As an art major at Longwood every senior is required to complete a year long project within their concentration (mine being photography). Then the spring of their senior year the senior art majors get their very own exhibition in the LCVA (Longwood Center for the Visual Arts). It’s a TON of work and it killed all of us at times but once our work was up in the exhibition it was so rewarding. We even hung our own work for the show and trust me I had NO clue what I was doing! But everyone pitched in and we got it done and it was amazing!
For my senior project I documented small, local businesses throughout different areas of Virginia. I met with each owner and photographed them in their place of business creating environmental portraits of them. I also interviewed the owners, so along with each portrait is an audio portion. Now you’re probably wondering 1. Why did I do this?? and 2. How did I come up with this?? Well thanks to living in Farmville for fours year I really grew to love the small quaint town and the local shops that still reside all along main street. So, that’s what I decided to photograph, the small business owners and residents of Farmville, Virginia. From this series grew a larger project, The Locals, where I expanded to different areas of Virginia, while still capturing small Virginian business owners. While working on this project I did a lot of research and a lot of driving! By doing so I was able to find these unique one of a kind places.
Also, since starting out in my very first photography class (155 Black & White Photography) I fell in love with environmental portraits and how they could tell a story about that person. Even so, I wanted to tell more and this is why I decided to add the audio portion to my project. The audio really helps these portraits come to life and it allows the viewers to get to know these owners, just for a little bit, as I did. I found these owners and their shops so interesting. I also had such respect for them and their stories that I wanted to share them. I wanted my viewers to find them just as interesting and appreciate their stories just as I did.
I am glad I was able to capture these mom and pop shops that are still around today and share the stories the owners have to tell.
Everyone, meet “The Locals”!
David Packard, Packard’s Stamp and Rock Shop, Midlothian, VA, 2012
Jonathan Nadolski, Nadolski’s Butcher Shop, Goochland, VA, 2012
Maynee Cayton, Bygones Vintage Clothing, Richmond, VA, 2012
Kim Soerensen, Omniterrum, Lynchburg, VA, 2012
Gary Stiteler and Melinda Bare, Glen’s Fair Price Store, Harrisonburg, VA, 2012
Jay Leavitt, Deep Groove Records, Richmond, VA, 2012
Clyde Bodie, Bodie Vineyards, Powhatan, VA, 2012
Lisa Burns and Robert Mottley, Mottley Emporium, Farmville, VA, 2012
Paul Dameron, Paul’s Sports Cards & Collectables, Covington, VA, 2012
Thomas Rodriguez, Rodriguez Guitars, Richmond, VA, 2012
Kathy O’Keefe, The Binaba Shop, Roanoke, VA, 2012
Donnie Montgomery, Homestead Creamery, Wirtz, VA, 2012
And here are some shots from the exhibition at the LCVA!
Also, be sure to check out my awesome photographer friend Alyssa’s senior project work here!!!
Click on this link…The Locals to listen to the audio along with my photos! Take a break, relax, and listen to these owners stories! Enjoy!
Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive day!