Outdoor Photography School is an online resource and community created by me, Brenda Petrella, to help you master both your photography skills and your outdoor skills all in one place.


Brenda and Maya smiling
Brenda and Ferdinand

A Little About Me:

  • I’m a new mom to a happy baby girl
  • I’m a wife to a very supportive partner
  • I love animals (we have two rescue cows and a goofy golden retriever)
  • I’d rather be outside than at my computer
  • I love working with my hands and doing projects around the house
  • I enjoy problem solving and finding solutions
  • I’ve had surgeries in both of my knees, but I still love to hike
  • I have a PhD in molecular biology and ran a research laboratory for a while studying molecular mechanisms of kidney cancer
  • I recently left my science career to pursue a more balanced lifestyle where I spend more time doing the things I love

My Path to Photography:

  • I am a self-taught photographer with an insatiable desire to learn everything I can about my craft
  • I pursued my passion for photography later in life after receiving my first DSLR as a gift for my 40th birthday
  • I use photography as a way to connect with nature and share my experiences with the world
  • My first big photography trip was to shoot the Aurora Borealis in Yukon, Canada in -30°F temperatures, and I loved every minute of it
  • I am the co-founder of the Human Geography Project along with Stephen Gorman where we teach students around the globe about the connection between nature and humanity as part of the Microsoft Educator Program
  • I have held several solo photography exhibits around VT and NH
  • My portfolio can be viewed at brendapetrella.com where prints can be purchased
  • I love helping others learn photography, especially when I can help them break through difficult concepts and achieve results!
Brenda Petrella Photographing the Northern Lights on the Yukon River in Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada

Photo credit: Stephen Gorman


OPS is a way for me to combine three passions:

Brenda Petrella with camera


First, a short story.

One day while sitting with my partner and our twin nephews (who were 5 years old at the time), my partner exaggeratedly said, “Brenda’s perfect” (awww, so sweet).  One nephew tilted his head and carefully considered this statement.  He then said, “Nah, Brenda’s not perfect; she’s PRACTICAL.

This boy was wise beyond his years!  I am far from perfect, but being practical is definitely one of my stronger character traits.  As part of the Outdoor Photography School community, I promise to give you practical resources, tools, and advice to help you on your outdoor photography journey.  I can’t promise it will be always perfect, as I am also continually learning, but I will always strive to deliver the best value, a supportive community, and a fun learning environment. 

I hope you’ll join us!