A dangerous photo catches the eye. Be it a shot from a photojournalist capturing lives at risk or a high-fashion image wowing with its unreal fragility, danger in photography instills a sense of awe.
Afsari’s photos are also imbued with a vulnerability that magnifies a sense of urgency. “Some photoshoots are extremely personal and therapeutic for subjects and myself,” Afsari explains. “I create a safe place to explore and transmute personal desires and/or pain. Other times, like in the case with a lot of my musician subjects, I am capturing their spirit and their specific sets of influence and inspiration.” She continues, “I want people to see that I provide as a safe space to push boundaries, get experimental and have the ability to evoke powerful yet vulnerable imagery from their hearts and true to their visions.”
Her work with musicians is transforming Afsari’s craft into a more tactile zone, wandering between concert spaces and set pieces. Unsurprisingly, the results have yielded collaborations with fans and friends of her work from Jennie Vee, whose latest video Afsari directed, to St. Vincent, who tapped Afsari to create the visuals for her latest album, MASSEDUCTION. “I know the importance of a strong visual to go along with the sonic soundscape musicians create,” she mentions. “It excites me to be a part of that. There’s an intense satisfaction in being a part of a musical collaboration—holding the final product—the vinyl itself is a feeling I can’t describe. It’s joyous”
This sense of feeling, of taking photography from a single image to something more available in the world, is clearly a new focus for Afsari as she’s branching out into yet another new realm: books. Afsari is working on her debut book, UNMUTED. “It explores themes of self-awareness and identity, sexuality, the internal struggle of power versus surrender, and the goddess awakening," she describes. In a way, this new entree brings it all back to the danger of the photo by allowing outsiders further into her process, to understand and to explore her world closer still. This, too, is a risk. “It’s an introspective book that shines light on the divine feminine power while simultaneously aims to balance the masculine and feminine,” Afsari says. “It harnesses both their energy and mine, and is ignited by the sacred nature of the photo shoot itself.”