Jeff Brenner is a National Park enthusiast and a Barebones collaborating photographer. To see more of this work or to purchase prints, go to: https://www.jeffnbrenner.com/
Or follow him on instagram @jeff.n.brenner
Jeff Brenner at Yosemite National Park
Where did you grow up?
I grew up (and still live) in a town called Clovis, located in Central California. I’ve loved living here, not only because of the small town culture, but because we’re only a short distance from Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, as well as the California coastline. I did track and field all my life, and was a pole vaulter/high jumper in college. I was also involved in extreme sports, essentially anything that got my adrenaline pumping. After sustaining a significant back injury I had to give all that up, but found that wildlife photography could give me the same kind of thrill.
Curious Buck in Yosemite National Park, California
What got you into photography?
I took my first photo class in high school in 2007, and developed a huge appreciation for the art. It had always been a hobby. After high school, I got my degree and started working the normal 9-5 job. I was unhappy, and felt that any creativity I had left was rapidly deteriorating. In March of 2016, I was venting to my wife about the rut I was in, and she asked me what I wanted to do if I could choose any career path.
Photography was what I thought about constantly, but I never believed I was creative enough to earn a living from it. From that day on, I decided to dedicate all of my time to improving my craft and work on creating a unique style. Over time there have been big wins and many losses, but I wouldn’t trade being a full-time photographer for anything. I’m thankful to have a wife that saw value in what I did before even I recognized it.
Jeff's wife, Katy, with their two dogs
Is it correct to say you shoot most of your content in National Parks? Is there any particular reason for this?
I definitely shoot the majority of my work in the National Parks. Here in the USA, we have so many incredible places with diverse wildlife and landscapes that are often taken for granted. I live only two hours from Yosemite National Park, but I can’t tell you many people I’ve talked to in my hometown that have never been. I think I gravitate towards National Parks because they have brought so much value to my life, and my hope is that my photography will inspire others to get out and experience those things for themselves.
Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California
What is your favorite National Park to photograph?
As much as I love Yosemite, Yellowstone National Park is by far my favorite. My wife and I have a list of all the National Parks we want to go shoot, but we keep finding ourselves driving back out to Montana and Wyoming. Whenever we go out there, we camp in Grand Teton National Park as well. Personally, I think the view of the Tetons is probably one of the single most beautiful and impactful scenes in the U.S., but as a whole, Yellowstone is home to me. The wildlife is absolutely amazing, and the landscapes are rugged and powerful. Taking our 1964 Airstream trailer and camping out in the American West is our all-time favorite thing to do.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
What are some of the other notable brands or businesses you’ve photographed for?
Aside from shooting for your awesome company (Barebones), I have also photographed for Huckberry, Kuhl, Bespoke Post, and a few other small brands. Most recently, I worked with Jacques Marie Mage glasses to promote wolf conservation in Yellowstone, which was really cool.
Barebones product photography featuring Jeff Brenner
National Parks Week is held annually in April. To learn more about our National Park System and how you can help conserve our beautiful land go to: https://www.nationalparks.org/