Peter Alessandria’s stunningly beautiful photographs use color, perspective and composition to draw the viewer into the scene. Please visit his website to see more of his photography.
I studied economics in college and then went on to law school and business school in Buffalo, NY. After four years in Buffalo, I bought a one-way plane ticket for Los Angeles to become an entertainment lawyer. The more I hung around creative types – writers, directors, producers and musicians – the more I wanted to create. In the early 2000’s I got a digital video camera and made several short films – comedies mostly.
Then in 2004, I picked up my first digital still camera – a Canon digital SLR. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was take pictures. In the first couple of years I took over 200,000 photographs; when I wasn’t shooting I was talking to people on-line about shooting.
In 2008, I lost my largest client and law practice due to the global financial crisis. I was in my late 40’s and needed to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Since I had some money saved (and no wife or kids to support) I decided to go for it and do photography full time. It has not been easy and it turns out you need more than passion and creativity to have a successful business.
Today I have three ways I make money with my camera: commercial product photography (www.greatproductshots.com), headshots and portraits (www.superstarheadshots.com) and fine art photography (www.peteralessandriaphotography.com.
Of the three, my fine art photography really feeds my soul. I am only too happy to wake up at 4:30AM for a chance to capture the perfect sunrise, or drive 1,000 miles in three days to shoot the Maine coastline.
I am completely self-taught, having no formal training in art or photography. I mostly study the work of other photographers and try to reverse engineer how they got the shot.
I am also very active in Facebook and belong to the New Jersey Photographers Group. We challenge and inspire each other and often meet up to go out shooting together. Social media has been a really great way for me to share my work. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people can see my images now.
I also like to feature the work of other artists (including photographers) on my blog. Several times a year I devote space to artists who inspire me and it feels great to promote the work of others.
In terms of my own career, I enter my work in shows and exhibitions every chance I get. I don’t always get accepted, but I have won six awards in the last couple of years which is amazing to me. It feels great to be recognized for my photos – and also win some money!
Going forward I really want to turn my fine art work into a full time business. I recognize there are lots of challenges to that but am committed to mastering both the marketing and artistic aspects of the business.
Peter invites you to follow him on Facebook.