Website is Back and Mansfield Reformatory Was Awesome

Firstly – my website is back! Secondly – this is no longer what I am calling a “blog” but now aptly named “Photo Stories”. I have to give credit to OnOne’s Matt Kloskowski’s website for the inspiration to make the change. It just sounds so much better than “bloooooog”.

I have been updating my website since the end of 2014, which is why it has sounded like crickets around here. I chose a new theme and installed a shopping cart, which is not a light undertaking let me tell you. But the site is (mostly) finished, I am still populating my portfolio but the large parts are complete. As anyone who has a website can attest to, you are never really “finished” with it, amiright?

Other news –  I have been spending a lot of time on Instagram (follow me if you haven’t already) and you can now find two of my Detroit images hanging in the lobby at the Marriott Hotel Renaissance Center in Detroit. Woot!

On to my Photo Story…

On Friday, March 20 I put together a group of 46 photographers through my workshop company from the Detroit area and ventured down to Mansfield, OH to visit and shoot the Ohio State Mansfield Reformatory where Shawshank Redemption was filmed. I have been wanting to visit and shoot this now defunct prison for a long time, and finally made it happen.

The volunteers were great in educating us on the prison and its history, some of which you can find at their website. The prison itself is quite large at 250,000 square feet, with five floors of prison cells. Our shoot lasted for five hours which sounds like a long time but I just barely got to see most of the place but not enough to really SEE it thoroughly. Several people have already asked when we can go back! It is definitely worth the three hour drive from Detroit, if you haven’t been before you must make it a point to visit.

The images of the white house and the abandoned motel at the end of the gallery were found on our trip home through Ohio. You always have to make time for unsanctioned pull-overs!

Below is a gallery of the images I captured while there – perhaps they will inspire you to go see it for yourself.

2 thoughts on “Website is Back and Mansfield Reformatory Was Awesome

  1. eemata says:

    Love your work. Grew up in Mansfield and remember when the reformatory was full and running as a prison. I’m so glad you took a picture of the Castle Hill Farm house. It looks great now. It had been looking pretty shabby. You must have taken a very meandering path back to Detroit since the farm house is east of Mansfield. Anyway, love your site and the amazing images of Detroit and elsewhere.

    • Alanna St. Laurent
      Alanna St. Laurent says:

      Thank you for your kind words about my work and Mansfield Reformatory! Wow and you remember when it was a prison! It was my first time there on this trip. I didn’t drive down myself, a friend drove, so I don’t remember how we ended up going the route we did…but I was so glad to have found that house it was very cool! And thanks for giving me the name of it I didn’t realize it had a name!

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