MADISON, Wis. — A photographer’s love for his home state shines through in every photo he takes of Wisconsin.
“I think Madison is an amazing city, a very unique city,” said Sam Li. The freelance photographer grew up in Appleton, and now lives in Madison.
“We have the lakes, we have an amazing college, we’re the capital [city],” he said. “And we have an amazing downtown.”
Li always enjoyed watching videos on YouTube as a kid, but his love for photography and videography really began in college.
“At UW-Madison, I took a film class. I ended up shooting short documentary for the class, and that ended up being something I really liked doing,” he said.
He now shoots for all kinds of companies and organizations. He’s worked with the Badgers football team, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and businesses all over the world.
“I think that’s the power of freelancing, is that every day is kind of different,” Li said. “You really reap what you sow at the end of the day.”
That’s part of why he puts so much work into his social media. He posts photos from his jobs, and just what he shoots for fun.
“The harder I work, the more followers I can get on social media, the more money I can make as a freelancer, the cooler clients I get to work with,” he said.
That work online is paying off. He has a big fanbase of local followers. “It’s kind of insane to think that I now have over 20,000 people just on Instagram that are interested in my work,” Li said. “The loyal following of people who love Wisconsin, love Madison, and interact with me on a daily basis.”
He highlights everywhere from State Street in Madison, to downtown Milwaukee, to the Northwoods.
“I think people often correlate Wisconsin with as being a boring state. And I think that’s just really untrue,” he laughed. “It’s really beautiful.”
— Sam Li (@TheSamLi) February 9, 2021
“Not a lot of people just get to show off their state. But that’s what I get to do.”
For more information about Sam’s work, click here.