For the past three years, I’ve lived out of my car to travel America solo with my dog. Each day I looked at a map and headed out to an unknown destination. I wasn’t attracted to mundane tourist attractions. Instead, I was drawn to everyday Americans simply living their lives. I took daily portraits of people I randomly encountered at campsites, rest stops, bingo halls, their home, or wandering around town. Each stop had its own unique population of “Americana” personalities. Relying on my distinct personal aesthetic, I would instantly recognize my perfect stranger to photograph. In that moment of paths crossing, I would take their portrait.
Written by // Alison Turner
Beginning in 2008, I hit the road for three years to photograph America solo; living out of a tent and bringing along my dog for the ride. While traveling in Maine, I discovered a Bingo hall and it provoked a curiosity about a subculture that I was unaware of. What I discovered was a community of dedicated players who travel to the same place, set up in the same spot, and bring along the same good luck charms with the hopes that this will be the night that they win big.
As I continued my travels across America, I also kept on my quest to find hidden or otherwise unknown bingo halls. When I found a location of one, I also found a sense of community that wasn’t expected. Although many of the dedicated players may be aging, it’s something that they look forward to each week. You might feel bad or sorry for some players because they come and leave alone but as I was talking to “B” in a hall in Fort Collins Colorado, she made a point to remind me that it, “beats sitting in front of the boob tube at home!”