M Knight wants to be clear. He does not do booty photography. Period. “I like racy shit. I’m not a booty photographer. You can take a selfie for that. Do I love shooting women? Yes. Do I love shooting nude stuff? Yes. Do I want to push myself into the booty realm? No. It’s a fine line. I’ve crossed the line. I mean everybody has, but I think it’s a matter of where you want to set yourself. What is your marker for taste? Some people shoot booty really well. I like their booty shots, I just don’t want to be that guy.”
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about what guy M Knight is. Born and raised in a serious church-going family in Jackson, Mississippi, he had a conservative upbringing. But M Knight craved what every young person craves. Freedom and money. So, when he got out of high school, he made his way to Mississippi State University where he majored in Computer Science, but graduated with a B.A. in Partying.
Despite not having a college degree, M Knight moved to Dallas where he started doing IT work and after years of working for local companies, he went independent. These days M Knight splits his time between being a self-proclaimed IT nerd, a party-pumping DJ and a no-holds-barred photographer. He’s always been fascinated by cool imagery and has trunks of magazines to prove it. Surprisingly enough, M Knight’s interest in photography grew from the shadow of his DJ career and is now surpassing it.
“I like being an opening DJ. I can rock a party. When you’re opening DJ you always have that two hours to kill at the end. Either I can sit there and drink myself stupid or I can put something in my hands,” says M Knight. “I decided to put something in my hands. Plus, I was going to parties and all the pictures I saw were horrible. There were a couple of photographers that took great party pictures and we were all friends. I said ‘Hey, let me pick up a camera.’ So, I would pick up a camera and I would take pictures of my friends in low light without using flashes. So, I would kind of catch pictures of them. And I would just run around and I learned how to be real sneaky with a camera. People kept telling me I was good, so I just eventually tried something else.”
That “something else” has since evolved into the racy, funky, sexy, crazy, stylish, fun, simple, erotic, complicated and sometimes nude images that populates M Knight’s world. He names German-Australian photographer, Helmut Newton as one of the main influences in his photography career. “His book sits at the front of my house. I don’t know how he did it. I wish I could have sat in on that man’s shoots. His stuff was classy as hell and yet racy as hell. And I don’t know how he thought up all these situations but he did. And the stuff that isn’t racy at all, it’s beautiful. It’s art.”
The craziest thing about M Knight is that despite being published in magazines and online publications practically every month, he considers his photography good, but not great. Humble to the extreme. If this is M Knight’s version of good, I can’t wait to see what great will be.
Check out M Knight’s amazing photos on Instagram @photobymknight77 !