Go for the goal: team photos & scores


Picture book. Memory book. Record book. Historical book. While we often focus on the photo and memory functions of the yearbook, it’s important to remember it is the only permanent record of the school year. It’s essential to include team photos and scores in the book.

Team photos: In the best-case scenario, the portrait photographer or a local photographer takes the team photos. Contact the photographer directly, asking for photos already taken and the dates for upcoming team shots. This will also ensure spring sports take their photos in time for the final yearbook deadline. If parents or several photographers help with team photos, make sure to contact them quickly to obtain the needed photos by the final deadline.

Names: Unless a staffer attends every team photo session, you’ll gather names after the pictures are taken. To help with name recognition, identify athletes during the season. (It’s really hard for football coaches to remember a freshman player who transferred after the third week when you ask for his name in March.) Ask for a roster at the beginning of the season to make name identification easier. Another option is to provide printouts of the photos to the coaches to ID athletes. Often, student managers assist with team photos, especially with large teams like football. Make sure to check for name changes and spelling errors.

Scores: It can be tough to track down scores if you didn’t keep up with it during the season. Or worse, the team had a rough season and the coach doesn’t want to share losing scores. To avoid this, assign a student to keep track of scores every week. Print out the schedule and add the score by the game, use the score sheet (from Balfour’s yearbook curriculum) or keep a Google doc with the scores. If your school uses maxpreps.com or a Twitter account to record scores, check it regularly to update your team’s record and scores. Another option is to have a staffer take a picture of the scorebook at the end of the season.

Feeling overwhelmed? If you’ve never included scores before, consider taking it slow. Maybe include the schedule this year, then add varsity scores the next. If space is an issue, run only the district or conference scores with the overall record. Build each year to eventually include scores for all teams.

Bonus tip: A pre-season survey can make collecting information easier. Go for the goal!

What’s a Colophon?

Providing details about a book’s publication, colophons have been included in books and manuscripts as early as the 6th century. Today, a colophon provides a description of printing notes relevant to the yearbook.

Located at the end of the book, it gives facts about the publishing process including production and technology details. It should include information on:

  • Publishing: volume number, staff name, high school, city, state and publisher
  • Theme: theme concept, when and where it was developed
  • Production: number of pages, cover and endsheet materials, paper stock, computers and software used
  • Sales: book sales, book cost, ad costs
  • Graphics: fonts and colors
  • Photography: portrait photographers, staff photos, cameras
  • Awards: state and national recognition
  • Acknowledgments: names of people who supported the staff

Staffs may also include policies regarding portraits, group shots and sensitive issues (death), etc. A colophon can run at the end of the ads or index section, or possibly on the back endsheet.


Staffs often place the colophon on a spread with their staff list, editor’s note and pictures. Use the editor’s note to talk about the significance of the theme or the concept’s evolution. Explain how the staff overcame obstacles (weather events, computer crashes, etc.) and thank the staffers and adviser for their hard work. Remember, it took help to create that beautiful book.


Bonus tip: Here’s how four staffs presented their colophons in 2016.

Tips for shooting sports

The game-winning shot at the buzzer. The player crossing home plate for the go ahead run. The dash for the finish line to make the podium. Being in the right place at the right time can make or break your sports photos.

But if you’re unfamiliar with the sport, how do you know where to stand? Or what lens to use? Some tips for winter and spring sports:

Basketball – If you’re limited by lens length, underneath the basket is an ideal spot. With a 50 or 80mm lens, shoot layups, rebounds and passing shots. Longer lenses allow you to move to the corners, out of the referees’ way.

Softball & Baseball – The dugouts provide a safe and advantageous place to shoot from. Stand in the first base dugout for right-handed batters, base runners and home plate shots. The third base dugout is better for pitchers and left-handed batters.

Track – Take advantage of races and events during the day for better lighting and using longer telephoto lenses that aren’t expensive, fast lenses (i.e. 2.8 lenses). Stand at the end of races and field events like the long, triple and high jump to capture faces and the action.

Bonus tip: For more suggestions, what lenses and settings to use, see our guide to winter and spring sports photography. (Also, ask your Balfour representative about a poster-sized copy of this for your classroom.)

Four Balfour university yearbooks named ACP Finalists

The Associated Collegiate Press named four Balfour publications Yearbook Pacemaker Finalists, Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Baylor University, North Carolina State University, Texas Tech University and The University of Miami were four of the 11 colleges selected for their 2016 yearbooks.

Read More »

Organize the camera closet

“A place for everything, everything in its place.” This old adage is fitting when it comes to camera closets. To provide stress relief, have a system for organizing and checking out equipment.


Have an identification system. Whether your school has an ID system or not, it’s essential to have a simple way to ID each camera and lens. Consider specialty camera straps in various patterns or colored Velcro straps. Add the camera type to the color ID to help distinguish bodies, e.g. 70D Red, 60D Orange.

Designate separate areas for bodies and lenses. Preferably, have a separate area marked for each camera and lens, marking off the areas with tape or markers. If you prefer, have camera kits that include the camera bag, body and specific lenses that belong together.

Label each area clearly. This will make it obvious when a camera is not in the closet.

Have a check out system. Have students fill out a check out form indicating what equipment they’re taking and the date. Include a disclaimer on the form that makes clear the student is financially responsible for the checked out gear. Make sure to have them sign and provide their phone number. Have them mark the return date when equipment comes back.

Place staffer name cards in the designated area for equipment used. Write students’ names on magnets, cardstock or clothespins. Place the name card in the empty area to indicate which student has checked out the camera. This will provide a clear visual of who has what equipment checked out.

Bonus tip: A check out form makes it easier to track which student has what camera. Adding the cell phone number also helps when staffers are late to bring back equipment.