Step Three: Tips and Tech

Well Fed Community Garden

Photographs can bring a gardener's story to life. In her story, Amanda B. interviewed the garden manager of the Well Fed Community Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tips for Interview Day:

  • Know your interviewee! Make sure you have their name correct and have done some research. 
  • The interview should feel like a conversation. It is okay to skip around between questions or ask different questions. 
  • Sometimes the best question is “Can you tell me more?” 
  • If you interviewee has paused, allow them to gather their thoughts instead of rushing ahead with the next question. They might be about to say something interesting. 

If you use equipment to record the practice interviews, play the interviews back. Did the equipment work properly? Is the audio or video clear and easy to hear/see?

Technical Recommendations:

  • Audio and Video: Practice makes perfect when it comes to recording audio and video. Find a quiet place to conduct the interview; use an external microphone, if possible; and become familiar with the recording and editing software or apps you are using. You can use a good audio or video software or app to record the interview, adjust sound quality, make audio clips, and edit the interview. Save the original file in a widely used file format, such as .WMV or .AIF. Save a copy of the file as an .MP3 for editing and easy sharing.
  • Images: Photos can bring your interviewee and their garden to life for your audience. Show what makes this garden special—tell its story. Consider starting at the garden’s entrance and take pictures as you move through it. Photograph the interviewee in their garden. If you ask the gardener to supply images of their own garden, share these tips to help them take the best photographs possible.
  • Images should be shot in the camera or device’s highest setting. Keep the original high-quality files. You can save copies of the photos as smaller .JPEG files to share with Community of Gardens.
  • Ask the interviewee to share old photographs or documents that help tell their garden’s story. If you scan or photograph them make sure to handle them carefully and return them promptly. Your local library might have a scanner you can use.