“Fight for victory, while we stand up and cheer, let’s hear it for the BEARS!”

Here at Revel, we are big supporters of Missouri State and enjoy working with MSU Athletics. This relationship began 4 years ago and each year we are tasked with developing a new look for the upcoming athletic seasons. In developing our vision for the 2015-2016 MSU Athletics, there was a point where our large magnet board was covered in photos for inspiration and ideas. Through lots of research, discussion and brainstorming, we came up with a concept that was sure to score (pun intended).

We knew we wanted intensity, power and energy. We wanted the essence of the design to evoke emotion and get you pumped up for the game. Our solution was to use motion photography combined with a dark background, the power of light and a smoky maroon bear head, for dramatic effect of course.

Commercial sport photography comes with many challenges. How do you capture an athlete playing the game when they aren’t actually playing the game? We needed to capture the motion of these players displaying their incredible athleticism but with very specific shots in mind. This couldn’t be done during practice; this needed to be in a controlled studio setting. It also required some tools including mats, stools and even a spray water bottle (used for the swimming and diving shoot by our Marketing Coordinator and “official spritzer,” Shelby.) These items helped the athletes’ dive, jump, kick and flip like they were in the heat of competition.

When photographing the athletes, we had to find a balance between the technicalities of the motion vs. how it photographed. For example, one of the soccer players was being photographed and the technical motion of his arm was to be in front of his face—not making for a great shot. We had him drop his arm a little to give the photo the right look to use in posters, programs and ads.

At these photo shoots, it is crucial to have the coaches attend to critique and guide the athlete’s movements. At the swimming and diving shoot, our photographer had the swimmers lie across a stool and hold their stroke while he took the shot. The coach was able to tweak the athlete’s arms and feet to match what it would look like if they were actually in water.

Our concept for MSU Athletics could only have been achieved through the power of photography. These photos, matched with a powerful design, successfully capture the strength, passion and greatness that is the Missouri State Bears.