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Meet Justin Piccari of JPiccariPHOTO in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Piccari.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Justin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always been an artist. Honestly, it’s all that’s in me. I’ve always been fascinated by the process of building something from nothing, the problem solving, critical thinking, and paradoxical reasoning that comes along with it. I was fortunate that my parents saw and nurtured this, as well as various teachers and mentors along the way.

When my high school art teacher brought the Dean of Admissions from the Tyler School of Art into our class, I was too excited to show her what I had done. The Savannah College of Art and Design offered me $20k in scholarships for my portfolio to come to their school, so I thought Tyler was a lock. But when the Dean told me I had nothing that could even make me eligible for the college, I knew for sure that Tyler was the school for me.

Even when Tyler pushed me to the brink in every class, I couldn’t help but need to push past what felt like the end.

Working for myself now is an extension of that need. Each moment feels challenging and through all the challenge, I’m excited to see the light on the other side.

My twisted, stubborn side was exactly what helped push me then, and pushes me even harder now.

My favorite part about being an artist is the constant push to be better. My eventual goal is to affect change in people through something powerful, and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be tomorrow!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road is never smooth. That’s part of the growth process. It’s tough, but when you know what you want, it’s worth the push. The biggest struggle by far is time and money. There’s no lie to the “starving artist” moniker. To fully concentrate on the art, you sacrifice a steady income. To satisfy the need for financial security, you sacrifice time. The trick is finding the balance that works for you as an individual.

One of my other big struggles is the network. It’s the trickiest part of the job. I feel like I learn every day how little I truly know, and how much I am looking forward to being someone that knows just a little more the next day. Each person I meet teaches me something. The network I thought I wanted isn’t alway the network I needed. But it’s amazing how the ones you need show up right when they’re supposed to.

Another struggle I find myself fighting every day is people. I love people. A lot. In case you can’t tell. But it’s another balance to wade through all the people that hurt, hinder, and try to stall everything because of they’re own selfish needs. In this city, and in the world, it’s tough to remember that the bad ones don’t overwhelm the good. We all need to take a step back and take control of ourselves and our destiny. And thank the good ones along the way.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
JPiccariPHOTO is about Reality: Enhanced. Color, Contrast, and Vibrance, that’s what it is. I specialize in portraiture and product photography. But my real skill is tying them all together. I love interacting with people. Finding special moments in them that speak the truth. Product shots are another world. For the truly amazing stuff, it’s an anal-retentive process that is about slowly building up light through studying and experimenting, something you can’t do on a moving subject. So being ABLE to be OCD on a product and then introduce some chaos from a live subject is a beautiful dichotomy.

I’m most proud of my interest in finding the truth. My graphic design background makes me interested in what is behind the obvious. So whether it’s a person or a product, taking the obvious path isn’t always the answer. It’s fun to dig a little deeper and pull the essence out of something. I like to push portrait subjects or product/companies to explore with me. The simple stuff is fine for everyday use, but when it’s time to do something special, that’s where I come in.

My ultimate goal is to be able to affect change. Show an individual something they didn’t know about themselves through the power of art. Hope that it affects their heart in a positive way that makes them affect someone in a positive way, and hope that it spider web’s out. I want everyone to be their happiest selves. I hope I can help even a few people achieve that.

What were you like growing up?
I’m quite certain the answer to “what was I like growing up” is “I was a dork”. I’ve never much cared what the “popular” thing was to do. In fact most of the time I headed in the opposite direction, choosing to play the French Horn because no one else did, choosing the school that told me “no way”, being friends with people that had I had nothing “in common” with (spoiler alert, we were both humans – that’s common ground).

I don’t think I could be considered “a rebel” because I never sought to break something down, only to build up. But was I “normal”? Nah. Sounds boring. (Not much has changed on that front).

Music and art have always ruled my life. I have been listening to 70’s rock since I was a kid, and it’s certainly a huge influence on my life now.

I think my family had the most influence as a kid. They made sure I was exposed to every culture, type of person, and showed nothing but love for each of them. Passion and dedication to work have always been ingrained in me too.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images shot by Justin Piccari (JPiccariPHOTO)

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