ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Audio is Everything in Video

By June 10, 2009May 26th, 2016Strictly Business Blog

The biggest surprise (not that it should be) when still photographers start to shoot in a video format is how important audio is.  I can’t stress this enough.  Your audience can tolerate a poor visual – but never bad audio.  If they can’t hear and understand what someone is saying – they turn it off.

So some tips and thoughts on getting good audio.

  1. Always use a camera that has the ability to accept external mics.
  2. Monitor your sound with earphones – you might be able to see the meter on your camera indicating that you’re getting sound, but without earphones you’ll never know if it’s “good” sound or just noise.
  3. Listen to your environment – is there a radio on?  Are there fans on or airconditioning?  Is the refrigerator humming?  Then control your environment from an audio perspective – turn off fans, radios and unplug the refrigerator.  One trick I use to remember to plug the fridge back in when I leave is to put my car keys inside – I can’t leave without them so it’s a great reminder.  People tend to get a bit upset when you leave their refrigerator unplugged.
  4. Don’t talk while the camera is running and make sure your crew isn’t chatty as well.  You might think that you won’t be using the audio – but why put handcuffs on and rule out that possibility because you didn’t get good sound.