Dali Ma

Fashion Photographer
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What do you do for work? Give us a few reasons why you love it.
My full time job is a Digital Marketing Manager at a tech company. I’m also an internationally published fashion photographer and my portfolio is www.phoenixaperture.com. I’d like to focus on my photography journey for this interview.
What attracted you to your company? What keeps you there?
Fashion to me is an attitude, a lifestyle, and I thoroughly enjoy capturing moments of fashion and freezing them in history forever. Therefore most of my photos aspire to represent that extensive beauty of women, of fashion and everything around them. I’ve worked with many models, and what keeps me moving forward is that I learn new things from each project I do. It’s the joy of knowing the formerly unknown, the joy of recognition and at the end of the day telling myself I’ve done something good.

Your current company aside, name another company in any industry that you admire and explain why.
Vogue and Mario Testino. I love how they extensively express the beauty of fashion, that it’s not only about looking pretty, it’s also about expressing yourself as a being in the universe. That matters in its own way. I’m particularly intrigued by Testino’s projects done for Vogue Japan, Vogue India, as well as Vogue Peru, which is his own country. He always has ways of digging out what shines most in their respective cultures, and takes it to another level with his camera and his eyes. All the extravagant colours work so well together.
How did you become good at what you do? What steps do you take to keep improving?
Interesting story, I haven’t been doing photography for too long (2 years at the time of this interview). My first part time job was a Sales Expert at a British camera chain called Jessops. When I started my job there, I didn’t understand why people would carry those huge black cameras while there were smaller compact cameras readily available, but when I did…oh boy. It has been a beautiful journey.

Initially I would carry my cameras everywhere – to trips, to parties, family gatherings, etc. I was so blessed with my philosophy background from Oxford University and the beautiful God-given scenery in Europe. Later on when I came to the US, I began taking photos of friends, and then started some paid projects. The rest is history.
Where do you expect to be in 5 years?
I wanna be in a world renowned magazine or a world renowned fashion show as the photographer.
In your opinion, what is wrong with the corporate world and how would you fix it?
When it comes to photography, there are too many mysteries to the general public. People confuse technical skills and Photoshop skills with good photography. You may have the most amazing Photoshop skills in the world, or you may know every single camera in history inside out, but it’s a completely different matter to create beautiful images that touch people and freeze moments in history. My mission is to establish my world of photography and through my content on my website, along with other amazing colleagues, to let people understand that the essence of photography is to touch lives.
How do you measure success at work? In life?
Great question! I think these are one and the same thing. At the end of the day, I want a wonderful family that loves each other and to be happy with what I do and the results I bring.