We had the good fortune of connecting with Zachery Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zachery, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
It may sound cheesy but success to me is not only the continuing pursuit of growth of one’s self and business but maintaining optimism and pleasure in doing so. I wake up every morning striving to be more and do more not because it is something that will benefit me but because it is something I have learned to love and genuinely want for myself as well. As a small business, you are your business and I believe the most successful small businesses in any space embody that fully.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an artist I think it is important to be ever evolving in your style and your craft, but at the heart of my photography I try to highlight and elevate the beauty of being black. What that means to me and all of those around me. For 99% of artists, it’s never easy (or at least that’s what I’ve heard from my peers haha) what I think is best is just focusing on creating what it is you want to create, meet likeminded people and try to reach out and learn from others that are where you want to be, doing what it is you want to do. Something I would love for people to take away from my story is that it is never too late to start anything. I don’t have one of those photo stories where “I started taking photos at the age of 2,” my journey started at 21 and I wasn’t able to sustain my cost of living until I was 26. I was driven in what I wanted to do, nobody was going to stop me.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite part of NYC is the things that people often don’t get to see. The hidden alleys, lesser talked about parts of the city, the food that only the locals know in specialty food carts & bodegas. I also try to make it an effort to drag visiting friends to my favorite thrift spots around new york, there are still a few that have gems for a reasonable price.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My grandmother is someone very integral to my journey and my success. She is someone that believed in me and put faith in my vision when nobody else would, allowing me to make mistakes over and over until I found my way. I will be forever grateful for her.

Website: www.zacherykali.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/zachkali

Twitter: www.twitter.com/zachkali

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHw40vGt4kFxjWnr0bPxtg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.