjectives, nouns, and verbs. Photography is like a language to me and it is my strongest form of communication.
My peers in grade school mocked me because I had a stuttering speech impediment. One day, a teacher gifted me a disposable film camera and I immediately began to weave visual moments together with every day characters in my surroundings. The photos, arranged chronologically as stories, prompted me to speak clearly in front of my class during “show and tell” with no shame. That’s when I fell in love with the power of photography.
Growing up in my father’s non-denominational church, memories like the smell of wooden pews, the taste of communion, and the heat generated by enthusiastic worshippers, shaped my acute sense of awareness. I witnessed the outpouring of raw emotions by people of different cultural backgrounds at religious ceremonies across the southeastern U.S. My 6 siblings and I, bunked together in 3 bedrooms, became fast friends with strangers invited home from services. The generosity of my parents allowed perceived foreigners going through hardships to live with us for months. Inevitably, through these encounters my spiritual reverence and worldly curiosity was born.
Nearly 15 years later, I left a successful, yet unfulfilling career in engineering, marketing, and small business development to start a photography business. Sparked by a genealogy search for my multiracial roots and to quell my thirst to learn about people on the opposite side of the globe, photography once again became my platform to be heard and understood.
Ross Oscar Knight is an American artist who has an intense passion to understand humanity one photograph at a time. He combines his curiosity of universal love and spirituality to fuel his thirst to explore different cultures. Knight has the ability to observe and distill human emotion down to its very essence. His strength in communication through imagery was born out of his childhood speech impediment. Since he believes life is lived in moments and not in poses, mobility and time travel are recurrent themes in his work. Whether in rural Alabama or a remote village in Africa, he uses his camera as a tool to forge new relationships and to frame stories ever-present in people’s lives.
Knight is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and his images have appeared in various forms of media around the world. Notably, CNN, Oprah Winfrey, HGTV, the NBA, Forbes, Fox Business News, and LIVESTRONG have featured his photographs. The photo stories he produces have received interests from 20th Century Fox and Lifetime Television. As a philanthropist he supports cancer research and as a speaker he teaches 3 photography workshops annually. His goal is to Build Community Through Photography. Knight will publish his first book in 2012 containing selections of his work from the past 10 years. Ross and his wife, Brandi, of 4 years reside in metro Atlanta with their 3 year old Weimaraner, Bauer. The couple is excited to be expecting their first child this September.