In the 608: Local cinematographer gives unique perspective to Madison

MADISON, Wis. — We all know living here in the 608 is what you make of it, and everyone has a story. We’re kicking off a new segment called “In the 608” with a goal of sharing more positive stories about what makes living in Southern Wisconsin so special.

Life in the 608 depends on how you live it, and there’s a local man who really likes to show it off. Even on the coldest mornings in January, you’ll find Sam Li and his drone exploring Madison.

“There’s just an energy to this city that I really love,” Li said.

It’s a perspective many of us have never seen before, and this Wisconsin native can’t get enough of it.

“Whether it’s as simple as waking up for the sunrise, or staying up late to watch the stars, I’ve been able to find really cool unique moments in kind of your everyday life,” Li explained.

It was a film class Sam took as a sophomore at UW-Madison in 2015 that first got him interested in cinematography, and that’s when he bought his own camera.

“It really wasn’t until 2018 when my things really took off, and I think that’s when I really got known for my drone photography and videography.”

You can find his work all over social media and even TikTok.

“The thing that makes Madison and really the whole surrounding area so special is that you get this loyalty you just don’t find anywhere else,” Li added.

Sam took the chance and started a business, which is now his full income, making his work available online to purchase. When he’s not getting shots from the sky, he also does some freelance shooting for businesses around town. From day to night, summer and winter, you’ll find everything about what makes living in the 608 so great.

“That’s why I think my photography and video has been so successful is because people really latch on to seeing beautiful images of their city,” Li concluded.

If you’d like to check out Sam’s work, you can find him all over social media. You can also go to his website.