Classically trained in the craft of photography, David Knight is now turning to his artistic side to inspire his advertising work and create a distinctive style. Interview by Paul Burrows. Treatment: Kerry McElroy.

David Knight has experienced plenty of change in his photographic life. The English-born photographer has worked in both Dubai and Australia. He was trained in traditional photographic techniques only to then watch digital imaging slowly but surely replace film. And, in his chosen field of advertising photography, budgets have shrunk and a bit of smart software has taken over from time-consuming camera work, set-building and creative problem-solving. At the same time he’s been steadily trying to spend more time on personal projects, an area he confesses to having let slip for too long as he worked hard to get established as an advertising photographer in Australia.

Now, David says, the value of pursuing personal work cannot be underestimated as it helps with the development of a style which, in turn, informs a photographer’s commercial work. Finalist in the 2009 Moran Contemporary Photography Prize.

“For a number of years there I had really neglected my own stuff and I was focused just on the advertising work. But I was having withdrawal symptoms so I had to get back to it. My advertising work didn’t really have a set style; it was just whatever the job required so I was a bit of a chameleon there. These days I’m trying to work more on my own stuff and hopefully getting awarded jobs where people are looking at my personal Art And Craft work and wanting to buy into that style. So, I think Eunice. Treatment: Kerry McElroy. that, with time, my style will become more and more defined. I find it more rewarding and I feel a lot more invested in my work.” Treatment: Cranky Mermaid Inc.

David also believes that – no pun intended – the wide exposure of personal work is also important so he maintains a Website, but also employs ‘old-school’ promotional strategies such as sending out printed material. He also participates in photography awards, both locally and internationally, most recently making it into Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.