What do I love doing most? Telling stories, especially feel-good feature stories.
It's one of the main reasons I love shooting for Bike Elf. Recently, the founders pitched an idea that should play to my storytelling strengths. Why not pick out a few of the people who make Bike Elf great—whether it be bike recipients, volunteers, donors—and tell their stories as part of a series?
And voila, "Bike Elf Stories" was born.
The series begins today with the Tucker brothers: Phillip and Josiah. It's a standard story of how kids have to earn their bicycles from Bike Elf. The bikes aren't simply handed to them.
Expect to see more stories every few weeks. Some will simply be a series of photos and others will be more like the Tuckers' feature, with interviews and more in-depth shoots.
This was a fun first. I've used my GoPro Hero4 Session in several situation where it would go under water. But under a beer? Sure, why not?
Last week, I shot Bike Elf's Pints for a Purpose event where the charity raised money from raffles and beer sales. It was a pretty straightforward shoot. I had very little available time to edit the video so it lacks a lot of the color corrections I like I normally do. My main goal was to make it move and flow, which isn't easy to do when you have what we referred to in journalism school as "BOPSA": bunch of people standing around.
However, I'll remember this video mainly for the opening shot. I placed my GoPro at the bottom of a beer mug for bartender to pour a frothy IPA over and it got the exact shot I wanted. So of course, I had to open with it.
I'm proud to say the video I produced for Bike Elf for the Selective Insurance #thinkBIG video contest finished in 3rd place! As a result, the charity earned a $1,000 reward which it will use toward refurbishing more bicycles for deserving children.
As a reminder, the goal of the contest was to produce a one-minute video featuring the founders of the small business/charity explaining why they think their small business is a big deal. By my count, 82 videos were submitted. The ten videos that received the most votes by the public advanced to the final round, which was then judged by a panel of voters affiliated with Selective.
Bike Elf received the third most votes (more than 4,000 of the 59,000 votes cast). Thanks so much to those who voted! We could not have done it without you!
And one more time, here is the contest entry:
Jason Jennings is a freelance videographer based in Raleigh, NC. He previously spent more than a decade covering sports for television stations in Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Missouri.