Arash Afshar

Photographer, Host of Burner Podcast and Founder of Justified Hype

Full disclosure: I’d never really pursued wedding gigs. I don’t spend much time around the wedding industry and, as a rebellious artist growing up in a culture steeped in tradition, had historically not been a big fan of what I deemed to be more traditional things. But as my personal journey, community and spirituality evolved, I found myself attracting more like-minded people. Folks who are just as interested in doing something different and new. Then all these super interesting wedding gigs just started showing up in my life.

I had the privilege of shooting the most breathtaking 50 person beach wedding in Playa Del Carmen and was spoiled by the experience of getting to work barefoot in the sand. In the middle of the pandemic, I had the honor of being a part of the most intimate ceremony, one which so many other friends and family of the bride and groom were unable to attend. Recently, I shot a very spiritual 12 person wedding which consisted of extended segments of meditation. I put down the camera and joined the family as we all sat in silence and then I setup a ring-light and took tons of fun portraits. It’s not the job I’m interested in, it’s experience. And every wedding experience I’ve had so far has been pure magic!

When shooting weddings, I pretend like I’m profiling an event and it’s attendees for a magazine like Vanity Fair. It’s how I approach my portraits and candids and I’ve shot enough big events to know how to navigate them with playful ease. I’m attracted to timeless, universal elegance and I look for that no matter how wild and non-traditional the vibe or outfits might be. I’m not into current fads, gimmicks or too much posing. I look for authenticity. That moment between the moments when my subjects forget the camera is there for a split second.