What happens when you combine a global financial crisis with a personal mid-life crisis?
New Jersey-based photographer and former entertainment attorney, Peter Alessandria, has a unique story that has been a source of inspiration for many. When the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 robbed him of his law practice, instead of giving up he decided to renew his life by doing what he loves: photography. Since then Peter has amassed 49 awards for his fine art photography and has had his photos displayed in dozens of solo and group exhibitions. His work has been published nationally and internationally and he has been the subject of several print, radio, television and Internet interviews. He was recently featured on NBC TV NY’s website and social media feeds as one of their three favorite NYC Instagram photographers. His photos have been published in the New York Post (three times), The Times (London), The Daily Mirror (UK), The Daily Mail (UK), The Sun (AUS), The Daily Record (UK), The Daily Star (UK) and more. His work has also been featured on several television shows including The Weather Channel’s “It’s Amazing Out There!”, “Good Day New York” (Fox 5 NY), and LIVE With Kelly (US syndicated). National Geographic Magazine selected one of his photos as “Photo of the Day” on their website recently and his photos have been published in Digital Photo Magazine (US) (twice) and Lens Magazine (EUR)(twice). He was also a finalist in The Weather Channel’s 2016 Photo Contest and 2015 Empire State Building Photo Contest. And the famed New Yorker Hotel in New York City recently acquired seven (7) of his photos as part of a permanent installation at the Hotel.
While the decision to give up being a lawyer was difficult, and at times even scary, he has overcome the odds - and his fears - and today works as a full time fine art and commercial photographer. (Listen to his interview with celebrity interviewer Douglas Coleman about his career change and photography work here.)
Peter was born and raised in New York City and Long Island. After attending law school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an entertainment attorney. Today he is an award-winning, fine art, portrait and commercial photographer based in the New York City area.
Peter spent the first part of his work life as an entertainment and intellectual property attorney in Los Angeles. Working in the film and television industries sparked his own interest in creativity and in the early 2000’s he began experimenting with digital video and became an amateur filmmaker. But it wasn't until he picked up a digital SLR still camera for the first time in 2004, that his full creative passion for image-making came into being.
Like many people, things changed dramatically for Peter in 2008. That year, as a result of the Global Financial Crisis, he lost his law practice. In the days and weeks that followed he struggled with the question of what to do with the rest of his life. It was only after much deliberation that he decided to follow his passion for photography, and in late 2009, he began pursuing photography full-time.
Peter finds inspiration mostly in the work of other photographers - and not necessarily the famous ones. Rather, it is his peers, many of whom he connects with on social media, that inspire Peter to go out and try new things or shoot in new locations. This connecting with others has helped fuel his creativity greatly over the last several years.
As a both a photographer and filmmaker Peter’s intent is simple: create compelling images that appeal to his own sense of beauty and aesthetics. His goal is to use his art - and his life - to inspire others. He shares his photos in the hopes of touching people’s hearts and minds in positive and uplifting ways.
Today Peter identifies as an artist. His photos are his own unique interpretation of the subject. He starts with traditional photographic techniques in-camera, such as long exposures, to create his art. He then takes the digital file from his camera into the computer and creates his own singular take on the world.
Peter’s intention going forward is to continue to hone his skills as a photographer while being of service to his clients in the commercial and fine art arenas. He also hopes to inspire and educate others interested in photography through lectures, classes and workshops. You can see more of Peter’s work on his websites:
What Peter's Collectors are saying:
"The reason that I buy photos from Peter Alessandria is that he goes where I haven't and brings (me) back the moments I want to continue to see, from those places. The framing is of high quality and the value is priceless for me!"
Amy S., Denville, NJ
Peter also leads workshops for amateur and professional photographers:
“Peter gave our club a very educational and entertaining presentation. He provided very helpful tips for anyone looking to make a living with photography. He discussed in detail how he creates his beautiful nighttime images. This was very helpful to our members who range from beginners to experienced photographers. We hope to have him back in the future for another presentation.”
Vince Minkler, President Monroe Photography Club