Creator Q&A : Steve Bernhardt

Steve Bernhardt

Retoucher & Photographer


In a few words state who your name, occupation and what it is that you create.

Steve Bernhardt, Retoucher by day and Photographer by night. I believe that by using both disciplines in tandem, almost anything imaginable can be created.

Describe what you see when you look out your window. Hotel Henry a couple blocks away, lit up at night. We have a cool view!

What is a podcast, book, or song that is keeping you sane? Che Guevera's "The Motorcycle Diaries" is my current read. Haven't been listening to many podcasts during the quarantine, but Ear Hustle and The Horror of Dolores Roach are AWESOME. I am watching a shameful amount of TV. Current favorites are "Wu Tang: An American Saga" and "Community"

What is a word that makes you laugh?

Turdburger What is the color of your current mood?

Brown? ahahahahaha What is something that brings you joy? Taking a nap with my dog on the back porch. And the Jambalaya cooking on our stove.

COVID-19 aside, what frustrates you? Why on earth does every idiot with a giant pickup truck INSIST on backing into their parking space? EVEN when it takes you 3 tries, while using their back-up cam (which is totally cheating) and there's a line of cars behind you? Glad I got that off my chest!

What do you feel most hopeful about? Winter is ending, warmer weather is on the way.

How do you define your creative process - what makes you tick, what is your practice? It depends on what I am working on. If it is a retouching project for a campaign, I can be a little over technical and pedantic. An idea and a direction are usually presented to me, which I have to execute in a way that will make sense for the next creative who will use it. Not always sexy or fun. But! When I am working on personal portfolio work, I love to lock myself alone in the studio with a few days worth of coffee, and just go nuts. I can take my time, make a mess, swear a little, talk to myself a little too much, and tinker and play all day long. I live to experiment. "If I try THIS... then THAT will happen".

What is something challenging you’ve accomplished as a creator? There are so many things I still hope to accomplish. I think one of the most difficult aspects of being a creator is finding confidence and pride in your skill set. It took me many years to feel confident in my ability to take something cooking up inside my head, and to make something tangible. And to actually get excited to show others! It may not be magazine recognition or awards (Yet!), but I do consider this to be an important accomplishment.

Name an artist or creator you draw influence from? The Voorhes, Claire Benoist, Ryan Schude, too many more to list. How has COVID-19 affected you? Have you changed your process during quarantine? I've been furloughed, so I have a ton of time to work on personal projects! Trying to take advantage. In your opinion what do you think the “new normal” should look like for our global society?

I'm hoping that things will return to "normal" a year from now. Until then, we should all stay cautious and patient. What do you look forward to most once quarantine restrictions are lessened? Beers at the bar with friends! In closing, describe or reflect on an aspect of nature that inspires you.

Nature continues to offer new and amazing discoveries. The majority of our planet's surface is underwater and is almost entirely unexplored. Underwater lakes of Methane are nuts!