Very few things bring students, teachers, parents, and alumni together the way school sports can. And video can enhance that game-day excitement and accentuate it with close-up action and music that revs up fans at pep rallies and through social media.

Even if you don’t have much experience with photography or video, you can still create dynamic videos for your team that capture the energy and enthusiasm of athletics like the video featured below, which highlights the Scottsdale Community College softball team.


Style: Aperture
Song: “Battlestar Guitarrica” by Joy Basu

How to use the camera you already have

Any type of camera will work, as long as you use the right technique. Make sure you shoot in landscape mode, so your photos will look better on video. Then be sure to keep your camera steady by holding your arms by your side, or by using a tripod. Here are a few ways to use your existing camera to get action shots at sports events, based on the kind of camera you have:

  • Smartphone: Some smartphones now have cameras and video capabilities that rival fancier cameras. Practice adjusting your phone’s camera settings — things like zooming in and out and using your flash — and take a look at ways to record video on your smartphone.
     
  • Point-and-shoot camera: Even point and shoots can take incredible photos and video. Check to see if your camera has an action, sports or kid mode to capture quick-moving players. If not, you can still get a good shot — it’ll just take a little practice to nail the timing.
     
  • DSLR camera: Make sure you’re familiar with all of your camera’s settings, including how to take video footage. If you adjust to a faster shutter speed, your camera will be better able to track the fast movement on the field, and a wider aperture will put focus on your subject rather than on background detail. If you have a longer zoom lens, you can catch activity further away.

What shots to get and how to get them

Before you start taking pictures, think about the types of photos you want. It might even be helpful to make a shot list with a rundown of the kinds of images and video you want. For example, if you’re creating a video for a football team, here are some things you’ll definitely want to capture:

  • Individual players at rest
  • The team together at rest or entering the field together
  • The kickoff
  • A catch
  • A throw
  • A block
  • A player running
  • Team huddle
  • Victory in the end zone

When you’re taking photos, shoot from lots of different positions to get a variety of images. You can also try to get low to the ground to create dramatic shots. But most of all, just keep shooting so you don’t miss a great moment. Alternatively, go to video mode to capture moments with lots of action.

If you think you can’t get all the photos and video clips you need for your video during a game, ask the coach to let you sit in on a practice and get your images then. For example, Scottsdale Community College created their video using shots taken during spring training.


Style: 1:1
Song: “Bring on the Competition” by Professor Ace

Putting your footage together

This might be obvious, but pick only your best photos and video clips to make sure your team looks good. This should help you keep your video shorter too, which will keep your viewers watching to the end. Then, choose a video style that works well for athletics, like The Arena, and a song that gets your audience excited. The end product is sure to be something that wows fans and gets them pumped for the next big game.

Already have a sports video that shows off what your team? We’d love to see it! Link to it in the comments below, or message us on Facebook or Twitter.

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