Having two audio recorders at the scene

NewsLab has collected some really good tips, offered by professional photojournalists, on how to gather audio. Part of the advice is related to the use of sound recorders. It was interesting for me that the article suggested using at least two audio recorders at the scene.

One sound recorder should be connected to either a wireless lav or a shotgun microphone, to get clear audio of the main subject we are interviewing or even just taking pictures of. This could have been very useful for me when I was taking photos of a couple and their child having dinner today. As I was taking photos of the family, we were chatting with each other, and they told some interesting things about who they are and what they do. They sounded so natural and comfortable, and I’m not sure if my future interview with them would sound as natural as today’s.

The article also suggests having a separate recorder on from the beginning of the photo shoot to the end, to grab the whole background sound. If I had an audio recorder on while I was taking the pictures, I could record the sound of the child’s crying. I have a cute picture of her crying, and it would be nice to complement it with the sound of crying. I don’t have the sound now, and I can’t record the sound of crying later due to the ethics of audio editing. Therefore, I have to go back and take another cute photo of the child’s crying!

I wish I had read the article before shooting the photos!

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