Jason Soria, a senior at Apollo High school, is a budding sports photographer and videographer. He’s worked on his craft for years, even though he’s still a student. Passion, curiosity, and talent made for the perfect combination.
“I have always had an interest in sports, cameras, and photo & video since I was a kid. I was always experimenting with a camera, making videos with my friends on my mom’s old Sony Camcorder …I think that’s what started my interest in all of this. I would always take a camera with me on family trips and document anything I could. As I grew older, I started to save up money for better cameras. Throughout my middle school years, I bought second-hand cameras online. I used them for a while and then sold them online to upgrade to a newer and better camera. During the summer of my 8th-grade year going into my freshman year of high school, I bought my first DSLR Canon Camera.”
“During the pandemic, I had a lot of time to myself since a lot of places were shut down, including school being moved online. Sometime during the month of August 2020, I had the idea to take my Canon and bike over to my friend’s baseball game and try shooting baseball photos since I had nothing else to do. I still remember being at that game with my camera and thinking to myself how much fun that was.”
“After shooting that game, I started to realize that I really liked sports photography and I knew I wanted to try shooting other sports. Shortly after, the next sport I shot was soccer at my previous high school. I also joined the yearbook club there to involve myself more with photography and school sporting events.”
Jason and his family moved to the St. Cloud area during the pandemic when his family relocated outside of the twin cities metro. When he transferred to Apollo High School, he was determined to continue photographing sporting events. “I made it a personal goal to get more experience doing so and to start making money off of it to eventually create my own business. I met Apollo football Coach Michael Beehler and spoke with him about making the promotional hype video for the team’s upcoming season. He liked the idea, so we scheduled a day for me to come to football practice to film some clips for the video. After he posted the video, Apollo Activities Director Alexandra Badger reached out to me about hiring me to create more content for the other Apollo sports teams!” Jason continues to work with Badger to continue creating content for Apollo’s sports teams.
But Apollo High School isn’t the only place you might come across Jason’s work. He’s very involved locally. “Along with working for my high school, I also work at SCSU, photographing the Division 1 Men’s Hockey Team along with the other sports teams. I was grateful for the opportunity to shoot the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Finals at the Xcel Energy Center. It was fun being able to shoot the Huskies in front of a big crowd at a big arena like the X, especially when I was able to shoot in between the two benches during the first period, it’s a different feeling being right on the ice and right next to the players and coaches. It was definitely a memorable event for me as they ended up winning the conference finals against Colorado and I got to capture the energy and smiles after the game from out on the ice while awards were being given. I also work in the St. Cloud SCHEELS Social Media Marketing department where I help create videos and photos of new products to promote on our social media pages. In addition to all of those projects, I also have my own clients in the Greater St. Cloud area that I make promotional videos for. ”
“I have partnered with other digital creators in town. Last year, Luke Schmidt from Luke Schmidt Photography had me come along with him on a photo shoot for the Bauer X Lululemon clothing apparel line. I was able to learn from him how he operates his sessions and was able to help him with lighting equipment and other related tasks. Another creator I have worked with is Connor Dols from Studio 800 located in Downtown St. Cloud. His studio is perfect for any type of studio photography. I was taking pictures in his studio for a senior basketball athlete and I was able to use his studio and all the lighting equipment inside.”
“I enjoy being a business owner in central MN because everyone in town that I’ve worked for is always so kind and super helpful to me and my business. I help them promote their business with content that I create for them and at the same time it gives me more experience and more material to add to my portfolio. A lot of my followers on social media are from the St. Cloud area. I appreciate all the likes and comments I receive on my posts. All the engagement on my page helps my business grow and helps my page get viewed by more people. I’ve been able to meet new people, gain more experience, and learn from every video and photo shoot I’ve done.”
“My goal is to capture the intensity of the game in my work, along with the emotions of the athletes. The way I edit my photos sets me apart from others. I like to make the colors pop and show contrast and clarity in my sports images. This is not my full-time gig… yet. I am finishing up high school and am excited to continue growing my business and see where it can take me. The next steps after finishing high school will be getting better at managing my business and working on improving my video editing skills. I am constantly learning new stuff every day and I can’t wait to keep learning more about this industry.”