Student Spotlight: Shayna Hunter


Photo by: Angela Acosta

Shayna Hunter enjoys photography because of the creativity involved.

For senior Shayna Hunter, being a student at FMU has allowed her many opportunities to be involved on campus.

Hunter, a visual arts major with a concentration in photography, has used her time at FMU to perfect her skills as a photographer.

Hunter said she initially became interested in photography when she was 12 and was actively involved while she was in high school.

“When I was around 12, my grandmother gave me my first digital camera, and I just started playing around with it,” Hunter said. “Back in high school I took a strong interest in using cameras and making imagery and just kind of stuck with it. Now I’m studying to do what I love.”

Hunter said the best part of photography is the endless possibilities.

“There are so many great things about it,” Hunter said. “I think one of the most exciting would be the final product. Sometimes you may get the image you had in your head but most of the time you’ll end up with something totally different yet exciting.”

Hunter said the best advice she would give to anyone interested in photography would be to take the risk and follow their passion.

“If someone wants to become a photographer, I would have to say go for it,” Hunter said.  “If you have a passion or a spark for it, try it. You never know where it may take you.”

Hunter said she has anywhere between 1-3 shoots per week and that she is also doing some photography for her senior show at FMU.

Hunter’s favorite part about being a student at FMU is the class size.

“My favorite part about being a student at FMU is probably that the classes are smaller and the professors can give students more one-on-one time when we need it,” Hunter said.

At FMU, Hunter has been a member of InterVarsity and also served as a Patriot Mentor but said that due to her course load this semester, she has been focusing on school and photography.

Hunter encourages students to be well prepared to succeed at FMU and said that is how she has been so successful during her time here.

“It definitely helps to plan in advance,” Hunter said. “At the beginning of the week, I write out the upcoming week’s events, assignments, etc. I also make sure to give my body the rest it needs.”

A native of Florence, South Carolina, Hunter said she initially came to FMU because it was close to home.

“I actually decided to come to FMU last minute because it was close to home,” Hunter said. “My family is here, and a lot of my close friends are here as well.”

Hunter said her mom is the most influential person in her life.

“She’s one of the strongest people I know,” Hunter said. “She’s always been by my side encouraging me to pursue my dreams.”

Hunter said she encourages students to get involved both on and off campus.

“There is so much going on here,” Hunter said. “Almost every week there is an event, whether it’s sports, clubs, special occasions, etc. There is so much to do, so many friendships and connections to be made.”

After graduating this May, Hunter said she plans on expanding her brand and making a name for herself as a freelance photographer.

“In five years, I want to be a freelance photographer based in the Charlotte, NC area,” Hunter said. “I also hope to be traveling the world, making imagery and making a difference in the world.”

When Hunter isn’t busy with school and photography, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and trying new drinks at Soule Café, a local coffee shop in downtown Florence.