PRT248 – Scrapbooking Performances

This week we’re talking about the scrapbooking performances…

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  • Ann

    My children were in many concerts and plays. I took pictures of the program during the event and included it in a scrapbook page. I used my ordinary, boring camera to capture stuff usually before and after the concert or play. Please realize that most of us have boring cameras and attend events made by newbie or poor graphic artists and don’t diss them.

  • Hi, Ann. I probably should have discussed the programs with more respect. Like I said in the episode, I also display almost every single program in my scrapbooks (and spent a lot of time giving ideas for that), and I highly appreciate that there are people who volunteer their time to design the programs — something I cannot imagine doing that myself. While I said all of this on the show, my blunt descriptions of many programs did not portray that gratitude and was probably even rude. I apologize.
    At the same time, it is a true concern of many scrapbookers that they (we) want their pages to have a certain appearance and they (we) don’t like the appearance of the many programs. There is nothing wrong with that. On this show we address the true concerns of scrapbookers, and since scrapbookers in the forum requested that I address this very concern, I think it is something we should discuss honestly.
    We also gave many good ideas for what you can do when you don’t have an expensive camera. I feel your rebuke in this area is unfounded. And while Izzy and I have paid a lot of money for our camera equipment, we have sacrificed many other things that most Americans have in order to afford the equipment. We shared a single car for most of our marriage, even when Izzy had an hour commute and I was left at home with no vehicle. We are very frugal, have lots of bare areas and walls in our home, etc. Please do not think that we don’t understand what it’s like to not have the best of everything. We definitely do not.

  • UnapologeticallyTracey

    Loved this episode! It made for a really full discussion, and the guests were great. Caroline is such a hoot!

    I’m among the listeners without a DSLR (though I like my middle of the line Sony mirrorless camera a lot), but I felt bad that Izzy felt the need to apologize for owning a professional lens. Photography is a big part of his and Noell’s career, they value memory-keeping more than the average Joes. Be UnapologeticallyIzzy! :)

    Anyway, I think it was good advice to accept that you’re just not likely to get amazing photos of a performance from the back of a dark theater. In addition to the tips shared on the show, I also like to rely on being “in” with the official event photographer or knowing where to find high quality photos that were taken by someone else. I’m not above scrapping someone else’s photos if they were able to capture the event better than mine!

    One exception where you CAN take really cool photos at the event is at concerts where the light show is super interesting. I’ve taken some really neat Instagrams of lights and fog-machine fog and confetti and lighters in the air at rock concerts that captured the story I wanted to tell even if the performers didn’t fill the frame.

  • What’s funny is that most shows I go to specifically don’t allow photography! My daughters dance concert for example. so I take photos before and after.

    We aren’t even allowed to watch the dress rehearsal. But next year for the run through I will bring my point and shoot (assuming I remember).

    As for scrapping the pages I will capture some stills from the DVD. The recording is good quality and there’s a couple of shots of Emily close up.

    I was once in a competition for doing a programme cover for a large event for the Cententary of Federation in Australia. My programme cover lost out to something simple that was cheaper to print.

  • really looking forward to an episode on gender stereotypes and scrapping, please make it happen!

  • Hannah Brown

    AHHHH!!! You took my suggestion!!! So excited to listen! :D

  • Janet

    Once again, I was reminded of Mitch Albon’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven when I listened to The Living Room. Stunning on so many levels. Thank you Izzy.
    I don’t subscribe to kits (ok–one) and wonder if the comments about non-kid papers and embellishments is a reflection of the kit craze. There are so many gorgeous papers from so many designers I have never felt I was lacking in product for anything I want to scrap. And The Deep Dive is great. I’m relatively new to scrapbooking, and new stories to tell are just popping! Thanks Noell and Shimelle.

  • Marie-Pierre Capistran

    well said! We all put our money where we want to. No need to sell your lens Izzy, use it more instead! :) And definitely no need to apologize. We love honest discussions. :)

  • McKenzie McGehee

    I loved Izzy’s pick, RadioLab is one of my favorite podcasts and that episode was so thought provoking, I had so many emotions throughout the episode. Similarly, I recommend the podcast Strangers like the episode of Love + Radio, it has mature moments but I found it especially moving.

  • Carly

    I was surprised that no one mentioned using their kid’s own behind-the-scenes photos. When I was in my high school drama club, we used to take the funniest behind the scenes photos with our own disposable cameras. Most of them were during our dress rehearsals or before the play would start. And most of them are of us mugging and doing ridiculous poses, but we are in our costumes and makeup. I recently went through a bunch of those photos that I had and they capture my memories of that time better than the photos of the performance itself. I’m not saying don’t scrap the actual performances, but the behind-the-scenes bits are worth keeping too, especially if its going in a family album. So I would think about asking your child if you could use a couple of the photos that they might have taken during that week approaching the play.

  • Hannah Brown

    Thank you so much for taking my request, Noell! I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and my head is spinning with ideas.

    I started an album for our choir performances and stories, and have just finished scrapbooking everything from last year. My plan is to scrapbook the previous school year’s stories during the summer, when I am missing choir a lot. It’s fun to re-live those memories. I put a TON of journaling on these layouts. There are lots of little moments I like to remember. Funny things people said, a moment where I felt my heart was going to explode from the beauty of the music, or when something went wrong (and believe me, I have PLENTY of those stories! ;) ) My Mom is awesome about taking pictures at our concerts, so I always have plenty of pictures to use. Last year for our Spring concert, we had a professional photographer (who happened to be the Mom of a couple of the choir members) take pictures during our dress rehearsal. She sent those pictures out to the choir afterwards, and I printed ALL of them. I have multiples of my favorites. They are really good quality pictures. I will do the same thing for the opera we were in: combine my own photos with the professional photographer’s pictures. I’ll probably end up making a few pages with my favorites of the professional pics.

    I keep all of my programs. i use a 3 ring binder for my choir album, so I just punch holes in them and stick them right in the middle of two layouts. If it’s a smaller event and I don’t necessarily need or want the whole program, I’ll just cut out the front and put it on my page. I stick tickets on the page, too.

    Noell, you talked about pulling the color scheme and design from the look of the performance or the time period it’s set in, which resulted in a huge lightbulb moment for me! The opera I’m going to scrap is set in the late 1800s, so I can have some fun with that.

    Thanks for another amazing episode!

  • Helen Barna

    I don’t have kids, so I don’t have any kid’s concerts or performance stories to scrap, but I do like to scrap the concerts that my husband and I attend. We also love the smaller venues where taking photos, and even getting a chance to grab the set list is possible, I also take whatever I can get :) One of the larger concerts we went to recently did not allow photography at all, even before the band came out on stage. I obeyed the rules, (mostly), but I still wanted to scrap the concert. I took a photo of the great outdoor lighted sign, and got a selfie of us out front. After the concert I went online and got a couple great concert photos of the band, not from the exact concert, but the band was the same, and the photos looked great. I also saved the newspaper review and set list and printed an additional online review of the show and clipped it to the back of my layout. Lastly, I also saved the tickets, and incorporated those onto the front of the layout. I love all the ephemera bits and pieces, and know that those along with my pictures and the journaling will be fun to see later, and for me are part of the story.

    Also, one more thing, I purchased the deep dive course, and I
    love it! It’s kind of like reading a good book where I want to race to the ending,
    but I also don’t want it to end. So many great ideas, and I just love the format,
    I can’t wait for more. – Thanks!

  • Laura m

    This episode made me wonder why semi- professional photographers aren’t taking advantage of school performances. They could sell individual photos and a video of the event , downloadable so the price can be affordable. I bet a lot of people would take advantage of that.

  • Jennifer G.

    My children are 12, 14, and 16 and have and still are in many concerts, plays, sports, awards banquets, etc. I use a Nikon Coolpix and have for about three years now. Before that I had a basic Sony point and shoot. I absolutely LOVE my Nikon. Mine has a 38X zoom, but the newer ones are at around 52x I believe. It was super easy to use out the box and I can take pictures of my kids faces in right field from the bleachers. I don’t really have the time or patience or money to learn how to use a DSLR and don’t really want to mess around with different lenses. This camera takes beautiful photos in my opinion and I cannot recommend it enough for parents with active children. The photo below was taken on the 1st day of high school for my second child, on the automatic setting from about 50 yards away through the car window. Please note that no one was in the driveway behind me waiting for me to move.

  • Terri Cannell

    Thanks for the recommendation, Jennifer.

  • ladywing

    so true about many events having professionals photograph now that parents aren’t allowed to bring cameras in – we used those which we had to purchase the package when my daughter danced. My son played hockey and I have so many pictures I will never use. Even some of the events we go to now do not allow a camera in with a lens over a certain length in inches, which probably means that Izzy’s camera wouldn’t get in with the pro lens. I’ve been lucky so far that I’ve been able to get mine in but it still doesn’t get the photos I need from my “cheap seats.”

  • Charity Donaldson

    It drives me crazy when people think certain colors are only for boys or girls. I have a friend who had a toddler boy who injured his arm and wanted a neon pink cast because he knew his mom liked that color, the Drs obliged and everything was fine, it has been about 3 years now and he is a totally normal rough and tumble little boy! I make pages with boys and men and if I want flowers or pink or purple, I use them, I am so looking forward to this topic, I must say BRAVO to the Deep Dive course! I have completed it and I’m feeling so inspired to go out now and buy more albums to store my finished layouts, and also I have more Ideas on how to “keep” my albums rather than semi chronologically by the date I scrapped the photo.

  • Meghann Andrew

    I loved listening to this episode! My daughter is only two, so we haven’t had to document any performances yet, but I loved all of the great ideas and tips about photography and documenting the stories of the performances we see in our lives. I also have a DSLR and a huge zoom lens, although my husband bought it for me as a gift and I had NO IDEA how expensive it was! Eek! I guess I should pull it out more often, but its weight makes it a bit cumbersome. I was hoping that Catherine would go into the logistics of photographing performances- sometimes the lighting can be a bit tricky and flash photography is a no-no (and also does not produce very nice photos!) Maybe a deep-dive into photography in the future is required? (Hint, hint!)

  • Also, many events have a professional photographer taking pictures that they later share online. Just an idea to check the website or find out before. :)

  • They can get closer to the stage which is nice for close ups.

  • Jenifer Mink

    I liked this episode, but I get frustrated as a parent trying to get either video or pictures of the performance. I have started taking a picture of my sons either before or after the performances. I never get that front row spot or I have someone really tall/loud in front of me. I almost never even use the ones I get of them on stage, I guess I would rather journal about the performance and experience rather than give up space for a static picture of them on the stage.

  • Hannah Brown

    As a child who has participated in performances and the like, I can testify that something is always better than nothing. Maybe not all kids feel the same way (I know not all kids scrapbook like I do), but to me, looking back several years later at a static picture of me on stage is better than looking back and realizing I don’t have any pictures at all. Even a picture before the performance is great. We change and grow up so fast, it’s fun to have pictures of us in these things to look back on. :)

  • veramats

    Great discussion! Right after I listened to the show last week, I went to my daughter’s band concert, so taking photos of performances was on my mind! Lots of great ideas were shared, and I wanted to share a few tips that have worked for me both in photography and in scrapbooking.
    1. I use large 12×12 envelopes that I bought years ago much like the ones Becky Higgins sells for Project Life. I put all of the programs in those large envelopes along with various other memorabilia that I want to keep, but don’t want to put on the layouts. They have three holes and are easy to put into my 12×12 binder albums. I’ve even put cd’s and dvd’s of band music and videos of performances in the envelopes. I have the audio and video backed up elsewhere too, but it’s fun to include the discs into the scrapbook too!
    2. With regard to renting lenses, I think it’s a great idea, but I highly recommend renting lenses a few times to practice with before an event or performance. Those long, heavy 70-200 lenses are fantastic but they take some getting used to. You have to shoot at much higher shutter speeds, etc and they are heavy. I would recommend getting together with some friends who also have DSLR’s and rent various lenses to practice with at a time when you don’t have anything special going on, so you’ll be ready for the big event!
    3. I also choose my battles with regard to photo quality at events. Many DSLR’s have huge files, so I don’t mind cropping in Lightroom after the fact. Yes, the quality will be a little less, but for a small 4×6 or 2×3 photo, I’m ok with that. I also shoot in raw, so that helps too. I mainly use my 24-70 which is a great all-around lens for DSLR’s. Ya gotta rock what ya got! : )
    4. Get to know other parents who will also be at the performances. You may be able to take photos of each other kids’ or maybe another parent has the equipment or access to get great photos. I do not recommend taking for granted someone who has nice gear, but offering to photograph each other’s kids and sharing photos can be a great option to try.
    5. It sounds like most of us go to multiple performances for our kids each year, so it may be possible to have multiple opportunities to get photos of similar sports or performances. I like to sit in different areas of the auditorium for each performance. I can get different angles and perspectives by sitting in different locations each time. For the high school band, I signed up to be one of the band photographers, so I had an insider’s viewpoint for their marching on the field and during contests. It was really fun to be on the field and I had a front-row seat, so to speak, to get great shots!
    6. I think it’s a great idea to go to dress rehearsals. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can go to rehearsals. Perhaps if you offer to share your photos, the teachers/coaches in charge may let you have more access!
    7. Ask your kids what they want you to photograph. I think we, as parents, are so focused on getting great photos of our kids, we forget to get photos of them with their friends, hanging out before and after the performance, rehearsing and being silly, etc. My fondest memories of my time in musical theater was actually goofing off with the cast. I wish I had more photos of those moments! So, getting into rehearsals, and just shooting documentary style might be a great addition to getting photos of the performances.
    8. Finally, when I have gone to NYC to see a Broadway show, I make sure to get photos of the marquee, and I’ve gotten a few blurry photos of the stars coming out and signing autographs by the back stage door. So fun!

    Again, this was a great discussion and I’m looking forward to the next show! Keep ’em coming!

    Vera Matson

  • Melissa Gross

    Great episode (as always!). I’ve scrapped quite a few performances/events over the years where I’ve included programs. Like Noell, I like seeing old programs from the (very few) performances I was in during my high school years. I had a bit part in Guys & Dolls and included the program on a layout that I shared on my blog: Then, a few years ago, we attended a theater production of Guys & Dolls here in the Dallas area and I created a pocket on my layout for the playbill:

    We typically have two playbills/programs from a performance. I often use one or parts of it on a layout, however the second one we display in an old magazine rack that belonged to my
    hubby’s grandmother. I enjoy seeing these items and being reminded of
    the various shows we’ve seen on Broadway or in London as well as my
    nieces’ dance recitals and community theater productions. I shared a photo of the magazine rack in the Finding Photo Freedom workshop and a blog post several years ago:

  • Jennifer Larson

    I like the suggestion to use envelopes. I tend to glue an actual envelope on the back inside cover of my albums to slide memorabilia in, so that’s where my programs go. I’ve also used my Bind-it-all to put together programs from my childhood choir and theater performances. They’re not pretty, but they carry memories, so I like keeping them altogether.

    I also liked your suggestion for photos before and after the performance. I do that too! This are my best shots.

  • Jennifer Larson

    In all fairness, I don’t think she was speaking out of envy. Like Ann, I have no SLR or DSLR, but I appreciate helpful hints on how to take the best pictures I can and hints on how to scrapbook ordinary photos taken with ordinary cameras.

    I’m OK you have better equipment. :-) I just want to know how to make the best out of my ordinary photos. I could be wrong, but I think that was where she was coming from.

  • ldmccarty

    I had an aha! moment listening to Caroline (Caroline, miss you lots on your blog and hope to see more of you as time permits). She said that she uses pictures as her embellishments. BRILLIANT way to put that. I do that as well, which is why I’ve always been a very minimal scrapper, I think. I never thought of it that way, but I usually have a “main picture” of the event and then other pixs that “embellish” it, like scenery, or costumes, etc. for a performance page vs. having other paper embellishments to go w/a main pic. Thanks Caroline for saying it that way.

    Also, on gender issues, Noell, it isn’t really “gender neutral” that’s key for me. It’s the “gender dictation”. The manufacturers telling the buyer “this print is for boys”, etc. If the manufacturers would just create a print and then shut up about who it’s appropriate for, that would be great. It’s not that we can’t have football paper (for example), it’s just that the manufacturers should STOP DICTATING that it’s a “boy” paper or put “my guy” all over it in the text. I hope manufacturers are starting to hear this message loud and clear. Amazon UK just stopped selling their toys by gender (Glory!). And there is a group called “Let Toys Be Toys” that is really pushing for this to end.

    Theme away, manufacturers, just stop dictating what theme goes w/what body parts.

  • Great distinction about gender! Thank you for clarifying the difference between gender neutrality and gender dictation. I do think we need some of both, though — let’s definitely get rid of the gender dictation, but I don’t think that’s quite enough because we’re still stuck with a majority of children and baby collections that are either blue, brown and green, or pink and floral. There are very few collections for babies and kids that have a more varied color palette, or that mix more colors together. Also, the activities that traditionalists associate with boys are almost always blue, when they could be all kinds of colors.
    I love that phrase, “Let Toys be Toys.” What a great campaign slogan.

  • I love these ideas! I’ve been working on my Guys & Dolls scrapbook pages this week (for the next Paperclipping video) and sharing the old photos with my friends on FB who were in it with me. Super fun musical.

  • D Israel

    I am a week late as usual, but enjoyed the podcast even though we don’t have many performances in our family. I am a pretty minimalist scrapper, so if there is a program, it’s usually included. :) Instead of performances, we have lots of individual sports (triathlons, cycling, swimming) and some team sports which are somewhat different to document I think. A similarity would be that I take lots of before and after shots. You may have covered it previously, but if not, it might be a topic for another show. ;)

  • Erin

    Sorry I’m so slow to comment but….fun fact: Mike Doughty used to be the lead singer of a group called “Soul Coughing.” And how I know this is because I was intrigued by Izzy and Caroline’s discussion of Mike Doughty so I looked him up on iTunes and thought, “oh he sounds like the lead singer of a band whose CD I had in college, they sang a song called Circles.” Well what do you know, as I was looking through his songs, there was “Circles.” And I know this is WAY off on a tangent, but just had to share!