To Podcast or not to podcast
So for a few months maybe even close to a year I’ve been mulling over an idea in my head to start a podcast about photography in the Bahamas. Not just to talk about what to do but the problems we face as photographers in this country.
I have friends outside the Bahamas who are good photographers but not as good as some of the persons I know and see in the Bahamas yet they strive in an overly saturated photography market. Now I know there are a lot of other factors that could contribute to this but its kind obvious that we have our own challenges.
So here is my journey to deciding on whether or not I would go ahead and start this journey or not, the equipment I got and the equipment I think I still need. Well the reason for this is that if I dont go ahead and start this podcast hopefully someone else in the Bahamas can get the gear and kick this off. It would have been a side hobby for me so im not overly invested in the idea.
I got to admit this is a question I have asked myself over and over again. Why start a podcast? Well beyond my personal curiosity to learn new things and love of talking about what I love. I think one of the biggest reasons to start a photography podcast in the Bahamas is mainly to open up the conversation that no one seems to want to discuss. The conversation of how much success can a person really achieve in photography in the Bahamas. I have discussed this at length with other close photographer friends and we all seem to have different ideas toward it but there is a consensus that it is difficult to make it in this country. By opening up this discussion and speaking the truth it will save some persons years of heart ache, money and time thinking they can make quick money easy by taking pictures. There are some real dangers involved not to mention the worse being sued by a client or fined by the government.
Im not going to get in to the ins and out about the pitfalls here but I just want to state that if you are considering becoming a photographer in the Bahamas there are some things you should be aware of and its best to talk it over with as many active photographers as you can. This is the top reason for having a podcast, to discuss these pitfalls and uncover the secrecy that has plagued the art form for decades.
Get the Gear
Ok lets just get to it. Now keep in mind I tend to try to do my very best or as the old people say I try my endeavor best to get things as professional as possible when it comes to anything I do . Unfortunately budget constraints can bring reality into your life pretty quickly when it comes to acquiring good equipment. This is true not only for podcasting but photography. To keep things simple Ive divided a typical podcast into 4 sections. I wont bore you with expensive gear but instead discuss affordable options.
- Set Design
A pod cast can be just sitting with your mobile phone and recording you talking with a person or a group of people to a full blown studio recording set with individual microphones and multiple cameras to record it all. One thing that is very important no matter which end of the spectrum you will be is having superb audio.
I have to start out with recording devices because… it is a podcast and pretty much depends on audio. As I mention before you can start with your mobile phone just recording your conversation. However the audio from your mobile phone is kinda good but not good enough as it picks up a ton of noise. The good news is that there is a way around that issue
A quick fix is to attach an external mic to your mobile phone. Ive found two ways of doing this. The first involves a directional mic that you can just plug in to your phone and it pretty much changes to a hand held microphone that you will have to move back and forth between yourself and your guest. The Video Mic Me is small and compact and dramatically improves the sound quality of your conversations. It even has a fluffy dead cat not real cat, to muffle wind or breath sounds. I found this device to be very helpful for small conversations and for me just talking and recording my own thoughts.
If you are not a fan of the back and forth when it comes to a conversation then there is a second option that works pretty good as well. You can use a mini lapel mic designed to work with mobile phones. Yes I didn’t even know these things exist but they do and they are very handy. The Rode Smartlav is a life saver. It pretty much offers that hands free option where you and your guest can have a conversation all miked up but with small lapel mics.
A bigger option if you really want to get in to it is to have actual microphones. No again I’m not here to get in to what is the best type or name brand mic to get but to give an idea of how you can start your podcast on a budget and not feel as if you need mortgage papers for top notch equipment. Having said that you must know by now that there are a ton of various microphone types and brands that do all sorts of things but for this moment I will suggest you look at a cheaper but effective option in the form of Audio-Technica Handheld USB and XLR Microphone . Thats a mouth full I know but this is a package deal. Not only can you attach this mic directly to your laptop through a USB connection but you can use it in conjunction with a recording device and use the XLR connections. This makes it pretty versatile and at such a low price point its a good starter microphone. You may want to consider a microphone stand if your not inclined to holding a mic.
Those are some options when it comes to recording and as I mentioned there are tons of other name brands some cheaper other more expensive so do you research on them and depending on what you whant to do you can make a decision on which one to get.
Off the top, video is not necessary when it comes to recording a pod cast but should you feel the need to record the conversation then there are some low cost cameras you can consider. Like the microphones video recorders come in different sizes and shapes and definitely cost. The technical details are best left to the techies who know more about frame rate and other jargon. Im just here to let you know that there are options.
A versatile camera that can be used to record your pod cast and for other projects is definitely the gopro. Its been around for a while and the recording functions are pretty easy to grasp. Since you will be recording audio with another device you just need to sync sound with video and you got your podcast recorded. Another option is to get something more dedicated to the cause but instead of just a camera you may need a whole kit. Something with everything you need to get started all in one. This will save you time and effort looking for every things else. Be warned however most kits that surround a particular item are often on the cheap side. Not to say that they are bad just be careful with the gear and it will last longer than you often expect. One of such kits I found useful was the Sony Handycam HDR. It has all that you need to get started filming right away.
If you want a dedicated mic for your camera consider the Rode VideoMic GO as a low cost option or if you want to count on the audio from your camera then consider the Rode VideoMicPro. Both are pretty good recording devices and this way you can capture secondary good audio with your camcorder.
Set design isn’t much of a big deal unless you have a space dedicated to your podcast. However its worth stating that if you are going to record video of your conversations it may be a good idea to at least arrange certain items in the view that pertains to your topic. For example if your discussion is on the mirrorless camera it may be worth wild to have one out on a counter top or in the background to discuss its use. If your overall podcast is about photography they how about a few props in the background or the foreground. All of this is set design.
Even if all you have is a table and a blank wall placing cups that have something to do with your podcast or topic would help or pictures on the blank wall or on the table will also help tie every thing together. If you have nothing with sense in view or you think your background is ugly you can eliminate the whole thing by providing a neutral yet nice background such as using a Pop out backdrop. These backdrops are foldable so you can store them in little space and use them where ever and when ever. The on thing you will need however is a stand to hold it then sit in front of it and go to town with your podcast.
No I’m not talking about a stage or platform shoes but a social media platform to share your newly made podcast. I’ve found this to be a difficult task because there are so many and to post everywhere would be inefficient not to mention time consuming. I find it best to search out who your targeted audience really is and where they spend their time online.
There are dedicated podcast sites like iTunes, anchor, sound cloud and others but there are not so podcast friendly sites such as youtube and facebook however if you did record your podcast you now have a piece of content that will fit in nicely on such platforms.
Its best to consider which platform is best for you before you begin as this will give you a better idea of what to discus how to record it and who to share it with.