Jill Greenberg is well-acquainted with the internet, and the internet is well-acquainted with her. As with most world-class photographers, her style is very distinct: glossy highlights from reflectors, smooth lighting, and a simple monochrome background. She made her name as a celebrity photographer, shooting stars like David Bowie, Liza Minelli, Clint Eastwood, and the like. After a while, she turned her focus to monkeys and apes, and started specializing in animal photography as well.

In 2007, after she was done with the "End Times" project, where she captured crying children with their candies taken from them (and which Bored Panda has covered too), she decided to do something more wild and visceral again, like her project with the monkeys. That's when she started getting ideas about capturing bears in her signature setting (in the limelight, mind you). So she thought of setting up an outdoor studio for them.

You can find all of these images and more in her book "Bear Portraits," which you can buy on Amazon.

More info: Instagram | jillgreenberg.com | Facebook | twitter.com

#1

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Cuddles!

View More Replies...
View more comments

As with many people, her main concern was that bears would eat her and her crew. So she found "close contact" bears in Alberta, Canada, that are more approachable than their wild counterparts. In the beginning of the project, there were six bears: five Kodiaks and one black bear. She was very surprised with her results because they looked like they weren't real. She attributes that to the artificial lighting that she uses: she had never seen them in that light before.

#2

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Evil Little Thing
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Baby got back.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

This is such a cute and well-taken photo!

View more comments

Jill wanted to include a polar bear as well, so she could raise awareness about the most vulnerable species of bear. They're the martyrs of global warming, for whom their natural habitat is constantly changing for the worse. Polar bears have approximately 25 years before they exist only in zoos. And thus, Jill found one in Vancouver, whose owner also owned a 1600-pound grizzly bear in California, which she photographed too. Her favorite bear was a cub named Amos, which she had the opportunity of feeding personally.

#4

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
3 weeks ago

AHHHH. let me think!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

"Welcome to Morning Bear Stretch, for the first exercise put your left paw here and then your right paw here..."

View more comments

She has put her neat collection into a book called "Bear Portraits," to which you can find a link above. She said that her initial intention was to reflect the angry criticism that she got from the blogosphere. She was the early bird in an internet era, and was, unluckily, one of the first to experience the vitriol of the netizens. But as the project progressed, she has learned to see the strange duality of the bears' nature, that behind that fuzzy and misleadingly innocent facade there lies a brutal natural savagery. This turned her mind to society's anthropomorphization of animals and denial of their true nature. It's been 13 years since the photoshoot, so now it's a nice memory. For now, the photographer has put a pause button on animal photography and is focusing more on paints and paintings, which you can see on her Instagram page.

#6

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Wow!

View more comments
#7

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Boy meets girl.

View more comments
#8

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Tye Dye Llama
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Beautiful.

View more comments
#9

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Titas Burinskas
BoredPanda Staff
3 weeks ago

"Talk to the paw"

View more comments
#10

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Suzanne Clark
Community Member
3 weeks ago

He looks like an escapee from the old Bear Country Jamboree at Disneyland...adorable.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

DKS 001
Community Member
3 weeks ago

looks like one of the father bears in a kid's book

View more comments
#12

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 weeks ago

"You’re very shagedelic. You’re switched on. You’re smashing. Oh, behave”!

View more comments
#13

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
3 weeks ago

So your a Packers fan?

View more comments
#14

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

"I told you to give me the salmon not flash the shiny thing at me!"

View more comments
#15

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Titas Burinskas
BoredPanda Staff
3 weeks ago (edited)

"Where did I park that thing?"

View more comments
#16

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Sherry Jannick
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Handsome fella

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Katy McMouse
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Senior year portrait.

View more comments
#18

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Total sweety face, but feets could do with some lotion

View more comments
#19

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Ah, so sweet.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#20

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
3 weeks ago

SO beautiful!!!

View more comments
#21

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
3 weeks ago

first time I noticed how small the eyes are.

View more comments
#22

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Mom! I trying to sleeeeep!!

View more comments
#23

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Teddy!

#24

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Neil Srivatsa
Community Member
3 weeks ago

"You see, I kinda stole the salmon..."

View more comments
#25

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Martha Higgins
Community Member
3 weeks ago

I told you, I need to see the dentist!

View more comments
#26

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

bv7hearts
Community Member
3 weeks ago

The glamour shot your mom made you do

View More Replies...
#27

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Meal time???

View more comments
#28

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Stille20
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Her-row!

View more comments
#29

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Head Shot.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#30

Bears Like You've Never Seen Under A Photographer's Lens (55 Pics)

jill.greenberg Report

TrashPanda
Community Member
3 weeks ago

"Oh great fish lord please let there be plentiful fish to feast on before hibernation...."

Note: this post originally had 65 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.