Brenda Tharp

Brenda Tharp
Upcoming Tours
Venice Italy Photo Tour: Winter Light January 17th, 2020
Slovenia Photo Tour: Winter Wonderland January 26th, 2020
Southwest Ireland Photo Tour Light and Landscape June 6th, 2020
Croatia Photo Tour - Gem of the Adriatic September 26th, 2020
Scotland’s Highlands Photo Tour Including The Isles of Skye and Mull October 8th, 2020

Brenda is a professional photographer, speaker and educator with a life-long wanderlust for exploring the world and photographing it. Her photographs have appeared on the pages of Sierra Club, Audubon, National Geographic Books, Michelin Travel Guides, Nature Conservancy, and many more. She is the sole author/photographer of two books, her most recent Expressive Nature Photography, and she co-authored Extraordinary Everyday Photography with Jed Manwaring. Her fine art images are in private collections across the country.

For years and continuing today, she has escorted people to a variety of wonder-filled places to share in the adventure of the place and to help in the making of memorable images. Brenda believes that in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, you gain so much more than just photographs - you bring back the experiences from those places that remain with you forever. She advocates photographing with a sense of purpose, keeping your eyes and your soul open to what's going on around you. Brenda's love for the natural world is evident in her dramatic landscapes and wildlife images. Her cultural images portray a sense of place, and her portraits are approached with sensitivity and respect for the person and the culture. Brenda challenges you to see in new ways.

Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: creating dynamic landscapes/scenes, paying attention to gesture and moment with both wildlife and people, working effectively with the light you have, using elements of design to create strong compositions, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions often include processing and workflow. She is always available for technical or visual help, offering tips and suggestions to help you to refine their own vision of the place.

Note from Instructor: “I believe that you workshops and tours are a great way to work on improving your artistic vision and your technical skills, while being inspired by a great destination, not to mention the fun of sharing the adventure with like-minded photographers. I am available to lend advice and review images any time on the journey.”

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.


Nancy Hauserman

What was the highlight of your trip? Brenda - she was great. Efficient, knowledgeable, friendly, continually involved with all of us.

R. Pool

Many thanks and kudos to you for your photo tips and sharing your "secret" places: to Jacque for organizing and putting the trip together so professionally: to Ursula and Laura for being such wonderful guides. Their expertise made everything so much more interesting and enlightening. I really feel like I came away with more than beautiful photographs, but with some new friends as well.

R. Tinsley

Brenda Tharp immediately made my short list of future photography mentors. She has proven to be so much more than just a professional photographer. Watching her begin and end each day making sure each of us was personally and photographically content, showed a side of this professional woman that most individuals are not privileged to see.


Hi Brenda, I want to let you know how much I enjoyed photographing Cuba with you. The Cuba experience was phenomenal. Cubans are such wonderful, open and caring people that I couldn't help falling in love with them. And it seemed that there was another photo op around every corner. Shooting side by side with you really enhanced the experience. You helped me see the shot and afterwards I could look over your shoulder at your composition. That process really helped me see alternative compositions in other scenes. Again, thanks for all the help and attention you gave me during our time in Cuba. I'm looking forward to another photo tour with you sometime in the future.

Ron Alvig

Welcome back to you! Chris and I just returned from our own extension to Venice you planned for us.  Wonderful!!!
Attached is my evaluation of the tour with Brenda and Jed!
Loved every minute…! Many thanks to everyone who took part in the planning…and to Brenda and Jed for the expert  execution of the plan!

The tour was perfect, I would highly recommend it. Both Brenda and Jed were knowledgeable about each location, and knew the very best places for photo shoots. They were not rigid, in fact, they were flexible and were able to 'read' the interests of the participants very well and make any changes to our schedule to fit the desires of the individual wishes. So well done.... so difficult to do. I would travel anywhere with Brenda & Jed.

Gretchen Taylor

All in all a wonderful trip - I Enjoyed my fellow travelers, friendly Cubans, and I don't think I ever felt safer as I did in Cuba. I thought the mix of group photography and time to wnader around on our own was about right!!

Lois James
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