I got my start in photography by lugging my camera to music shows in sweaty basements and clubs, attempting to document bands and scenes I was passionate about. Night after night, I shoved my way up front while being weighed down with equipment, praying I got that one shot that would capture the feeling of being there.
In recent years, my focus has shifted. I now go from town hall to town hall, capturing politicians as they make promises and engage with Real Americans. Similar to music fans, political enthusiasts follow their candidates like Deadheads — shouting, waving signs, and begging to be heard while wearing expensive merch. It was for this reason that I initially had come to Iowa: to follow the grind of the 2020 Presidential campaign trail at the Iowa State Fair.
The Fair is a proving ground for any politician hoping to eventually lead the country. But when it was announced that Des Moines’ hometown metal veterans Slipknot were headlining the Fair’s Grandstand during the first weekend, my priorities shifted — I knew I had to be there. I wanted to see what musical loyalty and fandom looked like for one of the longest running metal bands in America, while they played to their hometown on sacred ground.
Written By: Jason Bergman