We recently recieved a copy of Rich Photographer, Poor Photographer, a guide to running a successful photo business written by commericial photographer Richard Bradbury. Inside Jonathan shares his valuable insight into the world of advertising photography, including three points of industry expert advice for budding photographers. Read the interview below…
It is clear why Jonathan Knowles is one of the most sought after commericial photographers in the world today. Working for everyone from Advertising Agencies to Rock Bands he captures the beauty of liquids and gases like no one else. His still life images are normally far from being ‘still’.
Can you please give a short history of your career?
Assisted for a couple of months aged 18…then launched myself aged 22, having done an unrelated degree, and worked in an advertising agency in the interim. Still going 30 years later.
What is the camera and lens that you use the most?
Hasselblad H6D-100c and 120mm macro lens
How would you describe your photography?
Graphic Still Life and Liquids
What other fields other than your specialist field do you also cover?
Beauty and Luxury Goods
What other jobs have you had before becoming a photographer?
Warehouse work, sales rep for a soap company, account handler in an advertising agency
Who are your favourite photographers and how did they influence you?
At the outset it was Irving Penn. He was so versatile and innovative. Most of the still life work he was doing in the 40s does not look dated today. Today I get my influences from all over – exhibitions, books, magazines and a lot of social media.
What is the job or achievement that you are most proud of within photography?
Probably the creation of the O2 bubbles. 15 years after their launch, they are still going strong, with the same graduated blue background that we created on a piece of 5×4 film
If you were not a photographer what would you be?
What do you regard as the most important piece of kit you own and why?
A light painting system – it enables me to get light into places where lights outside the set could never reach
Please give three nuggets of advice would you give to anyone starting out in photography.
a. Shoot what you love
b. Have a reason to shoot it
c. Always think about a moving image component