UPDATE: Looks like this is not the photo Fairey used… this one is more of an exact match and a little too paint by numbers if you ask me (here).
“Jim Young, a Washington-based photographer who has taken, in his words, ‘thousands’ of pictures of Obama, was not even aware that the most ubiquitous image of the election was based on his photograph. He’d seen the HOPE poster countless times and never made the connection to his own photograph, which he snapped at a 2007 Senate confirmation hearing.”
From a piece James Danziger wrote for The Daily Beast (here) about searching for and eventually finding of the photographer who’s work Shepard Fairey based his Obama hope poster on. This is old news in the blog-o-sphere but the Daily Beast piece is well done (and the website is worth a second look because the niche they’re carving out seems to be working).