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We’ve always been proud of the fact that (614) Magazine is not just a reflection of the Columbus community, but also a collaboration with it.

In our nearly five-year history, we have expanded well beyond our own team when it comes to photographers, designers, and even models – excited to let our readers be as much a part of the process as possible.

And, part of the inspiration.

Just about the time that we decided to approach this month’s cover subject – some practical prepping tips for one of the harshest winters in recent memory – the photo above popped up on our radar. The shot, titled “Winter Standoff,” sifted to the top of more than 80,000 mobile photos filed under our #AsSeenInColumbus tag on Instagram, and it was, in and of itself a collaboration.

Brian Kaiser (@brianmkaiser) first discovered the deserted (actually, closed) road near the Scioto Audobon Park along with many others at a #ColumbusExplorersClub meetup, and weeks later, after a heavy snowfall, he and Natalina Fickell (@Natalina614) were the only ones who braved the elements for a #igerscolumbus meetup. One of many shots that resulted was the stunning shot of Fickell staring down Columbus’ most recognizable landmark, the LeVeque Tower. When it appeared to us, we knew right away it was the perfect representation of our city’s residents fearless approach to the winter elements.

So, we set out to re-create a little photo magic. With some cooperation from an increased snowfall, Kaiser and Fickell trooped out in the cold, settled into their old battle stations and produced a fantastic new version of the image.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the shot, and it’s a testament to the rising tide of mobile photography brought on by the popularity of Instagram. If not for their active role in local IG groups and meetups, the work of Fickell, an Executive Assistant at Grange Insurance, and Kaiser, Director of Green Jobs and Innovation with the Ohio Environmental Council, may have never been on our radar.

What was a chance photo, shot as an informal collaboration, became the striking image seen on the cover of 33,000 magazines.

Just goes to show you can find a little creativity in every corner of Columbus – even on a closed, snow-covered bridge.

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