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Cassidy Webb

Oakland Park Photographer Michael Murphy Wins Business Icon of the Year 2023 Award


The world of photography is one where moments become memories and emotions are immortalized through the lens. At the heart of the photography industry in Oakland Park is Michael Murphy, a second-generation native South Floridian who was not only crowned the Best Photographer by the Oakland Park Business Association (OPBA), but also honored as the Business Icon of the Year 2023.

"Shutter magic: Michael Murphy, portraitist of emotions in Oakland Park.

A Snapshot of Michael Murphy Photographic Studio

For Michael Murphy, the path to becoming an icon was paved with passion. His journey began in real estate, but destiny had other plans, and in 1990, he ventured into the world of photography. Over the past 33 years, Murphy’s talent has been sought by Fortune 500 companies, regional enterprises, and even United States Presidents such as Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Michael opened a photography studio in 1997 on Wilton Drive, but was priced off the drive within two years. After putting out the word that he needed a new studio, he came across the 1600 sq ft space that is his current studio, complete with 13-foot ceilings, and says he was the happiest man in the world. He describes his studio as a “healthy and fun space.”

Oakland Park's maestro of photography.

Community at the Heart: A Studio That Gives Back

At the heart of Michael Murphy’s studio lies a deep commitment to philanthropy and servant leadership. According to Michael, servant leadership and philanthropy means, “to be a leader you also serve. You don’t just tell people what you do – you get on the ground and do it. You lead by example. You be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Michael believes that making the community a better place starts with giving back. One way Michael’s photography intersects with his philanthropy is his collaboration with The Heart Gallery, an organization that uses traveling photo exhibits to introduce adoptable children to potential families.

Among these children are those who face disabilities, behavioral challenges, and various hurdles that categorize them as at-risk. Michael’s photography studio donates its time to capture the essence of these children, creating images for displays. Michael’s skillful lens has played an instrumental role in facilitating around 20 adoptions, emphasizing photography’s potential to change lives in profound ways.

Michael says, “I have photographed two presidents and it doesn’t even compare to my experience with The Heart Gallery. To know that these kids will find a home is just amazing.”


A Business Built on Philanthropy

The influence of Michael Murphy’s generosity extends far beyond The Heart Gallery. His continuous involvement with various local charities and organizations has left an undeniable mark on the community. From his participation in Broward Days, a non-partisan group that advocates on behalf of Broward County, to Leadership Broward, Michael’s commitment to making a positive impact is evident.

Through three different anniversary parties at his studio, he has even managed to raise over $26,000 for local charities.

Michael credits much of his studio’s success to the community that he has dedicated his life to supporting. He explains, “We don’t live in a vacuum. My support of everyone else has led to people supporting me… I haven’t always had money to donate, but I have a talent and time, and I get to donate that.”

Where moments transform into memories.

Entering a New Chapter at Michael Murphy Photographic Studio

For Michael, surrounding himself with individuals who uplift and inspire him is paramount. In a departure from traditional hiring practices, Michael emphasizes that he doesn’t just hire photographers; he hires energies.

Currently, Michael is excited about rebuilding his team at his studio. He is in the process of hiring new, enthusiastic, and energetic people who match his energy. His team will be diverse in nationalities, heritage, families, colors, sexual orientation, and life paths.

Michael’s vision goes beyond photography skills – it’s about fostering a space where everyone can thrive. His commitment to building a team of welcoming individuals from different walks of life and perspectives is truly a reflection of his dedication to helping the community and supporting the people around him.

Michael Murphy - Oakland Park's 2023 Business Icon.

A Clear Winner for Business Icon of the Year 2023

With a commitment to philanthropy and a selfless spirit, it is easy to see why Michael Murphy was chosen as Business Icon of the Year 2023. His commitment to community and dedication to uplifting those around him serve as an example of what it means to be a true business icon. Through his lens, he captures not just images but also the good there is in the world, making him an inspiration for both the business world and the community at large.

Learn more about Michael Murphy Photographic Studio by visiting their website at www.michaelmurphy.com.


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