Jeffrey Sweet has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years, so it was strange for him to put down his camera and stop working for a couple of months.
Sweet produces fine art pieces. He also does commercial photography, plus some weddings, family portraits and senior pictures. While some photographers found ways to work around stay-at-home orders, Sweet said he chose to follow them to the letter.
“From March 20, I closed. I’m a non-essential business. I feel that being a supportive community member by following the state guidelines is an important aspect of any business,” Sweet said. “I didn’t want to be one of those people that’s like, ‘Oh, this isn’t important or this isn’t something that affects me directly,’ because I know somebody that had COVID-19 and was in the hospital for 10 days and on a ventilator and almost died.”
Sweet restarted his business on May 5, and began scheduling some sessions. It hasn’t been easy, but he’s been doing his best to return to work and support other businesses in Ozark while doing so.
“I believe the community is built from within and expands outward,” Sweet said. “If we start to support what we have locally, we can, one, set a good example by doing it the right way, and two, we can grow this economy back to where it was before we were shut down.”
Sweet was happy to join the Headliner News’ Christian County Strong campaign in effort to encourage people in Ozark, Nixa and the surrounding areas to support the businesses and the people who are located where they live.
You can see some of Sweet’s photographs at https://jeffreysweetphotography.zenfolio.com/.