How Reporters Can Help Photographers

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Interviews are the foundation of most broadcast stories. If you are working as a team, somebody is the reporter, somebody else is the photographer. And any strong team needs TEAMWORK. A journalism team is no different. It is important to go into each shoot with a “team” mindset.

With that in mind, here are some ways reporters can make a photographer's job a little easier as you both seek to do a great interview.

  1. Carry stuff. Just because you are the reporter does not mean you are unable to tote a tripod or carry a camera bag if needed. There is no rule against it. Don’t be a reporter who is unwilling to do his or her share. 
  2. Remind the photog that he/she can suggest questions. It's not like they aren't listening--they're wearing the headphones. And they often think of things you might not have asked about, or followed up on. You may even consider asking what your photog thinks would be good questions on the way to your shoot. 
  3. This is probably one of the most important things when it comes to the actual interview. As you get ready for the conversation, chat up the source, relax them, and get them talking about something other than the subject of your interview. This will take their mind off whatever the photographer is doing at the time, and also lets the photog get an audio level, check lighting, positioning, camera angle, etc. Once the photog is set have them clear their throat or signal the reporter in some way. This allows the reporter to know when they are recording and that they can start the interview whenever they’re ready.
  4. Discuss the interview afterwards. See if the photographer heard a sound bite you might have missed. Use each other as sounding boards as the story heads to edit. This is a great time to make notes and have them to refer back to later.

Those are just a few ways you can make your photographer's job easier. And remember, for those who consider on-camera people "talent," there is a lot to be said for those who have the "talent" of being a strong teammate.