Alumni Stories

Andrew D. Bernstein

BFA 81 Photography and Imaging

Brooklyn native Andrew D. Bernstein was always an avid sports fan, and he would participate through the lens of a camera. While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he built a portfolio that earned him a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a scholarship to attend ArtCenter. As a student, Bernstein devoted himself entirely to sports photography, working full time as a studio assistant and part time as an assistant for Sports Illustrated. He recently returned to ArtCenter as a sports photography instructor.

Bernstein’s photography has graced thousands of newspapers, magazine covers and major advertising campaigns for over 30 years. He has worked with the world’s top athletes on commercial projects for Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Icy Hot and GlaxoSmithKline. The unique personal rapport Bernstein has developed with athletes over the years allows him exclusive access behind the scenes. Some of these moments were showcased in the book Journey to the Ring, which he co-authored with legendary Hall of Fame NBA coach Phil Jackson, documenting the 2009–10 Lakers championship season.

There was no question that his company, Andrew D. Bernstein Associates Photography, dominated the Los Angeles sports scene as team photographer for the Lakers, Kings, Clippers and Dodgers. Bernstein is also director of photography for the Staples Center and Microsoft Theater L.A. Live, the sports and entertainment complex in Los Angeles. In 1986 he was involved in forming NBA Photos, the world leader in NBA photography licensing, and was senior director from 1986 through 2011, a position that he was instrumental in creating. He continues to serve as the longest tenured NBA league photographer and is the key photographic contributor to NBA Entertainment’s global media platforms, which include, all league publications and NBA licensed products. 

He has photographed some of basketball’s most iconic moments. Bernstein’s countless high-profile projects include coverage of the U.S. Olympic basketball teams (1992, 1996 and 2000) from inception to gold medal wins, and he was the exclusive photographer for the legendary Dream Team in 1992. He has covered 33 NBA Finals and All Star Games as senior NBA photographer. He coproduced Through the Lens, a popular show still running on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, hosting discussions with Lakers and NBA personalities through his photographs. A showcase devoted to Bernstein’s NBA photography was published in NBA Hoop Shots: Classic Moments From a Super Era in 1996

Bernstein was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He is one of four photographers whose work was selected for the permanent exhibit in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Also, Bernstein was influential in the development and use of new technology, including the revolutionary multicamera Flash Wizard II system.

A founding partner of Legends of Sport, a marketing and branding company dedicated to preserving and promoting icons of the sports world, Bernstein gives back to the community as a mentor and board member at Heart of Los Angeles, a youth center where he helped create an after-school photography program. 

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