Ross Knight featured in Brilliant Minds article!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Recently, I was interviewed by Te-Erika Patterson for her column Share My Dream: Brilliant Minds. You can read below or by clicking here.


Ross Oscar Knight: I Am A World Renowned Photographer

“I once read a saying: ‘What would you accomplish today if you knew that failure was not an option tomorrow?’" 28-year-old Ross Oscar Knight remembers. “I believe that everyone has a purpose in life and some people settle because of circumstances while others do not dare to step out on faith.”

For Ross, stepping out on faith meant making the transition from his job as an Engineer at Georgia Power to becoming a full-time wedding and event photographer. It meant walking away from a guaranteed paycheck standing firmly on the belief that his talent would lead the way to supply all of his needs.

This act of faith led to establishing Ross Oscar Knight Photography, a business that has seen tremendous growth since it’s inception in 2003 with a clientele that has expanded both nationally and internationally. His most popular clients to date are the Atlanta couple Robert Gray, Jr. And Keisha Williams, whose engagement photographs that he shot and presented in a slide show, has circled the world more than 150 million times.

Ross, who was never formally trained as a photographer, developed his unique vision for photographs by gaining inspiration from photography greats Gordon Parks and James VanDerZee.

In spite of his recent and imminent success, he admits that he didn’t always recognize his purpose. His love for photography blossomed naturally as he took note of other interests.

“I never knew as a child that I would actually be a photographer,” Ross says. “However, I did know that I would do or be something creative. As a child I always felt that I saw events differently than others. I was very observant in any environment that I was a part of. After an outing, I used to ask my family and friends if they recognized or remembered certain colors, scents, people, individuals, music, buildings and they would sometimes look at me like I was crazy. I found it hard to articulate my senses sometimes. Instead, one day I picked up a camera and realized that I could capture the ambiance of a situation or an event and then recreate it as a photo story.”

The art of telling one’s story through photography, which Ross calls Lifestyle Photojournalism, requires a strong sense of visual creativity and a natural story telling ability.

“Story telling is always something that I have loved to do. Maybe it was really just talking too much. My father is a pastor and a great story-teller. I used to sit and admire the stories he would tell during his sermons. Everyone in the church would be completely captivated [while I] I would imagine the pictures that went along with his words,” Ross says.

”When I started dating in middle and high school, I always enjoyed writing fiction and other prose for my girlfriends,” he remembers. “I would take pictures of them and us and put books together that told stories of our relationships. As I matured, these books changed to memoirs of relationships and how they would begin and end. I always wanted to take something away from the relationship to grow for the next and remind me not to go in reverse.”

Backtracking is not an option for the young professional photographer. His life is a testament of forward movement as he embraces his role as a visionary, accepting the fact that sacrifice and willpower are necessary to achieve greatness.

“I think some people let their dreams falter because society places stereotypes on dreamers and even visionaries, as if appropriate fantasies cannot be manifested. The opposite is true,” Ross says. “The major difference between those who live out their fantasies and those who don't is a direct matter of willpower. What is one willing to sacrifice to succeed? Comfort? Stability? Food? Sleep? Criticism? It is those that persevere through adversity with the mind set that failure is not an option who find the keys to self-fulfillment. Even in failure, true perseverance will prevail as a stepping stone to one's impending success.”

The obstacles that Ross had to overcome in order to achieve his dream presented themselves as a combination of finances, support, and obedience.

“I thought it impossible to become a full-time photographer 8 years ago when I was still in college,” Ross remembers. “The money just wasn't there to achieve my dream of purchasing equipment and supporting myself through art. To not lose hope, I found comfort in visiting galleries, painting at home, and still learning progressively about my art. I sought ways to be artistic for free!”

“Many people, like myself, hold on to baggage in the form of friends, family, and peers,” Ross offers. “I had to let go of my unhealthy baggage in order to be enlightened that prosperity was at my fingertips. Paraphrasing someone from my past, 'You really can pick your friends, family is a different story.' Consequently, having healthy relationships with supporters of your dream is the best way to overcome hard times. Last, being obedient to my conscience and prayers was a major road block for me. I struggle with consistent obedience and patience. I even wonder why because whenever I have the both in line, I am blessed beyond measure. Truly, I accomplished my dream to be a photographer by adhering to my faith.”




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10 comments:

Erica D. said...

Thank you. To any fiction readers, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo speaks to just such a journey.

Anonymous said...

How powerful! It is such a breath of fresh air to see people living out their dreams! Thanks for this blog because it definitely goes beyond entertainment; it is an inspiration to many of us! Ross, thank you!

Reading your blog today has helped make some things very clear in my mind - again, thank you.

A.Hope Smith said...

I am so proud of you!

~Hope

Thembi said...

Nice to see other former Tech students realizing that we can do more than engineering. It may take some work and a lot of faith but it can be done.

~Thembi

Nik said...

"Congratulations" are in order. I know I dont' know you, but that doesn't keep me from being happy for you and your engagement.

You make a beautiful couple.

Anonymous said...

Kudos!

asm

Anonymous said...

This was an awesome slide presentation (Remember the Ritz 2007) Kudos to you and may God bless you keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

This story truly helped me to STEP OUT!

Shellye said...

Your story is powerful and should be shared with others. It may lead others to follow their heart and dreams.

dlw - ATL/CHI said...

You know, I too am a creative person who has supressed or not expressed herself because of society's views of the "starving artist". Now, I have a young college student who originally majored in engineering, now at 21, has made a courageous decision to follow his dreams and do what he is passionate about. MUSIC !! Both you and he inspire me to follow my dreams! It's never too late! You are so fortunated (and he too) to realize this at such a young age.