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Meet Max Li of Maxsimage in Pasedena and Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Max Li.

Max, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am actually a fine art major student from UCIrvine, and I was born and raised in mainland China, and came to the US for high school, and stayed for college in UCI. I have not yet launched or registered myself as a business yet, most of the time I create work and projects with others and I travel all the time, encountering people at different environments just makes me excited.

I have traveled to 21 national parks, driven through the entire China, and put 70 thousand miles on my Jeep driving around the US. A few weeks back, I took a greyhound bus from LA to NYC, and documented people along the ride. I have realized that being a photographer, a digital camera and photoshop are not the only way of image making, therefore, I started looking in to the history of photography as I keep seeking for a better understanding in photography.

Alternative process is another whole aspect of photography that includes creating posties images on metal and glass plates. The glass plates can then be turned into negatives for alternative prints, such as Platinum prints, carbon prints, Albumen prints and so on. I have worked hard to master this process, and the British band Oh Wonder had invited me to take portraits for them. I have also collaborated with a few big name Chinese singers and artists.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are a lot of challenges along the way, the biggest one is probably when I get worn out from keep practicing one thing. No matter what form of photo I am taking, there is always much practice required, and keep shooting similar subject provides me with more experience with setting up the correct lighting and getting the correct exposures. In this process, one always get tired and bored, so that was something that is always stressful.

Another obstacle is more critical, and is a common one for everyone. It is hard to think outside of the box. Nowadays, I see many photographers, even myself sometimes, stuck with one comfortable style, and stop experimenting. Still as I mentioned earlier, photography has a whole lot of spectrum to it. Today, it is probably tough for anyone working in any field to create something new, for there is the saying that most of the things are all explored already. I don’t really think that’s the case though.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Maxsimage – what should we know?
As I mentioned earlier, I have yet not registered as a business, and I am currently free lancing, however, if I would have my business officially set up in the future, I will have two studios one in LA, one in NYC. I hope to be known for portraiture, as I am currently known for. I am the most proud about myself is how I have collected a great amount of experiences from traveling and capturing people’s emotions, that gives me a much wider point of view for future projects. My role model photographer Irvine Penn, does the very similar thing to expand his vision.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think being open to new things really helped me to reach my current point. Many know me and would love to work with me for their projects and sometimes just to hang out. I always have countless stories to talk about, and I would love to know their stories, so I can pass them on. I consider every encounter with anyone very valuable, and any conversation can be productive, and meaningful.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 619 792 8171
  • Email:
  • Instagram: maxsimage

Image Credit:
Max Li

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