Marketing and Communications staff and students at work

Drone shot of Berea Marketing and Communications staff outside at Owsley Fork
Berea College Marketing and Communications staff (and family members) gathered around the table at the conclusion of the photo shoot. Photo by Jay Buckner

Often when you see a photo, you are not aware of all the details that go into making that photo a reality. In the Marketing and Communications office at Berea College, we partner with Director of Photography and Digital Engagement Crystal Wylie ’05 and her team of student photographers to bring our print and digital publications to life through great images. After many long discussions and idea sessions about the cover of our summer magazine, our staff settled on the idea of a farm table set in a picturesque location in Appalachia lavished with foods that would be represented at family gatherings in Appalachia. The theme of the Summer 2021 issue was completely focused on Berea’s Appalachian connection, and we wanted to represent that in a way that was inclusive and beautiful, yet not stereotypical and trite.

Berea College Summer 2021 Cover

Pulling off the photo shoot was no easy task. We gathered staff members, students and other alumni to help us represent Berea well. And we wanted to be sure the food and setting told just as much a story of Appalachia as the people around the table. Food was ordered from local restaurants, including spoonbread from the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant. Place mats were borrowed from Student Craft, specifically from a brand new design called The Bell Patch, created by craft student Isabella ’22 from Homewood, Ala. A table, originally crafted by alumnus Charlie Thomas ’02, was driven out to Owsley Fork Reservoir, which served as the beautiful Appalachian backdrop for the entire photo shoot.

We hope you enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes of just one example of how our Marketing and Communications staff work to make each piece we put out the best it can be.

Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery

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Abbie Darst '03 is an article writing, husband loving, kid raising, cheer coaching, God serving, busy woman. Whether it's been in sports, law enforcement or higher education, Abbie has dedicated her career to telling stories that speak of mission, passion and the best parts of human experience. She's been telling Berea's amazing stories since 2017.

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