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Tell us your story  Brian Barnaud, R.I.P. July 24, 2009

Brian Barnaud, R.I.P. July 24, 2009

 â€” Dallas photographer Brian Barnaud died unexpectedly on Friday. He was 46.

According to a family friend, Barnaud hadn't been feeling well and collapsed after taking a shower; family members suspect he had heart failure.

A 1981 graduate of Richardson High School, Barnaud had a successful freelance photography business, specializing in fashion, architecture, and home decor. He established himself at the Dallas Morning Newswhere he covered fashion through the 80s and 90s. He was also an early habitue of the Deep Ellum music scene in the late '80s.

He'd recently been very busy on Facebook, and his Facebook page has already become a visitation site for the local fashion community, where he had a reputation for kindness in a field where kindness is unique.

"He such a sweet guy, he never really had an unkind word to say about people, and that’s unusual in the fashion industry," said Tammy Theis, a stylist and art director who worked with Barnaud for many years at the DMN. "He never dwelled on negative things. He always positive and happy-go-lucky."

He had an unusually ego-less approach to what he did, said Theis.

"Part of his charm, and the reason he got such great pictures, was he could make fun of himself, he never took himself seriously," she said. "He'd joke around and the models would be laughing and he'd capture that."

He was also on the front end of an aesthetic that has since come to rule fashion photography.

"When we started working together, fashion shoots were in a studio and very posed," Theis said. "But there was this other style starting, what they now call 'lifestyle,' where models were being shot outdoors and moving around, being shot from the side, very little makeup, being very real, and that’s what Brian and I started doing." >

One friend, Judy Aldridge, posted a remembrance on her blog, saying, "The Dallas fashion community is small and close knit, and we are all reeling from the news. I can't say enough kind things about Brian–he was just the dearest person you would ever want to meet."

He was survived by his mother Beverly Barnaud, and sister Berkeley, two nieces and a nephew.

A memorial service is still being planned for next week.