“Now pose. Now pose. Give me face! That’s good. Don’t move!”

What’s all this gibberish I’m talking about today? Well, it’s all related to this week’s ‘Passion Living Out Loud’ interviewee, Louis “Ziggy” Tucker. I am proud to know one of THE BEST photographers in the game. Not only is he good at what he does, but he’s passionate about it. I couldn’t help but to invite him to interview for the blog. If following your passion had pictures to go with it, Tucker’s face would be right there along side it. Check out his insightful interview below and be inspired to live your passion out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

Tucker: My passion is photography

Passionista: What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

Tucker: I have several projects. For a year I photo-documented the Memphis underground hip-hop scene (i.e., break-dancers, rappers, graffiti artists, and DJ’s in 2011). There was also a project I started over a year ago that involved taking portraits of people I had met randomly in my travels. These portraits would be taken with whatever camera I had on my person. 4 out of 5 times, it is usually with my iPhone. The images can be found online on Instagram under the hashtag #portraitswithstrangers. Another project or projects in progress involve ballet dancers in the areas encompassing and surrounding the greater Memphis area. One project with the dancers specifically involves a theme of glass ceilings in a sociopolitical sense.  My biggest project to date involves designing a photography mural in my childhood neighborhood of Whitehaven in Memphis, Tennessee. The project is estimated for completion late February 2014.

Passionista: With all those projects done and underway, to say you’ve been living your passion out loud could be considered an understatement. So, have you always actively pursued your passion?

Tucker: People would say that I have been, but I had only taken my passion for photography seriously beginning sometime in 2010 when I was encouraged by an old mentor of mine to do so. I had only been doing professional photography for a year by that time as I had taught myself.

Passionista: Can you recall when you first realized it was your passion?

Tucker: To be quite frank, I really cannot. It was literally something that I had fallen in love with over a slow reach of time. I cannot even remember the instance when my thoughts for my passion turned from “I am never good enough” to “Wow! I live for this”. That is probably because I am always — and I mean always – trying to improve upon passion from the sense of it being a skill and/or craft.

Passionista: If you could describe the way you feel about your passion in one word, what word would you choose?

Tucker: Transcendence

Passionista: That’s a strong and powerful word to use. I like it. Do you ever think you’ll stop living your passion out loud?

Tucker: Actually, I have considered such a thing on a few occasions the past couple months; however, I do not think that will ever happen. I literally think about photography and associate everything in my life to photography day in and day out. I chuckle at the fact that I cannot shut my mind off about it. I may not ever have the opportunity to live my passion full-time and my main source of income, but I will never stop capturing/creating moments as long as I can see with my own eyes.

 Passionista: That’s the important point I hope people pick up from this interview. Even if you can’t make a primary income from your passion, that shouldn’t derail the idea of continuing to follow it. Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

Tucker: As I said earlier — it was probably my mentor, a locally based graphic designer, who sat me down one afternoon at his studio a few years back and told me to focus on photography and only that. Add the mantra “Whatever you do be the best at it.” from my upbringing and the rest is in the photos.

Passionista: Do you train others on your passion?

Tucker: I have tried on several occasions with people with varying backgrounds and interests; however, I have found such people to either not take my teachings seriously as I would have expected or never made the time to commit to the craft/my instructions.

Passionista: What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion? How did you overcome those challenges?

Tucker: As I have grown into the photographer I have become, I have found it more and more difficult to create/capture images that convey a message. This is mostly because my subject matter has usually been quite obscure in the area of which I live. Until I have relocated to a more creatively conducive environment, I have and will continue to make do with what options I have available. This is accomplished by augmenting my projects to use the subject matter and studio spaces that are readily available.

Passionista: If you could give some advice to individuals that desire to live their passion(s) out loud, what would it be?

Tucker: There will always be opposition to living out your passion. Your goal is to find ways to dodge, reposition, and even plow through to achieve it. Read books about your passion as much as possible. Find mentors [if possible]. Cross study ideas and other passions as things in life are more related than one would think. Lastly, always work to improve. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Passionista: Have you been able to expand your passion into other things?

Tucker: It has been more like I have expanded other things into my passions. Breakdancing, music, yoga, meta-psychology, and cinema have found their influences in my photography many a time.

Passionista: What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

Tucker: Attaining a more wealthy way of life as it pertains to culture, education, a career in the creative industry, and meaningful life experiences in general.

Well, folks. This interview was definitely one of my most favorite. I look forward to seeing Louis “Ziggy” Tucker continue to grow as a photographer. He has truly been an inspiration to me to keep grinding at what I love to do the most! Want to see his passion in more living color, stop by his website, http://www.fomoloop.com. You will be impressed and inspired to continue living your passion out loud too!