Highlight Videos: Ideas, Examples, and How to

Most often, we think of highlight videos as showing off athletes’ sweet moves, yet highlight reels are perfect for anyone wanting to up their game. Whether you’re an athlete, a vlogger, or someone wanting to document life visually, highlight videos are a fun way to showcase your life, making these videos excellent for social media content.

Think of a highlight video, or a series of them, as being a visual journal of your life. Journaling can be a valuable tool for growing and reflecting on life, and similarly, I believe highlight videos can give us more ways to process and reflect on our lives. Additionally, they provide a bridge to connection and conversation with friends, family, and social media followers.

If you would prefer to hire someone, try out one of these companies:

This article will answer questions you may have when creating a highlight video of your own, offering tips and tricks for getting started, and giving additional resources to help you complete your video.

Summer in Colorado: Captured using a DJI Spark and Apple iPhone

Why make highlight videos?

Highlight reels can be used for anything from engaging content for YouTube and social media, to family videos, vacation reels, memorial videos, and so much more.

A highlight reel is a perfect project for anyone getting started with video editing. This is because most of us already have plenty of content on our phones to edit videos now.

Highlight reels are a perfect way to showcase those photos and videos you have stored up on your phone, GoPro, or any other cameras. If you’re looking for an awesome gift that will make just about anyone smile, try giving a highlight video. Focus on a specific event or span it over a longer timeframe.

Highlight videos make perfect gifts for:

Family Videos: Captured using cell phones
  • Mothers and Fathers Day
  • Greeting Cards – Catch friends and family up every year
  • Memorial videos for a grieving soul
  • Birthdays, Parties, and Holidays
  • Vacation and Travel

It’s time to purge your digital clutter and create lasting memories to look back on with your friends and family.

What is a highlight video?

A highlight video is a sequence, or consolidation, of your favorite moments, memories, or “highlights,” captured as photos, videos, audio, and text, compiled into an engaging short format video montage.

Although highlight reels are often used by teams and athletes to improve performance and strategy, an engaging highlight video can also be used for vloggers, family archives, memorials, yearly reviews, holiday cards, and so much more!

Just as with athletic highlight videos, your life’s highlights make a great way to reflect on where you’ve been and redefine your projected future.

Getting a raw and honest look at yourself, and giving others the opportunity to do the same is important for our growth. A good highlight video should be for you to look back and measure growth, reminisce with friends and family, and give others a glimpse into your life.

Vacation Highlights: Captured Using GoPro

Making Your Own Highlight Videos

Making your own highlight videos is simple. In fact, with just a few clicks, most people with a smartphone can have a basic video slideshow made in just a few minutes without having to download any apps or edit any footage themselves.

On Apple, open the Photos app, select the photos and videos you’d like to use, click share, then tap on slideshow. Using Apple’s radical world dominating technology, it puts together a little video, with no options for editing, for you to share with the world.

Additionally, Apple users can enjoy using iMovie for free on their computer or phone for plenty of flexibility to edit videos.

Likewise, Android users can download any of the apps listed and have a video put together in a few minutes. Some Android apps are:

  • Adobe Rush
  • FilmoraGo
  • WeVideo
  • VivaVideo
  • Quik Video Editor
Backpacking Trips: Captured using cell phones

Video Editing Applications

Currently, Adobe Premiere Pro is my choice for editing. I use it on my laptop to edit anything from highlight reels and vacation videos, to weddings and commercial videos. It’s packed full of features and endless possibilities. You truly are only limited by your imagination when it comes to the Adobe Suite!

Adobe can be fairly pricey for their monthly plans, however, they offer teacher and student discounts, as well as a free video editing app for your phone called Adobe Rush. Adobe Rush works both on mobile and desktop as an on the go option.

With video playing such a big role in our society, there are loads of free video editing apps available. When looking for a video editing app, the following features should be included:

  • Import and export your own videos
  • Export at no less than 720p
  • Add your own music and audio clips
  • Cut and trim photos and videos
  • Save the video without watermarks
  • Ability to speed up and slow down footage 1-2x

There are a plethora of premium features to look for, but these are the minimum requirements to look for in a free editor.

Once you’ve chosen an app, it’s time to dive into the edit!

Highlight Videos: Editing Basics

The best advice I can give to any new editor is not to get stuck on perfecting. You can spend endless hours editing just seconds of a video that only you will know and see that don’t ad to the video.

In no way am I saying to be lazy, but learn to know what to perfect and what not to. You’ll get better as you go, and in time, be able to do more complex and quick edits. Practice makes progress in the process.

Editing highlight videos should be a fun and challenging process. I love taking a series of photos and videos from an event from different people and piecing them together into a fun to watch story.

Here’s my basic process for video editing, no matter the app:

Honeymoons: Captured using GoPro
  1. Organize all photos, videos, and audio into one folder on your phone or desktop computer
  2. Open up your favorite video editing app (see above for options)
  3. Import your media from the folders you created in step one into your new project
  4. Decide what order you’d like to share your photos and videos (consecutive, etc)
  5. Begin dragging and dropping photos and videos into the timeline in the desired order
    • Trim away any parts of the clips you’d like removed
    • Generally, photos should be displayed for a minimum of 4 seconds to give viewers time to see them. Sometimes, I like to make very quick series of photos that last under 4 seconds each.
  6. Next, choose and add your desired music
    • I like to choose music while I’m assembling a highlight video. This gives me an opportunity to feel out different songs to actually fit the feel of the atmosphere created my the media.
    • Music can really make or break a highlight video
    • It’s important to choose music that doesn’t take away for the footage, but instead adds a proper sense of emotion.
  7. Balance the audio
    • Be sure to drop the music volume for any clips that you would like heard
    • I like to include a number of audio clips for highlight videos that work together to tell a story
  8. Add titles, graphics, etc.
  9. Watch through your creation one last time. Fix any errors that you might see.
  10. Export your video in the format most suitable for your needs.

Making a highlight video can be as easy or as challenging as you care to make it, and you may find yourself wanting to hire an editor throughout the process. If that’s the case, I encourage you not to give up! Editing does take time, even if you’re experienced, but there are many ways to speed up the process.

Hire Someone to Edit for You

Editing a highlight video can be extremely rewarding as you watch your vision become reality, but if you’ve given editing a try and find yourself struggling to enjoy the process and you find that your time is more valuable, then consider one of the options below to make your video editing dreams come true.

Friendcations: Captured using GoPro

The examples seen on this page are from LifeReel and are my own creations. I really enjoy making highlight videos that capture memories and emotions. Though I’ve personally never used any editors myself, due to myself being an editor, I’d hire any of the one’s listed above based on their customer reviews.

The Possibilities are Endless…

Try not to make your highlight videos as much about boasting, but instead show others, as well as yourself, where you’ve been and how you hope to grow. It’s by looking inside that we begin to heal the outside world. Highlight videos should spark creativity and excitement for yourself and your future, as well as help others feel and witness your life’s moments alongside you.

Try to make highlight videos exciting, creative, and engaging, while still being real and authentic. Filtering your life too much, only leads to a false perception of who you are to those around you, including your future self and makes it difficult to grow.

Cheers to the possibilities!

Camping Trips: Captured on cell phone and dslr

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