Walter H. Browarny

From a very early age, the late Walter Browarny saw light and art and animals in a way unlike others.

Walt's approach was clean and simple, authentic photography – vastly different from the standards of the day. He placed his subjects in a natural environment, capturing them at angles to show them off in the best possible way. He was Canada’s camera man of livestock photography.

When Walt began photographing beef cattle in 1969, his competitors were positioning bulls standing knee deep in straw and later retouching images to smooth out top lines.

He took a very different approach. When he started Browarny Photographics – a family business that has included his wife Marie, daughter Shannon and son Allan – he began by asking breeders what they needed in photographs to help market their animals. That's when he started his deliberate shift to a new style of untouched pictures that naturally brought out the animal's features.

His vision set a new standard for photographing beef cattle, and armed his customers with great sales tools to market their animals and genetics around the world.

Walt's quiet, witty demeanour kept animals and handlers calm as he built the Browarny library of more than two million images. He travelled the world, across North America, to Argentina, Australia, Mexico and Europe. Demand for a “Walt Browarny” escalated as breeders realized the marketing benefits of his standards for showcasing their animals.

Walt worked with every beef breed association throughout his career. From 1969 to 2010 he was official photographer at different times for numerous shows including the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Canadian Western Agribition, National Western Stock Show and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

His accolades include a 1990 Agribition book featuring his work, the Golden Book Award by the World Simmental Foundation in 1995 and named Canadian Livestock Man of the Year by the Denver Stock Show in 1998.

A Walt Browarny photograph is instantly recognizable. His calm approach gained him the respect of the industry and in fact, of every animal he ever photographed.

Walt's collections document the history of the livestock industry, as well as the life, people and experiences that happened along the way. His name and his images hang on the walls of offices and homes across the country. And his legend lives on in Show Champions Inc., the photography business carried on by his son Allan.

Walt Browarny built a world renowned livestock photography business. Along with his pictures, he leaves a positive and permanent record of the livestock industry. Thank you, Walter Browarny

Nominated By:
  • Canadian Beef Breeds Council