interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 1 May 2015
Welcome to the ginger revolution. Thanks to photographer Thomas Knights, there is nothing hotter than a red head right now. QH caught up with the man behind the world phenomenon, the Red Hot 100...
When did you get your first camera?
I came late into photography - it was 2005 when I first picked up a camera at age 20.
Who/what has been your most interesting subject to photograph to date?
That is super difficult to answer! I’ve been lucky enough to work with lots of different and exciting subjects, but Karin Park has become something of a muse. I love her honesty and bravery. We did a music video for her song Wildchild in the middle of the retreating ocean on a beach in Cornwall during a storm. That was pretty special.
Red Hot 100 has become a global phenomenon, tell us more about your most recent exhibition? How is it going?
We have just taken RED HOT to Berlin - it was amazing - we had over 2,500 people turn up to the launch! Crazy. It really seems to have touched on a subject that people are really reacting too, so we plan to keep taking it around the world to the places that haven’t yet seen it - I think Paris is next on the agenda.
A portion of the proceeds goes to charity, why was this so important to you? How did you decide the charities to support?
The whole project has stemmed from a personal place, and at its root is this anti-bullying message. There is a collection of anti-bullying charities that are under the umbrella of The Anti-Bullying Alliance. We raise money from the sale of the calendars for this collection of charities, and for the book, RED HOT 100, we chose 'The Diana Awards’, which was set up in memory of Princess Diana. They have an anti-bullying programme that empowers the children, giving them the skills to take (the) message back to their schools and tackle issues themselves. I thought it was a pretty special charity.
Where has been your favourite place to travel for work?
I loved shooting in Cyprus - it's where I grew up. There is this amazing salt lake that I have shot some music videos and fashion films. It's a really awesome place and hold a dear place in my childhood.
You also work regularly with moving film, do you find this more challenging?
I don’t really find it more challenging, it's just a different sort of challenge. You have to have faith in the edit perhaps more than photography, as a slightly different cut can tell a totally different story. But I really enjoy the moving image. It feels like more of a natural pace for me.
Is there a model you want to work with but haven't yet?
Loads! I love Sean O’Pry and would love to shoot him one day.
When in London where do you like to hang out/go for dinner/ have a drink?
I still love Soho - I think I will always be a Soho boy, even though it's being really gentrified at the moment.
What's next to come?
I'm working on an album at the moment with my band Pandora Drive. We just had a track out called ‘Hurricane’ which was a collaboration with Karin Park.