Employee Spotlight: Neal O’Bryan, 360 Product Photographer
Name: Neal O’Bryan
Years with Snap36: 1.5 years
What is your favorite thing about working at Snap36?
My favorite part about working for Snap36 is the people. I know it’s cliche to say this but it’s so true. I’ve never worked in an environment where I have so much in common with the people and enjoy their company both at work and on weekends. Everyone here gets along so well and brings positive energy to the work day.
What is your biggest phobia?
My biggest phobia would have to be cheese. It didn’t take long for my coworkers to realize that I had a bizarre distaste for the dairy product. I typically judge the quality of pizza based on how easily the cheese slides off.
When did you first discover your passion for photography?
I first got into photography in January 2013, when I decided to live in New Zealand on a year long worker’s visa. I went to my local camera shop and picked up a DSLR to document my travels and was hooked ever since. My friends quickly became annoyed at my newfound obsession because I was constantly taking photos of everything. The experience living abroad and my passion for visual arts led me to enroll at Columbia College Chicago, not for photography but for Film/Video.
When did you first learn about Snap36?
I first learned about Snap36 a year and a half ago when I was desperately seeking a job in a creative field. I had graduated from Columbia College and found myself working at a law firm because I needed a job out of school. After a few years of filing subpoenas and drowning in attorney billing records, I knew that environment was not for me. I found Snap36 online and was asked to interview for a QC position. They decided a role as a photographer would be a better fit and after a month or so, Steve called me while I was on my way to work and said I could quit my job at the law firm. I was so thrilled to start a new chapter in my life and be a full time photographer. We were also about to hit peek billing season so the timing couldn’t have been better!
What are some of your hobbies?
I have a lot of hobbies; photographing concerts, wildlife and portraiture. I love going to bookstores and buying anything that looks interesting. My favorite thing, however, is writing and working on film projects. I spend most of my free time reading and watching movies to inspire my own work. I am currently making a horror stop motion animation that has been extremely time consuming but very enjoyable. I have had to learn how to build miniature set pieces, sew tiny clothes, paint backdrops and make clay and latex molds. I plan on submitting it to film festivals at the end of the year.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is car honking. I have a real problem with the lack of patience people have in cities, laying on the horn at every little inconvenience. I especially can’t stand it when people keep holding on the horn so everyone near the car has to listen to it.
What is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?
An interesting fact that some people don’t know about me is that I have a twin sister. We don’t have any telepathic superpowers unfortunately, but we do have a great relationship. When I was six or seven, I watched Edward Scissorhands and convinced her to let me cut off all of her hair. I thought the new haircut looked great, so did she, but my Mom was not pleased. I used to have class with my twin in grade school and I would sneak over to her desk and ask her dumb questions like, “what’s our zip code,” when filling out school forms.
What is the most recent TV show you have watched?
The last TV show I watched was The Twilight zone. I am a huge fan of the series, I’ve re-watched every episode numerous times. I love the feel of older films/tv. The way the characters talk to each other and the slow pacing are a nice change from what we see in movies and television today.
Where is your favorite travel destination?
My favorite travel destination would have to be Lake Cumberland in Russell Springs, KY. My family has owned a cabin there ever since I was about five years old. A lot of my favorite memories growing up took place at that lake and we kept it in the family until recent years. Even when I was much older, my extended family would all make time to get together for long weekends. We owned a boat too which I would often take out early in the morning when the water was really calm. Nothing beats relaxing at the lake.