Ash Ponders in the New York Times for Slur Place Names

660 U.S. Place Names Include a Slur for Native Women. Change Is Coming.

There are more than 660 places in the US federal database of place names that use a slur for Native women as part or whole of their name. The US Interior intends to change this rapidly.

I wrote a python script to help me find a route among the 12 closest such places and made a plan to visit them all. But then the editors saw some of my early photos and told me I already got what they wanted. haha.

Ash Ponders in Audubon for Big Bend

The Grand Dream of an International Park With Mexico Meets a Complicated Reality: A land Beyond Borders

This was a massive undertaking. Weeks of research and planning on my part and that of Francisco Cantú. Days of travel and hiking and patience and interviews. We accomplished nearly all of our goals, I was quite happy when I got home to review the images. The magazine ended up running a bunch of images, which was thrilling, and when the website version came out, there were even more. Awesome. Great way to end the year.

Ash Ponders in The Colorado Sun for Navajo Rangers

What happens when the lure of outdoor rec starts to pull people onto tribal lands?

Cool story about of pair of old Navajo Rangers who have pivoted to other jobs as their role in policing has ended.

This was a joy to photograph, the evening started out very overcast and foreboding but just as the sun reached the horizon, the sky opened up and the sunset came to life. Lucky. There’s another portrait of Jonathan Dover on my instagram.

Ash Ponders in New Times for Lowriders

Slow and Low: Cruising Around in Phoenix’s Lowrider Scene

The Voice Media photo director calls me up, “You like Lowriders, right? Everyone likes lowriders. I’m sending you the details. Just get it done by next month.” I hadn’t even said yes, but to be fair, he’s right: everyone likes lowriders.

I grew up around lowriders, my grandfather was an airbrusher. But this assignment introduced me to a part of lowrider culture I hadn’t experienced before. One of the reasons I love this job.

Ash Ponders in the NYT for Covid Survivors

Scarred by Covid, Survivors and Victims’ Families Aim to Be a Political Force

Quick turn around assignment to grab a portrait of Tara Krebbs, summer days had been getting pretty swelter-some, so Tara and I agreed to do this one at the crack of dawn, just a tad past 5am.

They paired that portrait with another photo I did back in October, and led the whole story off with a great image from Gabriella Angotti-Jones. Love when my photos get to hang out with photos made by my friends.

Ash Ponders in the WSJ for Skills Mismatch

Job Openings Are at Record Highs. Why Aren’t Unemployed Americans Filling Them?

Always a delight to make photos on horse ranches. This one was very straight forward. I definitely arrived too early and made too many photos, but that’s just who I am as a photographer. I made several images I actively like, and that’s not nothing! 

Natalie Behring did all the anchor images for this story and I think they’re lovely. I am glad I got to help out with the Arizona angles.

Phoenix based; available for work in Latin America and the American Southwest.
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