Plan a picture-perfect club photo day

Dedicating one day for club photos can make your job easier. All the backgrounds are the same, the pictures are similar widths and the names are written down. Give yourself a little time to plan a successful day.

  • Coordinate with the principal, secretary, athletic director and/or theatre tech director for a location and date. A gym is an ideal place because there are built-in bleachers. But often coaches have practice and tournaments so make sure you can use the location. Stages and lecture halls are also good choices if you can borrow the choir or photo company’s risers.
  • Utilize your school photographer to take the photos. They’re used to setting up team photos so they’ll do a great job organizing the students into rows. Plus, they’ll bring lights and they often have risers. If you’re in a real hurry, borrow the SD card at the end of the shoot and copy all the photos immediately.
  • Email all the club sponsors for their preferred time slot. Ask sponsors to set the picture during their conference period to keep students organized and weed out picture crashers. Encourage groups to wear their club T-shirts and provide passes to help the students leave class at the designated time.
  • Promote Club Picture Day around campus. Have the schedule set at least a week in advance. Post copies of it on social media and around the school.

Bonus tip: Have clipboards, pens and sheets to write down names after the picture is taken. Ask groups to hold for a moment and provide a clipboard to each row to go faster. Have sponsors verify names and clarify handwriting issues to avoid any mistakes. There’s an informational page too, to collect officer names and club facts.

Yearbook Resolutions for 2017

Lose weight. Save money. Spend more time with family. We all think of ways to improve ourselves at this time of year. Let’s also take that energy and focus it on our staffs.

 

Take a day and reflect on the fall semester. Discuss what worked well and what could be improved. Ask students to share how they could individually make things run smoother. Here are some suggestions:

  • Start each day with a 5-minute catch up. Let staffers share good news or what they’re looking forward to this week.
  • Meet with editors to go over individual responsibilities and expectations. Praise what they’ve done well. Encourage them in the areas that need work.
  • Assign a staffer to doublecheck name spellings and grades. It’s easy to mess up names, a sore spot for buyers. Having an extra set of eyes ensures there’s less mistakes.
  • Update the list of who has been in the book and how many times. Post it in the room. Compare it to who has bought a book. Encourage staffers to use students not on the list first and be wary of choosing a student who has already been included multiple times.
  • Rearrange seating or pair different students. If you’ve noticed some staffers distract each other, now is the time to play musical chairs. Also, create new pairings of students on spread assignments. They can share the workload and working with a different staffer helps them get to know each other and bond.
  • Don’t put off club pictures, team photos or index planning. It’s never too early to start thinking about those pages. Start doing the math and sketching ideas on paper to make these sections run smoother.

Bonus tip: Weekly self-evaluations make students accountable for their work, track spread progress and provide an additional grade.

Showcase your work while building a personal brand.

The skills you’re learning today on your school’s yearbook or student media staff can have enormous real-world application. A photo editor might one day own a photography business. Graphic skills can transform into careers in advertising or digital marketing. Social media content created to help sell yearbooks is extremely valuable as more and more companies understand their need for a social presence. With digital portfolios on the rise, there’s no better time than now to start building your own brand with a personal website.

So where should you start? There are many free web development platforms available today including Wix.com and Squarespace. Dunked even caters specifically to portfolios for creative types. If becoming proficient in WordPress is on your bucket list, you may look into building a site using the tools they provide.

 

What do I put in my portfolio?

A great portfolio inspires and informs your audience.  Show off your best yearbook spreads or infographic designs. Capture attention with stunning photography. Entertain with a video project. Leave readers inspired with a well-written feature story. Adding a personal blog gives your audience insight into who you are as a person. Tailor your portfolio to your strengths, and don’t forget to keep it up to date with new and fresh content.

 

Proceed with Caution.

Be mindful of the personal information you make public on the internet. Most websites allow for generic “Contact Me” buttons to keep your email and phone number out of the hands of potential spammers. Consider linking to your social media pages as an alternative contact method. (And it’s a great way to show off your skills and connect with other socially savvy audience.)

 

Get a jumpstart on your future.

Regardless of your future career ambitions,  a personal brand instills confidence, helps you hone your craft, and allows you to make mistakes that may go unnoticed before you’re applying for your dream job five years from now. Plus, having a digital portfolio gives you an impressive advantage over someone with twice your experience vying for the same job or internship.

 

Be Inspired!

Not sure what your site should look like? Here are 16 beautiful examples from The Muse’s  “Best Personal Websites of 2016″ contest.

 

Winners announced for the Great Shot Photo Contest, Fall 2016 edition

headerWe are pleased to announce the winners of this fall’s Great Shot Photo Contest. For the first time, entries were accepted in two categories: sports and school spirit. With more than 1,500 photos submitted, narrowing down the winners was a tough task for our panel of judges.

Below are the winners. Click here to view a slideshow of all our winners.

Sports

First Place- “Hold Your Breath” by Gabrielle P., Allen High School, Allen, TX

Second Place- “Out of the Trap” by Kayleigh M., Texas High School, Texarkana, TX

Third Place- “Air Interception” by Kim H., Lecanto High School, Lecanto, F L

Honorable Mention- “Cass Tech Wins Out Cold” by Lauralyn T. – Cass Technical HS, Detroit, MI

Honorable Mention- “Lucky 23” by Amy D. – Desert Edge High School, Goodyear, AZ

Honorable Mention- “Bring ’em Out” by Amy R. – Giles County High School, Pulaski, TN

Honorable Mention- “End in Sight” by Emary S. – Mansfield Legacy High School, Mansfield, TX

Honorable Mention- “Backstroke” by Racheal S. – Texas High School, Texarkana, TX

 

School Spirit

First Place- “Horns Out” by Gabriel Z., Magnolia West High School, Magnolia, TX

Second Place- “Paper Parade” by Karly R., Pascagoula High School, Pascagoula, MS

Third Place- “Powderpuff 2016” by Margaret G., Maple Lake High School, Maple Lake, MN

Honorable Mention- “Cheering On the Dogs” by Tony J. – Carthage High School, Carthage, TX

Honorable Mention- “Between the Bows” by Lindsey B. – Cedar Park High School, Cedar Park, TX

Honorable Mention- “We’ve Got Spirit” by Monika S. – Claudia Taylor Johnson HS, San Antonio, TX

Honorable Mention- “Husky Nation” by Austin M. – Horizon High School, Scottsdale, AZ

Honorable Mention- “Those Cats are Wild” by Meredith W. – Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos, CA

Honorable Mention- “Fantastic Fans” by Jada S. – Mansfield Legacy High School, Mansfield, TX

New Launch Lab Officially Opens in Dallas Office

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Staff members gathered for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 18 to officially open the doors to the new space. The work stations and meeting rooms came to life immediately as some employees moved into the space that day.

Create. Connect. Captivate. Those are the pillars of the new Launch Lab collaborative workspace that officially opened for business in Balfour’s Dallas publishing plant in November.

The Launch Lab, an open office environment, includes teams of digital, e-commerce, IT, marketing, product and creative services working under the same roof supporting all areas of the business. The Launch Lab will be active in supporting each and every product launch and lifecycle, from yearbooks to championship rings and new product development.

It’s named Launch Lab for a reason. When you think about a launch – there’s energy, there’s many moving parts working together, a significant amount of planning involved, there’s excitement, and the trajectory is upward, fast and forward. That’s the vision for the Launch Lab.

The naming of the different rooms was a project of its own. Avoiding corporate cliches and buzzwords as best we could, names like Pixel, Hashtag and Connect were selected for small huddle rooms. Larger meeting rooms sport names like Sandbox, Wonderwall, Captivate, Inspire and Amplify.

As schools tour our Dallas plant, they’ll be able to take a look at the new workspace and see some of our behind-the-scenes departments that play a huge part in yearbook production, namely our IT teams.

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The open space towards the back will be used for monthly company meetings to promote new product launches and celebrate employee accomplishments.

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Once full, the Launch Lab will house more than 85 employees.