The 3rd Annual “Best in Black Detroit” awards was a night that saw a bevy of Metro Detroit’s top professionals being honored as the top in their respective categories. Whether it was for “Best Publicist”, “Best Barber”, or “Best Happy Hour”, the Metro Detroit community voted for whom they felt was deserving to be recognized as the best. While it was mentioned throughout the evening that “everyone is a winner”, there were finalists who did walk away empty-handed in regards to the special plaque but one of the finalists came away with something arguably even greater.
That is where Billy Ware comes in. Professionally known as “Mr. Ware”, he was one of the finalists for “Best Photographer” in this years’ show. While Mr. Ware did not win, the optics of the award show left him seeing a bigger picture. “I love it honestly man!”, said Mr. Ware. “They made an impactful statement with me when he (Hiram Jackson, Real Times Media CEO) said you’ll never see a black man in handcuffs in our articles and that really stuck with me when I left so. Regardless of the results, I love everything that was done.”
At this year’s show, the team of AJ Photography walked away with the “Best Photographer” honors for the third consecutive year, but Mr. Ware took pride in being a finalist as a one-man in competition with an entire team. “I tip my hat off to them,” said Ware. ” When it comes to me, I am by myself right now so I don’t really have a team…but when you have a team of people and you know you’re guaranteed ‘Hey if nobody else votes, were’ going to vote’ so that is 3, 4, 5 votes every single day so that adds on to it.”
While Mr. Ware is the face and talent of his company, it doesn’t seem like it is going to be that way for long. After the show, he has received inquiries about joining his brand. He will be looking to build that staff over the course of the next year, as well as increasing the promotion of his growing photography brand. His rising popularity was all a part of his plan when he quit his full-time job at Costco on July 5th, 2015. The lure of his love to travel and make money while doing it, along with focusing his efforts on what he loves to do has him steadily booked.
Mr. Ware, who also is the creator of the clothing brand “Respect The Shooters”, prides himself on being a versatile photographer. If it isn’t shooting a concert, a wedding, nightlife establishment, Mr. Ware loves taking “the girl next door” or someone whom people wouldn’t think could be a model and transform their look into something special. “I’m not just working for the money,” said Ware. “I have had people who weren’t feeling well with their weight, I’ve shot them, and they’ve sent me texts like ‘I really wasn’t feeling good about myself and the pictures you took were amazing’…so I love the impact and change I can make on people’s lives from a digital aspect.”
Next on Mr. Ware’s horizon is his aspiration to become a tour photographer, which could very well be coming up soon as he can be seen working at literally almost every major hip-hop or R&B concert that comes through Metro Detroit. With the Mr. Ware brand becoming a household name, his relationship with his current clientele is important to him along with his reputation for prospective clients. “You don’t have to be a model to shoot with me. You don’t have to be the richest person to shoot with me,” said Ware. “If you look on my Instagram right now, you’ll see a lot of celebrities and influential people, but if you scroll down some more to see a lot of my pictures that people love, it’s their first time shooting. As long as you come in with a positive mindset and not ‘Oh I can’t do this’, just come in, know you can do it, and let me take it from there. We’re gonna work together and get the shots that we need.
You can follow Mr. Ware on Instagram @Mr_Ware91 or check out some of his work on www.mwshotit.com.