This photo essay depicts the smiling people that make up the charming town of Maplewood, Missouri, including workers, customers and residents. This community is tightly knit, and I strived to capture the shared joy within these people through my photos.
Two friendly faces, Rosemary and Granville, ran into one another on their way to work and stopped to catch up with each other on the streets of Maplewood, not minding the crisp wind as they talked. All photos by Anna Jeschke
My favorite part of working in Maplewood is the friendly faces I get to see every day.
The community of Maplewood is small and tightly wound.
Everyone supports each others’ small businesses.
While some shop owners and workers did not want their photo taken, most were more than happy to help out with my project and proudly posed in their store.
I love the idea of photo essays and enjoyed this project a lot.
Telling people’s stories is a passion of mine so I knew my theme would be people-related.
I wanted to capture the smiling faces of various people in Maplewood to whom I get to serve coffee every day.
Each person’s shop is different and all their stories are unique.
I shot each picture with my long lens to create a more shallow depth of field, but was careful not to blur the background so much that the store behind the subject was lost.
Each person’s surroundings help tell their story and where they work.
I hope I successfully depicted the charming faces that make up Maplewood.
This is Gregory, a co-owner of La Cosecha. He used to be a barista, and the tight-knit community of Maplewood has gotten to watch him make his way up to manager and now an owner.
This is Julie. Julie works at Complex Studios as a hairstylist who specializes in curly hair. She is known around Maplewood for her cool tats and calling everyone “dude.” She loves vanilla chai lattes and there is actually a chai latte named after her at the local coffee shop.
This is Anita, the owner of Vom Fass. She is one of the sweetest ladies you’ll meet in Maplewood. She is a regular at La Cosecha, and we know her by a 12 oz americano with an extra shot.
This is Eric. He is just as cool as he looks. He is the owner of Boardwalk Waffles and can be found walking the streets in his sunglasses going from meeting to meeting.
This is the owner of STL Herbs and Aromatics. She makes her own essential oils in store. She is sweet and always has a compliment ready to give.
This is the owner of Bouffant Daddy, a salon in Maplewood. His character is unique and exquisite, just like his salon. He was very particular about what pose he was in and how he looked in his photograph. He is funny, personable and passionate about his business.
The owner of CBD Canvas Boutique Dispensary is very sweet and open about her products. She is another one of Maplewood’s great smiles.
This is a worker at Crow’s Nest. He was so nice and excited about getting his picture taken. This place is one of the nicest bars with the sweetest bartenders.
This is Donnie. Donnie works at Eddie’s Guitars and, like many of the other guitar shop workers, he is known for his long hair.
This is Granville. He is an Eddie’s Guitar worker. It is rare you see him, but when you do, you’re bound to laugh. He is funny and charming, and everyone loves him.
This is the owner of Maplewood Deli & Coffeehouse, a coffee shop in Maplewood. She is mostly just found at her store but is never too busy for a conversation with a customer.
This is the owner of the leather store Sole Survivor. Everyone says he looks like Iggy Pop. He is the one to go to for town gossip–he knows everyone’s business.
This is the owner of Paramount Jewelry. He lets his co-worker, Mark, make gooey butter cake in the back of the shop and bring samples to everyone on the street every Friday. They both can make anyone laugh and always have on the fanciest of accessories and outfits.
This is the owner of Airedale Antics, a local pet store. He makes joke after joke and is a kind old soul. When I asked to take a picture, he turned around and said, “Want to get my good side?” talking about his rear.
This is Robbie. He works at The Book House and used to work at Great Harvest. Many people joke that he is the Kirk of Maplewood in reference to the “Gilmore Girls” character. He’s quirky and sweet, and everyone knows and loves him.
This is Rosemary, a barista at La Cosecha and probably everyone’s favorite barista. She knows all her regulars by name and has each of their drinks memorized.
This is Suzie. She is a hairstylist at Complex Studios and loves honey oat lattes. She is always smiling and excellent at coloring hair.
This is Theo. Theo works at The Book House. He is always smooth-talking the ladies and walking around in his colorful and fashionable clothes.
Steve (far left) is the owner of Great Harvest Maplewood. People drive across town for Steve’s bread. His customer service is hard to beat: he offers a sample to everyone who walks in with the line, “How about a taster, if I came to your house you’d offer me something to eat.” When I asked to take his photo, he insisted it was taken with his staff, which proves his passion for people.
Anna Jeschke is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. She is majoring in communications studies and minoring in Spanish and journalism. Jeschke spends her time working at her dad’s coffee shop, La Cosecha, in Maplewood. She spends her remaining free time with friends. Jeschke has a love for storytelling through photography and does so in her photography business reached through Instagram, @annajeschke_photography. She enjoys any form of art, including painting, dancing and writing.
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