J Mei — Alex Kerns

This multimedia project fell into our laps. At the first team meeting, Katie proposed that the team (including Aakash, Kayla and myself) focus on an acquaintance of hers, Josh Mei, a local rapper that uses the pseudonym “J Mei.” We agreed to this idea, mainly because it sounded like an interesting story to cover, and we were assured he would be open to the project.

Josh was an excellent subject. We attended several of his performances, and he never complained or acted as though we were in the way. I spent several hours with him at an open mic night at 123 Pleasant Street, and despite my constant flash photography, he did his best to act normal and be let me see what his life was really like on performance nights.

Since the team had such a helpful subject, the rest of the project came together pretty easily. Aakash and Katie handled the video gathering and editing, since Kayla and I had no experience with it. Kayla did a great job on the print story, and, as previously mentioned, I took still photos.

It was hard to narrow down the shoot to choose which pictures I wanted to turn in with the story. I took nearly 400 shots while covering Josh, and needed to pare it down to around 10. I eventually settled on a mix of images from the performance and a few that showcased Josh while he was offstage.

For my first foray into multimedia storytelling, I felt confident about this project. I was especially pleased with my photography, this being the first real assignment I have ever shot.

The final project:

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