02 Jun Images of the West: On Assignment
Working as a photojournalist for more than 20 years, Janie Osborne has had the opportunity to travel the state of Montana extensively from her home base in Bozeman. Although Montana is a tourist hotspot, known for Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and an abundance of outdoor recreation, Osborne has — while on assignment for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, and the like — instead offered glimpses into the lifestyles and landscapes of off-the-beaten-path communities and locations that tourists, and residents for that matter, rarely see.
Among many other subjects, Osborne has photographed retired mine workers, struggling families, and a rodeo queen doing chores on her family’s ranch. She has captured scenes from diners that often serve as the hub of small communities, wide-open landscapes that reflect the state’s size and big skies, and dilapidated houses and shuttered businesses that illuminate the struggles facing small towns in the modern day. And, more recently, she took a portrait of Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock, as he decided how to respond to a global pandemic as it hit the state.
Over the years, Osborne has been tasked with sharing rural Montana with an international audience. In doing so, she has come away with photographs that are at once raw and authentic, but also artistic, offering a glimpse of real life in Montana.