Killer Mike for Design Bureau Magazine

May 15, 2012 | Editorial Photography

I had the great opportunity to photograph ATL hip hop legend, Killer Mike for Design Bureau Magazine. It’s my goal to photograph all the ATL hip hop legends. I’m just missing Luda, Cee Lo, and André 3000 right now.

I love this quote by Mike…

“I dont accept the term ‘political rapper’ because I dont give a damn about either political party. I give a damn about the people.”

The story was about his series of neighborhood barber shops he’s opening. I wouldn’t call them a “chain” because each one will be individually suited to the neighborhood it’s in. I sat in on the interview and he’s a deep well of a man. Funny. Insightful. Brilliant. The man is an art scholar. It was fascinating listening to him talk about his view on art. If you ever get a chance to sit and chat with the man you’ll be better off for it.

Thanks for looking. I’m going to be spending the summer blogging 99% more of the time with photos than with words, reviews, or rants. I have one rant left in me. I’m trying to let it die. I really am. We’ll see if I can let it slide. :)



Gear Notes – Photographed with a Phase One IQ140 with an 80mm Schneider LS (first shot) and 55mm Schneider LS lens. Lit with one Einstein with 22″ white beauty dish for each shot.



  • Anthony said on May 15, 2012

    The FIRST image speaks volumes

  • Rob Arnolda said on May 15, 2012

    Love the b&w.

    The detail in his shirt and his face is jaw-dropping!

  • Rob Arnolda said on May 15, 2012

    Oh, and rants are part of the reason I come here.

    Feel free to vent.

    Ya gotta do it!

  • Max almonte said on May 15, 2012

    Really nice to see you blogging again Zack. Killer mike is an awesome artist, strong lirics and his knowledge can be heard through his rhymes. Love that first shot, its strong and suits him. Roots, thats what is all about. Its a surprise to know he is an art scholar. Good stuff man. That phase 1 is amazing on the details. Crispy!

  • Justin Van Leeuwen said on May 16, 2012

    Good, I just get my computers “auto-dictate” to read the words to me anyway.

    But as for the rant, you can tell me Zack, it’s cool.

  • Troyk said on May 16, 2012

    Is this photo about MLK or a dude in a jean outfit? Why does he look like he just ate a bad oyster?

  • Anna said on May 16, 2012

    LOVE, this is really awesome! I love following your blog :)

  • Urquhart said on May 16, 2012

    Excellent as usual. your the composition king.

  • Rob Richardson said on May 16, 2012

    I like his “wings”

  • Michael said on May 16, 2012

    I’ve been listening to Killer Mike’s new album all week long. Great pictures!

  • Kristina Juarbe said on May 16, 2012

    Awesome pictures!! and great read.

  • Marcus X said on May 16, 2012

    Great shots! Killer Mike is one of the rarest ATL hip-hop artists. I would love to see to you produce more stills of the ATL hip-hop legends. The ones that you’ve cited in this post are incredible people and have their own unique character inside and out. I’m from Philly and have been a southern rap fan since Goodie Mob and Outkast dropped their classic debut albums. Thanks for showing love on the diverse side of art and culture. I commend you for this post. Phase One is kick-ass good when used by talented photogs! Cheers!

  • Rene Pirolt said on May 16, 2012

    Zach – your portraits using the Beauty Dish are just superb. Thanks for sharing. Would love to see a blog post specifically on the BD if you ever have the time, desire, etc…

  • Romeo Duncombe-Clarke said on May 16, 2012

    I love the Killer Mike pic.
    I really love the black and white pic.
    It gives off a mass of quiet raw emotion.
    Keep rawness alive.

  • Isoterica said on May 17, 2012

    I like the second image of Mike. The first is more about MLK.. the second you can see the man himself, deep in thought, raw, revealed and yet not.

  • j. moore said on May 17, 2012

    love the photos man, also the gear notes is a cool deal!

  • Matt Simmons said on May 17, 2012

    Thanks for sharing Zach! It’s good to see you posting again. Everytime I come by your site and there’s nothing new, I die a little inside. Just sayin. haha

  • allen said on May 18, 2012

    well,the second image is better

  • Mr Miles said on May 18, 2012

    Man great shots – as always!

  • Daniel Mast said on May 23, 2012

    So you speak of trying to forget rants… Why is this? I think if anything our industry needs more rants not less! But if you feel it must be let go without sharing, then I suppose perhaps we’ll hear it later next year. ;o)

  • Dustin C said on June 13, 2012

    Love these photos. I had a similar shoot with him recently in the same space. How could one not shoot in front of that MLK piece?

  • Siasii Iisais said on June 14, 2012

    That B&W of Mike is dopeeeeeeeeeee.

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