Afterwards I was asked to go to the green room and photograph a smaller meeting. Blair was clearly a little peckish so everyone stood around while he ate a banana. It was one of those precious unscripted moments and I got a few frames before I was stopped. The man on the right of the picture was actually talking to Patricia Hewitt.
Understandably my employers that day were worried that publication would steal their thunder. A classic example of the compromises we make when we do PR.
Joanne O’Brien grew up in Ireland in a family with a storytelling tradition and settled in London in the late ‘70s having studied history in Dublin.
Self-taught, she started doing documentary photography and became a professional photographer in 1980. Her first big project was looking at the Irish in Britain, out of which came a book in 1988 followed by 3 exhibitions. She was a founder member of Format Photographers in 1984, an all women photo-agency which closed in 2002. Her work is currently available through Reportdigital & Photofusion.
In 2000 her work was included in the ‘Faces of the Century’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and has been widely published in books, newspapers & magazines. Specialising in portraiture and editorial photography, she has also worked on UK wide public information campaigns. A book of portraits & interviews with survivors of Bloody Sunday in Derry was published in 2002.
She has also worked in China, the USA and Europe and is currently working on a project about migrant labour in Britain.
See more work by Joanne O'Brien