Tony O'Brien was born in New York City and has made his home in Santa Fe, NM for the past 30 years. He began his photography career in 1973 working at The Santa Fe New Mexican, the Santa Fe Reporter, and the Albuquerque Journal. His work has appeared in national and international publications: Life Magazine, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, German Geo as well as Ford Foundation magazines Corrections and Police. He has also worked with the Ford Foundation on a land use project on Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico as well as a water works project in the 'colonias' along the Texas border for the Pew Foundation.
Tony's photography has been exhibited at the Museum of Our National Heritage, Massachusetts; the Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida; the Adham Center of Photography, Cairo, Egypt; The Newseum in New York and the Sag Harbor Picture Gallery. In 1990 he was awarded the first Eliot Porter Foundation Grant for his work in Afghanistan.
Tony was the Director of the Documentary Studies Program at the College of Santa Fe and has taught documentary photography at the Marion Center of Fine Arts at the College. Tony also teaches photography workshops in Santa Fe and abroad.