Jim Brandenburg is an environmentalist and nature photographer and filmmaker based near Ely, Minnesota. His career includes more than 10 years as a newspaper photojournalist, more than 30 years as a contract photographer for the National Geographic Society, and commissions from such groups as the United States Postal Service, NHK and the BBC.
Jim Brandenburg is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Jim Brandenburg was born and raised in Luverne, Minnesota in the farms and prairies of Southwestern Minnesota. After studying at Worthington Community College, he went on to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he majored in art history and worked for the local public television station. Upon graduating, he returned to Worthington, Minnesota and began working as a photojournalist for the Worthington Daily Globe. Within months, he began submitting work to the National Geographic Society as a freelance photographer, and in 1978 he became a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine. Additionally, his photography has been published in a number of National Geographic Society books including “Journey Into China”, “Heart of a Nation” and “Discovering Britain and Ireland”, in which his photos of the Highlands in Scotland were featured.
His work has been included in many other magazines, such as Life, Newsweek, The Smithsonian, and GEO and has been featured on all the major television and radio networks including ABC’s Prime Time Live and CBS News Sunday Morning and Dateline NBC as well as National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
Brandenburg was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to create a set of wildlife stamps. They were released on May 14, 1981.
In 1980, Brandenburg learned of a population of wolves on Ellesmere Island who had not yet had the fear of man instilled into them. Brandenburg, therefore, traveled to Ellesmere and worked to create his bestselling book, “White Wolf”. He later went on to co-produce and direct a documentary of the same name and subject matter, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was produced by the National Geographic Society and the BBC. It has since aired in over 120 countries across the globe.