It all started when......
At an early age, he found his true love in Acrylic Art & Street photography. A native from Asheville, N.C. who once resided in Daytona Beach, Florida for the last decade. He goes out as often as possible hitting the street’s of Stockton, CA making visual memories of others people can relate to. Knowing not everyone is blessed with helping others in person, he decided to share his work with the world. He doesn’t use expensive and bulky cumbersome equipment, so his talent shines in spite of it, capturing images with a-pro DSLR camera and basic editing software. A photography Book of his Photographs entitled “Poverty in America: A Closer Look at Stockton, Ca” received a People’s Choice Award in 2016 and an online View-Bug Challenge, voted on by over 23,000 people.
Just recently the Stockton City Council, Mayor Sylva & Local residents invited him to an awards gala where he was Honored as a “Stockton Hero”, (Voted by the residents in the city) Locally, Nick’s photographs have been published in San Joaquin Magazine, Publications on FOX-40, KCRA News, his Art has been accepted into Art shows at Columbia Art League, The Stockton ArtSplash and Featured at Oakland’s First Friday’s.
Just this past year, the Stockton Record featured Nicholas as an “Unsung Hero” in Feb. of 2016. You can read the article below
Nicholas Burnette learned a hard lesson about 15 years ago: homelessness doesn’t discriminate. At 22 and living in Daytona Beach, Florida, constant partying consumed his paychecks and left him Homeless living under a pier by the BoardWalk.
That lesson, is his motivation and reason for working to find ways to help Stockton’s homeless. Burnette is the Owner/ photographer of The Artist Studio and co-founder of 209 Community Cares, a grass-roots effort to provide services to people without a roof.
His photography, which often features the homeless people he helps, and service work started while he still was in Florida. Burnette was working at a bar where many homeless individuals would mill around outside and said he saw how passers-by mocked the people. “It hit close to home — I (had been) there,” he said
Nicholas started by striking up conversations with people and would advise them to return once the bar was closed, which is when he would give out leftover food and coffee, Burnette said. “People would see the beautiful beach, but then ignore the man begging for food,” he said of the issue in Daytona Beach. “It bothered me that people just walked by, not paying attention to those in need.”
Once Burnette moved to Stockton in 2012, his desire to help didn’t cease. Nicholas once again picked up a camera and hit the streets. His goal was simple: raise awareness. Photographs make a topic more approachable and demonstrate the impact of an issue, he said. It gives people perspective. The photographs are intimate or everyday moments meant to show what a homeless person’s life is like, he said. His photographs include a woman holding her small dog, a man in a wheelchair in the dark of night and a man sitting down with his shoes off and writing in a notebook. Burnette said he finds time to go out at least twice a week, typically after 9 p.m., to photograph the homeless.
Part of being out taking photos also is a way to assess the situation and meet the people who are out, he said. He tries to find out about their circumstances, their needs and helps find them resources.“(Burnette) has been a very big influence in the community,” Vanessa wrote in an email to The Record. “He has done so much great work within the last two years, and is (certainly) one of the (only) photographers in the city to go out each and every week to bring light on the ever growing problem of homelessness in the city of Stockton. “He’s a hometown hero.”
Nicholas Burnette, along with the volunteers from 209 Community Cares, has given away hundreds of meals, adopted families during the holidays and has helped people find jobs. The group, which started on Facebook with 10 people, has seen exponential growth and the co-founders are filing to be recognized as a nonprofit organization. Burnette said that although there are some individuals who don’t want to leave the streets, the majority of people he encounters want help. “Coming from being homeless," he said, "I know what it’s like.” Burnette’s photographs can be seen on Facebook at @The Artist Studio He can be reached at wickedphotographystudio.com or on the Facebook group page facebook.com/209CommunityCares