Semester Stories 2018

A necklace depicting “La Santa Muerte” or “Holy Death” hangs among crucifix’s at El Mariachi Mexican store in Columbia, South Carolina. Stores like these function as food markets as well as general stores that sell anything from over the counter medication to religious objects. © 2018 Steven Tapia

Students in our Spring 2018 semester each chose a topic to cover, telling unique stories of individuals and groups across the state of South Carolina.

Fern Studio

Photos and Text by Cody Fullerton

Fern Studio is a floral design studio located in Columbia, S.C. Focusing on weddings and events, Fern delivers beautiful and memorable floral installations that are tailored to their clients. Owner Sarah Swinson-Shell says she hopes to start opening the studio up a few times a week for customers who are looking for smaller floral arrangements. Whatever they tackle next, it seems that their future is bright.

March for Our Lives in Columbia, S.C.

Photos and Text by Tori Richman

March For Our Lives became a national movement calling for stricter gun laws, stronger gun control and to protest against the numerous school shootings and gun violence after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, F.L. on Feb. 14. The crowd of about 3,000 people gathered at the corner of Calhoun St. and Sumter St. in preparation for the mile-long march to the state house. View more on this story.

Waffle House, Waffle Home

Photos and Text by Jessica Blahut

Eating at Waffle House has been among the most ubiquitous American experiences since the first Waffle House opened in an Atlanta suburb in 1955. The yellow glow of the sign is a familiar sight off of any American highway promising hot breakfast twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The restaurant attracts people of all walks of life, making it a unique staple of the American landscape. The Waffle House located on Broad River Road, Irmo, South Carolina is no exception.

Living Canvas

Photos and Text by Rachel Johnson

Mr. Shorty’s Tattoo Emporium in Lexington, S.C., stands out from other Columbia studios. With its focus on building strong artist-client relationships that center around producing unique, personal, and beautiful art, every tattoo appointment is different. The artists at Mr. Shorty’s believe in creating pieces that speak to the souls of the individuals who wears them and in honoring the sanctity of human skin.

One Performer, Two Stages

Photos and Text by Cole Lowery

A look into the day and night life of Jeremy Miller, also known as the drag queen Misty Daze.

A Mother’s Work

Photos and Text by Tori Richman

Lupe Sosa works for a sorority house serving lunch and dinner to help support her family. Her favorite job, however, is being a mother to her sons.

A Taste of Home

Photos and Text by Steven Tapia

Latin stores offer more than food and money transfer services, they offer community to patrons.

Life Between Calls

Photos and Text by Haley Williams

Firefighters work together, train together, and eat together. In fact, life at the station is similar to familial living. Everyone has duties, spends time both relaxing and tending to the living space, and looks out for each other. The only difference is that at any point, everyone may have to drop whatever they are doing at once, and tend to those of Columbia in an emergency.