Bridgeman Copyright photographer Keith Bernstein was born in South Africa and has been a photographer since leaving school at the age of 18. He produces creative photographs as well as having a great body of reportage photography. In 1994 he spent a month with Nelson Mandela as his photographer during the weeks leading up to his election for the presidency.
He was also one of a small group of photographers in Mogadishu, Somalia when an American military operation went very wrong; Ridley Scott’s film Blackhawk Down is based on the events that took place during those 48 hours. He has won many awards so far during his career, including Nikon Press Photographer of the Year twice in successive years, and three World Press awards.
'I left South Africa as a child after mum & dad had a few differences with the government. I’ve been a photographer since leaving school; my first paid job was photographing The Clash at London’s Rainbow Theatre. I photographed Nelson Mandela extensively, from his election as president until his 90th birthday. Many of the pictures now form a travelling exhibition organised by Global Citizen. He told me the greatest moment of his life was meeting The Spice Girls.'
'I was one of very few photographers in Mogadishu Somalia, when an American military operation went madly wrong. Ridley Scott's film Blackhawk Down is based on those crazed 48 hours.'
'I have been really fortunate. Anthony Minghella gave me the opportunity to shoot stills on The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. That led to meeting Clint Eastwood who hired me for Invictus with Morgan Freeman & Matt Damon. I have since worked on 7 Clint films including J. Edgar in Los Angeles and Washington, Jersey Boys in L.A. and American Sniper in Morocco and L.A.'
'I worked on Argo in Istanbul, on Eye In The Sky with Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul in Cape Town and on Mute in Berlin. It was a privilege to be part of A Private War, the story of journalist Marie Colvin and photographer Paul Conroy shot in Jordan and to work on Game of Thrones in Croatia and Morocco. I recently finished work in the UK on Joss Whedon’s The Nevers for HBO and I’m currently shooting with Netflix in London. I was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Film Programme, The Secret Life of the Stills Photographer.
Now here's the thing. As soon as I was old enough to know what a job was I wanted to be a photographer. Nothing has changed since.'