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Meet Bertram Knight

Image Credit: Kyle Dudgeon

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bertram Knight.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been inspired to create content that depicts the beauties and nuances of my culture, my work invites you to submerge yourself in black experiences. Through portraiture, I celebrate and highlight beauty across the African diaspora. My focus draws attention to what I describe as marginalized beauty. Motivated to bridge a gap between generations of the past and present, my photographs depict traditional aspects of black culture while weaving in more contemporary forms of expression as well. My mantra, “What’s Your Story?” challenges viewers to embrace and cherish their experience.

While studying various forms of media in college, I was exposed to photography and immediately drawn to it. I loved how simplistic yet complex images could be. I loved how one could create an experience for viewers to appreciate. My last two years in college were spent primarily studying various masters photographers my mentor exposed me to. I viewed the work of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, Dawoud Bey and more. My central focus was to elevate the ways in which black culture was perceived and how our narratives of beauty were shaped through visual representation.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Coming from a traditional family made my transition into artistry somewhat difficult. My parents have devoted their lives to bettering themselves while creating opportunities for their children and expected all of us to follow suit. When you announce your plan on defying the status quo and general flow of society that usually isn’t taken to well, it wasn’t much different in my case. I recall a number of discussions and arguments pertaining to my endeavors as an artist and what I planned to pursue. While my parents have always loved me unconditionally the unconditional support for my career was missing early on. Essentially I had to prove to them that I was serious about this journey. My first solo gallery show in NYC would prove to them and to myself that I could succeed.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KnightBertram Photography – what should we know?
KnightBertram Photography focuses on highlighting beauty while providing visual representation for marginalized groups. Rather than waiting for others to create the types of images I’ve wanted to see, I decided to create them myself. Whether it’s challenging gender roles through photographing Black men in fluid clothing or highlighting the freedom of expression through artful intimate images depicting the nude body, I’m always looking to challenge ways in which we view aspects of contemporary society.

Through lifestyle, fashion, and intimates, I strive to create images that are thought-provoking as well as aesthetically pleasing. I am most proud of the palette of taste I have acquired over my early years as an artist. Through studying various creatives, I have been inspired to create a body of work that is inclusive and celebrates often rejected peoples.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Remaining humble and hungry is a key mantra I live by. I’ve experienced what some would consider success but to me they’re merely small victories. I’ve received awards, sold images, and even hosted my own solo gallery showings in NYC. Through it all, I’ve challenged myself to remain hungry. Complacency is not an option. Evolving as an artist and creative is imperative to me reaching my true goals and definitions of success.

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