Read the whole story, From Computer Geek to Spiritual Inquirer.
For this assignment, called our “CNN Assignment,” we were told to construct a multimedia package centered on an interesting character. It had to include a 12-image photo gallery, a 300-word text story, a headline and three highlights.
I chose to focus my story on Luis Melendez, who was a vendor at the Labor Daze Fest event on September 3, 2017, in Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville. I was drawn to his pop-up shop The Dragon’s Hoard because of its beautifully cut and vibrantly colored rocks, gems, crystals and jewelry. I had also remembered perusing the stand from my previous visits to the Union Street Farmers Market, where Luis and his wife Marianne consistently set up their shop.
Initially, I planned on doing my story on Marianne Melendez. I arrived to the event as the vendors were setting up, and after observing both Melendezes prepare their tent, she seemed to be the more gregarious of the two. I approached her and asked if I could feature her in my assignment, and she warmly agreed. We spoke for about fifteen minutes while I snapped photos, until her husband began chiming in. His wild stories and oozing passion for rocks and his craft became apparent, and I soon realized, “this guy is my story.” He had the look. He had the face. And he had tales and quotes that inspired me. I wanted to keep talking to him and learn more. I soon found that the story was writing itself, and I just had to be the vessel to deliver it.
Before this assignment, I did not know anything about how to use a DSLR camera or Photoshop, but Lynda videos and my boyfriend’s expertise worked wonders in teaching me. I feel much more comfortable with these tools now, and I'm so excited that I can now use them in my future. And of course, there is still so much more to learn!
Overall, I am so proud of the project I created. I have never made a multimedia journalistic piece, and I never really knew I could.