He Tells Stories


Brad Weté's Thought Bank. Words, Videos, Pictures and Such-'n'-suches

When I Added 'Photographer' to My Resume / Melo-X NPR Cutting Room Floor Shots

Melo-X at his Brooklyn HomeSometimes you have do shit without being asked and hope for the best. A few weeks back, I pitched NPR an article on Melo-X. Dude’s so diverse as a creative that the only proper label for him is “Multimedia Artist.”As for me, my first title was Music Journalist and Writer. And because that’s how most editors know me now, it can be tough reintroducing myself as additional things (like Documentarian or Photographer). So when NPR accepted my story pitch for a traditional interview, I thought about what else I could do. Come interview day I brought my camera with me and after Melo and I knocked out a good chat, I asked him if he’d be down to take some pictures in his backyard. X was with it!
After about 30 minutes of a loose shoot, we were done. I had some great options, but for who? NPR never agreed to accept pictures from me. Still, I hoped that I could send them some pictures as a bit of a bonus to my article. When I submitted my Q&A, I also sent in my favorite shots. At this point I was competing. It was my photography versus whatever Melo-approved press shots his publicity team sent to NPR to support my story.Melo-X at his Brooklyn HomeI won. That shot I took here just above this sentence of Melo perched on that old chair like some punk swag god was the favorite and NPR used it as the lead image for the story. It’s the first time I’ve appeared as anything other than the writer for a major publication. BIG. The other images in this post are shots that were left on the cutting room floor. I took some real time to learn how to edit them in Photoshop and work them into a nice place.Funny, if I hadn’t thought to just go for it, none of this would have happened. I’m more than a writer and I’m going to make sure everyone knows that, whether it’s asked of me or not. I’m a multimedia artist, too.