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.”
Brenda is a wonderful teacher and leader, and I have never traveled with anyone who is more capable or inspiring as a leader, photographer, and instructor. And a completely lovely and fun person, as well.
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
My best work is when I get a spiritual rapport with a place or a situation, and you facilitate that in a great way. The choice of itinerary was irreproachable for the group of serious shooters we were, and the weather you ordered couldnt have been better!!! Brenda Tharps participation added a color and digitial dimension to the proceedings, and she worked over and above the call of duty in critiquing the pictures a few of us brought and in answering questions. She didnt get much rest!!
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.
The two photo reviews during the trip were very useful. Both Jed and Brenda were outstanding, helpful, and easy to interact with. The photographic locations were excellent as well.
— J. Levin
We always have wonderful trips with Brenda and Jed. With them, I always see in new and unique ways and come home with wonderful images. They adjust their teaching skills to meet the needs and desires of all the participants and make us all feel like family.
— A. Glazier
What was the highlight of your trip? Brenda – she was great. Efficient, knowledgeable, friendly, continually involved with all of us.