One of my closest friends here in Memphis is Ziggy Mack.
Not only is he an inspiration to go-getters everywhere but he’s a world class photographer. My first shoot in Memphis was with Ziggy and he has an eye for making things come to life. He has taken numerous photos of me over the past year and it’s such a pleasure to work with an artist who really gets to know you and represents the kindness and charm Memphis is known for.
His quirky and vibrant personality makes him attract people from all over the city. Just about everyone knows him and you’ll find him everywhere, from Memphis Fashion Week to Lyfe is Dope to shooting fire artists and aerialists. He also has an eye for dance photography and regularly shoots for Ballet Memphis.
I love seeing Ziggy in his element, and since he’s so connected to everything here, I decided to interview him about what he loves about the Bluff City.
What makes Memphis special to you?
During my travels, I never encountered such kind people that love to stop everything and show you their favorite places and stories about their hometown. Memphis is also a great training place for entrepreneurs.
You know people everywhere you go in town. How did you make so many connections here?
Memphis is a big small city. You’re bound to see people again. It’s also because of my camera. I combine photography and my love for people and surrounding myself with all walks of life and it creates a lot of connections.
How has Memphis changed?
From where I stand, Memphis has progressed greatly already with more positive press from around the country. There are now more people who live here who are pro-Memphis. All of the building, development, and repopulating of businesses.
How has Memphis influenced your photography?
The Memphis I had known before photography was a very segregated place. Segregation in this sense doesn’t specifically refer to racial division. It could also refer to divides relating to class, age, subculture, and general location. When I initially decided on the path of photography, I wanted to explore places and people within Memphis that I normally would not see otherwise. With that being said, Memphis is a ‘who you know’ type of town with so many hidden gems in plain sight so digging a little deeper than what a person normally would will bring all of that out over time with the interesting people or “city ambassadors” you would meet along the way. It taught me to be personable, to do research, and to be socially skilled depending on the groups of people involved.