Berner completed his BA in English at San Francisco State University in 1966.
He works mainly as a freelance photographer but has taught a survey of avant-garde art history at the University of California at Berkeley, at San Francisco State and at the San Francisco Art Institute (1965-70). During the year 1967-68 he was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle, for which he wrote the column "Astronauts of Inner Space."
Berner was awarded an honorable mention in the Life magazine photography contests in 1970 and 1971; he also won a First Award for Excellence by "DESLGRAPHICS: USA 1979" for photography in design.
The artist works almost exclusively in color. He has photographed "a range of things from high-fashion nudes to open-heart surgery; world- class yacht-racing, landscapes, magazine illustration, etc." His specialty is "surreal sandwiches," which he calls "dreamspaces."