Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Seattle editorial photographer | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Soyeon Yi for Cosmopolitan.com | Seattle editorial photographer

One of my last and favorite shoots of 2015 was to photograph Korea’s first female astronaut, Soyeon Yi, for Cosmopolitan.com. Yi made headlines in 2008 as she conducted research for 10 days at the International Space Station. Today she volunteers at The Museum of Flight here in Seattle. Big thanks to Soyeon for her time, my assistant Kyu Han for wheeling lights around, and The Museum of Flight for their gracious accommodation!

Soyeon Yi made headlines in 2008 as Korea's first astronaut, where she conducted research for 10 days at the International Space Station. Today, she volunteers at The Museum of Flight Charles Simonyi Space Gallery and lives southeast of Seattle in an area she says reminds her of the farmland on which she grew up. Photo by Daniel Berman for Cosmopolitan.com

BioViva CEO Liz Parrish for OZY | Seattle editorial photographer

One of my final assignments of 2015 was to photograph BioViva CEO Liz Parrish for OZY.com, which just published a five-part story on the biggest ideas of the future coming out of Silicon Valley. Parrish, 44, who heads a Seattle-based gene therapy research company, recently traveled to the country of Colombia to receive experimental stem cell transplants designed to reverse signs of aging — it was a controversial operation rebuked by some as unethical human experimentation. A colleague gave her only days to live several months ago, she said. Parrish said she believes that the issue of aging is too important for science to ignore.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for Welt am Sontag | Seattle editorial photographer

I have only photographed a few people more than once for a portrait so the chance to point my camera toward the CEO of Amazon again for a few minutes made for a pretty surreal morning earlier this month. Jeff Bezos convincingly pretended to remember me as we worked through a few setups and I asked him if Donald Trump ever replied to his tweet offering a rocket ship ride (he hasn’t) and he let out of one of his trademark chuckles. He takes direction well and laughed at my dumb jokes. Perfect subject. Before I knew it, an assistant was calling time and he thanked me and walked out. One of those mornings that are way too early and over way too quickly. Photographed for Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper http://welt.de  Big thanks to my assistant @jovellephoto too for her help. This is one of my last tear sheets of the year and it was an awesome time.

Microsoft Game Studios for The Verge | Seattle editorial photographer

I had an awesome two-day assignment from The Verge last month to photograph Microsoft Game Studio’s Kudo Tsunoda and Shannon Loftis for a story about the XBOX One and new directions for Microsoft. Editor Michael Zelenko asked me to also capture the feeling of working at Microsoft’s Studio C, located on the company’s sprawling Redmond, WA campus. On both days the weather was pretty bad, as it tends to be in November around these parts, but I actually thought it signaled a kind of classic Washington vibe in the exterior shots. The story is a great read so make sure to check it out. Happy Holidays!

 

Odesza for Seattle Weekly cover | Seattle editorial photographer

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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The electronic music duo Odesza is embarking on their second world tour after playing one of their first shows in a small college town just three years ago — their meteoric rise is profiled in a cool cover story from Seattle Weekly that I got to shoot a few months ago but is out this week. Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills graduated from Western Washington University around the same time that I did, so we had a lot to chat about and it was a fun shoot to do in downtown Seattle. These guys were super nice and very generous with their time, and the photos turned out great. Give their music a listen — jam out — and enjoy the rest of your week!

Opposing sides of the urban density debate | Roger Valdez and John Fox for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

(Left) Microhousing and urban density advocate Roger Valdez photographed in Seattle near his office in the South Lake Union neighborhood. (Right) John Fox, a longtime housing and homeless rights advocate, photographed November 2 in Shoreline outside of The Bounty, a coffee shop he often works from. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

(Left) Microhousing and urban density advocate Roger Valdez photographed Nov. 5 in Seattle near his office in the South Lake Union neighborhood. (Right) John Fox, a longtime housing and homeless rights advocate, photographed Nov. 2 in Shoreline outside of The Bounty, a coffee shop he often works from. Photos by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

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Seattle is debating how to approach the issues of urban density and housing development and, reasonably, everyone has something to say. I was tasked with photographing two advocates on opposing sides for the Nov. 10 Seattle Weekly cover story. A interesting and thorough article by Casey Jaywork explains the topic much better than I can. And check out the cool illustrations by Art Director Jose Trujillo for the piece!  Big thanks to Roger Valdez and John Fox for being generous with their time!

Gravity Pay CEO Dan Price for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

Back in May I had a cover shoot from Seattle Weekly to photograph Gravity Pay CEO Dan Price at the payment processing company’s headquarters in Ballard. The story was held until now to be included in the Best Of Issue. When I photographed him, Price’s decision to offer a starting salary of $70,000 per year to all of his employees was met by an immediate deluge of international attention. He cut his own multimillion-dollar pay to be able to finance the move. Of course not everyone was happy with the announcement, but the business is seeing an increase in sales and Price says he stands by the principles of making such a transition: for all his employees to have an actual livable wage in the Northwest. Price was humble, present, and generous with his time, and had no problem posing for a few shots with the coffee cup prop we brought in. I gave it to him after the shoot! Assisting by Ian Bates.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price at their headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle May 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price photographed for Seattle Weekly

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price photographed for Seattle Weekly

Punk Band The Wimps for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

Punk band The Wimps enjoy a spa day in their usual Seattle surroundings. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly. Styling by Tristan Weholt. L-R: Matt, Rachel, Dave

Seattle Weekly’s art director Jose Trujillo commissioned me for an awesome piece in the paper’s Best Of Issue that would send up the idea of The Wimps, which won Best Punk Band, as this exclusive, uptight group barely making room in their day for the story. As luck would have it, Matt, Rachel and Dave are actually nice people and were game for the idea: Jose wanted to have the band enjoying a spa day somewhere kind of dirty — could it be in an alleyway? I scouted a few hours looking for the right sketchy/usable spot. I checked out parking lots and back streets in Capitol Hill, SoDo, Georgetown, Pioneer Square, the ID and Ballard. With hours to the call time I managed to spot a perfectly questionable, graffiti-covered sidewalk with an absurd amount of garbage strewn about. I did a slow roll. There were boxes of beer upturned, bottles everywhere, and someone had gotten ahold of some chalk. I liked the spot immediately and wondered who would litter like that, then parked the car and waited for the team to assemble. Under some nice intense sunlight and with the help of Seattle stylist Tristan Weholt who sourced and staged everything else (and made a plate of guitar-shaped tea sandwiches and refreshing fruit-infused water to boot), plus the help of good friend Matt McKnight assisting, we got to work transforming this SoDo backlot into our makeshift alley spa.

Punk band The Wimps enjoy a spa day in their usual Seattle surroundings. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly. Styling by Tristan Weholt. L-R: Matt, Rachel, Dave

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Google Economic Impact Report | Seattle editorial photographer

Back in March I got a surprising phone call. It was about 6 in the evening on a Monday and a producer at North6 was searching for a photographer to shoot for a Google project. Where? A remote Alaskan town. When? That weekend. I half expected a radio DJ to burst out laughing on the other end. But the assignment was to photograph an aerial tour guide in Talkeetna, a few hours north of Anchorage, as part of Google’s state-by-state Economic Impact Report highlighting how small businesses use Google services. I hoped for a chance to fly around Denali, but alas, that shoot became impossible due to scheduling. But I stayed in touch with the client and fortunately there were opportunities to take on assignments for the project in far more familiar places.

I photographed Portland Meat Collective Founder Camas Davis in Oregon, then Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore in Seattle, and flew to Boise, Idaho, to photograph Tsheets.com Founder Matt Rissell on a quick there-and-back trip April 1st.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google

Portland Meat Collective Owner Camas Davis teaches a class about preparing and cooking pork at Elder Hall in Portland Wednesday Mar. 18, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Sip & Ship Owner Diana Naramore at her Ballard location in Seattle Tuesday March 23, 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Tsheets.com CEO Matt Rissell poses for a portrait at their office April 1, 2015 in Eagle, ID. Photo by Daniel Berman for Google.

Restoring John Steinbeck’s Western Flyer | for Seattle Weekly cover

Backed into the southwest corner of a large, unassuming dry dock in Port Townsend, Washington is a vessel with plenty of history. Maybe you’ve heard of John Steinbeck’s book The Sea of Cortez? This is the boat that took him and his team on their epic, problem-laden-but-ultimately-successful tour of the Gulf of California, then in its prime 75 years ago.

Today, the boat has new ownership under John Gregg, a geologist who spent $1 mil to call it his, and will likely have to spend a similar amount to fully restore it. Still, he’s dedicated to getting the boat ship-shape. Other people have tried before yet failed to do so, starting and stopping the restoration process for one reason or another – often financial, sometimes personal. There’s much more to this story, well-told in a fascinating piece by Patrick Hutchison.

The owner was unavailable for a portrait, but his manager for the project is Mike York, a longtime Seattleite who spends most of the week working slowly but surely to coordinate getting this boat back to order. I got the call last Friday from Seattle Weekly to head up to meet Mike the next day. Port Townsend is a ferry ride and an hour and a half of driving, but I’m not complaining. It was nice to check out of town for the morning and cruise through the countryside. Eventually I arrived at the dry dock. I knew what the boat looked like from Google but it wasn’t jumping out at me. I asked around. Did anyone know the John Steinbeck boat? A few workers threw back sympathetic but unhelpful stares. I had one more area to check out and there it was, nestled between cargo containers, a forklift and a set of hand built wooden stairs reaching to deck height.

This, was the Western Flyer.

Curious area residents and tourists from around the country arrive each day to take a peek at the Western Flyer. The adventures onboard close to 75 years ago were foddor for Steinbeck’s prized non-fiction book, “The Log from Sea of Cortez.” Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

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A view of the Western Flyer ship once owned by  the author John Steinbeck, and now by John Gregg. After many failed attempts, the craft is being restored by a team at a dry dock in Port Townsend, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

A view of the Western Flyer ship once owned by the author John Steinbeck, and now by John Gregg. After many failed attempts, the craft is being restored by a team at a dry dock in Port Townsend, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

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Afterward, Mike asked if I wanted to climb aboard for a peek inside. That just required scaling the stairs and then a narrow ladder. With my c-stand and studio light. Oh well. Every day is arm day when you’re a lighting photographer I guess. It was worth it anyway to see what is best described as a Titanic-esque scene. Just wall-to-wall barnacles capped off by grime and rust-covered artifacts from previous owners and occupants.

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Onboard and inside the Western Flyer.

The cabin has seen better days.

The cabin has seen better days.

 

Space was at a premium. I hunched into the corner with my wide angle to try and show what sinking and years of decay will do to a place. The wall left a fine coat of white dust down my back. Cest la vie. Normally I am assigned to photograph people or preparing meticulous staged product photography, and I enjoy this work, yet getting the chance to document something in disrepair, so completely varnished, just lost in a time capsule, made for one of the most fascinating shoots yet of 2015.

 

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The Western Flyer attracts plenty of onlookers curious about the ship’s fate.

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