One of our initial struggles as a program was images. Where do we get pictures? Who would take them? Are they expensive? What should our logo look like?
What we found was that getting images and a logo that work takes time. It is a process. It requires some time and effort. And you learn a lot as you go.
What I am offering here is a way to speed up that process. I explain what is important and how to get things done quicker.
You are not in basketball to do logo design and take pictures. The faster you can figure it out, the more time you will have to work with your players.
IMAGES: what is important right now
Don’t worry about photo shoots, professional video production or graphic design. Worry about the basics. This includes some simple branding and showing that you have a real product. To build your program, you need to show that you are legitimate. No one expects you to be a media company.
Basic branding requires a simple logo. Showing you have a real product means grabbing a few images (video or photos). Here are suggestions about what to collect. Don’t worry about anything else.
If you take care of the next few items, you will be well on your way to success.
Start taking pictures! The easiest way to get images is to start now. Don’t worry about having a high-end camera. If you have a modern smartphone you can get started. At your next event, whether it is a practice, game or parent meeting, start taking pictures. Or have someone do it for you. If you are like me, the hardest part remembering to do it.
As for quality, do the best you can. Keep in mind that there are a ton of free tools available to help clean things up. I like Canva.com but there are a bunch of options. These images won’t be perfect but for a short-term solution, they are better than nothing.
For the long term, we’re thinking about the next 12-18 months and about images and a logo.
I’m sure you already have an idea of where you would like to use your imagery. These ideas usually pop into your head when you are creating something and think, “Ahhhh, I wish I had a better image!”
The needs for each program will vary. Think about what your program is about. Are you about teaching and having fun? Winning and competing? These are the things that you want to capture.
It may be worth upgrading your equipment to get higher quality images. While smartphones are great. But a high-end camera with an appropriate lens will allow you to get sharper action. These are the images that can improve how professional your program looks.
Getting great video can be tough because the best stuff always happens when you don’t expect it. You will have to point your camera and keep it rolling. But there is something special about capturing that great moment on video.
About your logo
I see so much time wasted on logo design. The reality is that your brand should be about what you do, not about your logo. Considering a few important things and then hand the design work to someone qualified. In the worst case scenario, you trash it and redo it later. Select has done that before. Several times.
For your logo, if you do not have one, I recommend keeping it simple. It doesn’t need a lot of detail and there should be a max of 3 colors. The logo needs to look great in just one color. Avoid gradients and make sure the font you use is easy to read.
Design your logo with usage in mind. Will it look good on a mobile website? Will it work as a social media header or profile image? Can you add it to an image for branding? What kind of apparel do you want to print it on?
Branding is a big part of any program. But your product and services are the most important part of what you do. I recommend letting the use of your logo drive its design.
Gathering your images
There are three main ways to collect images. I’ve mentioned taking them yourself at your events. You can stage a photoshoot (we do this in our media day). Or you can source them from other people including parents or stock photos.
One of the most underutilized ways of collecting images is from other sources. These sources include parents, social media posts, etc.
Almost every game has a parent or somebody filming the game. You may also find someone taking pictures. This form of crowdsourcing is rarely used. I encourage you to set up a way to share imagery between the members of your program. They get more and better images and it will save you the effort of doing all the work.
Your next step is to start building a database of images that you can use when needed.
You can begin by creating a folder on your desktop and adding everything that you already have. When you have done this, take a broad look at what kind of images you like. Make a list of images you still need.
For the images you need, consider where and when you can grab those. Plan how to get them, whether it is you doing the work or convincing someone else to.
Over time you will build up a fantastic database of images that you can use whenever you need them.