Michael O'Brien

Research activity per year

Personal profile


In a photographic career spanning the arts, photojournalism and corporate communications, Michael has published widely across national and international media e.g.:

The Architect’s Journal; The Face; The FT; The Guardian; The Independent; Legal Business; The Observer; Time Out; Vrij Nederland

and worked for major international organisations such as:

Amnesty International; The Guinness Trust; KPN Telecom; London International Festival of Theatre; London Weekend Television; The National Trust; The Science Museum; Virgin Atlantic; Warner Bros..

For the past decade he has undertaken fewer freelance photography commissions in order to focus on his research and teaching interests.

Responsibilities include

Programme Convenor BA (Hons) Photography

Qualifications include

BA (Hons) Humanities (Philosophy and History, Middlesex); Postgrad Dip. Photojournalism (LCP); MA Photographic Studies (Westminster); Postgrad Cert. LTHE (Roehampton)

Research interests

Michael's research revolves broadly around notions of place, memory and identity and explores two main areas: memory work and the family album and the contemporary street photography approach which seeks to articulate the experience of the urban everyday.

The former is explored in my article in Photographies on the production and theoretical implications of Mum’s got to sell the house: O'Brien, Michael. "Mum's Got To Sell The House" Photographies 3.2 (2010) - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17540763.2010.499613

The latter in the eBook A Trilogy of Mappenings, published by Reframe at the University of Sussex (2015) - http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/newpathways/mappenings/mappenings/a-mappening-of-lewes/

Research projects undertaken

As above, along with conference papers and exhibitions around these interests  - see www.mobphotography.net for examples of Michael's professional photographic work as well as his practice research

Teaching interests

Employability. Photography theory and photography practice - especially in the areas of photojournalism and documentary practices.

Membership of professional bodies - Fellow of The Higher Education Academy