Your Support System

Monday, June 16, 2008

For me, what's sexier than my wife carrying my camera?

Her actually learning how to use it...

...and us photographing a glass together during breakfast.


I know some of you have to be flipping out right now like...where is he really going with this. He's really lost it this time.

This post gets personal.

As I was sitting in church yesterday my pastor spoke about the father's role in a home and being a man not just a male. What resonated more than anything with me was how he described the strength of marriage. He described the man as the walls of a home and the wife as a vine. See Pslams 128:3. He took the analogy further by describing a fence post that was falling but a vine that had grown strong over the years that was holding the fence up for support. The vine also served as beautification for the ailing fence.

In both cases, the walls of the home and the fence post, there was mutual support.

Five years ago, I prayed that God would take my life in a direction of growth and prosperity and allow me to touch other people with my story in the process. I wanted to buy a house, I needed a car, I had no savings, my debt was out of control, and I was really wondering what in the world was the next step in my life. I was confused with business plans all over my room and lists of ideas I wanted to pursue and dreams I wanted to accomplish. The next part of my journey took me through trials that allowed me to learn how to rid myself of the selfishness in my life. I had to take care of others and put my dreams on hold to learn how to be a man.

Four years ago, I described a dream to my friend (later to become my wife). The dream was about having the freedom to work when I wanted, how I wanted, where I wanted, and doing what I wanted by pursuing a career that used my ability to connect with people. Instead of laughing she smiled, gave me a nod of approval, and then continually lifted me up in prayer. I spoke about graduate school as a means to break free from the corporate life and give me time to sort through my business plans - she supported that direction and lifted me in prayer. A year later my then girlfriend assisted me on a photo shoot one day. Up until that time I felt as if my hobby/business was off limits to her but she asked to come anyways. I noticed her uncanny ability to see what I was seeing, to assist me with equipment before I asked, to relax my clients, to flash an encouraging smile, to organize my rambling thoughts, and to make the experience of shooting so much better. She's now my wife and has become an integral part of my business. A few weeks ago I hurt myself during the first part of a shoot. Since the shoot occurred at two different locations I called her on the way to the second to tell her what had happened. She was ready to leave work and come finish the shoot for me. Better yet, I asked her to pray and I finished the shoot myself with remarkable results. As recently as St. John she could not finish the second half of a shoot herself with me due to some complications so I took both cameras and shot simultaneously by myself for the rest of the wedding. I felt her prayers from across the hall. She's been my biggest fan since the beginning. I get teary eyed just thinking about it. She reminds me to put lotion on in the morning, hydrate before and while I shoot, pack extra equipment for the day, to stick a piece of gum in my mouth, and makes me eat so I can keep going. She corrects the grammar in my blog posts, reviews hundreds if not thousands of images, and packs equipment faster than you can blink. Now she's ventured into shooting on her own sometimes and what a blessing that is. Just check here then click your browser back button to finish reading this post.

So for all of you blog readers out there emailing me about how to start and run a successful photography business....you need to go out and find a wife or a husband that can shoot!

OK, just kidding. What is really important is to build your support system. A group of people that will be honest with you when you are right or wrong. A group of people that will tell you when your images suck and when they are amazing. A group of people that will pray for your life, health, strength, and dreams. You cannot do it alone. You need a person/people that will understand when you are still up at 3 A.M. looking at the same photograph since 9 P.M. You need financial support just in case your hobby makes no money. And please don't forget about the all too important health insurance. With photographers in every city yelling - "I can shoot your wedding with my point and shoot," you have to decide what will differentiate you from the rest. Taking great images is one thing but having a strong network can trample others in your path.

If you are having problems getting people on board with your vision for your life, print this blog entry and send it to them in the mail. Better yet, I give you complete permission to cut and paste into an email or to send them this link. Let them see how a person with a passion can grow from a dream to a career. Tell them how important it is for them to support you in your life. The key is that you must be willing to give the same amount of support also. Then pray for them just as hard as you want them to support you.

One thing that you have to keep in mind is who is the final authority in your life. Suggestions from others are great but your spirit can lead you in a direction when others are telling you different. What to shoot, what to write, how to speak, where to travel, what image to post, what camera to buy, how to market, developing your vision, saving for your dream, investing in your passion, determining your path, acting on faith...

I could have chosen hundreds of images to add to this post. Pictures of vines and houses and fences and such. But my wife carrying my camera for me, then shooting, and that glass of cold water on that hot day is very symbolic of the support and relief she has given me and I thank God for that. Makes me want to yell thank you from the mountain tops! What a blessing it is just to be alive. And thanks to the innocent bystander that I gave a quick 30 second tutorial on how to shoot my camera after I set the settings for him.

note: this post will probably have grammar issues until Mrs. KNIGHT or my sister reads it!

- KNIGHT


Share/Bookmark

35 comments:

myuniq1 said...

thanks ross.
and thanks mrs. knight.
kp

Raschelle Knight said...

What a great blog entry and message! You and Brandi are perfect together because you both work as a team, and yes she is a great "help mate". You are a blessing to each other and your love for her is so evident in this entry---I know that she is blushing. :) Love you both!

Prudence said...

Ok I'm tearing up as I read this...because I understand exactly what you're talking about. I could write the same story and know that my husband, lover, partner would do the same. I love being married, I love my support system. I love being a support system. I am happy that you have the same. God bless you both.

Jummy said...

I must start earnestly praying that God will send me such a partner in my future husband.

Thank you for the inspiration, Ross.

~InfiniteWorth~ said...

In proverbs it says that "open rebuke is far better than hidden love" to have someone that LOVES you enough to tell you when you're wrong and love you in your not yets and grow together.... That is wonderful. Thank you for this post Mr. Knight..... and prudence, I was crying myself. MR.and Mrs. Knight, You both encourage me to continue to wait on what I deserve! Yours...~J~

Adrienne said...

This is my first time commenting here. I love your site, love what you stand for and just love how you have grown and how you are sharing that with us. It's my dream to be the best photographer I can be. I love to shoot and my husband is now learning his way around the camera! I was able to leave my 9-5 job last year in order to shoot full time. I had to slow down at the end of the year when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer but after my treatments were over I got right back into it. I did not and was not going to let that slow me down. Keep on doing what you are doing and encouraging others along the way. You have blessed me mightly this morning.

Photogenic said...

Beautyful, God is always at work in you Ross.

Lavada said...

Ross,
I do not have time to be sitting here crying in the middle of the day. You ought to be ashamed of yourself - now I am behind on editing and laundry because I'm reading this over and over again. I'm adding this one to my archives.

Brandi,
Girl - if you only knew - you are truly blessed, but so is he.

J.H.Thomas said...

Powerful. Thank you so much for sharing your story about "support systems". I will certainly be sharing this with my wife. I appreciate your transparency. It really blessed me today.

Teka-Ann S. HAYNES said...

This is just beauitful, candid, and sincere. Doesnt get any better. One up to u Brandi. Keep on doing what u're doing. Ross, u do have a lovely companion.

Shimeka said...

Hello, Ross. It is such a small world. This is Shimeka Moorer, Abigail's sister from Pensacola. It has been a very long time!!!

Lavada is the godmother of my daughter, McKenzie. I could not believe it was you when I saw that photo. It is so wonderful to know that God is continously blessing you and your family.

I love the way you described your wife. I don't know her, but I'm sure she's beautiful inside and out. There is nothing the partnership that God has blessed you with. Be blessed, bro.

Love You!!!

Shimeka

Tutu said...

I say it everytime I leave a comment. You and Mrs Knight are truly inspirational. I have been thinking about this all year and it always good to see what God is doing in the lives of other people. Hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to meet you and Mrs Knight. Thanks again. And yes, I printed it out and will be reading it all day.

Abiding In Christ, Amen! said...

Ross Oscar Knight,

Your post was really touching and encouraging!

Thank you.

Shontell@comcast.net said...

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22)

Collins said...

Love the tone and message of the post. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I love you guys and I don't even know you!

See What Eye See Photography said...

You are such an inspiration! Thank you for baring your soul and being transparent with those who may not know you and are experiencing you from afar. Personally, I too am going through the transitions that you were once undergoing. Desiring to do what's in my heart and soul and using the gifts that God has given me; yet feeling stuck in the everyday routine that we call life. Please don't stop doing what you do, just being you! It is not just your photography that speaks volumes, but your LIFE that touches all. May God continue to bless you and Mrs. Knight! Looking forward to meeting you both when I finally get to the ATL for the KNIGHT Experience. :D

Krystal Knight said...

Ross,
I am so happy that Brandi is one of the KNIGHT sisters! Yall are truly two peas in a pod! I love this posting--very special. We love ya Brandi!

Deewonda said...

Dear Ross, I am sitting in an Office Depot in Gulfport, MS where my daughter, son-in-law and magnificent grandchildren live. I NEEDED out from D.C. for a "minute", space to breathe, space to think, changes to be made. First, I cut off my locs. A change was needed and I clearly understand that change comes from within. Then my daughter treated me to a new hairstyle while down here, a wonderful belated birthday gift. New look, new start! Your writings, your passion for your wife and your craft fill my heart with the restless urgings to be, do, have more in life, too. Seeing my adorable "grannies" only solidifies a deep desire to LIVE my dreams. Your post, "God's posting" I'd like to think, affirms it. Thank you.

Jewells said...

This is a beautiful post.

You have definitely given me food for thought this evening. I pray that my husband (don't know who he is yet) and I have the same connection. I pray that we both support each other's dreams.

I love what the two of you have. I pray continued blessings upon your lives, individually and collectively!

Troy said...

Dude, there is no denying that there is a greater force at play with all of us, whether we chose to acknowledge and abide by it or not. My pastor frequently speaks about being a luke-warm Christian and I am guilty of such a thing on occasion. The irony in that is that many of us seem to feel more 'holy' when we are in NEED of a blessing/intervention, but when things are good, we return to being luke-warm. Thank you for this message, brother. You make me want to strive to be a better fence post; that's what's up! I appreciate you and your willingness to share and 'witness.' You are da' man, 'sick wit it!'

msfitzgerald said...

Mr. Knight, your mother, Sharon and your father, Ross, did a wonderful job raising a gentleman. I am so proud of you and your wonderful wife. I remember when you were born. I have not seen you in a while. I am from Richmond,VA and currently live in Atlanta. Your work is awsome. I am purchasing some of your pictures that you have available. Keep up the good work!

Ms. Fitzgerald

Samuel Jordon II said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!
Bro, you have no idea how you have taken the words right out of my mouth. I thank God for you and knowing that you are experiencing the same things I am going through. AMEN, AMEN!

Girl in Transition said...

This is my first time leaving a comment and I have been coming here since Remember the Ritz. I'm a blogoholic and for some reason I keep coming back to yours. I read this the other day trying to catch up on some posts that I missed I have to say this has been inspirational to me. Especially since I'm in that transition where I have ideas and dreams and no idea what to do with them. I thank GOD for people who inspire and you do just that with your work and words. I hope you continuing doing what you do and continue to bless the world with the gift that has been given to you. We are not all so lucky as to find something that helps others, and we enjoy and make money in doing so.

In addition to showing me that you can find your way through with prayer and support you have also shown me that there are good guys still in Atlanta. Not that I had doubts but still it can be a struggle. You and your wife as well as the stories you tell through your lens tell me this is so.

Best of luck and thank you.

Ross Knight said...

Hi Ross,

I don't know whether this is most appropriate section to post my comment but I thought I would return the favour. It’s nice to be in correspondence with someone with the same name; although the coincidence goes one step further as we also share the same star sign (I looked up your bio).

I also thought I would let you know that I think your work is fantastic and you blog is rich and in-depth. I hope, in time, I too can build up a diverse range of posts for my blog.

Ross Knight

zmalt said...

Every time I visit your site I am uplifted by the love and passion you have for life.I am truly inspired by your works.

Jackie said...

I just came across your blog and find this post to be so inspirational and just beautifully written so that each word read is exactly how you would have said it aloud. And great images!

Anonymous said...

Ross,
You are a remarkable human being anad truly a very blessed individual. I was introduced to your site by a friend of a friend who is into photography like myself. Your photos are inspiring and perfectly tasteful. Thanks for sharing. God Bless yo uand your beautiful wife. Missy2u

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was sent this from a mutual friend after I had an epiphany about what life and love is all about. where I prepared to teach lessons... after reading your blog, I am going to sign up for them instead.

Very inspired and I will always be routing for the two of you!

Xan
Xan@tapitfame.com

Island Girls-Bahamas said...

my sister received the email about Robert & Keisha's engagement in 2007 and every so often we just watch it again lol.....it was just awesome!.......but this time we decide to peruse your page and oh my! how we've been blessed! Our hearts are so full when we see a man loving his wife the way that Christ loves the church...may His riches blessings ever fall on you,your marriage, your family and your business.

Continue in Love.......Island Girls-Bahamas

Cicely said...

AWESOME!!!! I luv this post. Very inspiring and encouraging.

Hope said...

Thanks for baring your soul...

Carlos said...

Mr. Ross,
Im a photographer here in Detroit and I have been following your blogs for a while. You inspire me to keep learning and exploring the creative side of myself. I simply love your work. Just by looking at your work, makes my work much more interesting.... Just wanted to say Thank You!

Seun Bankole said...

Thanks for your words of inspiration.

U rock!

lexi said...

Reading this blog was so encouraging to me! It's funny ironic how I ran into your sight. Several years ago I received an email with the Engagement that you had shot in Atlanta at a hotel that included 10 hotel rooms for couple to go to before he finally proposed. Earlier today I thought of how inspired I was after haven seen those pictures. So I got on Youtube praying that I would find it & after 300 or more postings I ran across "Out of This World Engagement." I had found it! & just as i suspected it mentioned your name. Thanks for the inspiration! I'd love to attend one of your workshops, but in due time maybe, when my Photography income can support such!

Most Sincerely,
Amateur Mississippi Photographer