Not only has Di changed my perception of the city I have called home for the past six years, she has also taken me beyond my own limits as a photographer. She has inspired me to stop living my entire life on the default settings I have grown so comfortable with. By pushing a camera to its limits and learning how to manipulate the manual settings, I, for the first time in my life, realized how much potential I was wasting by always deferring to my default auto setting.

Leah Armstrong, Genova. Blogger at: Help! I live with my Italian mother-in-law, and wrote about the workshop over in Holiday Mag.

This is my passion.  Working with women, introducing them to the way that their cameras work but more importantly, inviting them to understand and own their unique ways of seeing and capturing the world.  My other passion ...  people.  I love photographing them, talking with them, getting to know them.  And so, I am available for individual and family portraits, as well as events - both private and corporate, and the occasional wedding.

Francesca.jpg

I strongly believe that there is no right or wrong in photography, it's simply about your way of seeing. 

What I really got out of our time together is a deeper relationship with my camera - in the past I think I've always considered my good shots to be lucky shots and haven't felt like I had much control over the outcome. Our time together, learning how to play with the ISO, exposure compensation and using bracketing (often heard about but never knew what it was) has meant that I'm taking photos that, when I look at them, my first thought isn't 'oh I'll fix that in Lightroom'.  They are rich and colorful.

Diny Naus, Early Childhood Learning Support Coordinator, Hong Kong.

And once you discover it, this new sense or instinct, then the world simply opens up to you in a new way.

My name is Di Mackey, I'm a professional photographer, a New Zealander ... in love with Genova, in Italy, having once-upon-a-time lived in both Belgium and Istanbul.

Photography was the life I chose and it has led me into a life full of the most marvelous adventures.  I spent 3 months living in Berlin, working as sole photographer for a huge international exhibition.  TASWIR's curator wrote:

Any time I raise anything on stage, I ask Di Mackey to join the project. Her photographic work is magnificent and I love her presence: her portraits are stunning, they expose intimacy, humor, and pensiveness; her photographs capture the space, the movement, human interaction deliciously, in a way that one feels invited to an event long after it disappeared from the public scene.

In all her unobtrusiveness when working with the camera, Di is great fun to hang out with, the artists, scholars, thinkers, curators of our big Berlin exhibition highly appreciated her, and when working together in Cairo, Istanbul, Berlin, or wherever else, I enjoy her kindness, humor, and delightful presence. 

I miss her at the time when we are “in between projects.”  One of the first things I will do when starting a huge new project is to ask Di Mackey whether she wants to do the photographic work.  I hope she will.

Shulamit Bruckstein, curator, director of TASWIR projects / ha’atelier

Work has taken me to Norway, Spain, England, Berlin, Italy, and Cairo.  I have explored Rome, wandered all over France, become familiar with Paris and Amsterdam, played in Naples, returned to Istanbul to take a few thousand new photographs, and finally got to explore tiny parts of England and Ireland.  I even returned to America almost 20 years after my first visit

I am deeply committed to running photography workshops for women.  I want to encourage women to go out and capture their own unique stories, confident in their way of seeing the world.

To give you an idea of how some of my work and I are perceived, I'll leave you with the words that others have written of me because, in the end, that is the simplest way ...

Testimonials

The photography lessons fluidly led from detailed descriptions to anecdotes and to stories of Genova. Somehow I think I’ll always think of Genova and my new friends when I use my camera now, and I like that very much. While my Nikon D3200 hadn’t really budged from the automatic setting in the last year since I bought it, Di helped me break out and feel confident shooting in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes.

At first, it all seemed a blur of ISO, F-stops and trying to sort out what aperture numbers really meant. But by Sunday afternoon something happened. We were taking photos of the fountain in Piazza de Ferrari and it all came together. Suddenly I could control the settings on my camera to make the spouts of water long and smooth or stop the action where it felt you could see the drops of water. Just by turning a dial. And it worked. And it made sense. Helen was sitting serenely on the side of the fountain and can attest to the fact that I resisted jumping up and down again. But just barely. My camera, I am pleased to say, has only been back to the Automatic setting a few times since I’ve returned. I’ve still got so much to learn, but after only a weekend with Di I feel like I am on my way.

Laura Thayer, Blogger at Ciao Amalfi.

Before we met in Genoa for a weekend's photography course, Di sent me a workbook with exercises. I thought that was very helpful. I learned a lot about the functions of the camera and after studying it I understood much better how I can learn to take better pics. During the practical session in Genoa, we took tons of photos and analysed them afterwards. I got over my fear of technology!

Outi Maattanen, Journalist/Writer.

... and the number of times I had the instruction book out could have been embarrassing but it wasn’t. It was FUN, huge fun, I got to fiddle about with f-stops, and shutter speeds, depth of field, and ISO it was like remembering a lost language.

The main thing I discovered with A New Way of Seeing is that I have so much more to learn. That photography is an integral part of my language and it’s one I love sharing with you.

Lisa Chiodo, Blogger at Renovating Italy.

I had the privilege of joining a Di Mackey photography group workshop for the day on a Sunday. I needed insight and guidance to get me through a ‘wall’ that I had found a little impenetrable between my camera and myself.

Frustrated with photos that didn’t turn out to be what ‘I saw’ and envisaged, I needed to learn about the basics of my camera.

Di took me individually from the point of using my own camera . Covering make and style perspective, she sourced the information for me that she knew I would need and I had a most rewarding day learning about shutter speeds, using aperture and investigating what style of photography I was individually drawn towards . She balanced and blended time well between all in the group.

It was a rewarding day for me of tips and techniques that immediately lifted my photos to a level I am now working on with enthusiasm and delight.

Thank you for a wonderful day of information,, new connections with a common interest, a delicious lunch and wander through that has opened me to kindle and connect with a passion my journey and stories from hereon through.

Lynette Day

Di was able to explain the finer points of photography in a way I could understand and apply. Di supported me in applying my new skills and we critiqued the results together, discussing why the photo looked as it did and what I might do to improve this.

Julie Madgwick, Jules Hikoi.

Compelling, engaging, vibrant, sensual...Di's ability to translate a sense of person and of place through her photography is remarkable. Her images permeate the beholder and have this way of coming to feel like old friends when you revisit them (which you will). That is quite difficult to do in this age when everyone with an iPhone fancies themselves a photographer. But one has only to view the world through Di's eye to know that she is the real deal.

Laura Young.

The disk arrived 4 days ago and I still can’t get my head around the amazing amount of information, details, memories and emotion that you have captured and generated! The pictures are simply amazing, you have an exquisite gift for creating such intimate portraits that are completely natural and utterly captivating. I cannot thank you enough for the photos that have formed such a critical record of what really was one of the highlights of my life.

Garry Brown, MD and Parent, Seraphim Choir Tour, Belgium

Working with Di is a pleasure from start to finish. Her love of people and passion for art and communication translates to an experience where those in front of the camera are as relaxed and happy with the photography process and results as the one behind it.

Veronica McCabe Deschambault, Freelance Writer/Communications Professional.

I am an opera singer and an amateur photographer. I have been surrounded by photographers (both amateur and professional) for most of my life and I can say, without any hesitation, that Di is the best photographer I've worked with.

Di is professional and friendly throughout the whole process. A wonderful human being who is truly interested in her subjects and what they are about. She uses that knowledge to inspire and inform her photography.

Di's photos are just plain wonderful. Beautiful. Alive. Truly capturing the moment (I know it's cliché, but in her case, it's true). Her photographer's eye is just... incredible. Wonderful. Awe inspiring. How she see things that we witness only in passing and captures it to its fullest depth is astounding.

I give her my highest recommendation. Period. She is superlative.

Peter Gage Furlong, Tenor.

 Di è riuscita a catturare in un paio d'ore tutto quello che rende ciascuno di noi unico e speciale. Con la sua presenza discreta e tanta naturalezza ci ha messo subito a nostro agio e la sessione fotografica è stata un'esperienza piacevole e divertente anche per i bambini. E che dire del risultato? Decisamente al di sopra di ogni aspettativa: foto bellissime, originali, divertenti, commoventi e tanto, tanto speciali.

Paola Ottonello, Client.

Stunning is the word I've been thinking when I saw what she did. The way she is capturing details, moods, the vibes of the moment. A very talented lady. And discreet too when working, good listener and good observer and very prompt to finish the job too. So what more can one want? Fort impressionée par le résultat de son travail et la façon dont elle le réalise, très recommandable. Heel professioneel, afgewerkt, haar foto's vertellen een verhaal. Indrukwekkend, keer op keer.

Dominique, Author and Historian.