I live on the edge of the English Lake District and became interested in photography after adopting a Miniature Schnauzer back in 2011. Taking him out, especially early in the mornings, I saw all sorts of wildlife I wanted to capture so I bought a third-hand Olympus E-450 with a single kit lens off Ebay. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about photography I thought if I bought a ‘proper’ camera I’d take fantastic pictures like the ones I’d seen on Flickr and Instagram, but it turned out not to be quite that simple 😉 It took me a month to figure out how to focus, a year before I made sense of the Manual and at times I wanted to bin the ‘proper’ camera and buy a point ‘n shoot from Argos, but eventually I figured out how to take a picture with it and my love affair with photography began!
Within 5 years I’d gone from a self-taught beginner to a Photographic Alliance of Great Britain ‘Master of Print’ and had my work exhibited in a Gallery in London. In 2020, I was the global winner of the FIAP ‘We Stay Home’ competition commemorating the Covid-19 lockdown. The resulting image was included in an exhibition at the Beijing World Art Museum located at the China Millennium Monument.
My images have been chosen for the cover of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) magazine in both May 2018 and May 2020, and I was also honoured to be included in a PAGB 30 year ‘Once Seen Never Forgotten’ retrospective. I’ve twice been featured in the Photographic Society of America’s journal, appearing on the cover in July 2020, and in 2019 I was touted as one of the highlights of the London Photo Show. I’m also a regular gold medal winner in International Photography Salons and have had my work exhibited in 22 countries around the world. It’s been the best journey of my life. Along the way I’ve earned four photographic distinctions and in 2018 treated myself to a brand new Olympus EM-1 MkII camera which goes everywhere with me 🙂
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the advice, knowledge and generous support of other photographers and I feel it’s important to pass on the help I received to others just starting out. So I give talks via Zoom, and locally in person, as well as teaching composition and Photoshop.
Initially my passion was wildlife but it’s massively time-consuming, plus the novelty of spending hours outdoors in the long, cold, rainy Cumbrian winters soon wore off so I set up a ‘studio’ with some cheap lighting gear in the tiny spare bedroom of my cottage and started taking portraits and selfies in the warm and the dry! I then became interested in composite and creative fine art pictures which is where I found my niche.
The question I’m most often asked is where I find the ideas for my creative images and the answer is simple – the world is limitlessly inspiring! Seeds are planted from conversations, TV programmes, politics, books, nature, personal experiences and most often simple walks with my beloved dog…….just about anything can end up being used in my photography. In particular I love to use girls & women in my images and to celebrate their femininity even if the subject matter is disturbing.
Jo Knight DPAGB QPSA BPE1* AFIAP