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Making People Magnetic: Milos Mali

As someone who once thought he didn’t have a creative bone in his body, Milos Mali has certainly proven himself wrong. The Polish-born, Canadian-bred, London and New York-lived and now Sydney-based photographer is the man behind some of the most iconic spreads in the recent history of the Australian fashion scene. His images have a magnetic quality to them, drawing in the eye and making it difficult to move it off the page. It’s no wonder that he’s a Russh and Oyster favourite, or that some of Australia’s hottest designers – Ellery, for example – have grabbed him to shoot their campaigns. For Milos, it all started in year 10, when he discovered the camera in a high school art class.

“It's the only thing that I could do to express my self creatively – it took me by surprise,” he says.

Perhaps to the envy of every other boy in school, Milos was able to practice his newly discovered passion on his model girlfriend, so he had a bit of experience by the time he packed shop and moved to London. It was there that his career really started to take off, shooting for news papers such as the Evening Standard, The Guardian and Sunday Times Magazine, and eventually what he calls his first big break, main fashion for the Scotsman Weekend Magazine. His portfolio obviously read well from the start, considering he didn’t even have to assist anyone. Still, he claims that he is still trying to get noticed – even after more than a decade in the industry. Perhaps he just isn’t easily satisfied.

“The longer you are around in this job and the more people you meet and the easier it gets,” he says.

This might explain the industry’s gravitation toward his work, then. Milos has been lucky enough to work on Grazia, Russh, Marie Claire UK, Sunday Magazine, Yen, Vice, Nylon USA, Mu Teen, Hintmag, Crash and Oyster, and his list of advertising clients is long and varied, with everything from Bonds to Roxy to the Sydney Film Festival.

Milos says he still finds photography challenging, which is why his passion for the art has never faded.

“I love the fact that you are constantly pushing your self forward in this job – there really isn't any room for complacency if you want to have a fruitful carrier,” he says.

But then, as he puts it, sometimes what he loves about the job is the exact thing he hates about the job – not that it would ever be enough to deter him away. He still dreams to one day work in Japan, and it seems that his talent – and what he calls the key essential ingredient to photography, perseverance – may well take him there. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that he has a sincere zeal for the exact product he spends his time creating.

“I love pictures of people,” he says.
“There is something very special when a person gives themselves to the photograph.”

Milos Mali

words: Seema Duggal


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