MJR Showcase: Matt Eich

Published by MJR on July 30th, 2008 in MJR Showcase | 9 Comments »

Our next Showcase comes from Matt Eich. You may have seen his stellar MediaStorm presentation or seen his work in print. You can download the interview here.


Matt Eich (b. 1986) is a Midwest based freelance photographer and founding member of the AEVUM photo collective with a passion for social documentary storytelling. He began working as a photographer while finishing a degree in photojournalism from Ohio University. His images have appeared in Newsweek, The FADER, The New York Times, Photo District News, Grazia, American Photo, HotShoe, GEO, The Sunday (London) Times, Issue and others. He has worked with The Orange County-Register, The Virginian-Pilot, The Oregonian, and National Geographic.

“Carry Me Ohio” by Matt Eich


Caption: A fallen road sign early one morning, one mile from Chauncey, Ohio.

Caption: Richie Goins, Jr. watches from the window of his parents trailer as cinder blocks are brought in to lay the foundation for his grandmother’s new trailer. Leetha Goins and her children Timmy, 25, Troy, 16, and grandson Will, for whom she cares, were displaced when a drunk driver swerved off the road and crashed into their trailer. A recent study showed that the child poverty rate has increased 5.6 percent in the state of Ohio over the past 5 years. In the town of Chauncey specifically, 33.3 percent of those under the age of 18 live below the poverty line.

Caption: The Goins family attempts to move belongings into a new trailer as dusk settles over Chauncey, Ohio.

Caption: Tracie Goins comforts Timmy, 25, as he has a seizure, Chauncey, Ohio. She had been up since 4am for work when a boy’s tantrum sent Timmy (left) into another seizure. Timmy is 25 and has cerebral palsy, requiring around the clock care. Tracie’s niece, Nicole, changes Ritchie, Jr. in the background.

Caption: Clayton Ator riles up his dogs Shank and Money after getting stoned. Ator, an ex-con learned to “shoot ink” in prison and does prison style tattoos out of his living room in Carbondale, OH.

Caption: Shandi Alfman, 16, Nikkie Barnhart, 14, Lisa Russell, 20, and Sheyenne McKee (R) hang out on the main drag of Glouster, OH.

Caption: Hank Balch, 38, and his brother Jeffrey Balch, 44, hang out and drink beer right off the main street in Glouster, OH.

Caption: Troy Goins, 16, sucks his toes to console himself as he sits on his new bed in his mother’s trailer in Chauncey, Ohio. His autism makes it difficult for him to deal with even the smallest changes and self-stimulation is his way of coping.

Caption: Tylor Woodrum, 16, burns trash in the backyard of his step-mom’s house in Carbondale, Ohio on January 30, 2007. His father, Dave Woodrum, was killed in August of 2006 in a high-impact 4-wheeler accident. Dave’s family had his body cremated and his favorite cock-fighting rooster mounted on top of the box.

Caption: Jesse Sellers peers up into a tree while hunting with a friend in Chauncey, OH.

Caption: Lindsey Andrews, 17, and her sister Neosha, 24, play with Neosha’s daughter, Jessica Maffin, 2, in Glouster, OH.

Caption: A cutout of Jesus looms in the falling light in Shade, OH.

Caption: Tracie Goins holds up a parrot’s wing in Chauncey, Ohio. ‘I like to take each of the birds out a few times a week,’ she said. She explained that recently caring for her brother-in-law, who has cerebral palsy, has consumed the time that once would have been spent on the birds.

Caption: Viewed through a collection of medicine bottles lining the Sellers family’s window, Hercules the dog crouches to watch the children playing in the snow. The Sellers family struggles with an assortment of health problems. Most of their children have asthma, and twins Kacey and Lacey, 5, were both born profoundly deaf. Chauncey, Ohio.

Caption: Tylor Woodrum, 16, holds a box containing his father’s ashes. Dave Woodrum was killed in August of 2006 in a high-impact 4-wheeler accident. Dave’s family had his body cremated and his favorite cock-fighting rooster mounted on top of the box. Carbondale, Ohio.

Copyright © 2008, Matt Eich



9 Responses to “MJR Showcase: Matt Eich”

  1. Matt Says:

    July 30th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Magic happens when you take a look at the world around you and cast aside any visual or emotional fatigue and decide to inspect. The visual cues in this story isolate the.. isolation and despair.. but you dont focus on that. This story is about people living their lives, while we drive to and from work, ride the subways uptown and downtown… somewhere out there Timmy is having a seizure, a parrot gets to spread her wings for 10 seconds, and a 4wheel ATV takes a dive.

    This is the side of documentary photography that most intrigues me.. following the less obvious, and along the way, finding individuality in the seemingly insignificant.

    Keep impressing us Matt


  2. Eric Says:

    July 30th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Perhaps Matt doesn’t focus on the isolation and despair, but that’s the elephant in the room that’s just out of focus in every image. I am so far removed from this slice of America, that I find it hard to believe – a modern day Grapes of Wrath, but without a modicum of hope.

  3. Philip Says:

    July 30th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Extremely inspiring and intimate work. Thanks for the showcase.

    cheers from Berlin

  4. sean Says:

    July 30th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    thanks for the contribution, matt. stellar work.

  5. Calvin Sun Says:

    July 31st, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Great shots! Lots of authentic emotions in each of them.

  6. Mikko Says:

    July 31st, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Amazing work, Matt!

    Thanks for sharing.


  7. agata Says:

    July 31st, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Great story. I love it.
    Thanks for showing.
    There is no need to travel to the words end to say and to show something.

    Nice blog guys

  8. Harry Says:

    July 31st, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    great stuff. Last image in particular is very moving.

  9. ingrid Says:

    August 1st, 2008 at 4:54 am

    amazing serie. the last image was excellent, in every way