Student Photo Project Showcases Local Fayetteville Businesses
Due to the pandemic we are reminded now more than ever how vital local businesses are in Fayetteville. Leah Center, a freshman majoring in journalism with an advertising/public relations concentration in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, has created a photography project to showcase these local businesses.
The project idea came to her while traveling around town and wanting to document how people and businesses were dealing with the pandemic. Initially the idea was only to take pictures of the signs and posters of the businesses advertising their new operations and hours. Center realized she cared more about the story behind how local business owners were handling these unprecedented times.
She began by messaging local businesses in Fayetteville to ask if they would be interested in taking a few photos and conducting an interview. She takes these photos and interviews and creates a story to post on her Instagram (@leahbethphotos) and Facebook (Leah Elizabeth Photography) pages. The goal is to post about a different local business each day.
Some businesses she has featured so far are: Puritan Coffee and Beer, Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa, and Fork and Crust Pie Co.
In her interviews with these businesses, ;we see how many owners are appreciating the support of the local community. Kevin Frey, owner of Puritan Coffee and Beer, said in an interview with Center, "This time has reminded me how grateful I am to be part of such a supportive community. I've been relearning how much we all need one another, not just as a business owner, but as a human."
Center's photography project is a unique way to help support businesses in Fayetteville. It provides a way for us, the customers, to see how owners are handling these difficult times. Center also provides the hours and modified operations from each of the businesses she features to encourage people to get out and support these local Fayetteville spots.
When she isn't working on creative endeavors, Center also works at UREC Outdoors as a trip leader, climbing wall supervisor, and a rental shop supervisor.
Kat Miller, graduate assistant
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