MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphians are no strangers to hustling, working a full-time job while also pursuing passions on the side. Meka Wilson is one such Mid-South native celebrating their first win as an exhibitionist for their freelance photography.
Wilson’s exhibit of 10 black and white portraits is on display in the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center off East Parkway South until the new year.
The 28-year old works full time in media for the Daily Memphian, but began taking photos for herself on the side. Their favorite subject, portraits, specifically in black and white.
“The piece in the Kroc Center focuses on like my favorite portraits that I've taken of people that I've photographed. Definitely wanted to do the majority of them black and white, because I feel like black and white makes them more authentic, more raw,” Wilson said.
Wilson was first picked up a camera for a film class at the University of Memphis. Their first subjects were animals and nature, but it wasn’t until they started photographing people that it became a passion.
“I just feel like everybody is very unique in every photo shoot that I've done has turned out very differently and that's what I really like about it,” Wilson said.
They posted much of their work in a Facebook group when a marketing coordinator saw it and asked if they’d like to be featured in the Kroc Center’s Junior League of Memphis Art Exhibit Hall. Wilson selected 10 of her best portraits to be put on display. They’ve been in the hall since mid-November and will be up until the New Year.
Some of the portraits have even sold, something Wilson hasn’t done before and said is something to be proud of.
“It definitely says a lot when like a center in Memphis wants to display your work,” they said. “I've honestly never had an exhibition before and I've also never had anyone wanting to buy my work aside from like a print of themselves.”
Wilson will continue working full-time, but felt encouraged by the exhibition. They have the Memphian spirit of hustling. More of their work can be seen at www.picsbymeka.com.
“I feel like Memphis has like that kind of a grind that kind of makes people want to go out there and just do their own thing. So I think that's a big part of it.”