Photographer Jessica Bernstein on Capturing Moments and Emotions Through Festival Photography

Photo credit: Jessica Bernstein
Photo taken at Meow Wolf’s Taos Vortex

For Jessica Bernstein, having a camera in her hands has always been the norm. “I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was two or three years old. My mom would always give me her back up camera, so it was natural.” Now, photography has become her life. Bernstein is living the dream, traveling the U.S. to photograph some of the biggest festivals and artists on the map. 

Photography within the EDM world is probably one of the most creative subsets of photography I’ve seen. Photographers do everything they can to bring their followers right into the DJ booth and feel as if they were there at the festival themselves. From shots of the crowd to performers, to the DJs themselves, the shots Bernstein has captured at past festivals invoke a sense of wonder and inspiration.

“I really like to capture moments instead of setting up photos. It’s more of a real life moment captured – a moment in time.” And, the moments she captures truly make you feel like you were right there in the moment. Jessica Bernstein describes her photography style as colorful, vivid, and emotional. She always makes a point to collaborate with her subjects as much as possible and it’s this collaboration that makes a world of difference.

From DJs performing on stage to roaming performers and yoga classes, Bernstein’s photography perfectly captures the sense of the festival. A lot of people see photographers just as someone who goes around and takes candid pictures of people – but that’s not always the case.

“It’s a kind of co-creating. I’m creating an image with the person that I’m shooting. And that really transforms it into a collaborative piece of art.” And art it is. It’s more than just clicking a button and slapping a filter over the photo. Photography is seeing a moment and an opportunity for a moment and doing whatever you can to capture it and bring it to life so that others can experience it as well. 

Photography is a great way to not only capture moments and memories but it’s a great way to express yourself. If you’re looking into the industry, the best advice is don’t give up! “Just keep shooting! The more you shoot, the better you get. Have conversations with people, find a mentor because that is the best way you can get insights into the industry.”

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