David Bergman is a very difficult man to catch. On a recent week, he was capturing a game of the World Series one night only to board a flight to the next football game in Pittsburgh the very next day.
His non-stop lifestyle comes with a career in photojournalism that has included multiple Sports Illustrated covers and a gig as the traveling photographer for Bon Jovi during the band’s 2011 tour.
Bergman attended the School of Communication from 1989 to 1992, and studied photography and music as a transfer student from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His involvements with The Miami Hurricane and Ibis Yearbook, he said, were his first steps in a career that has allowed him to photograph acts like the Barenaked Ladies and events like the Super Bowl.
He attributes some of his greatest experiences to UM’s on-campus publications.
“The time I spent working at the ‘U’ was invaluable to my career,” Bergman said. “While shooting big time college sports at UM, I met a number of local photographers in the area.”
While a degree from Berklee would have offered a stable career in the music industry, Bergman was unsure if he wanted to funnel his professional future completely in that direction. He transferred to Miami because he desired a more rounded education closer to his home in South Florida.
He attributed a class with Professor Tsitsi Wakhisi as the ethical foundation to his career as a photojournalist. From UM, Bergman made a stop at The Miami Herald, where he captured the Marlins’ first World Series and the Panthers’ Stanley Cup run. He was also there to photograph coach Dennis Erickson as he was carried off the field after the ’Canes won the 1991 National Championship against the University of Nebraska.
A freelance photographer since 2001, Bergman understands the artistic skills associated with his profession, but he also stresses the importance of viewing a career in photojournalism as not only a craft, but also a business.
“The entry barrier is so much lower now than when I was starting out, and there are so many more photographers,” he said. “You need to have a solid foundation in all aspects of the job.”