Artist: Maria O’Farrell

Maria O’Farrell shares her stunning photography portfolio and talks about her unique inspiration.


"Green Eyed Boy" photo by Maria O'Farrell


ABI:  How did your background and life experience influence your current body of work?

MO:  My interest in nature and wildlife photography has been present since I was a child. Roughly 18 years ago, I took a 10,000-mile journey to several US National Parks including Grand Teton, Glacier, Arches, Redwood, Zion, and Crater Lake National Park. After happening upon “Images of Nature”, a Thomas Mangelsen nature photography gallery, I was so moved by the power of the images that I decided to go about capturing them myself.


"Rainbow" photograph by Maria O'Farrell


The power behind the images is in the reminder of our deep connection to nature, that we are nature, and that we need to take care of the place that takes care of us. Ever since that transformative journey 18 years ago, I have been working to perfect my craft. My undergraduate degrees are in Botany and Zoology, and I am currently one of only eleven biologists in the world to be recognized as a Certified Biomimicry Professional with an MS in biomimicry. All of this gives me a profound respect and knowledge of the natural world, while affording me the opportunity to travel to stunning natural places where I continue to build my unique natural photography collections.


"Remains of the Day" photography by Maria O'Farrell


ABI:  In your travels, where have you found to be the most intriguing places to take photos?

MO:  I love photographing what has recently been called “Americas best idea” –our national parks. I find myself drawn to parks with not only stunning landscapes, but with a breadth of iconic animal species. There is such mystery, history, grandeur and uncompromised beauty found in America’s national parks. Some of my most visited parks are Glacier, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Arches National Parks.


"Light at the End of the Tunnel" photography by Maria O'Farrell


The Utah Land Trust Conservancy reached out to me and included one of my Arches NP images in their brochure, a brochure aimed at raising awareness and millions in funds for the conservation of our wild lands.


"Apparition" photography by Maria O'Farrell


There are also lesser known parks like Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona, part of the expansive Navajo Tribal Park, where sunlight dances down sandstone canyons sculpted by water, wind, and time. The image entitled “Apparition”, from which emerges the shadowy figure of a bearded and robed man descending through the light of Antelope Canyon, was a top finalist in the 2013 Annual Defenders of Wildlife Magazine Photography Contest, out of 7,000 submissions from all over the country. This amazing planet has countless places to find beauty, even in the dewy morning blades of grass in my back yard.


"White Wolf" photography by Maria O'Farrell


ABI:  What type of spaces are appropriate for your photography?

MO:  There is a term recently researched called biophilia which describes the intrinsic human love of life and living beings, our draw to natural spaces and the wellspring of healing it affords us both physically and emotionally. My pieces complement our biophilic nature and are at home in commercial buildings, hospitals, homes and anywhere that begs that outdoors indoor.


"Painted Trees" photography by Maria O'Farrell


Nature photography brings LIFE to interiors. It adds shape to sharp lines, adds color and contrast to dark spaces and adds a sense of wellbeing. It stimulates the senses, brings peace to a personal space and reconnects you with the outdoors all while creating a culture of healthy living. My intention is to bring these images to interior designers of both residential and commercial spaces to bring LIFE to these interiors and to serve as the constant reminder that we are an integral part of Nature.




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