Barbara O’Brien Takes Precious Pooch Portraits

The photographer draws out doggy personality in her cuddly subjects to produce stunning work.

Liz Acosta  |  Jul 10th 2012


In case you couldn’t figure it out from her sprawling farm in Wisconsin and its many animal inhabitants, commercial animal and kid lifestyle photographer Barbara O’Brien really likes animals. Considering her list of clients — which includes big pet industry names like Iams and Purina — it’s also clear that not only does Barbara love photographing animals, she’s really good at it. So good at it that she can make a living with it. Now that’s living the dream!

Her love of animals started early, when she would smuggle stray cats into the house and walk the neighborhood dogs (she wasn’t allowed to have pets). When she was 19, she eloped, so she could fulfill every girl’s dream and get a horse. It seems Barbara shares a very profound connection with animals.

So profound, in fact, that she manages to capture something extra special in her Dog Face series. Dogs — like kids — don’t usually like to sit still for pictures. While you may want a cute photo of your dog, they just want to eat or sleep or get on to the next thing. Most dogs don’t get the concept, and some dogs are even scared of cameras!

Barbara, however, gets these pooches to sit pretty and reveal something about their doggie souls through their expressions. We know our pups have personality, but Barbara really manages to bring it out!

All photos by Barbara O’Brien; story via Flavorwire