(click links in bold or see blog entries below for more info)

Recent and Upcoming Exhibitions:
  • Photo Now, Center for Photography at Woodstock Kingston, NY, Nov. 5, 2022–Feb. 5, 2023 

Recent Select Publications:

Recent Select Awards/Residencies:
  • Utah State University Caine College of the Arts 2022 Faculty Researcher of the Year Award
  • Gomma Black and White Awards, Finalist
  • Urbanautica Institute Awards 2022, Winner (category: Anthropology & Territories)
  • Filter Photo Contexts 2023 Juror’s Award, Honorable Mention
  • Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Artist-in-Residence (June 2022)
  • Columbus State University Artist-in-Residence (January–May 2022)
  • 2022 SDN Reviewers Choice Award
  • 2022 Aftermath Project Grant finalist award
  • 2021 Critical Mass TOP 50



A scientist releases a bat Sept. 28-29 at Minnetonka Cave in Idaho as a team of researchers undertakes a vaccination expedition.

On assignment for The Washington Post at Minnetonka Cave in the Cache National Forest in southern Idaho, where scientists are vaccinating bats in an effort to fight white-nose syndrome. Story by Dino Grandoni/Photo Editor Claudia Hernandez.

Read: Slaying the vampire that is killing bats at The Washington Post or view a slideshow feature on the @PostClimate feed on Instagram. A slideshow is also available here.



Libra meditates in the creek, from the series, The Circle.

Peyote as Earth Medicine: Examining How Symbolic Meanings Shape Experiences With Psychedelics has been published by The British Journal of Criminology (Oxford University Press). The paper features several photographs from The Circle, a photo-ethnography with people who use peyote in religious ceremonies. 

Narrative criminology prioritizes personal narratives for explaining past behaviours and shaping future decisions. Using this perspective, we rely on data from a photo-ethnography with people who use peyote in religious ceremonies to understand how their discourses about peyote shape their experiences with it. We find that participants define peyote as an ‘earth medicine’ that helps with healing (physical, spiritual and psychological) and thus should be respected. This narrative dictates how and when they use it (e.g. with intention and not recreationally), distances from other drugs (which are regarded as harmful) and directs their physiological experiences. Findings suggest that the symbolic meaning associated with specific drugs justifies using it and directs and encourages continued use. Thus, understanding drug use requires examining how discourse about specific drugs are incorporated into personal narratives.

Read the paper at The British Journal of Criminology.



I am pleased to participate in the 2023 Narrative Criminology Conference –Narrative victimology and criminology: overlap, distinctions, and complexities at KU Leuven in Antwerp, Belgium, July 2-4.   At the conference I will join my longtime collaborator, criminologist Heith Copes, Ph.D, in delivering a masterclass and keynote lecture.  Each will focus on possibilities and methodologies of using photographs in narrative social science research.

The conference is presented by the Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven; Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), Amsterdam; and COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) and gathers researchers from across Europe and the United States to discuss novel theoretical perspectives and original empirical analyses focused on the role of stories and language for crime, harm, and victimization research.



The sun sets at the Minidoka National Historic Site, where more than 13,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center between 1942-1945
The sun sets at the Minidoka National Historic Site, where more than 13,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center between 1942-1945.

On assignment for The Washington Post in Jerome, Idaho, where a massive wind farm project near the Minidoka National Historic Site threatens to scour memories of deep suffering for the benefit of commercial interests. Story by Dino Grandoni/Photo Editor Amanda Voisard.

Read: Biden’s renewable energy goals blow up against a painful WWII legacy and view an extended slideshow here.



Three images from What Has Been Will Be Again are included in Kimball Art Center’s Between Life and Land: Identity and featured alongside works by Richard Misrach, Wendy Red Star, and friends/colleagues Jaclyn Wright and Daniel George.

From the press release:  

Between Life and Land: Identity is the second chapter of a three-part exhibition series that explores our relationship with the land. In part two, 15 artists examine the role that identity–our values, practices, histories, and fictions–plays in shaping and re-shaping the environments we call home.

In its entirety, Between Life and Land: Identity explores the power portrayed in portraits of places. These portraits of places tell us stories about our past, present, and future, informing our land ethics and practices. Through a range of media, the artists in this show reflect on some of the most mythologized landscapes and seascapes in North America and their symbolic utility in colonial projects and nation-building.

From Alfred Bierstadt’s seductive, nineteenth-century landscape paintings of the American West to contemporary advertisements for the Caribbean paradise, representations of nature have long served as representations of people–their values, dreams, and everyday realities. In this second chapter of Between Life and Land, 15 artists examine the cultural, historical, material, and emotional bonds between people and places, asking us to consider humanity’s role in shaping and re-shaping the identities of environments we call home.

Participating Artists:
Artists include Adam Bateman, Ann Böttcher, Raven Chacon, Blue Curry, Al Denyer, Daniel George, Rashawn Griffin, Levi Jackson, Ron Linn, Richard Misrach, Jared Ragland, Wendy Red Star, Jerrin Wagstaff, Jaclyn Wright, and Steven Yazzie.

About Kimball:
Founded in 1976 by Bill Kimball, the Kimball Art Center (KAC) is one of northern Utah’s oldest creative non-profit organizations. KAC provides international quality art exhibitions and dynamic educational opportunities for the citizens of Park City, Summit County, Wasatch County, and the region’s many visitors.


03.10.23 // FILTER PHOTO ‘CONTEXTS 2023’

Spring Hill, Barbour County, Ala. Michael Farmer, 2021, from the series WHBWBA has been selected for Filter Photo’s Contexts 2023. Juried by Karen Haas of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the show features works by 33 artists and is Filter’s ninth annual survey exhibition of contemporary photography. Haas selected Spring Hill for an Honorable Mention Juror’s Choice Award.



The Conversation, a US/UK/Canadian outlet that publishes articles written by academic experts for the general public, has shared a story based on findings from the longterm collaborative photo-ethnography, Hellbender.  “When he’s not on drugs, he’s a good person’ – one community’s story of meth use and domestic violence” can be read here.

The Conversation takes its finding from a recent article, “Sex, drugs, and coercive control: Gendered narratives of methamphetamine use, relationships, and violence,” co-authored with collaborators Heith Copes, Fiona Brookman, and Blake Beaton and published by the journal, Criminology. The Criminology article marks the first time the journal has published a photo essay in its history, signaling a significant development for narrative-driven, qualitative, and visual methods in the discipline. 



Works from What Has Been Will Be Again will be on view at the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s Gammill Gallery, February 27–March 31.  The show will feauture 13 works on loan from The Do Good Fund collection.

Exhibition programming will include a lecture Wed., March 8 at noon, scheduled as part of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s SouthTalks series.  SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public.

In 2021 What Has Been Will Be Again: Photographic Meditations on Social Isolation in Alabama, a photo essay co-authored with Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D, was published in Study the South, the Center’s online scholarly journal.

For exhibtion hours and lecture info, visit the Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s website



“Changing Narratives of Intimate Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Photo-Ethnography,” co-authored with Heith Copes and Lindsay Leban, has been announed as Conflict and Society’s most-viewed journal article of 2022.



I am pleased to announce that I have been selected as the 2022 USU Caine College of the Arts Faculty Researcher of the Year. Nominations for the award are made by faculty from departments of Art + Design, Music, and Theatre Arts, and I am grateful to my colleagues for their ongoing support––particularly in this the first year of USU’s R1 Carnegie classification.  I will now join nominees from colleges across USU for consideration of the University Faculty Researcher of the Year award.



A selection from What Has Been Will Be Again is included in The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW)’s Photo Now 2022Parallel Lives: Photography, Identity, and Belonging exhibition. Established by internationally renowned photographer/gallerist Howard Greenberg in 1977, CPW is a vital hub for dialogue and discovery in photography. Photo Now is CPW’s annual call to discover the most compelling photography projects in the US and beyond. Parallel Lives: Photography, Identity, and Belonging is CPW’s largest ever exhibition in its 45-year history and features 13 artists selected from 600 submissions. The exhibition is curated by Maya Benton, a curator and 2021 Visiting Professor at Yale University.

From the press release:
Kingston, NY –– The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to announce Parallel Lives: Photography, Identity, and Belonging, an ambitious and innovative group exhibition of international contemporary artists, drawn from CPW’s annual open call for submissions. Organized by noted curator Maya Benton, this is the largest exhibition in CPW’s 45-year history and will be on view at a specially designed gallery space at the former IBM headquarters at Tech City, in Kingston, NY from November 5, 2022, through February 5, 2023.

Parallel Lives: Photography, Identity, and Belonging draws attention to complex notions of community and belonging, and in particular how our social and familial relationships have been reimagined as a result of the conditions of isolation and uncertainty imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shared tendencies bring this geographically and ethnically diverse group of artists together, including the impulse to explore complex political histories, challenge modes of self-representation, excavate personal and family trauma, and an intense yearning for connection, kinship, and community.

At a time of profound anxiety about the future and collective loss, the artists in Parallel Lives – ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 60s – are placed in dialogue with each other, presented in pairs or couplings, to encourage connections, conversations, and shared searches for meaning. The works engage with such topical issues as violence and intergenerational trauma, race and self-representation, immigration and border policing, constructions of gender and masculinity, and intimacy and the body. The artists draw from sources as diverse as their own family albums, government surveillance tools, and international archives of modern conflict – and they experiment with a wide range of photographic practices, including archaic techniques like cyanotype and wet collodion and the deployment of expired photographic materials. 

“In direct response to the isolation and confinement of the pandemic years,” states curator Maya Benton, “this exhibition aims to spark dialogue between artists and audience about vital social and political issues concerning race, representation, immigration, policing, gender, intimacy, and community. I sense a profound desire to facilitate and to reactivate the consolations and connections of communal gatherings.”

The thirteen emerging and mid-career artists featured in this exhibition are: Manual Acevedo (Newark, NJ), Jillian Marie Browning (Birmingham, AL), Billie Carter-Rankin (Milwaukee, WI), Marcus Xavier Chormicle (Las Cruces, NM), Scarlett Coten (Arles, France), Noelle Mason (Tampa, FL), Susan Mikula (Western Massachusetts), Marc Ohrem-Leclef (Brooklyn, NY), Deanna Pizzitelli (Bratislava, Slovakia), Felix Quintana (Los Angeles, CA), Jared Ragland (Logan, UT), Rashod Taylor (Springfield, MO), and Iris Wu (Chicago, IL).

Parallel Lives is the most recent installment of the series Photography Now, CPW’s annual call-for-entry, in which a curator of national or international repute is invited to create a survey exhibition of contemporary photography. The selection of artists was drawn from over 600 submissions. Benton notes, “What is striking about this group of emerging artists is the diversity of backgrounds and approaches. Their wide-ranging responses to specific political and social forces amount to a kind of barometer of the key issues for photography today.

The large, pop-up exhibition will occupy 8,000 square feet of the former IBM offices at Tech City in Kingston, radically
transforming an abandoned space that is itself in the midst of a revival. In tandem with the Parallel Lives exhibition, CPW will host a five-part speakers series in January, featuring artists and invited guests. Check CPW website for further details.

About the Curator
Maya Benton is a curator and art historian based in New York City. From 2008-19, she was a curator at the International Center of Photography in New York City, where she established a major archive and organized numerous international traveling exhibitions. She is currently a Visiting Professor at Yale University.

About The Center for Photography at Woodstock
Founded in 1977, the Center for Photography at Woodstock is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting artists working in photography and related media, and engaging audiences through opportunities in which creation, discovery, and learning are made possible.



What Has Been Will Be Again will be on view at Auburn University at Montgomery’s Cason McDermott Gallery Oct. 11–Nov. 10, 2022. The show is organized by AUM professor William Fenn and features a selection of 14 images on loan from The Do Good Fund, Inc. alongside two previously unexhibited large scale installation works.

The gallery is located in AUM’s Goodwyn Hall and is open Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A lecture and closing reception is scheduled for Nov. 10 at 5pm in Goodwyn Hall 110.

For directions, visit the AUM website here.



Four images from What Has Been Will Be Again are included in Critical Distance, curated by Adama Delphine Fawundu for the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial and SPE Midwest regional conference. The show runs Oct. 7–Dec. 1 at 400 W Rich St. in Columbus, Ohio.

About the exhibition:
Experts say it takes 20 years to lend honest reflection on major life and global events; taking critical distance to look back at what holds new relevance now. Over the past few years, the effects of multiple pandemics have become glaring. Inequities have been overlooked, consciously and out of convenience, but over time they become unavoidable. These events are not contained within national borders and the current pandemic is a reminder that health is interconnected. The political consequences of the past 20 years echoes across the globe and we recognize the need to evaluate the insights of photographers outside of the US and Western Europe. Photographers make visual records of these circumstances. The significance of these images may not be fully recognized until a critical distance has passed. This exhibition facilitates an opportunity for critical distance, from then and now during the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist born in Brooklyn, NY. Fawundu co-published the critically acclaimed book, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is a 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition finalist. Her awards also include, the Anonymous Was A Woman Award, New York Foundation for The Arts Photography Fellowship (2016) and the Rema Hort Mann Artist Grant (2018) amongst others. She was commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory to participate in the 100 Years|100 Women Project/The Women's Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium (2019-2021). Her works are in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Princeton University Museum, Princeton, NJ; Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA; The Petrucci Family Foundation of African American Art, Asbury, NJ; The Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY; Norton Museum of Art, Palm Springs, FL; The David C. Driskell Art Collection, College Park, MD; and number of private collections. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University.



A photograph from the commissioned Do Good Fund artist-in-residence project, What Has Been Will Be Again, is included in Reckonings and Reconstructions, published by University of Georgia Press.  

Featuring photographs and essays that tease apart the tangled cultural memory of the American South, Reckonings and Reconstructions is a visual and textual investigation of southern photography since World War II. The book and its partner exhibition present 125 photographs from The Do Good Fund, Inc.’s collection representing a wide-ranging group of 77 photographers, diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, and region.

Read more here.



Two images from What Has Been Will Be Again will be included in Friends of Friends, the inaugural show at Current Work Contemporary Arta contemporary gallery and fine art consulting located Salt Lake City’s Granary District. The exhibition runs Aug. 19–Sept. 30.

Friends of Friends is a show about the communities we build through doing the things we love most. Eight artists working with a variety of mediums were each asked to recommend another artist whose work they admire. The result is a glimpse into how quickly our connections expand, creating new relationships across state and national borders. The show runs through Sept. 30 and features works by Kelly Breez, Cara Despain, Nic Courdy, Michael Ryan Handley, Amber Heaton, Colour Maisch, Benny Merris, Kristen Mitchell, Sofía Ortiz, Jared Ragland, Fazilat Soukhakian, John Sproul, Jared Steffensen, Lane Twitchell, Gary Vlasic, and Charles Edward Williams.



“Visually Representing Rural: Ethics of Photographing Marginalized People in the Rural South,” a book chapter co-authored with Heith Copes, Ph.D., has been included in Research Methods for Rural Criminologists, edited by Ralph Weisheit et al., and published by Routledge. The research is drawn from the collaborative, longitudinal photo-ethnography, Hellbender.

About the book:
Conducting rural criminological research exposes researchers to concerns such as absence or inadequate official data about crime and superficial rural-urban comparisons, rural isolation and distance from the researchers’ office to the study site, and lack of services or access to justice. This distinct cultural context means that studying rural crime requires creatively adapting existing research methods. Conducting research about or in rural settings requires unique researcher preparation, as everything from defining the space at the conception of a project to collecting and analyzing data differs from urban research.

This book explores the various issues, challenges, and solutions for rural researchers in criminology. Integrating state of the art methodological approaches with practical illustrations, this book serves as an internationally comprehensive compendium of methods for students, scholars, and practitioners. While contributing to the growing field of rural criminology, it will also be of interest to those engaged with the related areas of rural health care, rural social work, and rural poverty.



What Has Been Will Be Again will be on view at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery, Ala., June 18–Sept. 11, 2022. The show is curated by MMFA curator Jennifer Jankauskas and features a selection of 11 images, several which have not been previously exhibited.

WHBWBA will run concurrently with the exhibition, Masterworks of Photography from the Lamar Dodd Art Center, which gathers 50 black-and-white photographs collected by my alma mater, LaGrange College. Built by my mentor, John Lawrence, during his 49-year tenure at LaGrange, the Dodd collection is a survey of modern photography and includes works by Paul Strand, Andre Kertesz, Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Sally Mann, Aaron Siskind, Alfred Stieglitz, and Gary Winogrand, among others.

Prior to the opening of WHBWBA, I will direct a free, two-week photo portfolio development workshop for Montgomery-area high school students. Taught at Auburn University at Montgomery and in partnership with the AUM Fine Arts Dept. and Chair/Professor William Fenn, the workshop will provide students with hands-on experience in a variety of traditional and alternative photographic processes including wet-plate collodion tintype, cyanotype, pinhole, 35mm black-and-white film, and darkroom printing. The workshop will include local field trips and film screenings and introduce relevant topics on the history and theory of photography. Upon completion of the workshop students will have a portfolio of works, with select images shared in an exhibition in Fall 2022 at AUM.

From the MMFA website:

In a time of pandemic and protest, economic uncertainty, and political polarization the project What Has Been Will Be Again led Jared Ragland across more than 15,000 miles and 40 counties to survey Alabama’s cultural and physical landscape at this consequential moment. By tracing historic colonial routes with a particular focus on some of the state’s most rural and isolated areas, the project bears witness to generational racial, ecological, and economic injustice.

What Has Been Will Be Again illustrates a haunting yet tender look at the artist’s home state’s troublesome past and tenuous present while simultaneously suggesting a strategy for connecting with each other: by empathetically bearing witness to one another’s experience and acknowledging that we are indeed linked together––through shared stories and histories, across geography and time.



“Protecting Stories: How Symbolic Boundaries Reduce Victimizationand Harmful Drug Use” has been published in the journal, Crime & Deliquency.  Written with Heith Copes, Ph.D., and Sveinung Sandburg, Ph.D., the article features participant-created images from the series, Hellbender.

Symbolic boundaries are used for establishing narrative identities and have critical impact on behavior and interpersonal interactions. Using data from a photo-ethnography of people who use methamphetamine in Alabama we show how women use stories and images to draw symbolic boundaries between themselves and others. These boundaries made sense of their meth use, but also guided behavior, controlled drug use, and aided in negotiating personal relationships. Maintaining boundaries through stories and images is important for people with drug problems, as such boundaries provide self-worth and serve as ideals to be lived up to. Symbolic boundaries can thus reduce harmful drug use and be an important means for exercising control and agency at the margins of society.



From the press release:

The Do Good Fund is pleased to announce the opening of What Has Been Will Be Again, an exhibition of photographs by Jared Ragland. Ragland (b. 1977) is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. His visual practice critically confronts issues of identity, marginalization, and history of place through social science, literary, and historical research methodologies.

Jared is the photo editor of National Geographic Books’ The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, and he has worked on assignment for NGOs in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa, and Haiti. His work has been exhibited internationally, and his photographs have been featured by The New Yorker, New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, and The Oxford American, while his visual ethnographic research has been published in more than a dozen social science textbooks and high-impact academic journals. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photography at Utah State University.

As the 2020-2021 Do Good Fund Artist-in-Residence, Ragland traveled across more than 15,000 miles and 50 counties in his home state of Alabama to photograph during a critical moment of pandemic and protest, economic uncertainty, and political polarization. By tracing historical colonial routes including the Old Federal Road and Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition, What Has Been Will Be Again bears witness to ongoing racial, ecological, and economic injustice and illustrates the perpetuated segregation and sequestration masked by white supremacist myths of American exceptionalism. What Has Been Will Be Again was made with additional support from the Magnum Foundation, Wiregrass Museum of Art (Dothan, Ala.), Coleman Center for the Arts (York, Ala.), Columbus State University, and the Aftermath Project.

In the Back Gallery, Ragland has curated a companion exhibition from The Do Good Fund collection featuring photographs made in Alabama by William Christenberry, Lauren Henkin, Celestia Morgan, RaMell Ross, Jerry Siegel, and Rosalind Fox Solomon. Titled upon return, the exhibit considers how these photographers here have pursued their work in deep-rooted connection to the landscape and within community and through acts of return and pilgrimage reveal life in Alabama through intimate knowledge of—and often complex relationships with—place.

A gallery talk with Ragland will be held on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:00PM at The Do Good Fund Gallery at 111 12th Street, Columbus, Ga. This free event is free and open to the public and media. What Has Been Will Be Again and upon return are open April 30 to June 16, 2022. For hours of operation, visit:



What Has Been Will Be Again was selected as one of two Reviewers Choice Awards at the Social Documentary Network's second annual SDN Online Documentary Portfolio Reviews, Saturday, April 2.  

The reviews featured leaders in the editorial, publishing, and fine art industries including:
Donny Bajohr, Associate Photo Editor, Smithsonian Magazine
David Barreda, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic
Catherine Edelman, Cofounder, CASE Art Fund, Catherine Edelman Gallery
James Estrin, Staff Photographer and Writer, New York Times
Anne Farrar, Assistant Managing Editor (Environment), National Geographic
Gail Fletcher, Photo Editor, The Guardian
Maura Friedman, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic
Frances Jakubek, Director, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Nick Kirkpatrick, Visual Reporter, The Washington Post
Whitney Matewe, Photo Editor, Time Magazine
Kathy Moran, Former Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic
Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones
Kurt Mutchler, Assistant Managing Editor (Science), National Geographic
Pia Peterson-Haggarty, Photo Editor, BuzzFeed News
Glenn Ruga, Founder & Director, Social Documentary Network; Executive Editor, ZEKE magazine
Jamel Shabazz, Independent Photographer and 2022 Gordon Parks Foundation Book Prize Winner
Anette Skuggedal, Cofounder, CASE Art Fund

Since 2008, SDN has been at the forefront of promoting global documentary photography through the SDN website and ZEKE magazine.



As part of my spring visiting artist residency at the Columbus State University, I’ve had the great pleasure of mentoring photography students Gina Bedir and Bethany Hucks as they curate an exhibition from the Do Good Fund collection.

Negotiating a selection of landscape, interior, and portrait photographs into a poetic, palindromic installation of images, no shade in the shadow quietly questions conventional notions of femininity and the pressures of purity culture while simultaneously visualizing a lyrical retelling of the expulsion from the garden. Dressed in soft palettes of yellows, greens, pinks, and pastels, the images Hucks and Bedir have selected present a subtle and subversive platform from which they reckon with conventional understandings of gender roles, the inescapable cycles of nature and body, and the inevitability of isolation––and how each is not bound to just one type of experience but many. 

no shade in the shadow features photographs by:
Rachel Boillot
Rosie Brock
Carolyn Drake
Cynthia Henebry
Lauren Henkin
Molly Lamb
Elizabeth Matheson
Georgia Rhodes

See images and further information about the exhibition on the Do Good website.

Special thanks to The Do Good Fund, Inc., CSU Friends of Art, and the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation for making the exhibition possible.



I am excited to announce that I will be a visiting artist-in-residence at the Columbus State University Department of Art in Columbus, Ga., Jan-May 2022.

During the residency I will continue What Has Been Will Be Again while working closely with the Columbus-based Do Good Fund. In May, a solo exhibition of WHBWBA will open at Do Good's gallery alongside an exhibition I will curate from the Do Good collection.  A reception and gallery talk is scheduled for May 4, while a public lecture at CSU is scheduled for Feb. 4.

The CSU Visiting Artist and Scholar in Residency Program brings prominent studio artists, art historians, art critics, and curators to CSU's Department of Art. Residents interact with students and faculty, lead workshops related to their discipline, and give public lectures on their work. Residents are provided an honorarium, apartment, and a studio in the newly renovated Seaboard Depot Art Studios. The highly successful program, now in its 12th year, is made possible through the generous support of the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation and the CSU Friends of Art.



“Sex, drugs, and coercive control: Gendered narratives of methamphetamine use, relationships, and violence,” a new article and photo essay co-written with Heith Copes, Fiona Brookman, and Blake Beaton, has been published by the journal, Criminology. It is the first time the flagship crim journal has published a photographs in its history and signals a significant development for narrative-driven, qualitative, and visual methods in the discipline. 

From the press release:
A new study examining the narratives and motivations of men and women in rural Alabama who used methamphetamine (meth) has been featured in Criminology, a publication of the American Society of Criminology. It is the first photo-ethnography to be published in the journal. 

The broad aim of this 18-month project was to understand how people who used meth made sense of their lives and navigated their drug use within the context of economic marginalization, and rural life. Utilization of photo-ethnography—the use of photography to encourage responses and insights from participants—was critical in “unravelling the motives people express for questionable behavior, such as drug use, gives us insights into cultural expectations and personal identities,” explains Heith Copes, professor of criminal justice at UAB, who led the study.

In addition to these unique insights, the use of photographs aided the researchers’ ability to connect and build rapport with participants and allowed participants to introduce ideas they found important and to visually represent themselves, evoking more emotional, multilayered responses from participants than traditional interviews. “We believe that the use of photographs in published research can help remove some of the stigma surrounding marginalized groups,” said Jared Ragland, the project photographer and professor of photography at Utah State University. “Photographs not only provide context to participants’ stories, but they can also draw readers into their lives, elicit empathy, and shrink the social distance between participant/researcher/audience.”

The ethnography consisted of both formal and photo-elicitation interviews (with 28 women and 24 men, most of whom were White), field observations, and photography. “Our findings provide important insights into understanding how narratives guide behavior and shape harm, especially among already-vulnerable groups,” concluded Fiona Brookman, professor of criminology at the University of South Wales and coauthor of the study. “Accessing and unpacking narratives from those who engage in crime or drug use, as well as victims of crime, affords a deeper understanding of how sociodemographic and cultural norms are reproduced and resisted within particular communities.”

Further information on the study, and accompanying photographs, can be found here.



A portfolio of 25 images from What Has Been Will Be Again has been published by Study the South, a peer-reviewed, multimedia, online journal, published and managed by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.  The article features a wonderful text by Catherine Wilkins, PhD, of the University of South Florida, and is the most comprehensive feature of the project yet.

The article can be viewed here.



Images from the series, Hellbender, are featured in the November issue of Vanity Fair Italia. Read the article here: L’atra epidemia by Simone Siri.



Childersburg, Talladega County, Ala. Sunshine turns soil in the Commons Community Workshop garden, from the series, What Has Been Will Be Again.

I am pleased to join a fantastic group of artists in this year’s Critical Mass TOP 50 with a portfolio of images from my ongoing Do Good Fund residency project, What Has Been Will Be Again.

Photolucida’s Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community. Photographers at any level, from anywhere in the world, submit a portfolio of 10 images. Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 200 esteemed international photography professionals. From the Finalist group, the TOP 50 are named and a series of awards are given.

See the TOP 50 here: 2021 Critical Mass TOP 50



Spring Hill, Barbour County, Ala. Michael Farmer, 57, from the series, What Has Been Will Be Again.

An interview with photographer and fellow Utahn Daniel George has been published on Lenscratch, where we discuss my ongoing Do Good Fund residency/Magnum Foundation grant project, What Has Been Will Be Again.

Read the article here: Jared Ragland: What Has Been Will Be Again



JC smokes meth. From the series, Hellbender

The latest volume of the journal, Conflict and Society (June 2021, Vol. 7:1), has been published with a special section theme, “The Longitudinal Ethnography of Violence,” featuring a recent article titled, “Changing Narratives of Initimate Partner Violence,” co-written with Dr. Heith Copes and Dr. Lindsay Leban and including photographs from the series, Hellbender


We explore how women’s narratives of abuse change, including narratives of self as well as narratives of their abusers. We draw on experiences from a photo-ethnography of people living in rural Alabama who use methamphetamine. The use of photographs taken throughout the project aid in both the representation of the women as well as in data collection (through photo-elicitation interviews). While we draw on the overall experiences from the project, we focus specifically on one key participant—Misty—to illustrate the ways that she made sense of and excused intimate partner violence, and how her narrative eventually changes. Our findings illuminate how the narratives people construct of themselves are intertwined with those they  construct with others, and how such narratives change together.

The article is available via open access online here:



Three weeks ago we loaded up everything and moved to Utah, where I’ve joined the faculty at Utah State University.

Right after making it out here, David McCarty and I had a conversation about moving and place, whether and why it’s worth hauling stuff 2,000 miles vs starting over, and, consequently (at least for me, of course), the nature of despair.

I’m proud to share the news of the move and the job, and pleased to do so while also sharing David’s thoughtful words. And, well, it’s also not everyday I can have my work compared to the combined sensation of stale Little Debbies, The Cure’s “Disintegration,” and touching a 9v battery to the tongue. I mean, there is absolutely no higher compliment than that.

Read the interview here: Always Happy at the Movies and be sure to subscribe to the GORJUS substack.  I look forward to David’s newsletter each and every Sunday morning.



A portfolio of images from my ongoing Do Good Fund residency/Magnum Foundation grant project, What Has Been Will Be Again, is featured in the Spring 2021 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, with a beautiful forward by New Yorker/Vogue writer and fellow Alabama native, Alexis Okeowo.  

In a moment of pandemic and protest, ecological peril, and political upheaval, the project has led me more than 10,000 miles across 40 counties to survey Alabama's cultural and physical landscape, bearing witness to its troublesome legacies of injustice and reckoning a haunting yet tender look at my home state’s difficult past and tenuous present.

Established in 1925, VQR is a journal of literature and discussion published by the University of Virginia.

Read the article here: What Has Been Will Be Again: An Expedition Through Alabama’s Troubled Legacies



The latest volume of UTEP’s Humanities Education and Research Association journal, Interdisciplinary Humanities (Fall 2019, Vol. 36:3), has been published with the theme, “Art, Activism, and the Practice of Dissent.” The issue includes an interview with University of South Florida’s Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D. titled “Jared Ragland: Photography and the Cultivation of Visual Citizenship,” in which we discuss my time as White House Photo Editor and the role of political engagement and citizenship in my studio and pedagogical practice.


“ is absolutely essential–and our duty as citizens–to make sure we are critically interrogating the images that shape our sense of national identity and political identity, recognizing how incomplete they are... I want to push back on the "truth claim" and argue instead that the primary quality of all photography is exclusion: choosing one moment to commemorate at the expense of all others. It's a "flaw" by the standard of the "truth claim," in that the one image...takes away the notion of indexicality in the medium. But it's really photography's strength as an art form, in that it demonstrates the actual subjectivity and ambiguity of the medium.”

“The long-term costs–human, environmental, social, political–are too steep if we continue looking out only for ourselves, our own economic well-being, our comfort. Being a good citizen means compromise. It means cooperation. We can't do this if we don't know or empathize with our neighbors. So, to me, citizenship is essential, and it is at its core relational. It is this sort of fostering of a sense of connection and responsibility to others that photography–mine and my students'–must aspire to.”

Previously Dr. Wilkins has written about my projects including Where You Come From is Gone and Everything Is Going To Be All Right, and contributed an essay to the One Day Projects publication, And light followed the flight of sound. I am forever grateful for her thoughtful support, critical insight, and great friendship.



The New Yorker has published a story about Alabama workers trying to unionize an Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Ala. If the effort succeeds, it could galvanize similar campaigns at other Amazon facilities and radically alter labor rights and wages across the US.

Read the story here.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to photograph and help report on the brave people standing up and organizing against great odds. Thanks to Mai Schotz for the assignment, and to Charles Bethea for his reporting.



I am pleased to announced that I will continue my ongoing Do Good Fund project, What Has Been Will Be Again, while in residence at the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Ala. through the month of March.  While in residence I will photograph across Sumter County, along with sites through west Alabama and the Black Belt region, focussing on local histories and communities facing generational poverty, racism, and ecological injustice.

Founded in 1985 through the grassroots efforts of local citizens, CCA nurtures and facilitates partnerships between artists and community, integrating contemporary art into education, civic life, and community development throughout the region. The residency is made possible by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.



Where You Come From is Gone will open at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 20. Using the historical wet-plate collodion process, the large-scale images document sites of former Native American habitation and removal from across the southeast. In 2020, Leepa-Rattner commissioned new works to be made in the Tampa Bay area. Seven of those new works will be on view in the museum’s South Gallery, while the North Gallery will feature works made in the artists’ home state of Alabama. 

The exhibition runs through May 16 and is free and open to the public. The exhibition has been installed to facilitate one-way, social-distanced passage through the galleries with health and safety protocols in place. Masks required.



On Sunday The Washington Post published a story about Virettia Whiteside’s journey through wild conspiracies, investigations, a failed lawsuit aimed at overturning her groundbreaking election to the Fayette, Ala. city council. Read “Breaking the Rule of One” here.

I’m honored to have the opportunity to get to know Virettia and the members of her community who have each faced unimaginable challenges with grace and strength and have valiantly fought against the deep, systemic racism and classism entrenched in Alabama. Grateful to Bronwen Lattimer for the assignment, and to fellow Alabamian Stephanie McCrummen for her sensitive reporting and brilliant storytelling.



The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology (QC) has published "Caught In-Between: A Video Essay of Masculine Identity and Methamphetamine Use in the Rural South," co-authored with Heith Copes and Adam Forrester. The article considers the expression of agency, power, and masculine identity through a brief yet intimate encounter with JC, a long-term methamphetamine user and dealer living in precarious conditions with his wife and stepson in a small rural town in northeast Alabama. Read the article and see the video here.


12.28.20 // booooooom YEAR IN PHOTOS

booooooom has selected an image from my ongoing Do Good Fund/Magnum Foundation-supported project, What Has Been Will Be Again, for their annual “Year in Photos” series. See Fav Photos Found in 2020: 75 Photos by 75 Photographers HERE.


12.03.20 //

What Has Been Will Be Again, my ongoing Do Good Artist-in-Residence / Magnum Foundation Fund-supported project, is featured on  See the feature here.



Fairfield, Jefferson Co., Ala. from the series What Has Been Will Be Again, 2020

This fall, the Magnum Foundation is proud to announce the support of 18 photographers to develop short-term visual projects related to the 2020 US elections.

The selection committee consisted of photographers Alessandra Sanguinetti and Hannah Price and Magnum Foundation Scholar in Residence Nicholas Mirzoeff, joined by Magnum Foundation President Susan Meiselas and Executive Director Kristen Lubben. Their insights as practitioners, educators, and visual theorists were integral to this process, which marks Magnum Foundation’s most extensive grant-making initiative within the US to date.

“It was inspiring to discover so much work by photographers committed to exploring and documenting what's happening right here, right now in the US,” said Alessandra Sanguinetti. Nicholas Mirzoeff added, “if this is an indication, activist photography is in good shape.”

This program seeks to expand perspectives on this critical moment in US history. From examining the impact of Covid-19 on incarcerated seniors to portraits of first-time voters by a 19-year-old photographer, these projects highlight some of the experiences faced by communities across America in the leadup to the election.

Ten of these stories will run in The Nation Magazine in a collection called What’s At Stake, featuring critical narratives that are flying under the national radar. This is a continuation of the 18-week partnership, The Invisible Frontline, which seeded stories amplifying the experiences of frontline workers and communities disproportionately affected by the upheaval of the Coronavirus.

This program is generously supported in part by Documentary Arts and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Selected Photographers: 



The Magnum Foundation US Dispatches Grant will support my ongoing Do Good Fund Artist-in-Residence project, What Has Been Will Be Again, which addresses Alabama's complex history and identity by looking at the intersections of racial and ecological injustice, poverty and marginalization, and politics and public health during this urgent moment.



Last summer I had the opportunity to photograph Carole Griffin at her home in Hoover, Ala., for The Washington Post's first long-form investigative podcast, Canary: The Washington Post Investigates. Hosted by reporter Amy Brittain, the seven-part podcast has just premiered and tells the intertwining stories of two women – Carole Griffin and Lauren Clark – separated by decades but united by a shared refusal to stay silent.

I am grateful to Carole for her bravery and vulnerability, to Photo Editor Nick Kirkpatrick for the assignment, and to Amy Brittain for thoughtful and sensitive storytelling – it's an honor to be a part of such important work.

Listen here: Canary: The Washington Post Investigates or read the investigative report from the Sun. Oct. 4 print edition.



A collage from the ongoing COVID-19 Drawings series is included in Yogurt Magazine’s latest edition, Quarantine Flavour.  The collage is featured alongside works by 87 artists selected from an international open call conducted by the Rome-based publisher during the height of Italy’s COVID-19 lockdown.



Two images from the series Where You Come From is Gone have been shortlisted for Earth Photo, an international photography competition and exhibition developed jointly with the Royal Geographical Society.  The exhibition and award aims to engage conversations about the world, its inhabitants, and our treatment of both.  

The shortlist selection of 54 photographs and videos by 35 artists are to be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society, London from 7 December 2020 to 26 February 2021, preceded by exhibitions this fall at a series of forest locations across England including Grizedale Forest and Moors Valley Country Park and Forest.

The shortlist is now available to view in a virtual exhibition online at



Omussee Creek Mound, Henry County, Alabama, 2019, from the series Where You Come From is Gone

Omussee Creek Mound, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, is featured in the B20: Wiregrass Biennial exhibition, on view now via the Wiregrass Museum of Art website. Osmussee was originally created during a 2019 residency with the WMA and supported by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

From the press release: The Wiregrass Museum of Art announces the opening of the virtual exhibition, “B20: Wiregrass Biennial” on July 16 at WMA’s biennial showcases the South’s most talented contemporary artists, illustrating the region’s rich cultural heritage. The juried exhibition encourages innovative and progressive work that utilizes a variety of art forms and media, including paintings, sculptures, mixed media, new media, and installation art. Three jurors chose from a field of over 130 entries for this year’s exhibition -- the first virtual exhibition ever for WMA -- which will feature 39 artists from 11 states.

“The biennial exhibition is an important venue to showcase the incredible work being made in the South. I always enjoy being introduced to new artists and providing a platform for the artists to connect with each other. What makes this exhibition unique is that it serves as a visual representation of the diverse stories that exist across our region and an opportunity to learn from the experiences and stories that our artists are sharing,” said WMA Executive Director and Curator Dana-Marie Lemmer.

WMA made the decision to hold the exhibition online due to the ongoing need for physical distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists would normally travel from around the Southeast to deliver and install their work, attend the traditional exhibition opening, and hold in-person artist talks and workshops. This year’s online biennial will give the public new ways to engage with artists, with plans for virtual artist talks, online workshops, virtual studio tours, artist conversations, and social media takeovers. All programming will be archived on the website alongside the virtual exhibition.

About the Wiregrass Museum of Art: The Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its founding in 1988, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.



2020 Wort im Bild (Words in Images) winners presented at Lendhafen, Klagenfurt, Austria

Untitled diptych from the series, Everything Is Going To Be All Right

A diptych from the series Everything Is Going To Be All Right has been awarded third place in the 2020 Wort im Bild (Words in Images) Award. Selected by jurors Chloe Hipeau-Disko, Gabriele Rothemann, and Wort im Bild founder Eva Asaad from nearly 1,000 entries from 88 countries, the annual award celebrates photographic works inspired by literature. Winning selections were shared as part of a public viewing at Lendhafen in Klagenfurt, Austria.



Tierra Verde, Pinellas County, Fla, 2020, from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone has been selected by Getty Museum associate curator Paul Martineau as a finalist for the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s annual Clarence John Laughlin Award.



Download the PDF of the letter here: Aint Bad Open Letter.PDF

May 12, 2020

An Open Letter to AINT-BAD

Aint-Bad: Artists are called to engage the world sensitively, compassionately, and critically as a means to bring individuals and communities together for principled conversation and meaningful change. As the selected photographers for Aint-Bad #15 The American South, we also have a responsibility to own–and speak directly to–our white privilege while expecting the same from others. On these grounds, we neither support nor condone Aint-Bad’s jurying process; further, we reject Aint-Bad’s subsequent statements as false and misleading.  

We are grateful to those who first brought these errors to light and have taken a stand against the publisher’s inappropriate practices.

In our collective discussion following Aint-Bad’s announcement of selected artists, we learned several photographers were either directly invited or encouraged to participate in the publication. This disclosure reveals Aint-Bad’s editors intentionally misled their readers with false claims that the jurying process was conducted blindly.

Joining with the many excluded voices, we convey our emphatic denunciation of and deep disappointment in this process. For our part, we want to use this experience as an opportunity to listen and engage and challenge power structures that perpetuate disenfranchisement and marginalization.  

By excluding the racially diverse voices integral to the complex character of the South, Aint-Bad’s editors have perpetuated the divisiveness and injustice our country continues to experience. Their insensitive actions do not reflect the integrity, ethics, and values upon which we have each built our careers and artistic practices.

Aint-Bad’s initial public response to criticism and their subsequent suspension of The American South issue is insufficient against the gravity of these circumstances, and their disregard for equity is not just irresponsible, it is wholly inexcusable. We must all thoroughly and continually examine our complicity–tacit or otherwise–in the systemic racism that allows these wrongs to occur.

As a photographic community we need to be better. We can be better. And together we can hold Aint-Bad accountable.

It is our sincere hope that transformational learning and progress may be redeemed from this terrible situation, and that the actions in the days and weeks to come may have a profound, positive impact on everyone in our photo community during this critical time.  

Aint-Bad #15 The American South Selected Artists:
Rosie Brock
Julianne Clark
Due South Co-op
Matt Eich
Jill Frank
Robert Gordon
Amanda Greene
Virginia Hanusik
Matthew Jessie
Ashley Kaye
Cassandra Klos
Gabriel McCurdy
Evan Perkins
Jared Ragland
Shane Rocheleau  
Whitten Sabbatini
Susan Worsham

UPDATE: for more more on this story see Selections for Aint-Bad's Southern Issue Raise Questions About Racial Exclusion on Burnaway or use #aintbadopenletter on Instagram.



I’ve been collaging while quarantined – nearly 100 COVID Drawings so far. Made from a stack of vintage National Geographic magazines, the works subtly refer to themes of isolation, distance, disconnection, interior/exterior space, and illness.

View a selection here on the website, or follow along via Instagram.



Southern Cultures Vol. 26, No. 1: The Documentary Moment, is now available.  Guest edited by Tom Rankin, the issue looks at the documentary moment, using the idea of “moment” to refer to both the decisive instant of documentary image making and the sense of urgency we often feel to document a very present experience of political and social friction in the American South. Featuring a short piece and photograph from Good Bad People, the journal also includes pieces by Natasha Trethewey and good friends/colleagues Lisa McCarty, Eliot Dudik, Aaron Canipe, Jeremy Lange, and more.

The article, Snapshot: Willow, 37, can be previewed here, and scholars and students can access the entire journal via Project Muse.



Untitled (Spring Bayou), from the series SNOWBIRD

Works from my recent project SNOWBIRD will be on view at the Morean Arts Center for the annual Fresh Squeezed exhibition. Now in its fourth year, the exhibition was curated by Amanda Cooper and features emergent artists from across the state of Florida including Nicholas Kalemba of Orlando; Cindy Leung of Gainesville; Krystle Lemonias of Tampa; Luca Molnar of Deland; Jared Ragland of Tarpon Springs; and Chelsea Rowe of St. Petersburg.  The show runs March 14-April 23 in St. Petersburg.

SNOWBIRD is a project begun shortly after my recent move to Tarpon Springs, Florida. Consisting of photographs made during daily walks and bike rides around town alongside a collection of historical images, objects, and ephemera, the work situates the idyllic and quotidian, the strange and the sentimental, and serves as a means of orienting myself within a unique community steeped in a complex mix of culture and history, contradiction and change.  


03.12.20 // ‘eequivalentss’ AT PAPERWORKERS LOCAL 

Selection from the series eequivalentss

A selection of images from eequivalentss is included in Phoned In, a group show featuring images made with smart phones. The show opens March 12-April 25 at PaperWorkers Local in Birmingham, AL. Participating artists are John DeMotte, Lee Dunnie, Phil Proctor, Jared Ragland, and Joel Whitaker.

About eequivalentss:
As an homage to Alfred Stieglitz, the father of modern photography and creator of the renowned series of cloud pictures he first titled Songs of the Sky and later came to call Equivalents, I created a project-specific Instagram account in which I photographed and posted a picture of the sky nearly every day for an entire year.

Just as Steiglitz’s cloud pictures were imbued with a symbolist aesthetic, and over time became increasingly abstract equivalents of his own experiences, thoughts, and emotions, so too did my pictures assume symbolic weight and personal meaning as the year passed. Shortly after beginning the project on the Spring 2015 Equinox, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the act of making these images quickly took on a kind of liturgical significance. Each picture became a brief meditation, a prayer, for mom as I marked the passage of another day and considered the nuances of light, space, form and texture overhead. The series includes images made on the day she was diagnosed and the days we spent together at home and in the hospital. They mark the day she died, the day she was buried, and the difficult days that followed.

The entire series can be seen at



Hollowed Cedar (Willstown), DeKalb County, Ala., from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone has been selected as one of seven portfolio winners in Urbanautica’s latest international call, Sacred: The Experience of Beyond. 



Garrett Cemetary, Cherokee County, Ala., from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone
will open February 26 at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.  The show will run through March 27 and features 9 large scale works.  Programming will include an artist talk scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 11am and an opening reception at 5pm at the museum.



White House Photo by Pete Souza

I will present a paper for the session, The Presidential Look: Art and POTUS/FLOTUS, at the CAA 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, Feb. 13. The session is scheduled for 8:30am at 
Hilton Chicago - 8th Floor - Lake Huron.

Abstract: Front Row Seat: An Inside Look at the White House Photo Office and the History of Presidential Photography
As a White House Photo Editor, I had a front row seat to history. From photographs of President George W. Bush standing atop the rubble of the World Trade Center to images of President Barack Obama monitoring the raid on Osama Bin Laden, I have touched consequential pictures and witnessed firsthand the power of Presidential photographs to document and shape not only the national conversation but also global culture and politics. The documentation of the Presidency has evolved in step with the medium of photography, moving from Matthew Brady’s studio portraits of Lincoln to the creation and worldwide dissemination of former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza’s 1.9 million digital images during the Obama administration. By tracing the lineage of Brady’s first portraits of Lincoln at the Cooper Union to Souza’s images of Obama in Situation Room, this paper will combine anecdotal accounts, historical research, and critical analysis to survey Presidential photography.  Specific case studies and personal accounts drawn from the Bush 43 and Obama administrations will be used to consider the role of the Presidential photograph from multiple perspectives – as both archival document and political propaganda – while examining the profound means by which White House photographs influence the “Presidential Look.”



SOME MILLION MILES is an official selection of the 2020 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.  The film will screen March 5 at 3pm at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Ala.  I am really pleased to share the documentary with audiences so close to where it was filmed on Sand Mountain.

The festival was founded by celebrated entertainer George Lindsey, an Alabama native, who is most widely known for his role as Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show.

“Judy Judy Judy!”



A new article, "The Emotional Labor of Doing Fieldwork with People Who Use Methamphetamine” by my collaborator Heith Copes, Ph.D. and featuring images from GOOD BAD PEOPLE, is featured in a new book, Inside Ethnography: Researchers Reflect on the Challenges of Reaching Hidden Populations, edited by Miriam Boeri and Rashi Shukla.

From the dust jacket: While some books present “ideal” ethnographic field methods, Inside Ethnography shares the realities of fieldwork in action. With a focus on strategies employed with populations at society’s margins, twenty-one contemporary ethnographers examine their cutting-edge work with honesty and introspection, drawing readers into the field to reveal the challenges they have faced. Representing disciplinary approaches from criminology, sociology, anthropology, public health, business, and social work, and designed explicitly for courses on ethnographic and qualitative methods, crime, deviance, drugs, and urban sociology, the authors portray an evolving methodology that adapts to the conditions of the field while tackling emerging controversies with perceptive sensitivity. Their judicious advice on how to avoid pitfalls and remedy missteps provides unusual insights for practitioners, academics, and undergraduate and graduate students.

The book is now available here on Amazon in hardcover and paperback editions.



SOME MILLION MILES, courtesy PBS’ Reel South online.

(dir. Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester, 2019, 12 min.) is now available to view on PBS’ Reel South program, via the PBS website and app. 

About Reel South: In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, Reel South reveals the South's proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives. Hosted by Valerie June, Reel South is a cooperative documentary series between the South’s PBS-member stations: UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, Alabama Public Television, Arkansas’ AETN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



Packing my Mac dongles, Cliff bars, and PowerPoints this week as I will be presenting at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in New Orleans, Nov. 8, and the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in San Francisco Nov. 12.

The NCHC is a unique educational organization designed to support and promote undergraduate honors education.  This year’s conference theme is “disrupting education,” and Dr. Alan Bush I will lead a panel titled, Igniting Student Creativity through Community-Engaged Practice. The session illustrates, through examples, how project-based service-learning classes ignite students’ creativity by providing challenges that require out-of-the-box thinking and interdisciplinary problem solving. Through such courses, students see the application and value of their imaginative efforts as innovative ideas are brought to life and implemented as change-agents in the community.

At ASC my collaborator, Criminologist Heith Copes, Ph.D., and I will lead a pre-conference workshop, Visual Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The workshop will focus on the use of photographs as tools to collect data and to represent participants’ lives in criminology and criminal justice research. Specifically, it will focus on how to carry out research using photo-elicitation and photovoice techniques. The workshop will discuss benefits and challenges of using visual methods with vulnerable individuals, by considering topics such as representation, empowerment, and emotionality. Additionally, it will highlight practical and ethical issues confronting researchers who incorporate visual methods into their research.



The Stories in Images: The Value of the Visual forNarrative Criminology, co-authored with Heith Copes and Andy Hochstetler, has been included in a new criminology text, The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology. Published by the scholarly press Emerald in the UK and edited by Jennifer Fleetwood, Lois Presser, Sveinung Sandberg, and Thomas Ugelvik, the text reflects the diversity of methodological approaches employed in the emerging field of narrative criminology.



Omussee Creek Mound, Houston County, Ala., from the series Where You Come From is Gone

To mark the occasion and contribute to the national conversation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Cary Norton and I guested on the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s #wmaINSPIRED blog to share photographs from our ongoing project, Where You Come From is Gone, that were made during an April artist residency at the WMA. The residency was organized as part of WMA’s three-year-long schedule of exhibitions and programs in celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial, officially observed in 2019 with the theme “Sharing Our Stories.”

See the blog post and new images here.

Cary and I are grateful to the Wiregrass Museum of Art, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission for the generous support of our work, especially during this important time in our state and national history.



A new article, “Ethically Representing Drug Use: Photographs and Ethnographic Research with People Who Use Methamphetamine,” co-authored with Dr. Heith Copes and Whitney Tchoula, has been published in the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, Vol. 8, #1.  

Abstract: The use of photographs in criminological research can be an important tool for both collecting data and illustrating findings. When used in published research, photographs can aid in viewers connecting with the subject matter and the participants. However, photographs can also reify and reinforce cultural stereotypes. We believe that the potential damage done by including photographs can be mitigated when the photographs are properly contextualized. Our aim here is to argue for the value of contextualized photographs in research with those who engage in crime or deviance. We illustrate how by including the stories of participants and ourselves we can complicate cultural narratives and act as counter-visuals for stigmatized images found in the media.

The article can be found here.



SOME MILLION MILES will be an official selection at tenth annual DOC NYC film festival in New York.  The film will screen during the Shorts: Ways of Seeing program, Wednesday, November 13, 5pm at Cinepolis Chelsea.  

DOC NYC is America’s largest documentary film festival and voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world.”  Based at the West Village’s IFC Center, Chelsea’s SVA Theater and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema, the eight-day festival showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is co-directed with Adam Forrester and produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



Where You Come From is Gone will open September 30 at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art & Design in Warrensburg, MO.  The show will run through November 2 and features 13 large scale works and a video piece.  Programming will include an artist talk scheduled for October 30 at 4pm, followed by a closing reception in the gallery. 



Several images from Where the Train Goes Slow will be published in the upcoming AND– Then There Was Us Annual 2019.  Published by Public Source in Manchester, UK, the book is available for pre-order and will be released October 5. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: AND is an annual selection of some of the best up and coming influential documentary and portrait photographers from across the globe, showcasing in this heterogeneous collection of poignant and inspiring imagery, a response to a shifting culture and change to the way photography is produced, shared and consumed. This is Then There Was Us Magazine’s ones to watch of 2019. This year we have selected 58 photographers from across the world to be part of our first AND annual.



SOME MILLION MILES - Official Trailer on Vimeo.

SOME MILLION MILES (dir. Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester, 2019) received the 2019 REEL SOUTH Short Award at the 21st annual Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.  The award includes distribution on the REEL SOUTH website and app, release date forthcoming.

In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, REEL SOUTH reveals the South's proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives. Hosted by Valerie June, REEL SOUTH is a cooperative documentary series between the South’s PBS-member stations: UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, Alabama Public Television, Arkansas’ AETN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.



Film still from the short documentary film, SOME MILLION MILES, 2019, dir. Adam Forrester & Jared Ragland

SOME MILLION MILES will receive its Alabama premiere at the 21st annual Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.  The film will screen during the Alabama Documentary Shorts: Profiles program, Saturday, August 24, 3:15pm at ASFA.  Additional festival screenings will be announced through the fall.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is co-directed with Adam Forrester and produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



I am excited to announce a recent appointment to the University of South Florida's Judy Genshaft Honors College where I will serve as Visiting Distinguished Professor-in-Residence. The professorship is offered biannually and invites scholars, artists, scientists, or public intellectuals to teach an interdisciplinary course, collaborate with faculty, mentor students, and engage in collegial activity across the USF community. The state of Florida is often found at the focus of our national debate, and I am excited to teach a community-engaged social documentary photo course that will examine advocacy-based photo reportage, social practice methods, and creative citizenship in the Tampa Bay area.



Five Points, Wilson, NC, from the series Where the Train Goes Slow

Last summer I participated in the inaugural Eyes On Main Street residency program in Wilson, North Carolina. Images from my month in Wilson, gathered in a new portfolio titled WHERE THE TRAIN GOES SLOW, are currently on view through August 4 at the EOMS Residency Gallery, while an image from GOOD BAD PEOPLE is also included in the EOMS festival's six-block-long outdoor exhibition featuring 100 large-scale photographs by 100 prominent and emerging photographers from over 40 countries. Both the outdoor exhibition and sample works by the 2018 residency cohort can be seen on the Eyes on Main Street site.

Works from WHERE THE TRAIN GOES SLOW were recently selected by Then There Was Us and featured in their inaugural open call exhibition at Public-Source in Manchester, UK.



Michael, age 8, from the series Good Bad People

The above image from GOOD BAD PEOPLE was shortlisted for the 2019 Palm* Photo Prize and recently featured in Hero Mag's ZOOM IN: The next big photographers: peek this year’s Palm* Photo Prize finalists. One hundred images were selected from more than 3,800 entries for the second annual Palm* Photo Prize exhibition, which runs May 14-17 at theprintspace gallery in London. 



Cherokee Rock Village, Cherokee County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

DOTHAN, Alabama - April 4, 2019 - The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce that Birmingham, Alabama-based photographers Cary Norton and Jared Ragland, collectively known as GUSDUGGER, will be in residence at WMA April 18- 20. The residency, a regional extension of Norton and Ragland's project "Where You Come From is Gone," will document sacred Native American sites in the Wiregrass region using the 19th-century, wet-plate collodion tintype process with vintage, large-format cameras, hand-crafted chemistry and a mobile darkroom. The residency has been organized as part of WMA's three-year-long schedule of exhibitions and programs in celebration of Alabama's bicentennial, officially observed in 2019 with the theme "Sharing Our Stories."

"WMA is working this year to showcase the stories that make the Wiregrass special, and I am thrilled to offer a residency to such unique artists and storytellers. Their use of traditional photography methods to capture the current conditions of historic sites was a compelling reason to partner with them for Alabama's bicentennial. This is also an opportunity for the Wiregrass to be represented in a statewide project that highlights the lost stories of our region," said Dana-Marie Lemmer, director and curator of the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Created in 2016, "Where You Come From is Gone" explores the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimensions of remembrance through the wet-plate collodion photographic process. Norton and Ragland's images seek to make known a history that has largely been eliminated and to make visible the erasure that occurred in the American South between Hernando DeSoto's first exploration of native peoples in the 16th century and Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act 300 years later.

Using a 100-year-old field camera and a custom, portable darkroom tailored to Ragland's 4x4 truck, the two photographers have journeyed more than 2,000 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph indigenous sites.

"Our work with tintypes began simply as an experiment to learn the process, but I'm always looking for a way to engage in critical, social, and political issues pertinent to where I live," said Jared Ragland.

"As Cary and I began by making portraits of local artists and creatives, we also shared a desire to move out into the landscape and see the state. As we journeyed into the Alabama landscape, our attention was drawn to native place names - such as Cahaba, Talladega, Coosa - names that were of course immediately familiar, but for which we had no real deep historical knowledge or contexts. So by making these images, we built a way to learn about a history that's not told in most schoolbooks or on roadside historic markers," said Ragland.

Norton and Ragland's residency at WMA has been made possible by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

"The bicentennial is an occasion to look back at our history, and 'Where You Come From Is Gone' does that in an especially beautiful and evocative way. The images provoke the viewer to think about the passage of time and its effect on a place, and the fact that in many ways the history in these places has been erased makes the works even more moving. We think these pieces will inspire viewers to be more curious about the history of place both visible and invisible," said Jay Lamar, executive director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

The Wiregrass Museum of Art has received generous support from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) for its schedule of bicentennial programming beginning in 2017. In addition to supporting the artist-in-residence program with Cary Norton and Jared Ragland, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission is WMA's partner for Stories of the Wiregrass, a digital archive that invites residents of eight Wiregrass counties to share stories with their community through the end of 2019. Combined support from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and ASCA made possible "Semiotic Compass," a public sculpture designed and built by Dothan, Alabama-based architect Jason Schmidt and artist Michael Riddle. The sculpture was commissioned specifically for the bicentennial and is intended to spur conversation both at the installation site and among the local and regional community. Other projects were made possible through a multi-year award from ASCA and include the 2017 exhibition "Museum of Wonder," featuring work by Seale, Alabama's Butch Anthony, as well as the 2018 exhibition "Alabama Reckoner," featuring mixed-media portraits of Alabama artists by Birmingham, Alabama-based artist Doug Baulos.

Additional information on individual exhibitions and projects can be found on WMA's website at

On April 18 at WMA's Art After Hours (5:30 - 8 p.m.), the museum's quarterly celebration of new exhibition openings, Norton and Ragland will offer offer tintype portrait sittings. Each unique 4×5 inch plate will be made on site, then varnished and delivered several weeks after the sitting with a high resolution digital scan.

Sittings are limited to one person per portrait. The cost is $65 and reservations are required. To register for a 15-minute portrait session, guests should visit the April 18 listing on WMA's online events calendar:

The Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its founding in 1988, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally-acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.

Created to guide and support the commemoration of the anniversary of Alabama's statehood, the twelve-member Alabama Bicentennial Commission is chaired by Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur. Beginning in 2013, the commission established committees to plan and coordinate events and activities centered on education, statewide initiatives, and local activities. These committees draw their membership from local government, small businesses and national corporations, volunteer organizations, schools and colleges, and everyday citizens who want to contribute.



SOME MILLION MILES, co-directed with Adam Forrester, premiered at the 13th annual Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, Thursday, March 28. The short documentary film was produced with generous support from an Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.

Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic s
ocial and economic marginalization.

Indie Grits Labs is a non-profit organization that works to serve communities through media education, artist driven projects, and the Indie Grits Festival in Columbia, South Carolina. The Indie Grits Festival is a four-day event that celebrates gritty, contemporary culture of the South through film, art and music. Propelled by a far-flung artistic vision, festival organizers seek to break down the walls intimidating Southern media makers by creating exhibition opportunities for work often overlooked elsewhere.



Several works from Good Bad People are included in the latest Looking at Appalachia traveling exhibition.  First stop is the Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio, programmed in conjunction with the NEA Big Read program. The exhibit runs from March 23 - June 2, 2019 in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery. On Friday, April 12, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., project director Roger May will speak about the project’s mission to explore the region’s diversity through photographs.

In an attempt to explore the diversity of Appalachia and establish a visual counter point, the Looking at Appalachia project considers Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty. Drawing from a diverse population of photographers within the region, the crowdsourced image archive serves as a reference that is defined by its people as opposed to political legislation. Designed and directed by Roger May, the project is now in its fifth year.



Garrett Cemetery, Cherokee County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

New Orleans, La. – Staple Goods is pleased to announce the opening of Where You Come From is Gone, an exhibition by Alabama-based collaborative duo Jared Ragland and Cary Norton. The exhibition will run March 9–April 7, 2019, with an opening reception scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 6:00-9:00 pm, during the St. Claude Art District’s Second Saturday gallery openings. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00-5:00pm, except for Second Saturdays when hours are 6:00-9:00 pm.

Where You Come From is Gone explores the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimensions of remembrance through the historical wet-plate collodion photographic process. Created on the eve of Alabama’s bicentennial, Ragland and Norton’s large-scale images seek to make known a history that has largely been eliminated and make visible the erasure that occurred in the American South between Hernando DeSoto’s first exploitation of native peoples in the 16th century and Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act 300 years later.

Using a 100-year-old field camera and a custom portable darkroom tailored to Ragland’s 4x4 truck, the two photographers journeyed more than 1,500 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph indigenous sites using the historic wet-plate collodion tintype process. Yet the landscapes hold no obvious vestiges of the Native American cultures that once inhabited the site; what one might expect to see, preserve, or remember is already gone.

Through reasoned confrontation with our history and resistance toward (willful or accidental) cultural amnesia, Where You Come From is Gone provides a defense against the sort of ignorance that threatens democracy and enables totalitarianism and cautions us to be vigilant in guarding against altering, erasing, or “forgetting” our past,” writes art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., University of South Florida.

As such, Ragland and Norton’s pictures serve as a type of subtle activism by focusing on personal and collective memorymaking. “At this current moment in American life, the act of remembering is political and can have power,” Wilkins says, “and is particularly important at a time when a polarizing president’s policies endanger the environment, dispute Native American land rights, and further disenfranchise marginalized citizens.”

Staple Goods is located at 1340 St. Roch Ave., New Orleans 70117. More information is available at the Staple Goods website.



This week I will be at the College Art Association Conference in New York to discuss Where You Come From is Gone with art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida. Our discussion titled, Where You Come From is Gone: Reinhabiting the Ruins of the Native South, will take place during the panel, Below the Mason-Dixon Line: Artists and Historians Considering the South, Friday, February 15, 2-3pm at the New York Hilton Midtown - 3rd Floor, Rendezvous Trianon.  Below the Mason-Dixon Line will be moderated by University of Alabama art historian Rachel Stephens, Ph.D., and feature fellow panelists include Jeremiah Ariaz, Naomi Hood Slipp, Kristin M. Casaletto, and Nell Gottlieb.



Allison Beondé, from the series, At the hands of persons unknown, 2018

I am excited to announce the exhibition, All sorrows can be borne..., co-curated with AnnieLaurie Erickson, will open Dec. 8 at Antenna in New Orleans and run through the annual PhotoNOLA festival.

Featuring Allison Beondé, Rose Marie Cromwell, Amy Elkins, Annie Flanagan, and Jessica Ingram, All sorrows can be borne... questions the traditional roles and expectations of the documentary image. Across the exhibition, these nationally-regarded artists challenge assumed histories, hierarchies, and notions of objective truth through a variety of contemporary photographic, video, and installation works.

The exhibition will run through Jan. 6, 2019 and will be open for extended hours Saturday, Dec. 15, 5-8pm during PhotoNOLA.

Established in 2008 in New Orleans' burgeoning St. Claude arts district, Antenna Gallery emphasizes emerging artists and young curators who focus on collaborations, group and solo shows, and challenging works of video and digital media; at the same time building partnerships with city-wide programming initiatives and national arts initiatives. The space was founded as a collaborative venture and continues to be run and maintained by a collective of artists that draws on the diverse strengths of its 13 members to create exciting and original artist-focused programs.

Antenna is located at 3718 Saint Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117 and is open Tuesday–Sunday, 12–5pm.



Photographers Eliot Dudik and Jared Ragland are pleased to announce their third collaborative One Day Projects artist book publication, And light followed the flight of sound, available October 1 from

On August 21, 2017, the total solar eclipse provided a rare opportunity for people across the United States to experience a collective encounter. Despite the prevalence of contemporary political and cultural polarization, more than 215 million Americans– 88% of the country’s total population – stood side by side and looked skyward together, sharing in a quieting, unifying act.

Inspired by both the natural wonder and symbolic possibilities of this unique occurrence, Dudik and Ragland invited photographers from inside and outside the path of totality to document and share their experiences. The resulting book,And light followed the flight of sound,features 85 images by 52 emergent and established photographic artists. Presented as a 30-foot-long, hand-bound accordion with an enclosed saddle-stitched zine and essay by art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., University of South Florida, the limited edition of 150 copieswas printed on digital offset, covered in a foil-stamped cloth, and comes housed in a clear Mylar sleeve, also foil stamped. As the book is removed from its sleeve, the foil stamps mimic the passage of the moon in front of the sun. Production of And light followed the flight of sound was made possible by a grant from the College of William & Mary Dean's Fund; portions of the book were edited during a workshop with students from Duke University’s MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts program.

The book’s title references E. M. Forster’s 1909 dystopian novella, The Machine Stops,in which the human species has become completely reliant upon technology to provide sustenance, deliver information, and mediate relationships. Today, life imitates art, and technology – which once promised to democratize knowledge and provide deep connection – has infiltrated the most intimate moments of our lives, increased individual isolation, provoked partisanship, and proliferated fake news.

“Inan age in which even acceptance of scientific knowledge has become incomplete, divisive, and politicized, the 2017 solar eclipse marked a sought after, albeit temporary, restoration of reason and scientific truth,” said art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D. “The photographs found in And light followed the flight of soundseek to restore viewers’ senses through an embrace of firsthand experience and critical visual reckoning of terrestrial – or celestial – facts.

“Through representational images of the natural world and works invoking historic photographic processes, figures stand agog as sublime skyscapes counter the quotidian in a palindromic sequence punctuated by reflections, phenomena of light and shadow, and geometric forms. Despite a wide variation of styles, approaches, and locations, the photographs in And light followed the flight of sound remind us of our commonality, advance a vision of community regained, and reveal the transcendent power of science and citizenship, activism and art, beauty and imagination.”

To celebrate the release, Candela Books and Gallery in Richmond, Virginia will exhibit the book alongside a selection of works from the project. The show will run November 1–December 22, with a gallery talk on Thursday, November 1, 5-8pm, and an opening reception on Friday, November 2, 5-9pm. See the Candela website for more information.

And light followed the flight of sound artists:

ONE DAY PROJECTS promotes creative dialogue by challenging artists to collaboratively produce and publish innovative projects within a 24-hour time period. More information is available on their website and Instagram.



Three works from Where You Come From is Gone are on view at the SPE SC Juried Educator Exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery in Baton Rouge through November 10.  The show opens with a public reception, Friday, October 5, 7-9pm.  The exhibition was curated by Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  The exhibition runs in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Education South Central Regional Conference. Both the conference and exhibition theme is Material + Meaning and brings together shared thematic concerns at the forefront of contemporary photographic practices: the widespread exploration of the aesthetic and physical possibilities of photography and the renewed understanding of the photograph as material object, placed in conversation with the harder-to-pin-down social and political concerns of our time.

While at the conference I will give an artist lecture titled, Where You Come From Is Gone: Examining the Political Dimensions of Remembrance Through the Wet-Plate Collodion Photographic Process.



Cat in a carport, Five Points, Wilson, North Carolina.

A selection of recent photographs will open Saturday, August 11, 7-9pm at The Jaybird in Birmingham, Ala.  The show includes work made over summer 2018 while in residence at the Eyes on Main Street photography festival in Wilson, North Carolina. The Jaybird is a homegrown community arts and performance space on 5th Avenue South in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham that features local and regional artists and is home to the Birmingham Zine Library.



Chico, 48. Chico, wearing a Dia de los Muertos mask, sits in his living room under a swastika, the US Constitution, and a Confederate flag.
From GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Ala.

Indie Grits Labs is pleased to announce the opening of The Southern Disposition, an exhibition of photographs from a diverse group of Southern artists. Having sought work that “addresses and challenges the social, cultural, and physical landscapes of the South,” we are excited to showcase submissions from over 30 artists, stationed throughout the Southeast and beyond. Exploring the work of these artists, viewers will see common responses emerge: feelings of emotional, physical, and cultural dislocation. There are familiar moments of melancholy and nostalgia, countered with bold expressions of the marginalized experience within the Southern context. Alongside this, there is a sense of something shifting, signs of an uneasy transition. In a place typically inhospitable to minority voices, the power of the traditional majority is called into question with images of their underlying fragility; and within the expressions of displacement, even within the very act of creating these images, there is a suggestion of defiance – hope for a new generation, struggling to claim its place. This is the Southern Disposition.

The Southern Disposition will be on view July 26-September 27, 2018, at Indie Grits Labs, 1013 Duke Avenue, Columbia, SC.  The exhibition features the above image from the series, GOOD BAD PEOPLE, alongside works by friends Aaron Canipe, Alec Kaus, & Andy McMillan.



Bessemer Mounds, Jefferson County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

B18: Wiregrass Biennial
July 20-September 29 
Reception: July 19
Wiregrass Museum of Art, 126 Museum Ave., Dothan, Ala.

B18: Wiregrass Biennial showcases the region’s most talented contemporary artists, illustrating the South’s rich cultural heritage. The exhibition encourages innovative and progressive work that utilizes a variety of art forms and media and will feature paintings, sculptures as well as mixed media, new media, and installation art. This year’s show features forty artists from eight states, including Bessemer Mounds... from the series Where You Come From is Gone



Selection from the series, eequivalentss (Summer Soltice - Fall Equinox, 2015), 2018

I Surrender, Dear
July 10 - August 4, 2018
Reception: July 10, 6-8pm
Umbrella Arts Gallery, 317 E. 9th St, New York

Umbrella Arts Gallery is pleased to host I Surrender, Dear, an exhibition exploring the emotional equalizer of grief, born from the personal experience of curator Frances Jakubek. Fifteen visual artists converse within the space and address aspects of navigating loss and sorrow, acknowledging our shared humanity and forgoing the notion that grief is something better hidden away.

The exhibition opens July 10th with artists Ben Alper, Justin Aversano, Ben Davis, Nina Weinberg Doran, Catherine Druken, Gregg Evans, Camilla Anne Jerome, Michael Joseph, Molly Lamb, Luis Lazo, Rita Maas, Alyssa Meadows, Yasmeen Melius and Jared Ragland. At Umbrella Arts Gallery, 317 E. 9th St., New York; the exhibition runs through August 4th, 2018 with a reception on Tuesday, July 10th, from 6-8pm. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6pm and by appointment.

Grieving is too often taken on as a solitary burden, I Surrender, Dear aims to open dialogue of stigmatized issues and encourage the safety of letting go and surrendering to each emotion we are capable of, without shame. The exhibiting artists visualize their personal experiences with suicide, sexual assault, death, the fragility and deterioration of memory, and hidden burdens with mental health. The viewer is welcomed into this communal space to release from their own silent suffering.



Through the month of June I will be an artist-in-residence at the the inaugural Eyes on Main Street residency program in Wilson, North Carolina. The residency will coincide with the Eyes on Main Street festival, a large outdoor and indoor photography showcase that transforms the historic downtown into a vibrant gallery of large-scale photographs spanning over six city blocks. While in residence I will be photographing in and around town and regularly posting images to my Instagram feed.  I’ll also be at work editing new images for GOOD BAD PEOPLE and working on a series of collages for an exhibition to open in Birmingham in August.  


05.06.18 // PHOTO-EMPHASIS 

GOOD BAD PEOPLE is featured on Photo-Emphasis, alongside an interview about my teaching and the photography area at the UAB Department of Art & Art History.  See the interview here:

PHOTO–EMPHASIS is a platform for showcasing current and diverse photography made by established and emerging artists and serves as a resource in promoting photographic art, education, and community, for those committed to and newly joining the medium. Through weekly features and interviews, the site highlights work by photography educators, students, and practitioners; providing an opportunity to feature personal projects and share information about their affiliated institution. PHOTO–EMPHASIS was founded by artists Alec Kaus and Rana Young, both University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni, in June 2017.



EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT will be on view May 12-June 3 at The Front, New Orleans. Originally made in New Orleans in response to Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer (which was also set in New Orleans), the project will be exhibited in its entireity and will open with a reception May 12, 6-10pm.  Artist talk at 6pm.

Read the press release here:


03.10.18 // PHOTONOLA 2017 REVIEW PRIZE 


We are delighted to announce the PhotoNOLA 2017 Review Prize recipients: Congratulations to Rachel Boillot, Susan kae Grant, and Jared Ragland!

PhotoNOLA’s Portfolio Review program offers emerging to established photographers the chance to present their work to influential members of the photographic community. Photographers convene for two days of face-to-face meetings with gallery owners, editors, publishers and museum curators.

After the reviews conclude, each reviewer is asked to note three outstanding projects. The PhotoNOLA 2017 Review Prize Winners are:

1st- Rachel Boillot – Silent Ballad
2nd- Susan kae Grant – Night Journey
3rd- Jared Ragland – Good Bad People

Read the news release here:



A diptych of works from EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT has been selected by juror Shane Lavalette, Director of Light Work in Syracuse, NY, for the 2018 Open Juried Exhibition at the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro, VT. The show runs March 2–April 1, 2018 and features 33 photographs made by photographers from around the globe. A closing reception is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 4-7pm.



Jacob Riis, Lodgers in a Crowded Bayard Street Tenement, 1889

Foreign Domestic: Identification, Differentiation and Related Strategies in Social Documentary Practice: Matt Eich, Annie Flanagan, and Jared Ragland; moderated by Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D.

Friday, March 02 - 9:00AM to 10:45AM
Grand Ballroom Salon G, Philadelphia Downtown Marriot

From Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives" to more recent contemporary documentary projects, photographers have captured the ephemera of everyday life as it coexists with markers of marginalization - poverty, drug use, and domestic violence - to provide points of both familiar connection and disjuncture for viewers. In dialogue with art historian Catherine Wilkins, photographers Matt Eich, Annie Flanagan, and Jared Ragland will discuss their work in struggling American communities and share how they, like Riis, employ the "foreign domestic" to provide richer, more nuanced portraits of people on the periphery while offering viewers opportunities for empathic identification and increased understanding.



A short-term exhibition of Everything Is Going To Be All Right is on view at the Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Hampden Sydney College in Farmville, VA.  The installation is arranged as an allusion to the Isenheim Altarpiece and turns the new Hampden Sydney College art gallery into a small chapel.

A free, public lecture on the project, is scheduled for Monday, February 26, at 7:00 pm in Hampden-Sydney College's Brinkley Hall.



What would happen if an exhibition never stopped? Since it began in 1993, with this question being asked by Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, do it has become the longest-running and most far-reaching exhibition ever to have happened – constantly evolving and generating evermore relevant new versions of itself. do it has toured to venues from New York to Manchester, Budapest to Salt Lake City, and Kosovo to Moscow. And now, from January 26 to July 1, 2018, do it is opening at the Mobile Museum of Art.

Mobile Museum of Art presents its own reinterpretation of do it with the help of regional artists and community groups. The exhibition features Jared Ragland’s Untitled (Friday May 3 - 1963 / 9 arrested (placards) / Pizitz’s alley 3 P.M. / Hart), a large scale print diptych made in response to Hans-Peter Feldmann’s Homework (or Do It Yourself) (1996).

For more inforation:



From artist/writer/educator Jonathan Blaustein: (Jared’s work) was the most complete, compelling project I saw, and I voted for it for the Photo NOLA prize.

Jared used to work with Pete Souza in Obama’s White House. (An era that now seems like Martin Sheen’s TV presidency, for all the similarities it shares with contemporary reality.) But Jared is originally from Alabama, and returned home to turn his attention to the meth epidemic that is ravaging the NE part of the state.

The pictures are genuinely visceral, as they make a viewer feel uncomfortable. They show something decidedly ugly, and real, but the strong aesthetics give the ride a bit of turbo boost. Additionally, Jared worked with a sociologist to give the project a sense of academic rigor.

Brilliant stuff.

See the full post at:



Co-authored with Heith Copes, Whitney Tchoula, and Fiona Brookman, “Photo-Elicitation Interviews with Vulnerable Populations: Practical and Ethical Considerations,” has been published in the journal, Deviant Behavior

Photo-elicitation is a qualitative interview technique where researchers solicit responses, reactions, and insights from participants by using photographs or other images as stimuli. Images can be researcher-generated or participant-generated and each has particular benefits and challenges. Though not new, the use of images within criminology is an underused technique. In this paper we advocate the use of photo-elicitation techniques suggesting that they offer a powerful addition to standard data collection and presentation techniques. In making our case, we draw on our experiences from an 18-month long photo-ethnography of people living in rural Alabama who use methamphetamine. The ethnography consisted of formal interviews and informal observations with 52 participants and photography of 29 of them. While we draw on our overall experiences from the project we focus specifically on the photographs generated by, and taken of, one key participant—Alice. We demonstrate the benefits and challenges of using photo elicitation interviews with vulnerable individuals such as Alice, by considering themes such as representation, empowerment and emotionality. Additionally, we highlight the practical and ethical issues that confront researchers who incorporate the visual into their research.

Read the full text at:



To mark the bicentennial of Alabama’s creation as a territory, this exhibition includes both established makers along with younger, emerging artists to examine the current vitality of artistic creativity found throughout the state. Focusing on new and innovative works produced within the last few years, this survey demonstrates not only a commitment to community and place, but also a dedication to highlighting new viewpoints and practices. Showcasing a mixture of art in various media and two- and three-dimensional forms, the exhibition positions current contemporary artistic practices by artists in Alabama within a broader global context of art making.

The exhibition features two photographs from Where You Come From is Gone and runs through January 21, 2018.

For more information visit:


A solo exhibition of GOOD BAD PEOPLE will be on view during the 2nd annual In/Out Transylvania Foto Festival, October 6-15 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In addition to the exhibition, a video slideshow featuring images from GOOD BAD PEOPLE will be screened at an evening event.

The In/Out Transylvania Foto Festival is the first documentary photography festival in Romania and is a project initiated by Fotopia Collective, a photography organization founded to support documentary photography and photojournalism in Romania . 



Through the spring of 2017 Cary Norton and I have journeyed more than 1,500 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph sites of Native American habitation and removal for our latest GUSDUGGER collaborative wet-plate collodion project. Filmmaker Jason Wallis joined us for a shoot in June and made this video featuring music by Wooden Wand, from the new album, Clipper Ship.

Where You Come From is Gone is currently on view at Lowe Mill's North Floor Gallery in Huntsville, Ala. through Aug. 25.



Alice, 21, from GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Ala.

“Like Larry Clark’s Tulsa, the controversial 1971 book of photographs depicting Clark's own social scene of young people in Tulsa, shooting amphetamine, having sex and playing with guns, Good Bad People could be viewed as sensationalistic. But unlike Tulsa, which uses very little text and relies on the images to tell the story, Ragland and Copes augment the images with extensive captions to provide context for each of their subjects. "With a project like this, it’s easy to sensationalize, to demonize, to really cut short the depth of someone who uses an illicit substance or is poor or is marginalized in some way," Ragland says. "I really wanted to focus on personal narratives, even if it’s not implicit in the photographs, to get to that sense of nuance and depth."

Read David Alm's story here: This Controversial Project Spotlights Meth And The People Who Use It.



Twenty years ago, near to the day, mom and I drove down to the state capitol in Montgomery where I was awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts scholarship. A few of my photographs were exhibited (one of my very first art shows), there was a luncheon, and a lot of fanfare. It was a great – and formative – day. With that ASCA scholarship I pursued a degree in art that helped make my dreams of becoming a documentary photographer come true, and four short years later I began a career that has since taken me from war zones to National Geographic, and from the Oval Office back home to Alabama.

Today has been another great day, with news that I have been awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grant. I’m profoundly encouraged by ASCA's significant support – particularly as I near completion of a body of work on methamphetamine use on Sand Mountain – and I am especially grateful for the platform from which I may more broadly challenge the existing stereotypes attendant with poverty and addiction in my home state.

An exhibition of the Sand Mountain work will be scheduled for Montgomery next year; award citations and the full cohort of 2017-18 fellows can be seen here:



Jared Ragland + Cary Norton, Untitled, 2017; archival pigment print from wet-plate collodion tintype; 40x50"

The Red Clay Survey “takes the pulse” of contemporary Southern art through a selection of works in all styles and media determined by a nationally recognized juror. The works in The Red Clay Survey typically range in style from the traditional to the avant-garde and encompass painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, fine craft, photography and mixed media works. These works reflect the multifaceted state of today’s art. 80 works were selected by juror Gerry Bergstein from more than 1500 entries from artists across an 11-state region.

Selected for the exhibition is a piece from my current collaborative project with Cary Norton, Where You Come From is Gone. The show runs July 9 – September 24, 2017; a preview party is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.