Richard Avedon once said, “I believe in maniacs. I believe in Type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do…I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends. If you are headed for a life that’s only involved with making money and that your hope for satisfaction is somewhere else, you’re headed for a lot of trouble.”
When I read that quote, I knew that was he was talking about me. I love the work I do and I have a blast doing my job. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I don’t know if it comes from my upbringing or if it comes from the fear of someday having nothing to do. Maybe it is a little of both.
I was born on May 30, 1967 in the small Wisconsin town of Manitowoc. I am the second child of Andrew and Sheron Knipp. My father was a machinist his whole working life and he taught me all about responsibility and discipline while my mother taught me respect and trust.
I received my Bachelor Of Fine Arts degree in 1990. It was in college where I discovered photography. I picked up the camera because I realized early on that as a traditional artist, I wasn’t good enough to be considered “good”.
1990 was also the year that I married my wife. What can I say, she is a special woman that I respect and adore not only for putting up with my flights of fancy, but for realizing how difficult it is for an analytical person like herself to be patient and accepting of my creative personality and the difficulties that go with it.
After college I worked with a local portrait photographer who introduced me to the business of photography. After about a year, I moved to a commercial studio where I continued to learn from a man I will always admire and respect. His generosity and knowledge helped to mold my personality and talents. After 2 more years I found what has proven to be my “career”. I started working in the Fashion Photography field for a midwestern department store chain helping it become one of the fastest growing nation-wide retailers. I have traveled all over the United States getting the opportunity to work with some of the best Photographer, Art Director, Assistant, Hair and Makeup Artist, Stylist and Modeling talent from around the world. I couldn’t be more fortunate to work at something that I don’t have to call a “job”.
Creating a photograph is a very exciting journey. I want my photographs to tell stories. I want those stories to come from moments of life. Inspiration is all around us and there is no one right way to approach the creative process. I love traveling for work. I cannot think of anything more exciting and challenging than planning, packing and climbing into the car to drive across the country to the next photographic adventure. There is always plenty of time during the trip to relax with friends and co-workers while working on the next inspiration.