Joel Bernstein (b.1952)
In 1969, Joel Bernstein was a 16 year old in high school. That was the year Joni Mitchell asked him to be her photographer.
He had taken her photograph 2 years prior at a small venue show in Philadelphia, delivering it a few days later. Mitchell visited Philadelphia to perform again in ’69, and during that time he shared an image with her that she referred to as “the best picture of me that has ever been taken”. She invited him to be her photographer; an unusual suggestion considering his current high school enrollment status and her home being in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.
In the years that followed, Joel Bernstein photographed Neil Young in Greenwich Village, tuned guitar for the Last Waltz at Winterland, and rented a room from Graham Nash.
In 2023, Joni Mitchell was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. To this day, Joel Bernstein is still Joni Mitchell’s photographer.