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.

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.

By Anna Jeschke

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.