In a nutshell

RPO Photo is a southern Wisconsin based photographer named Ryan O'Hara.

What got me here

You could say my interest in photography began decades ago as a child with a wonder of all things mechanical and electronic.  As a kid in elementary school in the early 80's when I believe I was about 6, I was given a simple film camera, a Kodak Instamatic, for a birthday present.  Obviously not much happened then, but the seed was most definitely planted as photography continued to play an artistic role throughout my life whether it was in college where I heavily studied creating what was then called "New Media" (digital video and computer interactive anything (the web was only a year old at that point)), or in personal life where I tried to put creative imagery within limited means anywhere I could as my life played out as a web developer.

However it was when I finally made the jump to my first DSLR in 2008, a Canon 40D, that things really took a turn towards what you see now. The exact week that purchase arrived at my doorstep in the mail, I also met my would be future wife, Alison.  Alison just so happened to run a local shelter, Dane County Friends of Ferals, specializing in TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) and feral cats.  I as the supportive boyfriend often tagged along to help out with events and regular goings-on (cleaning usually) at the shelter.  Often I would bring along my camera to try my hand at photographing animals.  It became apparent rather quickly how much better any given cat's "mug shot" on the website could be with a little effort.  Soon I was regularly heading to the shelter to capture images of special needs cases or cats that were really having a hard time being adopted or re-homed, or simply to just take nice photos of newly arrived cats whose demeanor or condition didn't lend well to photos.  It's amazing what a little TLC put into some photographic efforts of animals can do for them.  It completely changes their story and the way people react towards them.  They all have personalities that can come through in a photo even when they may be completely scared in a shelter environment.

That was the genesis into taking operations further, broadening in scope and expanding on the base.  Photographing cats turned into photographing cat events and fundraisers, followed by other events including live music.  Those events led to photographing people before finally bringing things back around to what I began doing in college all those years ago, digital video.

As you can see from some of the banner portraits above, it's not all cats, music and people.  I absolutely love astrophotography and also taking landscape or random nature shots while out and about, so you'll see those images pop up from time to time around here, usually in the blog.


RPO Photo

Ryan O'Hara
127 N Division St
Stoughton, WI 53589