Joel Bernstein is a photographer, guitarist, and record producer based in Oakland, California. His photographs have appeared as the album covers to, among others, After the Gold Rush
, 4 Way Street
, Rita Coolidge
, Wind on the Water
, Running on Empty
, Bob Dylan at Budokan
, Rust Never Sleeps
, Shadows and Light
, and Hard Promises
His photographs have been published in Time
, The New York Times
, and Rolling Stone
, among other publications, and there have been retrospective exhibits of his work in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London.
As a guitarist, he is most noted for support work to his friends David Crosby and Graham Nash, both individually and on their Crosby & Nash records. He has acted as co-producer and archivist with Nash for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and is responsible with Nash for the compilation and production of the box sets Voyage for Crosby
, Reflections for Nash
, Carry On for Stephen Stills
, and CSNY 1974
for the band's tour of that year.
Joel Bernstein is an acclaimed rock photos photographer whose work, spanning four decades, chronicles the inner lives and public moments of some of the most important singer-songwriters, performers and musicians of our time. They include Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Prince, Jackson Browne, Laura Nyro, Tom Petty and many others. Bernstein also became a close friend and musical collaborator with many of his other subjects, playing and singing on their albums and concert tours. But his most important work remains his up-close-and-personal photographs of these singular artists. His preferred method has been to spend as much time as possible with his subjects until the right instant–the perfect moment of intimacy–reveals itself.
Bernstein’s many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock's visual history. His first, at age 18, was Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, often cited in Best Album Covers Of All Time lists. His work was featured in the album cover for Joni Mitchell's Hejira, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover. Bernstein’s work was also the inspiration for the look of Cameron Crowe's well-received rock film Almost Famous, in which many scenes were precise re-creations of Bernstein's photographs.
In 2018, Bernstein received a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Photography Hall of Fame.
Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery
Bernstein's work is well known within the world of music, and is included in the permanent collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
. His work was a key inspiration for the look of Cameron Crowe's well-received rock film Almost Famous, in which many scenes were precise re-creations of Bernstein's photographs. His many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock's visual history. He has been published in a wide spectrum of books on music, musicians, and the music business, as well as in Time, The New York Times and Rolling Stone. He was profiled in MOJO, the esteemed British music publication, which extensively featured his photos of Neil Young.
Bernstein maintains that his unique perspective on these artists is the result of spending so much time with them that he was there to observe and capture those unique “perfect moments of intimacy”
when they revealed themselves, not by some preconceived set-up. He is currently based in Oakland, California.
Source: San Francisco Art Exchange