Robert Werling was born in San Francisco, California in 1946 and realized an interest in art at an early age. While briefly attending a commercial art school, he found photography to be his medium and went on to obtain both a BA and an honorary MS from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. He also studied privately under Ansel Adams from 1966 to 1970 and Imogen Cunningham from 1969 to 1975. Through his affiliation with Adams, Werling came to know and work with other noted photographers. Brett Weston became his close friend and mentor and Marion Post Wolcott, relying on his darkroom expertise, entrusted her negatives to his printing genius.