Audio Slideshow Checklist

LOGISTICS

  • Call the location you are shooting at and confirm timing and schedule of events
  • Double check ahead of time that you are allowed to take pictures at the location
  • Make sure you have a contact person and his/her phone number in case any issues arise
  • Bring extra batteries for camera and voice recorder
  • Bring notebook and pens for any additional notes

AUDIO

  • Listen carefully to your surroundings: make sure there’s NO BACKGROUND NOISE that will interfere with the interview (ex: music, machine whirring, lights buzzing, traffic, etc. Feel free to ask the interviewee to turn off loud refrigerators, air conditioning units, overhead lights, etc)
  • Take time to record SILENCE before or after the interview. Record natural sound of the room/location
  • Record AMBIENT SOUNDS that help tell the story (ex: curtains opening at a play, clatter of glasses at a restaurant, etc.)
  • Use a MICROPHONE with the recorder for better quality sound
  • Make sure the microphone is plugged all the way into the recorder- a loose cord will cause buzzing and clicking
  • Keep the microphone 6-12 inches below the interviewees chin- sometimes it is helpful to hold the mic at an angle to minimize “s” and “p” noises
  • Don’t rely on your headphones; check the audio levels monitor
  • Record the interviewee introducing him/herself: the introduction should include the person’s NAME, POSITION, and RELEVANCE TO THE STORY
  • ALWAYS RECORD MORE THAN YOU NEED- Even for a 2-minute piece, you should record at least 15-20 minutes of interview
  • Record the audio as a WAV file, NOT AN MP3- WAV is better quality and gives us more room to adjust the audio if need be

VISUAL

  • Always take more pictures and more video footage than you think you need- it’s better to have too many images to choose from than too little
  • Shoot wide shots, close-ups, extreme close-ups, high angles, low angles- all angles possible to give the audience the full picture
  • Remember the Rule of Thirds- pictures should be composed along the invisible lines of thirds
  • Get photos of the narrator to use in the slideshow and for his/her introduction (at least 3 varieties)
  • Photograph signs or other visual cues that tell the viewer what the event is
  • Try to capture movement: action, emotion, and dynamic elements in still photos
  • If photo shoot is at night, please adjust camera accordingly or use a tripod to help minimize blurriness
  • Photos are telling a story so think of what you need to shoot to build a narrative arc
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