If it's for soccer then you would use something from the soccer field. Like the NET, grass and ball, soccer shoes by the ball, etc
For baseball you can use the backstop, a wide angle shot of the whole field viewing it from the home plate, baseball and bats on the grass, etc
What ever your sport always remember to include something that is part of that sport as a background.
Processing the photos part, this is the fun stuff. Always make sure you have clear and crisp looking photos....Use the best photos that you have. If you didn't get a really good photo of that particular kid make arrangements for a re-shoot. Do not use photos that are a bit blur especially in the face area. Sometimes you can get away with it only if it's in the clothing but never in the face area. You want people to remember you for good quality shots, Period!
If you have to spend a little more time chasing down this person just to get another shot it will be worth it. You are showing that you are serious about what you do and also that it's ok to make mistakes as long as the mistakes are caught before you go to print. Finding a mistake after you get it back from your place of printing really sucks!
Ideas for Creating a wonderful template;
a) determine the layout of course. either 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 16 x 20 or what ever standard size. Standard size is what ever standard frames are available at your local stationers store.
b) figure out color scheme. Most likely go with the team colors.
Try to envision your final printed layout. Figure out where you would like the photos to be on the layout.
How many photos can I actually place on the layout? 2, 4, or 17 plus a team picture?
Is this going to be an individual layout? Just one kid with a few action shots.
These are some of the question you need to ask before you get started.
The usual layouts for an 8 x 10 is the individual with a incorporated team photo. Once you have created your layout of how you want the page to look like then all you do is change out the individual photo. But don't forget to also change the name, number of the player...lol
With the 11 x 14 I have a little more room to work with then then 8 x 10. With my templates I usually go for a 4 or 5 photo layout. I have 1 big size photo, then a smaller one then that, and 3 yet smaller size.
Of course the name and number of the player, team, the year and if you want the name of the team members. You can add the team logo up in one of the corners if you have room.
When I do these templates I always want to create something unique. Something that no one has seen or done before. A lot of times I will change the layout a little with each player to give it a unique look for each kid. I will then tell the parents or team manager this. I will mention to them that this gives each one a unique look. You have the same color scheme, fonts, background but changed it up a little. Don't be afraid..Create a one of a kind piece of art. I guess this part comes from being an artist...
I use photoshop as my fav tool to work with. I can create the whole aspect of the template in photoshop.
There is so many filters, brushes, and elements to photoshop that to use them all is basically impossible. So learn what you need to learn to get going and then if you wish, approach other elements later. After a while you'll find out that you only need a few parts of photoshop to create your work anyways.
I one thing I will stress , your work is only as good as your photos. If you have crappy photos then your work will reflect that. No matter how good the layout is, the first thing people look at is whether or not they can see their child clearly..
and oh yeah always create your own work. If you show work that someone else has created there is always going to be parents who have seen that layout. Murphy's Law...If you need to use someone else's work then be prepared to pay $30 to $50 per template layout. It's not the end of the world going this way either. It saves you time and money in the long run.
I hope this helps your creativity process a please let me know if I missed something...
Thank you and take care
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