Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goodbye, Columbus for Mother Jones

In early August, Mark Murrman from Mother Jones reached out to see if I was available for a 3-7 day project in the city where I live, Columbus, Ohio, at the end of August and early September. I was, so we proceeded to outline a story on Ohio's Senate Bill 5 and it's effects on the economic and political climate in Ohio, namely it's war on the middle class. It's a story I've been covering on and off for various publications since February of 2011, shortly after Republican governor John Kasich took office. There were a few key points we had to hit (portraits of those mentioned in the story as well as reportage of their family life,) but most of it was very open ended. There was a lot of room to create moody images to help drive the story forward. I ended up sending Mother Jones a lot of images from my archives, and they were able to license some of those as well. I spent a good bit of time wandering around neighborhoods I hadn't had an excuse to explore prior to this and overall feel in much better touch with the place that I live than I have previously.

It was also nice to get out on foot as a journalist. For example, I got in touch with a director at We Are Ohio, a bipartisan anti-SB5 group, to see if I could photograph their canvassing that day. I secured permission and while talking to him, was told of a fundraiser about a half hour south of here for a town called Mount Sterling who's police force disbanded due to lack of funds in the community. I was able to make it down to the small town in time for a "Dunk the Police" tank, which ended up being used in the spread. Due to the general direction of the story, and the time available, I had the opportunity to allow one thing to lead to another and unfold into a more well-rounded essay.

Here are some outtakes, both produced for the magazine and others from time spent in the area and around the state while covering this story, which can be read here.




I'm a freelance photographer currently based in Columbus, Ohio and available for assignment anywhere you'd like to send me.
Please contact me directly at +1 440 897 6758 or andrewspear.photo@gmail.com.

All images and content © Andrew Spear, 2010. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission of author, under penalty of law. He can be contacted at +1 440 897 6758 for any questions.

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