It’s the season of open houses for schools around the country and, even if school is already in session, these tips from fellow Lifetouch yearbook advisor Deena Smith of Steadley Elementary School can help you use special events at your school to produce fun yearbook content:
1. Recruit photographers at open house
Recruit parents, volunteers or even students as “photographers” during open house. Ask them to take pictures at school parties and/or any other time they’re at the school. Make a short list of your photographer volunteers such as parents or grandparents—many of them use their smartphones or carry cameras when coming to the school; ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking a variety of pictures of students (as opposed to just their own) to share with the yearbook staff. You’ll be surprised at the variety of pics you’ll get.
2. Ask teachers for pictures
We love our teachers and know that they have a lot on their plates, but many of them are so great at taking photos throughout the year whether in the classroom or during field trips and activities. Ask teachers or teacher aides to submit pics. They’re at school every day and can often catch those non-party related activities that mean so much to the students, too.
3. Start a yearbook club or tap into student council
When asked about middle school or junior high schools where yearbook classes don’t exist, Deena had the following tip: “See about utilizing student council or even starting a photography/yearbook club. Students can get practice taking photos and the better ones can be published in the yearbook. It’s a great way to get shy kids or those not involved in other academic, social or athletic clubs involved!”
4. Ask the PTO for help
Members of the PTO are awesome at planning fun events throughout the school year. Tap into your school’s PTO president and set up a Google Drive to make it easy to share pictures. Or better yet—ask for a copy of the PTO event calendar and drop those dates into your yearbook planning calendar. This can serve as a touchpoint for you to reach back out to the PTO and ask them for pictures to use from those events that happen throughout the year.
Another idea we love? Creating a “picture of the week”. Tami Howser of Wilson Middle School started this at her school. “Each week I encourage the students to take creative, non-traditional photos so they may be chosen for our ‘picture of the week’. The photos are then displayed in the cafeteria for one week and then moved to our ‘wall of fame’.” While you may not be able to have all of the pictures of the week in the yearbook, you could incorporate the best ones or conduct a contest to choose the favorites (or one for each month) to represent in the year.
Still looking for inspiration? We have you covered on our ideas page.