Arash Afshar

Photographer, Host of Burner Podcast and Founder of Justified Hype

Photographer, founder of Justified Hype creative collective and host of Burner Podcast

Portraitist at heart. Lifestyle, Marketing and Tourism photographer by trade. 

Host of the internationally recognized Burner Podcast and founder of Justified Hype creative collective 

Arash Afshar, a seasoned artist, photographer, music video director, and media/podcast host, has dedicated nearly two decades to illuminating the intricacies of the identity and purpose through his art. With a unique perspective shaped by his immigrant experience and diverse cultural influences, Arash utilizes the power of storytelling to inspire connections and foster a deeper understanding of the vibrant tapestry of culture.


Arash’s photography blends documentary and cinema, producing stories that juxtapose the aesthetic grandeur of blockbusters with the intimacy of indie films. Drawing inspiration more from music producers and film directors than traditional photographers, he balances authentic photojournalistic portraiture with a polish from his years of professional work in lifestyle, tourism and marketing photography. This unique style is anchored by themes of leadership and power, shaped by experiences both within governmental structures and the countercultural arts movements, coupled with a deep fascination with purpose and civic duty.

His immigrant roots, juxtaposing traditional Iranian values with vibrant artistic subcultures, have forged a distinctive lens through which he views the world. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University, Arash honed his craft by navigating between photography campaigns for San Diego’s Unified Port District and other local governmental and nonprofit entities by day, and directing underground hip-hop music videos by night. This duality refined his narrative capabilities, as evidenced in his diverse projects across local and global destinations, working with entities ranging from official bodies to avant-garde musicians.

After dedicating years to still photography for marketing and communication agencies, Arash revisited the music video realm, teaming up with Techno DJ/Producer Crescendoll for his most ambitious directing endeavor to date. Concurrently, his voice has resonated as the host of Burner Podcast, delving deep into the Burning Man culture for almost a decade, establishing it as the longest-standing traditional podcast in the global Burner community. His dedication to this ethos is further exemplified through leadership roles in art initiatives and the inception of Justified Hype, a platform that champions diverse voices within the dance music sphere.

In addition to his photography, Arash is delving into the literary realm, penning an experimental hybrid of creative non-fiction and memoir titled “Yesterday I Was Clever” where he is dissecting the nature of identity through his Iranian-American upbringing. At the same time, he’s meticulously crafting two photography books while journeying through various regions of the United States. Although he remains deeply rooted in Southern California, his fervent passion for storytelling takes him to diverse locales, capturing and chronicling his experiences.