A night with Michael O’Brien, the second time is still a charm

Book Signing, Michael O'Brien - Austin, Texas

Book Signing, Michael O’Brien – Austin, Texas

The Austin Photographic Society had another great speaker last Thursday. Michael O’Brien, professional documentary and portrait photographer, presented images from his distinguished career. Of all his work, it’s a particular issue of National Geographic that most resonates. More about that later.

I was almost certain that I’ve met him before, but I wasn’t 100%. Was I just remembering the video interview he did with Kirk Tuck? As I grow older, I don’t know if I’m any wiser, but I’ve learned how to hedge my bets. Nothing is really 100% anymore. I accept that my memory is not perfect. That the world is a complex shade of grey, instead of simply black and white.

This blog has become a diary or sorts, at least for my photographic life. A quick search and I discovered that, yes, I have met Michael before and I even wrote about it in a post called An Evening Recharging Inspiration back 2 1/2 years ago.

Of his many assignments for National Geographic, it’s his work on Austin that resonates. That issue came out a year before I moved from the Yankee north to the Heart of Texas. The magazine must have seen something in Austin, as did I, I guess. Who would of thought that a sleepy college town that was recovering from a late 80s building boom and bust, would turn into this vibrant hipster, tech mecca. Hard to believe that I’ve been here for 25 years.

Interesting story. That cover picture was taken at their senior prom, as Michael explained. That boy that’s on the cover? He is now a successful doctor, of all things. Apparently, he’s even written a book.

See more of Michael O’Brien’s work here, at his website.


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