Denise Barnhart

Denise Barnhart is a photo essayist who depicts the musical stories of places in her northern California home. From the streets of San Francisco to the trails of Yosemite and other amazing wilderness areas, she specializes in documenting the details unique to each place. The resulting image is paired with a song title that tells the subject’s story. Collectively they are called photosounds. Sometimes the pairings are obvious and funny, sometimes obscure and profound; they are always thought-provoking.

The purpose of photosounds is to encourage getting lost in the image, to help others see scenes in a new way, and to inspire viewers to look and listen for the musicals in their world.

Denise’s work has been featured in EmeryArts, the annual Emeryville art exhibition, in 2018 and 2020, and Local Love 2020, an online exhibition to support the Bay Area art community during the pandemic.

In 2009, her solo show in Los Angeles, Treehugging, was the beginning of her interest in photographing trees and nature. Inspired by Berkeley’s Tilden Park, that passion really took off in 2017, and since then she has published ten books starring her favorite photosounds.

At Shepherd University in her home state of West Virginia, Denise earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography with minors in Painting and Graphic Design.

Pre-2020, Denise was working as an event designer and photographer. You can see her event places along with nature and city images at