Intersection Journal exists to capture the resilience of the cultures of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota with photojournalism. It also exists to serve as an example of how photographers can still make a living by telling stories with their camera. Intersection Journal will be an example that showcases the power of storytelling when content creators and our communities are put first.
Our first launch in 2014 attracted 31k unique visitors and over 50k page views. Our lead story was shared 12,000 times on social media. Now, our momentum is at an all-time high and the time is right to incorporate the voice of multiple photographers in four states. This will be the foundation on which we build a sustainable business out of photojournalism.
I created this Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds that will go to our amazing photographers in MT, WY, ND, SD (meet them further down the page).
Why a publication based on photography?
Photography has the ability to convey information and emotion instantaneously. Written stories can be compelling and video can be equally moving, but the reader/viewer must invest in the cumulative process of absorbing it over minutes. A photo can be interpreted instantly.
Why these four states?
Having lived in both North Dakota and Montana, and spending a fair amount of time in Wyoming and South Dakota, I noticed a common thread in each state: RESILIENCE. Folks in this region do not make excuses, they take responsibility for their actions and get things done. The lack of entitlement is refreshing, and it deserves to be captured visually for all to see.
We need your help
Together we can create a publication that champions our region and champions the content creators. With your help Intersection Journal can become all that it was meant to be. We need to raise $29,000 to compensate our relaunch team for their creation of 12 photo stories over the next three months.
To be clear, none of this money will be going to me, but specifically to the photographers who are helping with our epic relaunch. My family and I are living off of savings for the next 4-5 months as I dedicate every waking moment to the success of Intersection Journal.
Recent milestones and momentum
We are thrilled that we have been accepted to participate in the Innovate ND program which provides capital to companies who are taking an innovative approach to their business model that will extend beyond the borders of North Dakota.
Also, Chad Ziemendorf was named one of the 2016 OTA Builders, a group of 20 creatives and change-makers who are working tirelessly to enhance the OTA region (the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota).
Meet the relaunch team
In South Dakota, Kristina Barker will be telling amazing visual stories near her home base in Rapid City. Fearless and compassionate, Kristina will venture into the farm lands, ranching communities and character-rich highways to share her state’s spirit and grit.
Big Sky country will be showcased by Lido Vizzutti, a photographer with extreme dedication to depth and completeness. His considerate nature and love of life guide him through beautiful stories that reveal his community’s character from the inside-out.
At the base of the Grand Tetons in Jackson, WY, we welcome Ryan Dorgan, an incredible photographer whose images have an uncanny ability to reveal a person’s character and entice us to know more.
Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Kim Komenich will be creating stories in Western North Dakota in July. Intersection Journal is humbled and thrilled that Kim is excited to contribute and we watch with great anticipation to see how he interprets this dynamic region. Immediately after his photographic adventures, he will host a discussion about his Pulitzer Prize winning work, the work he shot the week before in ND, and the value of journalism contributing to an informed society. This event is being hosted by Intersection Journal and was made possible by the generous support of the North Dakota Humanities Council.
Chris Rusanowsky will be publishing a photo essay that he captured while working in the Bakken Oil Fields. Now based in L.A., Chris spent a number of years working in the oil fields of Western North Dakota and focused on documenting the tight-knit brotherhood of his team.
A well travelled photojournalist whose work has been published by the most notable names in the business (such as NY Times, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Time, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune and others), Andy lived in Bismarck, ND, for more than 2 years and documented the cultural shifts that took place in the Western part of the state and continues to work on thoughtful, ground-breaking personal and political photo projects that will be released to the public in 2017. http://www.andrewcullenphoto.com/
Meet the founder
Chad Ziemendorf first envisioned Intersection Journal in 2012 while working as a commercial photographer in the SF Bay Area. The seed of visual storytelling was planted while he was an intern and regular freelancer for the SF Chronicle and Reuters.
After freelancing for multiple publications around SF and the US, he used his commercial assignments to save up enough money to move his family to North Dakota and launch the first iteration of Intersection Journal in 2014. A year and a half later, he did the same thing, traveling throughout the US serving clients from coast-to-coast to afford himself the opportunity to relaunch Intersection Journal in a big way.
Formerly a professional baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds organization, Chad is blessed to have found another passion as deep as baseball and uses all of the life lessons he learned while competing at the highest levels of his sport to build Intersection Journal into something historic for his region and for photographers.
Some of our really cool gifts
$1 - Your name on the Founding Partners page. For just a buck, you can be associated with the relaunch of Intersection Journal forever.
$5 - Custom Facebook and Twitter banners
Show off how much you love your state and beautiful photography with these custom Facebook and Twitter banners. For just $5 you can download and choose from the entire set - there 4 banners for each state (16 total), plus 10 more bonus banners without any state info if you prefer just a gorgeous image.
$25 - Custom version of the original Reporter's Note Book
Used by journalists at the nation's top newspapers and institutions, this Reporters Notebook is exactly the same as what Chad Ziemendorf used at the San Francisco Chronicle (and continues to use everyday). We were able to create a custom cover for the original No. 651 notebook and can't wait to share them with all of you!
$55 - Choose one of the official Intersection Journal relaunch T-Shirts (plus everything above)
$110 - $5,200 - Variety of limited edition postcards, fine-art prints, personalized photo workshops with Chad Ziemendorf and speaking engagements at the foundation/university/event of your choice.
What is the Watford City tribute image? Click here - http://detour.intersectionjournal.com/north-dakota/tribute-watford-city/
What is the Bismarck celebration image? Click here - http://detour.intersectionjournal.com/north-dakota/a-celebration-of-bismarck/
I am excited to offer each and every one of these personalized rewards. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, I look forward to chatting with you!
Risks and challenges
In truth, Intersection Journal is a huge experiment. We are convinced (based on statistics, industry trends and Intersection Journal’s own experience) that people engage with visual content better than with words.
As described above, photography has the power convey information and emotion instantaneously. As a result, our audience will not only absorb the information and experience our culture authentically, they will also be more inclined to share the stories because they first understood and internalized it for themselves.
Don’t get us wrong, words are important, but we are using words (captions, quotes, etc.) as a supplement to each story, not the foundation.
Here’s the trick (and why many publications have greatly reduced or eliminated photo budgets) – A photographer has to be there to experience the story, they must be fully present to see life unfold. This takes time and resources. In contrast a writer can conduct research and interviews remotely through the internet or over the phone, expediting the turnaround time and maximizing the budget.
But that is the shortcoming of our industry – speed and immediacy has taken priority over depth and authenticity.
Intersection Journal seeks to be the antidote to speed and immediacy by crafting deliberate stories that champion depth and authenticity. In doing so, our stories are created over a series of days or weeks, not minutes or hours.
We are convinced that people will see the difference and be reintroduced to authentic storytelling in a way that has been absent in this region for decades. We are convinced that our engagement will soar and that Intersection Journal will be an example for other publications looking to answer the question “what’s next in this new age, how do we engage our audience with authentic content unlike ever before?”
- (25 days)