A list of commonly forgotten footage & photos that you need to remember to capture this summer

We all know the feeling: It’s time to make your marketing materials for next summer, and you just don’t have the photos or videos that you need--and won’t be able to capture them for several more months. Unless you want to use that photo from 2009 that has already been on the brochure (we all know the one!), or cross your fingers that no-one recognizes some corny stock images, you’re stuck.

Knowing what marketing images and videos to get can be hard, especially if you try to make a list during the throes of staff training. Don’t worry. In my 5 years overseeing the media team of Camp Echo, I learned a couple of key things for our team to capture. The rest of this blog post is my guide of what to get and how to get it. Getting this footage and these photos can be key to getting some great content for marketing (including for social media) during the off season!

Getting quality b-roll footage

High-quality video is taking over social media. I say the ratio of social media content should be to have 1 video for every 4 photos, which will keep your content fresh and engaging. All most all DSLR cameras have the ability to record HD or even 4K video now. This is a simply add on to your photographer’s role--put capturing this footage into the job description or a make it a mid-summer task for your photographer. Give them a shot lot of 20-40 second clips you want, which will give them a hit list so there are not just taking random footage. It will also be helpful if the photographer has access to a tripod to use for some of these shots. Some footage ideas could be:

  • Camper water skiing

  • High ropes shot from on top of the course

  • Panning shot of campers on a horseback ride

  • Panning shot of the dinning hall in full action

  • Close up of a campfire (make sure to include audio!)

  • Winning the end of session awards

Ask them to give you an update and show you some examples mid-summer. Another tip is have them edit the clips down to 20-40 seconds so it’s easy in the off season to post right on Instagram or use as b-roll footage for your annual campaign.

Countdown to summer

Scrolling through another camp’s social media in the dead of winter, have you seen their sunny photos of a camper holding up a cute chalkboard saying ‘100 days until camp starts!’? Countdown photos are super cool and a good reminder to parents to get their kids signed up for camp. So again with the video, give this task to your media team or photographer in the summer. Give them some ideas of shots:

  • Classic 100/75/50/25 days until camp shots

  • Happy Valentine’s Days shot

  • Happy New Year shot

You get the idea. Make sure you also give them a list of different people to hold the signs. Have a diverse range of campers and staff, any alums who come by camp or, for extra points, the camp director whilst wakerskiing. Keep the ideas fresh and different. Schedule these posts in the right part of the off season. Using software like Hootsuite can be super easy for this. Once, I even got the summer photographer  to schedule them out in the off season. You can also use these countdown photos for off season events/information sessions and more. Think outside the box.

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Camper and counselor shots

Having great camper and counselor shots are fantastic content for recruiting staff and also for your print marketing and more. Shots that show staff engaging in role model behaviour have always been my favorite. Some shots could be:

  • Staff member helping a camper carry his luggage, with the staff member holding one side & camper holding other

  • Staff member checking if life jacket fits right

  • Staff member teaching camper how to swim whilst in water or supporting their back as they do backstroke

  • Staff member teaching camper a new sport like archery or tennis

  • Staff member teaching camper how to make a campfire

You see the theme here--teaching or showing campers how to do a new skill or sport. Essentially, teaching them the values of camp. These photos are great for new staff to show them the impact there will have on a campers life and for parents who want to see staff being safe and showing their campers how to do new things. Planning these shots are key to creating the perfect image which will be used a couple of times in the off season!

I would love if you would share in the comment section below photos or videos you like to plan out before the summer. Above are just some of ones I have developed over my time. Feel free to email me for more ideas!

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GAVIN WATSON
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST 
THE SUMMER CAMP SOCIETY
GAVIN@THESUMMERCAMPSOCIETY.COM