Minnesota photographer, Jim Brandenburg, began his career as a natural history photographer and film maker while majoring in studio art at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He went on to become Picture Editor at the Worthington Daily Globe in southern Minnesota. While at the Daily Globe Brandenburg began freelancing for the National Geographic Magazine.
In 1978, Brandenburg became a contract photographer for the National Geographic Society. He has since worked on numerous projects including: The American Prairie - Roots of The Sky; The Land They Knew - A Portfolio; Namibia; Bamboo - The Giant Grass; The Tallgrass Prairie; The Canadian Rockies; South Dakota Badlands; World of Aldo Leopold; Rhinos; Viking Trail East; North to the Pole; Red Deer; Kiwifruit; At Home with the Arctic Wolf; and Ellesmere Island - Life in the High Arctic. Brandenburg's work in Manchuria was featured in a National Geographic book on China; his work on the Highlands of Scotland was featured in another National Geographic book, Discovering Britain and Ireland.
In addition, Brandenburg has done assignment work and has been published in The New York Times, Life, Audubon, Smithsonian, Natural History, World, Geo, Airone, Modern Maturity, BBC Wildlife, National Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, Outside and numerous other national and international publications.
In 1981 and again in 1983, Brandenburg was named "Magazine Photographer of the Year" by the National Press Photographer's Association (NPPA) . In 1988 he was named "Kodak Wildlife Photographer of the Year" by the Natural History Museum - London and BBC Wildlife Magazine. In 1981 Brandenburg was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to photograph and design as set of ten wildlife stamps, which were released on May 14, 1981. These stamps were included in the exhibit - Graphic Design in America, which toured the United States and England in 1990.
Brandenburg has published many award-winning books including BROTHER WOLF - A FORGOTTEN PROMISE (1993); WHITE WOLF - LIVING WITH AN ARCTIC LEGEND (1988); MINNESOTA - IMAGES OF HOME (1990), as well as four children's books; TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD - Adventures with Arctic Wolves (1993); SAND AND FOG - Adventures in Southern Africa (1994); AMERICAN SAFARI - Adventures on the North American Prairie (1995) and SCRUFFY - A Wolf Finds His Place in the Pack (1996).
A National Geographic/BBC Television documentary also called "White Wolf" was aired on National Geographic Explorer in 1988 and was released as a video in 1989. Brandenburg was Producer, Director and Cinematographer of this documentary.
Brandenburg's photographs have won a multitude of national and international awards with inclusion in "Life's Collector's edition - The World's Best Photographs 1980-1990".
In 1991 Brandenburg was a recipient of the World Achievement Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme in Stockholm, Sweden in recognition of his "using nature photography to raise public awareness for the environment."
Brandenburg serves on the board of directors for the Defenders of Wildlife, the Friends of Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. In addition, he donates his time and work to numerous other environmental groups.