I have a few little side things to make some pocket change while I’m at home with my son. I take family/maternity/baby portraits here and there to keep my photography portfolio going, and I’ve made approximately a whopping Hamilton through Amazon links on this site (hey, I’ll take it). But recently, I also started doing some freelance captioning for videos.
You may be thinking WAIT A MINUTE! True, I do have to wear a hearing aid in my good ear to get by, but I do well with it! Turns out, growing up watching the TV with captions makes me kind of a natural in typing out captions in terms of speaker labeling, atmospherics, and natural sentence and speech breaks. That said, there is the huge caveat that I do not caption a video with ANY poor audio quality. Fortunately, the platform I work on allows for me to throw back a video if I’ve had it under an hour, so if I come across a bad section, I don’t work on it. I got into a tricky spot once where I had a great video in terms of audio quality and then it cut to an awful clip of David Beckham mumbling into a static-y microphone. Phewwww. I’ve gotten pretty good at determining my capabilities, and there’s a strong community forum for troublesome audio clips, because ear fatigue happens to even those with excellent hearing and they just can’t make out that word.
Funnily enough, when I watch something on TV or the like, I’ll sometimes laugh at very specific descriptions like (intense piano music slowly intensifies) but really I’ve learned it is HARD to describe some sounds accurately! It’s like trying to be a reverse Foley artist at times.
I always turn on captions, and it’s great to find them on short videos that you see on social media, YouTube, and so on. It seems like with so many people scrolling through social media, ads are often captioned to transit their message when the sound is off, so I feel like caption work is becoming much more prevalent nowadays. I feel fortunate to be able to do so well despite my significant hearing loss, and I feel like I’m doing good work for other deaf/HoH people, because I know what it’s like to miss out on things without captions.
In other news, my site is coming up on its first birthday already! By far the most traffic is to my page on baby monitors for deaf/HoH people, which is great because that was the whole drive behind starting this site in the first place. Unfortunately, it looks like the monitor I use is being discontinued, so I’ll have to dig back into what’s available and update the page soon.