For Daniel Bergeron, being a celebrity photographer means doing a thing and doing it well. When he goes to the Sundance Film Festival, he has to power through portraits at lightening speed and make sure that each one is capturing something special in the subjects. Sundance 2016 was Daniel’s third Sundance festival, and he says it went off without a hitch.
Daniel says that Sundance is one of many festival projects that he and IndieWire editor-in-chief Dana Harris partner up for. Months in advance, he figures out how much space he’ll get to work with, tests that space in his own studio, and checks on any rental equipment he’ll need. In the meantime, the editorial assistant at IndiWire coordinates the (insanely busy) schedules.
This year, Daniel was given the space to run two sets, a rare occurrence at Sundance. He preps absolutely everything before his subjects come in, and goes into each shoot knowing exactly what he wants to see. He gave us the rundown of his days at Sundance, and here’s what it looks like:
From 9-6 each day, I have appointments every 15-20 minutes. This includes cast, director, and sometimes producers. Group shot first, then solo portraits. It’s a non-stop burn from 8-6, with a standing lunch jammed somewhere in between. At the end of each day, I am taken to whatever events are needed for schmooze, small bites, and sponsored liquor. Rinse and repeat, for four days. A great deal of coffee is involved.
Working fast is always part of Daniel’s style, so Sundance is a great fit for him. “I have to be fast and consistent,” he says, “and run under a tight schedule with an even tighter budget.” This is all part of the constant grind of producing new and significant work. Daniel says that with each shoot he nails successfully, he’s adding to his notoriety in the industry.
To step in and slay this shoot in incredibly validating. One must never stop producing new work.
Daniel’s subjects from the festival are really interested in the images, and he’s just released a batch of print promos. Ultimately, he says that he’s happy with the job he did, and that’s what matters most. From here, the photos will go into syndication and he’ll see what he can accomplish from there. Daniel says that as an artist he’s always asking himself, “How can I make this better?” and with each shoot he’s excited at what he’s accomplished and looking forward to the next thing. On Sundance 2016 he ends with:
Talent was in good spirits, the schedule ran smoothly, and TSA only did minor damage to my gear. Can’t ask for much more than that.
To view more of Daniel’s work, visit danielbergeron.com.