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Photographer captures faces of businesses struggling due to COVID-19

A local photographer has been capturing images of business owners and people in our community who have been affected by COVID-19.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A picture is worth a thousand words, a well-known saying photographer Sean Rayford has brought to life.

"I think it's good to get those stories out so people who are experiencing challenges know they aren't alone," Rayford said.

Rayford took on a project he calls "canceled" in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

"To photograph them and share their stories they had about these new crazy times that we are all experiencing is affecting them and we've all got similar, but very different stories that I don't think a lot of people think about," Rayford said.

In the photos he highlights many faces and businesses who are going through a rough time.

"People who run coffee shops, to freelance photographers like I am, to a woman who takes care of feral cats out in Lexington," Rayford said. I would say a writer/artist/DJ, a gentleman who runs a wedding event venue and a wedding DJ. I'm trying to touch base with lots of different industries."

One of those pictures is the face of Greg Slattery, co-owner of Curiosity Coffee Bar on Main Street.

"Wen he came to me that was the hardest, one of the hardest days, if not the hardest day as a business owner because I didn't know what I could offer my employees," Slattery said.

Slattery said they are taking business day by day, but is glad to see that in the midst of the unknown the community is truly coming together.

"The silver lining to all of this is we see the power of supporting each other and why we all knew it was there, it has really lived up to what we said it is," Slattery said.

To see Rayford's full project, click here.