Susan O’Brien can’t remember exactly when she became interested in photography, but it was long enough ago that her equipment has evolved from a 35mm camera with film to a digital one!
Over the years, Susan’s interests have changed and grown. In the early days, her main interests were nature photography and taking candid pictures of her family. She even took pictures for university publications while working at TU in Design & Publications, now known as the Design Center.
“I have a hard time charging people I know for anything,” Susan said. “Taking pictures is something I just love to do. I have always felt that if you take something you enjoy doing and make it into a business, it will stop being fun.”
Susan’s son Kyle recently finished his sixth and final year of football at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and on two occasions in the past few years when William and Mary played Towson, Susan was able to take pictures on the field. She took pictures for Towson, her alma mater, but snuck in a few pictures of her son here and there.
In an effort to stay unbiased during the games, she wore neutral colors (but caught heck from her son for unknowingly wearing JMU colors at this year’s game!), and hid her emotions when William & Mary made a big play. Several of her recent photographs have appeared in Towson’s football Media Guide and programs, as well as on the Towson Athletics website.
“The trick to taking good action shots is to anticipate what is going to happen,” Susan said. “You have to plan ahead and take some practice shots on someone else beforehand. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. But you learn each time. Working with digital makes it a lot easier because you can delete the pictures that don’t turn out to your liking.”
Now that her son’s football career is over, Susan will get back to nature photography, or taking pictures of her daughter’s horses, until perhaps she becomes a grandmother and her grandchildren start participating in sports! Despite the changes in the subjects of Susan’s photos one thing always remains: her love of capturing a great photograph.