Iranian-American photographer Sinna Nasseri describes his ability to catapult viewers into every scene he captures as a “gonzo journalism curiosity”, where he brings the audience along with him, always thinking about what they want to see. “I never want a pristine façade,” he says. “Curiosity is the basis of my work, and I want to show people what’s really going on.”
Currently based in New York, Nasseri wasn’t always making images. Up until 2018, he was working as a successful yet unfulfilled lawyer on Lexington Avenue for Latham & Watkins, one of New York’s most prominent firms. “My parents came [to the United States] from Iran and had the normal immigrant striver mentality,” Nasseri tells me while on the road in California.
“I’m a first-generation American, and the pressure to be successful and be the best at whatever you do was drilled into me growing up. As a young person, I was trying to understand my role in America. I became a lawyer without much passion for what I was doing and eventually started looking for something that would shake me out of being in a job I had no interest in.”