New portrait of Phil Berg


Meet Phil Berg, whom I photographed as part of my documentary, MONTAUK. The film has been selected to premiere in the New York Surf Film Festival on September 20th. I shot it over two summers and interviewed twenty unique individuals; Phil is one of Montauk's most ebullient residents. Multi-talented, he is  a tree surgeon, a baseball coach, a bouncer and a writer—and he goes nowhere without his trusty companion, Umma.

This portrait was set up in the middle of a quiet road on the outskirts of town. We had a huge strobe lighting him, taking up an entire lane. Every few minutes, someone would slowly drive by this spectacle and stop to say hello to Phil. It seems that there wasn’t anyone in town who didn’t know him. The fifth or sixth friend to stop by was driving a monster truck with enormous tires. The driver began chatting with Phil for a few minutes until he was interrupted by his girlfriend, whose head popped up from somewhere below the steering wheel. She cheerfully introduced herself before disappearing again and we continued shooting till the sun went down.

Montauk is a place I love and I hope you can come to see Phil and and the other fascinating citizens of Montauk when my film premieres in The New York Surf Film Festival, next Thursday September 20th at 7:30 pm.