Get Some Ink: A New Way to Show Public Radio Dedication

Jun 12, 2013
Originally published on June 20, 2013 9:35 am

Earlier this spring, NPR joined This American Life to create a set of eight public radio-themed tattoos as a pledge premium for Member Stations. In case you missed the opportunity to get those from your local station, now those tattoos are available in the NPR Shop.

Tattoos and public radio might not seem the likeliest of companions, but NPR folks are among the first to debunk this myth. Let's just say that when an email went out with the subject line "Looking for a few good badasses!," there was no shortage of inspiration aboil around the newsroom.

As you can see by the picture above, this is a side of NPR journalists that you've probably never seen before. We wonder what it must have been like to be behind the camera for the photo shoot that led to these great pictures. So we asked NPR Director of Consumer Products and E-Commerce Barbara Sopato and Multimedia Trainer and Photographer Kainaz Amaria to tell us more.

"There was no 'favorite' part — the whole thing was mind-blowing!" said Sopato. "Before the journalists came, Kainaz and I did some test shots and thought that in order to get the face and the tattoo in the same photo, the tattoos would have to be on the forearm, the hand or the shoulder."

But the journalists had something better in mind.

"When Ari [Shapiro] showed up, he suggested his chest (which I got to apply yes, everyone should be jealous!)," said Sopato. "Then Nina [Totenberg] offered her chest... and Michel [Martin] showed up with the hat and the ideas for herself as well!"

NPR Correspondent John Ydstie was game for something a bit different too. "Big props to John for tattooing his forehead," said Amaria. "Everyone brought their own energy and ideas and collectively I think we captured all their personalities."

While the journalists were getting into the spirit in front of the camera, Amaria was working her photographer magic behind it.

"Everyone came alive in front of the camera thanks to Kainaz, who put them all at ease like the pro that she is," Sopato said.

The biggest takeaway from the photo shoot?

"I think we can safely say we have dispelled the myth of 'a face for radio' forever with this project," she said.

Emily Hellewell contributed to this post.

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