Deborah Samuel was born in Vancouver, Canada. Her family moved to Toronto and then to Ireland before she was 14. She studied art in Ireland at Limerick College of Art and Design and then returned to Canada to study photography at Sheridan College.
Deborah Samuel was quickly recognized for the distinct style of her fashion photographs and for her intuitive and intense portraits of celebrities, musicians and writers like Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Rush, and Queen Noor, while she refined her personal work and exhibited extensively. Professional opportunities required time spent in New York, London, and Los Angeles before she ultimately decided to settle in LA where she became an in-demand editorial portrait photographer. Deborah Samuel worked for magazines such as GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Spin and Entertainment Weekly, in addition to directing music videos for musicians and bands for numerous record companies. Concurrently, in the galleries, Deborah Samuel’s photographs of nudes explored the pursuit of perfection in the media age- a prescient topic. Later her work evolved into formal portrait studies of animals and nature. In 2012, The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto exhibited Elegy, a solo exhibition of her subtle photographs of animal bones.
She shows her photographs in the United States, Canada and internationally. Her work resides in the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, Winnipeg Art Museum and Santa Barbara Art Museum as well as numerous private and corporate collections. Deborah Samuel has lectured and led photography workshops throughout North America. She has published three books, Dog and Pup, a collection of canine portraits, and The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds: Designs, Patterns, and Details.