Book Review: Bear Portraits by Jill Greenberg
Those who know me are probably already aware that I consider myself a bear. And I have to apologize in advance to anyone who arrived here searching for “bear photos” and expecting pictures of hirsute men. But for fans of all varieties of wild ursus, Jill Greenwood’s Bear Portraits is a stunning and wonderful new book from Little Brown.
Greenberg, who more often photographs celebrities for Fortune 500 clients has taken a remarkable series of photographs of 12 different bears. The subjects of her photos are not in fact wild animals, but rather are animals trained and used in film and photography. In her one page introduction, Greenberg notes that she chose to include a polar bear late in the project because she believes that within twenty to twenty-five years this remarkable animal will be extinct in the wild due to loss of habitat.
While the bears are not wild, Greenberg does a remarkable job of emphasizing the animal’s teeth and claws. Each bear seems to be carefully posed and the photographs display a wide range of remarkable postures and facial expressions. The photographs are interspersed with a variety of topical quotes (my favorite– “Let the bears pay the bear tax. I pay the Homer tax.”– Homer Simpson). The book is very well-designed and overall provides the reader with a unique glimpse of this remarkable, furry species. Bear Portraits by Jill Greenberg is Highly Recommended.