Student Profile Angie Knost
From the first time she picked up a camera, Angie Knost knew she wouldn't just be taking traditional snapshots. She was right: now, she's shooting stock photos for two agencies, has shot a cover for I Love Cats magazine, and her passion is photographing fashion – quite an eclectic mix that is a far cry from snapshots.
Even at nine years old, Angie was interested cosmetics, fashion and modeling, she won a camera as a prize for selling greeting cards door-to-door, she didn't just start taking snaps of her family.
"Instead of taking 'normal' pictures, I was taking pictures of jewelry arrangements and accessories like I saw in the editorial pages of fashion magazines," she said.
Now, Angie's putting that creative impulse to use in all her photographic work.
"Right now I'm doing a mix of commercial photography, portraits (individuals, families, kids, pets), fashion model portfolios, acting headshots," she said. "Also, I'm shooting stock photos for AgeFotostock and Acclaim Images. I enjoy new challenges and varied subject matter, to keep things interesting."
Angie manages to capture the look she wants no matter what her subject, whether it's colored toenails or a model on a beach. Perhaps that's because she loves her work; she still enjoys those subjects that she shot with that first camera all those years ago.
"My favorite subject to shoot is fashion. I enjoy doing make-up artistry and hair styling, so most of the time I am my own stylist. Coming up with a whole concept for a shoot and seeing it through from start to finish is a lot of fun and very satisfying," she said.
But Angie knows better than to limit herself to any one subject. She also enjoys photographing children and animals: "they are spontaneous, and spontaneity seems to make the best pictures."
The cover for I Love Cats magazine was actually Angie's first commercial sale, which she landed with the help of her own cats.
"My two cats were my main subject matter when I was starting to learn photography, and one day I got the nerve to send in some photos to a magazine," she said. "My very first submission resulted in a cover, so I was really lucky to have such an encouraging start."
Even though Angie loves photographing animals, she finds they can be a challenge to work with when she's trying to get the shot.
"Sometimes I'll have a shoot all planned out, and then the cat or dog doesn't want to sit on the set but wants to hide in the corner," she said. "You have to wait until they warm up to you, or just move everything to that corner they seem so comfortable in. There seems to be no one right way to approach a shoot with a pet; just like people, they have personalities that you just have to adapt to."
Like many NYI students, Angie was drawn to the NYI Course in Photography because her busy schedule didn't allow time for a traditional program. In particular, the idea of working at her own pace appealed to her.
"Being a wife, mom, and having a part-time job, I knew that a class with a set schedule was not going to work for me. I could read the lessons in the evenings and listen to the tapes in the car on the way to work," she said.
Once she was taking the NYI Course, Angie found she was learning quickly.
"The feedback from my instructor, Walter Karling, was great, and helped me know what I needed to work on more. It is great to have a working pro with the benefit of years of experience to give advice. Also, when I had a challenging job that I needed help with, I could email NYI and one of the many helpful people there would explain just what I needed to do."
What she learned at NYI has stayed with her, and she still remembers details about the lessons, putting them into practice in her work.
"The NYI Course has taught me to create photos with a universal theme or concept, and ideas that go beyond what is actually pictured in the photo. For example, the old woman peeling apples pictured in one of the early NYI lessons wasn't just a photo of a particular old lady, she embodied idea of grandmothers in general."
The NYI Course helped Angie see photography in a whole new light.
"Besides teaching all of the necessary technical skills, the NYI course has taught me to create photos that are conceptual, and this has helped me immensely in stock photography," she said.
Now that she's well on her way in her career, Angie's hoping to continue making a name for herself in photography, by "building my stock photo library up as much as I can with a variety of subjects, adding to my newly developed collection of art prints, and maybe designing some greeting cards."
We're sure that with her range of interests, Angie is certain to be the cat's meow in photography.