208 Market Street was where I got my start in concert photography almost 6 years ago. The address of an old historical theater in downtown Wilmington, NC called The Manor, was now the home of a small venue called Ziggy’s By The Sea. Not only did I see my first concert there when I was 13, but I also photographed my first concert in this same venue. The promoter of the venue took a chance on me when I was just 14 and allowed me to photograph my first concert, and without that I would have never gotten my start in the music scene. For almost two years, I spent most of my nights at the small venue photographing as their in house photographer.
Unfortunately on September 22nd, 2017 which also happened to be my 16th birthday, the venue shut it’s doors and closed it’s curtains to the stage for it’s final time. Though the venue is now gone, it taught me something very special:
Always take chances on those who want to learn.
Personally, I was very lucky in being able to photograph for Ziggy’s as long as I did and to have had help in trying to get publications to sponsor me. However, it was still a very difficult and stressful task. Most people didn’t want to take on such a young photographer and some didn’t believe that I had even photographed shows to begin with. Eventually, after what seemed like forever searching, I finally found an amazing publication to work for, that I am so incredibly thankful for because of all the amazing opportunities they offered me.
In 2018, something happened that impacted me in a way I really wasn’t ever expecting. I was given the chance to photograph Carolina Rebellion for the publication I had been shooting for , and I ended up meeting two young teenage photographers out there who wanted to photograph shows but never had. From there, I ended up taking on a bit of a mentor role to both photographers and helped them get onto publications. This experience sparked a desire in me to do something a bit different. I realized how much I loved helping these photographers and how I wanted to help more on a larger scale.
And that’s when it hit me….
I wanted to start my own publication, and I quickly knew what I wanted to do with it.
– I wanted a publication that worked like a normal publication but also would be a learning platform for young and new people to the industry.
– I wanted it to have a team that built a strong connection
– and I wanted it to pay tribute to the place that took a chance on me
That is the story of how the name Manor 208 came to be. A publication that operates on the same values of helping those new to the industry and provides an environment that is helpful and safe to learn in.
Below I am attaching both the art design I did of 208, as well as, some of my old images from the venue! I hope you all fall in love with the images of this incredible space the same way I did five years ago.
– Alexia Blue // Manor 208 Founder and Editor