4 Key Principles to Create Winning Videos for Online Shows


Online shows are here. If we're lucky, we'll all be back in the show ring with our friends at a live event soon, however throughout the country we're already hearing of shows being canceled due to COVID-19. Accordingly, the only way some people may be able to show their animals this summer is by participating in online shows. 

We've developed an online course to help you create a show winning video, but there are the 4 Key Principles we believe will help you get started. They are Presentation, Proximity, Pace, and Pattern. 

Presentation - At a live show, we know we need to max out our animal to prepare them for the judge's evaluation. An online show is going to be no different. Fit if you're allowed to fit. Use oil to make them shine if that's allowable (and comfortable for the animal given the weather when you shoot.) Do everything you can from a presentation standpoint to give yourself an advantage.

The same should be said for the exhibitor's presentation. Dress up! It's show day for you too!

Proximity refers to the distance between the camera and the animal, or how you frame the animal in the shot. We'll shoot all our livestock videos in horizontal mode, so the video frame is a ratio of 16:9, meaning it's 16 parts long and 9 parts tall.  Most species fill this frame nicely, but there are two tricky parts; first, are we allowed to zoom or move the camera, and second, are we in a market class or a showmanship class? 

Zoom Limitations - Let's be real here, most of us are going to be making these videos with our phones, and zooming a phone camera is not very smooth unless you practice (so practice!)  We've already seen shows that ask that you do not zoom the camera in order to provide a more pleasant viewing experience for the judge. Also, zooming a phone camera can create all kinds of digital sloppiness that makes your picture unclear, so it's best not to zoom if you can help it. This is going to mean you need to be closer to the animals and you're going to need to be able to move the camera steadily. 

Class Type - In a market class or breeding class the judge needs to see the animal, but in a showmanship class the judge needs to see the animal and how well that animal's exhibitor works with it. Accordingly, for a showmanship class, it will certainly be appropriate to see both the animal and the exhibitor in the frame, and it may even be best to see an even wider shot where the judge can see an animal go through a course, or challenges that your show may develop to test the showman's skills.

Pace is critical in the ring to show off the best qualities of your animal. Some animals look better moving faster and some animals look best moving slower. In a video, this is amplified tremendously.  Discover the right pace for your animal by filming it, reviewing the footage, then repeating until you know you've got it right. 

Pattern is the word we're using to describe how the animal needs to move in order to show off its best angles. In a 16:9 frame, animals do not look very good coming directly towards or moving directly away from the camera, so we'll want to avoid these shots while also ensuring we're giving the judge a great view of the entire animal. 

Pattern also applies to the direction in which the camera will need to move in order to get a great video, with the right framing despite the zoom limitations of phone cameras. In our course, The Complete Guide to Creating Winning Videos for Online Shows, we show you the patterns we've developed to fit different video guidelines your show may present while also ensuring you get great footage to help your video stand out from the pack! 

Inside the coursewe'll discuss rules, how to interpret them and we'll give you all kinds of tips we've learned after filming thousands and thousands of animals. Just in the last few weeks, we've seen a lot of online shows pop up with a lot of different rules regarding video capture and delivery so, inside the course, we show you how to interpret the rules base on where you're showing. We also discuss camera settings, selecting a video area, understanding how to get the best light for your videos, plus we go into detail on all four of the Key Principles outlined in this post. Check it out here: learnlivestockphotography.com/onlineshows

Stay strong, and let's get back to the live shows ASAP! In the meantime, let's make the best videos imaginable to show off these projects you've invested in! 

Get our best tips delivered to your inbox. 

Join our mailing list to receive weekly livestock photography tips delivered directly to your inbox. Take Better Photos. Make More Money. 


50% Complete

Nice Shot!

Sign up below for to receive weekly photography tips, be the first to know when courses are available, and get special offers sent right your e-mail!