What Works 4/1


Jenn Ackerman spent the entire summer photographing the Kentucky State Reformatory, a mentally ill prison. The profound black and white images are published on Slate magazine’s website and their reporter David Rosenberg writes about her experience.

I chose this article because the pictures really did to me exactly what the photographer intended.

“My intention was to make the viewer feel what I felt when I was inside the prison.” Ackerman said.

This is a subject that I doubt many people know about, and in this case, pictures definitely speak louder than words. Her photos actually put you in that prison and make you understand the emotions that the subjects in the photos feel.

I think the quotes and explanations between a group of the photos is necessary and informative. If these pictures stood alone, the readers may not understand the intentions behind the photos. The quotes from Ackerman let audiences know that the pictures were not taken in an attempt to make the Reformatory look bad and it was nice to know that she has respect for the people who work there.

After spending a whole summer taking photos, it says a lot about the small group of photos that she chose out of probably hundreds. Each one says something different and tells a different story. I think the choice of using black and white for the photos was a great decision. I especially liked her explanation of that choice.

“When I went on the tour (of the prison), I didn’t see it in color; when I came back, I was trying to remember what it looked like, and I couldn’t remember any of the colors at all. I knew there was something so gritty and raw,” Ackerman recalled.

Julia Lish, a correctional officer, and psychologist Dr. Tanya Young were used a sources. I thought both of their quotes were very strong and gave good information and different perspectives on the situation.


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