Arash Afshar

Photographer, Host of Burner Podcast and Founder of Justified Hype

This page is for invited guests only

The services and agreements listed below are not for the general public. 

Years ago, while interviewing music video director Jason Goldwatch for Crappy Awesome Podcast, I asked him when an artist gets to start charging for what they’d been happily doing for free. He replied, “when you don’t have time anymore. When you have to give up your Friday night to edit.”

Photography is my bread and butter and what that means is that a great deal of what I shoot is not necessarily always subjects I’m passionate about. What I am most passionate about are my fellow artists. Those in the grind. The underground. The green room champagne when we all know damn well half of us only have 20 bucks in our accounts. Very few artists are born prodigies like Picasso. Most of us are made over the course of a lifetime of terrible investments, inexplicable decisions and public train-wrecks. 

My business plan has never been to buy my home with money made off of artists. I’m interested in the deeper corporate pockets. Additionally, I want to shoot a lot more out-of-the-box imagery rather than the very safe Lifestyle and Tourism stuff that populated most of my portfolio.

So it is in that spirit that I came up with the Standby Portrait Sessions. 

These sessions are for visible artists, performers and those with a regular social media presence in the LA region.

Actors, rappers, stand up comics, dancers, DJs, musicians…

You don’t have to actually live here but part of my motivation for doing this is so I can see more of LA and connect with more people here.

Most importantly though: I want you to be active on social media. Not expecting you to be an influencer, but the whole point of doing these mini sessions is so I can get more of the types of photos I want to be shooting out there.

These sessions are short and sweet.

One location, probably a single outfit with some layers to play with… We jump right into shooting and dip out. If you want a full on portrait session treatment, you’ll have to book one like any other client.

How it Works

Book a 43 minute block of time with me. 

These bookings are, as the title suggests, standby bookings.

Meaning if an actual paid gig or any other shift in my schedule happens, we bump you to a different date. Clients who are paying my full listed rates have to be my priority.

Bookings will most likely be on weekday afternoons.

The intention is to be fun, easy and low maintenance. The 43 minutes will include our warmup time and maybe a half hour of snapping.

You bring an unused SD flash memory card. 

Most preferably one of these: SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I

It doesn’t have to be that one specifically, but something close enough to it.

One of the steps we’re removing from this process is that I’ll be shooting with my own memory card as well as yours. Then I’ll simply hand you over your memory card and save the step of exporting and uploading on my end.

You can do whatever you want with the photos. Edit them, add filters, etc.

I typically shoot RAW with Black and White JPEGs. So you can immediately use the black and white JPEGs

Plus you’re an artist active on the digital space so chances are extremely high you either already know how to deal with RAW files or you’ve got people close to you who do.

You pick your outfit(s) and the location. 

I have a pretty full daily schedule and normal portrait sessions involve a good amount of planning work with the client so I’m deferring all that to you.

Regarding outfits: I’d suggest picking an outfit that has some layers which you can easily toss on or off so we can keep shooting in our 43 minute window.

Regrading locations: I am not into the guerilla thing (like Jason Goldwatch).

Please ensure you’ve asked permission or it’s a public space.

I’m serious about this. I am a professional and looking over my shoulder stomps on my creative flow. Early on when I founded Justified Hype, we did a shoot on the train tracks in Barrio Logan (where a ton of other people had shot as evidenced by Instagram) and we ended up being surrounded by transit cops. We had to appear in court and pay fines. So I ask you to choose wisely and do the homework I normally do when I’m planning a shoot.

Preferably no public parks or tourist destinations. Have a family member who has access to a cool warehouse? Great! Maybe a friend with a really beautiful home? Awesome! Think about where you might have access to a location most people wouldn’t think of.

Venmo me $43.

To cover my gas, parking and equipment wear and tear. You can pay less or more if you want; that’s just the suggested amount because it’s my lucky number. Don’t send this till after we’ve completed our shoot.

The main payment in this for me is getting to shoot more fun artsy photos, building community in LA and raising each other’s social presence. 

We are artists collaborating. Share BTS photos. Do videos. Tag me and tag the clothes you’re wearing. Do whatever tickles your fancy. You can share the photos with whatever frequency or with whichever edits you desire. They’re all yours. I’m also assuming that you’re good with me sharing whichever photos I want whenever I feel like it.

This whole thing is invite only specifically so that I can skip the typical back and forths I do with paid clients and just make cool art with people I legit want to hang out with.