Ontonagon County Redocumentation
Several decades ago, now Dr. Jon Rieger from the University of Louisville was working on his dissertation studying outmigration in rural Ontonagon County. During one visit, he decided to take some photos of the area. That soon transformed into an ongoing study retaking those photos periodically as a visual record of the region's decline. He soon became a leading figure in the field of visual sociology and his quinquennial surveys of Ontonagon County ballooned from around 100 photos to over 600. He has a photo of everything, from random homes to notable businesses and government buildings to streetscapes both busy and barren.
Dr. Rieger was getting up in years and needed a replacement to keep the project going. Here's where I come in: I love exploring the middle of nowhere and have experience documenting historic sites in the region. We hit it off and now I'm the heir apparent for the longest running redocumentation project of this scale in the country. The next photo survey begins in 2020 and if things work out I have the option of continuing this project for the foreseeable future. Get paid to drive around all of Ontonagon County retaking photos of communities from the exact same spot every five years? Sounds like something I'd do.
Stay tuned for updates as I gear up for taking photos of nearly every inch of Ontonagon County in 2020!