Afshin Shahidi

Afshin Shahidi is a New York Times, Best-Selling Author, and award-winning Photographer, Cinematographer, and Filmmaker. His journey began in his native Iran, where he was surrounded and inspired by the art of his city of Mashad. The films, poetry, and rich culture of Iran became foundational and influential to his work. Shahidi migrated to the United States, alongside his mother, settling in Minneapolis. He considers himself fortunate to be placed in a city so steeped in art and music and that ultimately connected him with the most important collaborator and supporter of his career – the late musical Icon, Prince.

Shahidi first met Prince in 1993 at Paisley Park on a music video shoot and eventually became his cinematographer and still photographer, capturing Prince in concert and at play, in highly styled settings and in candid situations. Shahidi was the photographer for the musician’s legendary 3121 parties in Los Angeles as well as on the road with Prince all over the world.

His work has been featured on the covers of several albums including Prince – 3121Prince Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas, and Prince & the New Power Generation One Nite Alone…Live!.

His 20-year collaboration with Prince helped shape Shahidi’s vision of a world where, as Prince exemplified, anything is possible. In his recent NY Times Best-selling book, Prince, A Private View, Shahidi’s photos and stories chronicle his time with Prince.

Shahidi’s career has spanned three decades and five continents, with projects ranging from commercials, music videos, album cover art, feature films, and most recently, documentaries. His Documentary, With Drawn Arms, brings to light Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith’s journey from his Iconic salute atop the winners’ podium in 1968 to how his profound gesture and activism is a call to action for us today. The film was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and the opening night film for the Hamptons International Film Festival this year.

As an immigrant whose culture has many times been overlooked or stereotyped, Shahidi is focused on championing untold stories and bringing to light the rich textures of life outside of the mainstream.

Shahidi, alongside his wife Keri and daughter Yara, has moved into the expanded world of storytelling, through their new production company, 7th Sun Productions.

Upcoming projects for Afshin include a two-man show, “Icons & Immigrants”, a new literary project, and the development of three original scripts.

Shahidi lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

Prince: A Private View Photo Book
Afshin on San Francisco Art Exchange