Introducing: Adrian Ma
Hello! I thought I would do an introduction post for myself. My name is Adrian Ma: a car and photography enthusiast, born and raised from a city just south of China called Hong Kong. After spending four years on Oahu, I recently graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelors’s degree in Mass Communications. Between my studies, I have been doing freelance automotive media for the past three years.
As a child, I was always passionate about cars. Not a day would go by that I would watch The Fast and the Furious films on repeat, collect (and break) multiple diecast/toy cars, and reading various car magazines: some of my favorites included ‘CAR’, ‘Top Gear’, and ‘Evo’. While I could not understand the text of the articles, what caught my eye were the photographs that accompanied each article. I always wondered how someone could take those photos and make the cars look great on print.
Being raised by the Fast and Furious films, my interest leaned towards Japanese cars and import culture. Combined with watching Best Motoring VCDs on repeat and coming from a family with an affinity towards Nissans, it is no surprise JDM easily became part of my life.
It was not until I discovered automotive culture blogs and websites, such as Speedhunters and Superstreet Magazine, that my interest in automotive photography and journalism began. After being given a Sony NEX-3 by my parents, I took it to a local car show one summer day to experiment with being a ‘Speedhunter’, even though my photography and post-editing skills were lacking.
From there, my journey towards photography and cars took off. I then departed to Oahu to begin my undergraduate studies at HPU that same year, and attended my first ever show on the island, and outside of my city: Spocom 2016. The event opened the door for me to what I could do with a camera: a car scene and culture Hong Kong never really had access to, and the people I could potentially meet, all by simply taking photos of their cars. Combined with revitalizing my Instagram account to primarily feature photos of various cars my lens captured, I became vested to capture as much automotive culture and spread it online.
Initially, I kept my photography as a hobby on the side, but it was not until next year, coincidentally right before that year’s Spocom Hawaii show, that I began to take it seriously: that I could make a career out of photographing and writing about other people’s cars around the world (as I flew between Asia and the United States regularly). I give credit to Corey Chung, the owner of an LS-converted S14 Silvia (200SX) for giving me that final push.
Since then, I have made it my goal to capture automotive culture around the world. As an experienced traveler, I ensure to pack my camera and meet with the local car scene of the place I visit: talking story with enthusiasts there, attending meets & shows, or simply photographing the cars in the area. My travels so far have taken me to capture the car scenes of Hawaii, California, Japan, Hong Kong, Britain, Germany, and France. I was also given an amazing opportunity to cover and attend the SEMA Show last year!
What I love about what I do, is that my photos can tell a story with minimal words. Even though I was raised all my life in Hong Kong, I never could confidently speak the local language [Cantonese]. But through my various photographs, I have found they can form a bridge between enthusiasts in my city and abroad that allow us to communicate and exchange ideas; photos are a universal language to everyone, even if their English may be lacking or they speak a different language than mine.
Being invited to join Hiddenpalmtree as a contributor is an awesome opportunity to continue my visual and written storytelling of automotive culture, somewhere other than social media: as I prepare to move back to Asia and continue my travels around the world to seek more content. I am excited to bring what I love to do to the table right here!
Disclaimer: Hiddenpalmtree does not own any of the content and all contents (both photo and text is written by Adrian Ma) If you have any problem or issue with the content, please send an email to Hiddenpalmtree@gmail.com. Mahalo