Stand-ups and Live Shots

It's not easy to go on camera and look natural while also being precise about the information you include. But many reporters find it's easier to act naturally if they don't just stand there and talk. Active stand-ups not only add interest to stories, they let you convey information much more clearly than you can by simply talking to the camera.

Show-and-Tell Stand-up

Here's an example of an active stand-up that we mentioned in the text. Susan Shapiro, a reporter at WGAL-TV in Lancaster, PA, was covering a story about a woman who'd been killed by her ex-husband. She used her stand-up to show the relationship between the two apartments where the man and woman lived.

Transition Stand-up

Seattle-based journalist (https://youtu.be/zr-xZ2Jt1Zg) Kim Riemland Griffis is a master of the active stand-up. In this example, notice how she uses her on-camera segment to make a smooth transition between story elements and locations.

Active Live Shot

It is even more difficult to execute a visually interesting, active stand-up when you're live, but most newsrooms today expect nothing less. Your best bet is to use what the location gives you and share with the viewer the experience of being there. That is what reporter Bridgette Bornstein did during live coverage of a winter storm for KSTP-TV in St. Paul, MN. Notice the great natural sound in this live shot; if you look closely, you can see there's a wireless microphone taped to her right boot.

Planning Stand-ups

Stand-ups should never be an afterthought, says award-winning photojournalist Darren Durlach. He makes a point of talking with reporters on the way to the story to plan the day's stand-up. Watch the video here.