Resident Assistants build communities in University of Denver dorms

The photos that make up this slideshow are mainly photos of RA’s that allowed me to shadow them while they performed duties related to the job, including walking with them on duty nights, photographing them interacting with residents, and taking pictures at programs held during the week. The topic is essentially everything that goes into the RA job and trying to give a full depiction of what it is like to be an RA, all the good and bad parts included. As an RA myself, I felt that many people have misconceptions about what RA’s do or do not do, so by trying to convey a holistic picture of what goes into the job, I hope that this slideshow might be able to clarify and shed light on the duties we perform.

I chose to photograph a lot of things – I took a lot of pictures during our staff meeting, the only time that all 18 RA’s are present in the same room, and of RA’s working the desk and interacting with the residents. I put the slides in the order that I did due to the audio. I worked the audio so that I first was able to lay out all of the job requirements of being an RA – programming, socials, duty walks, etc. – and then chose pictures that matched that audio. The process of integrating that audio was somewhat time-consuming as I had over 20 minutes of audio to work with to condense into just under 3 minutes. Needless to say, it was difficult, and I had to cut some parts that I would have liked to keep in my slideshow.

Throughout this process, I feel that I did a good job of posing open-ended questions to get my subjects talking, of taking generally good quality photos even though I had to take some of them with a mobile phone since I didn’t have my camera on me at the time, and of matching the pictures generally to the audio that played during the slideshow. I took hundreds of photos but chose to only include photos that I felt had good composition, filling the frame, adhering to the rule of thirds, etc. I think that having worked with Adobe Premiere Pro in the past, adjusting to Final Cut Pro was a much more seamless experience than it would have been otherwise, but it was still somewhat of a challenge because the tools were all in different places, and because I always work with PC’s and not Mac’s.

Next time, I would hold the mic closer to my subjects because even though the audio seemed clear on my headphones, it wasn’t as clear as I had originally presumed. I would also take more pictures of RA’s interacting in depth with residents since that was what my subjects talked about a lot and because working with more human subjects is definitely a must to evoke interest. One thing that I found extremely challenging was taking photos that conveyed the stress and time management aspect of the job, and I probably could have done a better job if I had decided beforehand what to photograph instead of going into each photography session somewhat haphazardly since spur-of-the-moment photos are harder to take than posed ones. In the future, I would still take a lot of photos because having that selection was extremely helpful to me in composing my slideshow. Overall though, I feel that my slideshow does a decent job at conveying what it means to be an RA.

One Response to Resident Assistants build communities in University of Denver dorms

  • Elizabeth Pinkerton
    Elizabeth Pinkerton says:

    Hsing, overall this is a great audio slideshow. I particularly liked how you kept changing the dialogue between the girl and the guy RA. This provided a nice rhythm to the slideshow, and kept it interesting. Also, you included a nice variety of pictures which featured people, and matched them up nicely with the audio. Nevertheless, towards the end, some of the pictures felt repetitive and were pretty ambiguous. The slideshow had a clear beginning, middle, and end, and provided extensive information about what it means to be an RA. The audio was high quality and easy to understand. Great job Hsing!

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