About Michael Berman
Michael Berman was born in 1967 and grew up in Washington, DC and its suburbs. While in high school, he was exposed to Dischord Records, an independent punk rock record label. Dischord’s anti-corporate D.I.Y. ethos, and great bands, influenced him and helped spawn his drive to create.
In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, during and after attending NYU for college, nearly every spare cent Michael had went to film, processing, and printing. His photos documented life in NYC and in places he visited: anonymous people and situations in public places, and more intimate portraits and candids of friends and family, indoors and out.
In the late ‘90s, Michael began his career as a photographer, working for community papers in Brooklyn, and later the New York Daily News. In 2006, not long after Michael’s daughter was born, the Daily News fired his ass because he’d had a baby and had told them daycare didn’t open until 8am. Shit’s the breaks.
After that, he went “freelance.” When work came, it was great; when it waned, it was worrisome. Over the years, Michael has photographed for numerous newspapers and magazines, NYC restaurants, a number of national brands, realtors, and plenty of non-profits.
All in all, it’s been fun. He likes taking pictures for people and companies. He enjoys putting on the hat for them, and working to create imagery that can help their business succeed. But Michael’s true passion is documentary.
By picking up a set of portraits he made on the streets of New York in 1999, and then 20 years later endeavoring to meet the people in them - Michael has found a way to merge his photography and his long-held belief in the power of good human communications.
Making a film about “real people,” where they share their lives and philosophies, conveys a vital message: there is something to learn from anyone you encounter. Go out there, meet people, create real connections, and take steps—however small—to make the world a better place.