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Media Day Ideas

A new trend among the local club soccer teams is to host a “media day.” For our high school age girls, this honestly only means a photo session in front of a green screen. But still… it’s exciting and fun (for them) – and sometimes shocking (for the parents) – to see these young athletes all dolled up with actual makeup on and their hair not in their signature high pony or braids. The photos are then used to promote the team on social media.

The other noteworthy thing about media day is that it’s long, and for the shier girls, it can be somewhat torturous to pose in front of the rest of your team pretending to be completely at ease.

player with green screen

My kid is one of the shy ones. Thankfully, her turn came towards the end so everyone was pretty loose by that time. Just in case though, I came prepared to take a little of the attention off of the athletes in the hot seat.  Also, this being their first one, I wanted to make level up the media day experience without being a crazy over-the-top mom.

I mainly did this by bringing food, obviously. Teenage girls trapped in a small room for two hours definitely required food. Everyone who has a teenager knows, they eat constantly. Plus, (crossing fingers) the sugar would hype them up a bit for the video clips!

I also brought photo props. They were NOT for the actual photographer shoot. If you’re attending one of these, remember, the photographers have a shot list and a very limited amount of time. They DO NOT want the additional shenanigans that fun, party mom wheels in with her loaded up wagon. HOWEVER, the girls who are just sitting around and waiting all had their cameras — so there you go: Instant selfie props for them to pose with.

And lastly, I created two collages of inspiration poses. These were really helpful for them to get an idea of what was expected of them, and also what worked well for their “you can do your own pose” shots.

More on each media day idea below. I only had an afternoon to pull it all together (because busy working mom…) so I can assure you, this is not a big lift.

Media Day Food
You also know me by now. I can’t just tote in a box of Wheat Thins for snacks. I went for the pun.

cheez basket

Yep, I did grab some bagged snacks from the Tom Thumb, but they were themed: CHEESE-its, and CHEE-tos. Then I created a fun sign to go into the bucket that says, “Say Cheese!” Here’s a download if you’d like to use it:

Also from the Thumbery, I picked up a tray of frosted cupcakes in our team colors. I didn’t pre-order so I took what they had which had sprinkles on the top – not in our team colors. (Grrr.) But that’s okay, I grabbed some colored sugar sprinkles from the spices and cake mix aisle and gave them a dash of team spirit. Again, couldn’t stop there, I made some cute cupcake toppers for media day.

media day ideas

Here’s how I made these cupcake toppers in case you’d like to do the same:

  1. I designed a sheet of toppers in Canva, and downloaded the “pdf for print.” You’ll need two circles for each cupcake topper, so print at least twice the number of circles to cupcakes. 
  2. I sent the digital file to my local FedEx to print on cardstock. You can do this easily through the FedEx website and then they’re ready for pickup when you get there. 
  3. I used a circle punch to cut the circles out of the card stock. You can use scissors, but I find the punch is SO much faster and easier. Tip: flip the punch over so you can see exactly how to line up the art into the cut area. It will be perfect every time! I use my circle punch a LOT. Here’s the one I have:
circle cutter
  1. Next, I hot glued one of the circles to mini wooden skewers. Tip: You’ll want to eyeball the height of the cupcake before you commit to gluing so make sure you don’t have too much of the wood exposed once you put the cupcake topper on the cupcake. Flip your circle so the design is away from you and put hot glue on the stick of your topper and glue those two pieces together. After I secured one side and while it was still warm, I added another small dab of glue onto the wood stick and around the back of the 1st circle and added another circle to make the topper two-sided. (You can just make one-sided toppers too! Just eliminate this second step. I just like it to be pretty from all angles…) As you can see from my toppers, there were two design versions for the cupcake toppers. I used the same design for the front and back of each topper so it would be easy to alternate the designs in the tray. I got my skewers from my grocery store, but these are the same length and are the perfect height to make these 2 inch cupcake toppers!

***Note: if you’re providing cupcakes or similar to a photo event, DO NOT get any with dark-colored frosting. You run the risk of dyed lips and stained unis. In my case, the bakery had cupcakes with white and very light blue frosting so it was perfect.

Here’s what my toppers looked like before punching them out, and here is the link to the Canva template if you’d like to use it to make your own toppers. Simply edit the background to match your team colors, and replace our team logo with yours. If you need help with this, I have a short video HERE. Be sure to read the tips in the video description.

If you’re doing a media day, definitely bring the girls some drinks. They wanted water and I also brought some Capri Suns in a cooler. If I’d had time, I might have revisited my soccer drink craft from eons ago.

Media Day Photo Poses 

For the photo pose inspiration, I literally just got online, searched for media day photos and downloaded or took screen shots of the best ones. I made a collage of them in Canva using the collage template, printed them on cardstock (again, sent to FedEx and let them do it for me) and put them in plastic photo sleeves. I realllllly wanted to laminate them but that’s the perfectionist in me. Anyway, these really worked out great. The girls passed them around before their turn in front of the camera to get ideas. You can view my template in Canva here.

contact sheet

For the soccer photo props… I had my graphic designer make some for me in our team colors. I think they turned out so cute! Here’s the link if your want to download them in blue and yellow. LMK in the comments below if you’d be interested in other team colors and which ones. Just like the inspo poses and cupcake toppers and snack sign, I sent these to FedEx to print on cardstock. They were SUPER easy to cut out. I hot glued them to plain white paper straws and done!

Here’s a link to download the soccer photo props, and here’s a source for plain white paper straws.

The very last thing I did was really a photo prop frame for the moms because I know that the photos we like to keep are different than what teenage girls like to keep. This was really an easy project and you’ve seen it before on my site. 😉

players holding frame

Grab a photo mat and letter stickers from the craft store or online. I suggest an 11×18 mat and stickers that are bold font about 1 ½ to 2 inches high. My craft store ONLY had white, but if I’d planned ahead, I would have gotten a colored mat for my photo frame.

Here are some fun letter sticker packs:

I actually used my Silhouette to cut vinyl letters but you don’t have to do that. I also printed our team logo on cardstock and used a glue pen to trace over the gold and blue bits. While the glue was still wet, I sprinkled matching glitter on it and let it dry. Then I hot glued the logo to the frame. I added a random soccer sticker too. You could do a lot to make this cuter but it got the job done! 

Here’s an example of the glue pen I used. I actually use this a LOT.

There’s also a chisel tip version.

Good luck with your media day!

soccer team in photography class


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