DOGFACE – Real Dogs, Real Expression


DOGFACE is a winsome collection that shows each dog’s essential character. The goofiness of the boisterous Border Collie, the decorum of the genteel Great Dane, and the curiosity of the regal Corgi—all of them are captured here in this fun book project.

As a photographer and animal trainer, I have spent years photographing aspiring canine actors, from prancing puppies to stately hounds and tenacious terriers. At first, I discarded the photos if my subject was barking, sniffing, or otherwise looking less than perfect—until I realized that those outtakes best revealed the true personality of the pup.

Look for an October 23, 2014 release by Viking Studio, a division of Penguin Random House.

View post on

Created By:

, Photographer

Stockholm, Wisconsin, United States
I’m photographer Barbara O’Brien. I'm based in Stockholm, Wisconsin (population 63) — not too far from Minneapolis. I live on a farm with my family, three dogs, eighteen cats, ten rescue Morgan horses, two ponies, seven sheep, thirty-odd chickens, five ducks, and three goats. And as luck would have it, I'm not just an animal photographer, but a trainer as well. I know where to find animals actors, and more importantly, I know how to properly handle them. My love for animals began early. As a kid, I used to sneak stray cats into my house, and since I wasn't allowed to have a puppy of my own, I walked the neighbors’ dogs instead. At 19, I eloped to have a horse. (Horse people get this.) I’m happy to say that yes, we're still married... and yes, I still have horses. Shortly after that I created The Animal Connection, an agency providing trained animal actors for film, television and advertising. Nowadays, I’m both a professional shooter and trainer. During my career, I've tackled a range of assignments, including obtaining a polar bear from New Jersey, capturing 17 cats in one shot, and photographing a 1500-pound cow in my studio. (Did I mention I have my own on-farm studio? clients love it!) I personally audition all the animals I photograph, and I truly love them all — and they know that I love them. This creates a mutual trust that allows me to get close and produce emotive natural photographs. But I don't just shoot animals! I photograph people too. And people with animals. And kids with puppies. Actually, kids and puppies aren't all that different—it’s all about finding out what motivates them, and then keeping them happy. I am so lucky that I get to play with animals every day. I really do have the best job ever! If you'd like to see my book or meet in person, give me a call. I promise to bring triple chocolate homemade brownies, chock full of real Wisconsin butter and eggs from my own hens. I guarantee it'll be the most delicious meeting you’ve ever had. - Barbara

Share Your Thoughts

Similar Work from Visogler Contributors

  • Gatherings


    Photography work by Paul Elledge

    Team Elledge loves to grill, and this past summer we got a dream project from Weber Grill and Crew-Up Productions. The combination of a great client and a top-flight crew made the brand idea come to life. While working with

  • Wisconsin Ice Fishing

    Wisconsin Ice Fishing

    Photography work by Matthew Bowie

    I recently helped a friend on a commercial video production and traveled to Wisconsin for the shoot. On the last day of the trip we had some down time. It was a nice break from Chicago advertising photography. I stayed

  • Hailey Laine Zombie Series

    Hailey Laine Zombie Series

    Photography work by Matthew Bowie

    This month I got an opportunity to work with Youtube sensation Hailey Laine, one of Agency Galatea’s newest young models. Hailey Laine produces roughly (5-6) Youtube videos per month and is followed by over 265,000 followers. This Halloween Hailey wanted

  • Coors Light Explorer Ad

    Coors Light Explorer Ad

    Photography work by Taylor Castle

    New Coors Light Explorer ad I teamed up with Cavalry to create. I love this campaign and glad to be a part of it!

  • Bunny Face

    Bunny Face

    Photography work by Barbara O'Brien

    Here is a sneak peek at the next book in my animal photo book, BUNNYFACE. This book will feature expressive, sometimes humorous, but always interesting graphic portraits of bunnies on white.


You have been seen as a bot and we want to correct this on our end. Please contact us and tell us your browser and device type. Thanks!