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About Barbara O'Brien
Barbara O’Brien is fast becoming a name synonymous with quality animal imagery.
A glance through Barbara's portfolio reveals such an enormous variety of styles, situations and subjects you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the work of a veteran of the animal photography game, but nothing could be further from the truth...
Believe it or not, Barbara first picked up a camera in 2007, but in the short time since has displayed such an incredible natural ability she has become one of the most revered specialist animal photographers in the world.
From Chihuahuas to Angus bulls, Barbara has captured a kaleidoscope of animals in an enormous array of situations, and with an incredibly diverse range of photographic styles. No subject, situation, or brief seems to faze her.
Barbara's versatility and technical ability makes her collection seem like the work of a dozen professional photographers, such is the range of photographic styles; but although each and every image is beautifully unique, all her work shares an incredibly natural feel.
Barbara has an incredible ability to capture the very essence of each and every subject, and produces some of the most natural imagery available to see today.
It’s a feel that can only be achieved if the photographer is as relaxed with the subject, as he or she is with the camera, and Barbara certainly is…
Despite growing up in a ‘no pets’ household Barbara caught the animal bug early, smuggling cats into the house and borrowing neighborhood dogs to participate in the local 4H Project dog agility, and obedience competitions.
At 19 she eloped, just so she could have a horse, and at 22 realised her dream; combining her passion with her work and founding animal actors agency The Animal Connection – training animals for appearances in TV, film and advertising.
Twenty-five years later, The Animal Connection has sourced, trained and prepared for casting over 8500 animal actors – ranging from dogs, cats and chickens; to eagles, iguanas, and even a polar bear – for a huge list of clients, and Barbara has worked from start to finish with each and every one; her passion for and ability and affinity with animals of all shapes and sizes again being quite unbelievable.
Having been well and truly part of the film, television and advertising world for the past 25 years, training and preparing animals to be filmed and photographed, it was perhaps a logical step for Barabara to go behind the lens, but quite how she found the time to do it though, defies logic completely.
A day in the life…
Alongside her involvement with the animal actors working through The Animal Connection, And when she’s not doing that, she and her husband, Kevin, (who is her right hand man) juggle all those jobs – to run the family farm (along with an assortment of horses, sheep, ducks, chickens, cats, dogs and three naughty goats) and take care of their four sons – can you even begin to image what an average day in the O'Brien household would be like? We’re tired just thinking about it.
It’s quite difficult to image that in just three years – and with such a frighteningly hectic schedule – anyone could learn even the basic principles of photography, let alone become revered and admired by fans and peers alike, and have worked with some of world’s most recognised brands – Purina, Pfitzer, 3M and Target, to name but a few – but Barbara OBrien has, and she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon…
And we hope she doesn’t either; Barbara's versatility and technical ability with the camera, and her passion for, ability and affinity with animals combine perfectly to produce some of the most wonderfully touching, natural, and humorous images ever captured and we hope to see many, many more...
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