Weegee Tells How:

Via Siege, thanks!

Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, was a New York city freelance news photographer from the 1930s to the 1950s. Here he talks about his career and gives advice to those wanting to become news photographers.”

Weegee’s a phonetic version of Ouija. The cigar-gnawing Fellig earned his nickname “because of his frequent, seemingly prescient arrivals at scenes only minutes after crimes, fires or other emergencies were reported to authorities.”

Crassly manipulative at times, and an unapologetic opportunist, Fellig also claimed (as heard in the interview above) to be a humanist at heart. As questionable as some of the paparazzo’s methods might have been, the human pathos of his imagery, whether it features tenement fire survivors, public drunks, murdered gangsters or smooching space cadets (seen below) is unquestionably powerful indeed.

© Weegee

Other great Weegee related stuff:

4 Responses to “Weegee Tells How:”

  1. Angeliska Says:

    Mer, thank you so much for sharing this – what a treasure! I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing a recording of Weegee’s voice before – man, is his accent ever the greatest. My grandmother was a photographer in Greenwich Village back in the day, and was good pals with Weegee, and knew Stieglitz and all those cats. I remember always loving the print of the fancy old dames at the opera unwittingly posing with the grinning bag-lady that hung in my grandparent’s house (a gift from the master!). I didn’t really get what a big deal all this was until I got older, and rediscovered my love for this amazing man’s work. Imagine my surprise upon opening a copy of Weegee’s People (I think that’s the one) and discovering it was dedicated to my Granny! She took the famous portrait of him asleep on the park bench that’s also in that book.
    While we’re on the subject, here’s a little video I took of my Grampa telling a story about Grandma’s adventures as a photographer in NYC’s seedy underbelly:

  2. Angeliska Says:

    Oops! The link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn8P0-cLRG0
    xoxo – A.

  3. Meredith Yayanos Says:

    Oh my gosh, Angelkins. Between this and “Ham Face Girl” you are Queen of the Internet today.

  4. Jeffrey Wengrofsky Says:

    About 10 years back, I was Assistant to the Editor of Aperture magazine, and it was in that capacity that I came into contact with the broad sweep of Weegee’s work. My work with the Syndicate definitely shows his influence (among many others).

    Another great source of NYC police photography is Luc Sante’s collection: Evidence.

    Thanks also to Angel for sharing your grandpa’s stories !!