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Bear Portraits

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A top celebrity portrait photographer, Jill Greenberg has a unique ability to coax powerful emotions out of her subjects - whether human or animal. Her portraits of bears, collected here for the first time, surprise and engage. We encounter cubs as cute as a child's Teddy, grizzlies that look like they might swallow you whole, and Polar bears seated in Sphinx-like ...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Oh, like I wasn't going to love this book!




Akin to her previous book, Monkey Portraits, Greenburg set out to photograph "wild" animals in a studio setting. Here, she presents some working bears: actual celebrities with credits ranging from The Tonight Show appearances to feature films like Anchorman and Brokeback Mountain.


While the photos are not as soulful as the pix in Monkey Portraits, the detail is just as astonishing - the fur, the teeth, the massive paws with pointy claws.



Bears can be
Jessica Schultz
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
Beautifully photographed photos of bears that even show small, fine details and individual strands of fur clearly and excellently. Wonderful work!
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely and hilarious.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Shelves: art-book
At the bear minimum, I would have to say that this book is genius.
- Ashton Kutcher, actor/producer

This is not your father's book of bear photos.
- Seth MacFarlane, Actor, Comedian, creator of The Family Guy

Bear Portraits

Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by "wild animals." Bears were among my special favorites. But the images that I had of bears were from wild life shows - usually grizzlies catching fish with their paws or koola bears in trees, pandas surrounded by bamboo in a zoo
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Teddy by: ARC
Shelves: read-in-2009
Jill Greenburg usually takes photographs of famous celebrities. However, she agreed to do several shoots for an Animal Planet Campain and decided to publish some of the photos. First she published Monkey Portraits and now, Bear Portraits.

The book includes potraits of black , Kodiak, brown, a Russian brown, and a Polar bear. The bears that she worked with were trained, so she was able to work up close to them.

Many of the portraits look more like... Will Somers starts out with a dull life in the
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I once met a polar bear up close and personal, he was much taller than I ever imagined. It was amazing. This book reminds me of that. Beautiful photography of awesome creatures. But in really unnatural ways. This book isn't nature photography. This is posed studio photography of trained bears. Sometimes the poses are a bit goofy (trying to bring out emotions), but overall I love the collection.
Kim V
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Bear Portraits by Jill Greenberg captures trained bears in unbelievable poses. The stars of the book are: Agee, polar bear; Ali Oop, Kodiak; Amos, European Brown Bear Cub; Barney, Kodiak; Betty, Kodiak; Bonkers, Black Bear; Brett, Black Bear; Cheyenne, Russian Brown Bear; Koda, Grizzly; Max, Black Bear; Ursula, Kodiak; and Whopper, Kodiak. Page after extraordinary page of this remarkable book features bears as never seen before.

Each portrait demonstrates that bears “are magnificent creatures of
Wendy Hines
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jill Greenberg has an amazing talent!!

Bear Portraits is chock-full of bears; grizzly bears, Kodiak bears, Black bears, Polar bears. Some are scary to look at. Imagine over seven feet tall and over one thousand pounds standing up and growling at you - whoa! Others are really adorable, bear cubs with big eyes or acting bashful.

Alot of the portraits have the bear showing some sort of emotion, winking, smiling, waving. There is one particular photo that shows the inside of the bears mouth,
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
What a beautiful collection of bear photographs. Many of them look fake, or painted, but they are all real live bears.

In one portrait you see a bear all cuddly and calm - playful even. But the next photo shows one up on his hind legs with their mouth open in what you can only imagine is a ferocious growl.

The following bears are in the photos: Polar bear, Kodiak, European Brown Bear, Black Bear, Russian Brown Bear and Grizzly. There is a cute Who's Who at the end of the book with names and facts
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK... she includes each bear’s bio in the back. The book has an introduction where Ms. Greenberg talks about her experience working with the bears, then the rest of the book is devoted to the bear portraits, with various quotes sprinkled about...

Ms. Greenberg is skilled with bringing out a human-like quality in the bears, while also including photos that remind you that these are fierce animals who you would not want to encounter in the wild, nor attempt to own as a pet...The
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is my first review of an art book and Bear Portraits is a beautiful book that I am honored to have the opportunity to review. It will hold a place of prominence in my home through the holidays. The striking portraits of bears in such an odd backdrop are sure to lure my visitors into conversation. Each photograph of of a bear in front of your typical portrait backdrop. It is as if Greenberg is trying to tell us something about human interference the domestication of wild beasts. In the ...more
Natalie Pietro
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: table-top
This picture book is amazing. Real live Bears in front of a white background and photographer. So special each and everyone of them. I all so loved that they give a discription of each bear. Most have worked in movie and tv shows before. Great table top bool.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books
What a breathtaking collection of bear photographs. Humorous and unique, this book explores the majesty of bears.
Dec 31, 2009 added it
The library had "Monkey Portraits" so we got that one instead.
Carol Evans
Nov 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, for-review
For me, the bears lose some of their awesomeness by being taken out of nature, but that’s just me. They’re a little too clean here, too perfect.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's just pictures of bears but they are cute.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enchanting, but not as endearing as the Monkey Portraits.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: photography
Beautiful lighting!
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
4.5 stars. Beautiful.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarylove
These are pretty amazing. The bears don't even look real in some of them. I still like Monkey Portraits the best for facial expressiveness, though. :)
Bob Hartley
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some of the bears look like they're harbouring some sort of emotion, and some just look really fucking weird, but, this is a book of bears, and that's all I need.
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Jan 23, 2011
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Jun 17, 2018
Hunter R.
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Jan 19, 2014
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Apr 28, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jun 10, 2018
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