Planning

Time To Recruit A Yearbook Staff

It’s that time of year. The yearbook is finished, you’ve taken at least one deep breath, and now it’s time to start thinking about next year.

Certainly you have senior staffers that will be leaving you. How and who will you recruit to fill those positions?

Just like creating a yearbook, building a successful yearbook staff will require some planning, some trial and, likely, some error. First thing you should do? Envision what kind of yearbook environment you’re trying to create.

By knowing the type of student you want to attract, you’ll understand better how to recruit. This will drive the type of questions you want to ask. We realize that many schools offer yearbook as a class that students register for, but the type of interviewing we’re suggesting will help place said students in the positions that are best suited for their skill sets, help you find your leadership team and set the tone for what is expected from the students in the yearbook classroom.

It’s important that you attract a variety of students to your staff. Having a room full of creative, artsy types doesn’t do any good if no one can stay organized, plan an event or help track sales. You’ll need to decide for yourself what the ratio of staffers to editors to photographers is and how you want to break down these groups. Have an idea of what your ideal team looks like. Take the opportunity to align your recruitment efforts with your staff needs.

Not sure about what positions are on a developed yearbook staff? Take a look at this list and decide what positions or responsibilities your team could add to become more complete. Even if your positions and responsibilities don't align exactly with this list, maybe you'll find a better way to disperse responsibilities or assign tasks!

Happy Yearbooking!

Responsible Reporting

Reporting? Isn't that just for newspapers and broadcasting? Nope...it applies to yearbooks, too! While you may not fancy your staff as "reporters", that is exactly what you're sending them out into the world to do: report.

When publishing a high school yearbook, equal weight should be placed on both journalism and photojournalism. It's easy to get lost in the imagery of your yearbook layouts: big beautiful photography that tells a story in itself. It's not enough! Those images need a well-written piece of journalistic magic to fill in any gaps there may be. In today's social climate, it becomes increasingly important to report accurate and pertinent information to your audience. What your audience (student body) is looking for in their yearbook is, essentially, a volume of your school's history. So, how does one decide how to caption photos or choose information for features? It's called news judgement.

News judgement is a phrase used to describe the act of vetting a news story and judging whether or not it's of importance/novelty to your audience. Those journalists said to have good "news judgement" are inherently good at delivering the type of story their audience wants to read at the right time in the right tone. Because, let's face it, if a publication misses the mark, people will notice and in the age of social media with terms like "fake news" being tossed about, it's best to not take any chances.

What should you consider when choosing how to report on a year-in-the-life of your school?

Timeliness - is the feature you're considering pertinent to the year in question?  This is particularly important for those that lay out their yearbook using a chronological format.

Novelty - is the story as rare as it is entertaining? If the answer is yes to both, your story will deliver on more than one level.

Conflict & Consequence - does your story deal with two or more opposing sides? As long as equal coverage is given to all sides and your story reads without bias, stories of rivalry are of high interest to many audiences. Following up the story with the outcome or consequence completes your news circle. In a publication like a yearbook, interviewing people from the opposing sides during and after the conflict is the most complete and thorough way to cover the story. There is no "next issue" to follow up in, so don't leave your readers hanging!

While there are many aspects of reporting to consider while choosing content for your yearbook, these are solid initial guidelines to follow. A great place to look for more journalism curriculum is the Journalism Education Association. JEA provides advisers the tools for teaching students responsible and effective journalism. With a JEA membership, teachers have access to a well-thought-out curriculum written and curated by industry professionals.

Taking the opportunity to not only organize a bunch of photos with captions on pages, but to actually report on the happenings of your school year will make publishing and distributing your yearbook not only fun but oh-so-rewarding, as well. Deliver a piece of history your staff can be proud of!

Location, Location, Location

While usually referring to real estate sales, the importance of location can absolutely apply in almost any sales or marketing situation. As this year's yearbook sales campaigns ramp up, it's important to make sure you're taking advantage of LOCATION wherever you have the chance.

Where are you selling? Consider not only being visible and accessible in places where a lot of students and parents will see you, but also that you're in an optimal place for your sale to happen at said event. For instance, if the yearbook staff is setting up a sales table at a parent night, why not set up near another place parents are expected to pay for something? Their billfold is already out...take advantage of it!

Where are you advertising? Think about the places students look or visit the most in a day. Put yearbook teasers, information and sales countdown posters in ALL those places! Not sure what we mean? Bathroom stall doors, on or next to mirrors in locker rooms or bathrooms, next to classroom clocks, next to drinking fountains, outside the lunch room (or wherever students wait in line for lunch) just to name a few.

Who is helping with your visibility? There's no denying social media has a lot of weight in not only teen communication, but with parents as well! Take the time to create a social media schedule or plan. You surely have yearbook staff members that happily post information pertaining to sales...but how wide in the net they cast? Recruiting student body members (and parents!) that have a different reach is imperative. Make sure all your bases are covered. Trouble getting people to share information about the yearbook? Offer a discount on the yearbook for their help. Once word gets out about a potential discount, you'll have people lining up to advertise for you next year!

No yearbook program can be successful without a well thought out sales campaign. Stay on top of what events are worth selling at and keep an eye out for new ways to communicate with your potential buyers. Sales doesn't always have to be high pressure or uncomfortable...it can be creative and fun! Enjoy the challenge!

PHOTOGRAPHY - Creating A Yearbook People Love To Look At

We all know good photography is important in a yearbook. Let's spend some time discussing what it is that makes photography good and how to get what you're looking for whether you're the photographer or the staff member laying out pages.

Artful vs. Journalistic - If you're laying out yearbook spreads and have a vision in mind, use the most descriptive words possible. Starting with artful vs. journalistic can head the conversation down the correct path. Artful images are nicely composed, easy to look at...something you might see in a calendar. These images are great filler or background images (e.g. sun setting over soccer fields, cheerleaders' poms in a pile, homecoming floats lined up in the parade). Journalistic images tell a story and draw people in. They're emotional images that deserve to be the dominant piece of your layout (e.g. team winning the big game, faculty member receiving teacher of the year award, the impact a tragedy has on your student body). Beginning with "artful vs. journalistic" and following with specifics of layout, orientation, etc. will keep staff members on the same page and eliminate communication gaps that occasionally happen when working on a large project together.

 

What Makes A Picture Great? - Photography tends to be one of those "I know it when I see it" things. It's hard to put your finger on, exactly, what it is that makes your brain say "Yeah! I like that!" There are, however, some factors to research and consider before heading out on an important assignment!

Rule Of Thirds - Dividing your frame into a 3x3 grid. Place your subject, or the focal point,    along a vertical or horizontal line and a point of intersection.

Leading Lines - Using strong lines in a photo will help move the viewer's eye from the foreground to the background.

Point Of View - Changing the point of view can bring the view into the image by creating tension or showing scale. Consider taking both "worm's eye view" and "bird's eye view" photos of a few different subjects as a photography exercise.

Framing - Use a foreground object to help frame-in and draw the viewer's eye to your subject.

 

Two More Tips You'll Thank Us For - Making Ordinary Extraordinary

1. When the opportunity for portraiture arises, take it! Oftentimes, a student feature requires an image of a student. Just as often, a member of the yearbook staff will go find said student, ask them to 'stand against that wall right there' and take their photo. NO! After all of the fast-paced sporting events, poorly lit gymnasiums and boring rows of students in their club/activity photos, you finally have the opportunity to take an interesting photo of an interesting student! Student of the week for Art Club? Take the photo in the art room while the student works on a piece or cleans brushes after. Student went to the State Fair showing their horse? Absolutely arrange to photograph them on their prize-winning show horse! Show students in the environment that pertains to the reason for the photo. This will generate interest and draw the viewer in. Wanting to know more is the only way someone will read what your staff has worked so hard researching and writing!

2. Get in on the action! If you have been trusted with capturing images for a game or event, take it seriously. Get BRAVE and get down on the sidelines, court-side or into the front row of whatever event you're photographing. You're documenting history for your school...it's okay to get up close and personal! Don't forget about the fans, either. Turning your camera on the crowd will get some fantastic candid images of school spirit at its finest!

 

Get The Shot: 10 Suggested Images To Capture At A Graduation Ceremony

The greatest moment of many high school seniors' year is the very end of it. Walking across a stage and getting that piece of paper that basically says, "Good Job! You don't have to come back here ever again!" Graduation ceremonies are an important part of every school year. Photographing the day so the story can accurately be told later is key. Even if you aren't charged with capturing the day for the yearbook, photographing the day with a more photojournalistic approach will absolutely leave you with images worthy of sharing with the yearbook staff via Pictavo Community!

Here are our top 10 suggested photos to take at your school's graduation ceremony.

1. DETAILS - Grab a cap and gown and all the trimmings (tassel, stole, cords, etc.) along with a commencement program. Arrange them together and take photos from a few different angles making sure to get details like the date on the front of the program, class motto or school flower, if available. Got some students that decorate the top of their mortarboard? Get those detail shots now!

2. PREP - As graduates arrive and they help one another straighten their gowns, collars and tassels, get a few pictures! These un-posed real life shots tell so much more about those moments than any organized, traditional photo ever could. Getting a shot of best friends giddy with anticipation or holding back tears while they help each other prep will bring viewers into your day.

3. THE LINE UP - The grads are lined up and ready to go...see all those matching robes waiting in anticipation? Take some interesting angle shots. Getting low and grabbing a photo of the line of feet with graduation robes hanging above them is a great filler shot for a yearbook spread about commencement or baccalaureate.

4. SPEAKERS - Don't be afraid to go where you need to get the shots you want! Be respectful of the ceremony and spectators, but don't sacrifice shots of speakers and important moments of the ceremony! Position yourself so you can get shots of speakers' facial expressions as they read their message for the graduating class.

5. GRADS GRADUATING - Obviously it would be impossible to include every grad walking the stage in your yearbook spread, getting a few to include is important! If you're lacking coverage on a few seniors, this is your last chance! Capture them receiving their diploma and include them in the spread.

6. EMOTION - Commencement ceremonies can get long. Use the time to catch the grads that are caught up in the moment. Someone will see their grandparents and wave enthusiastically, someone may be moved to tears by a speaker. Watch for the emotions of the day and get the shot!

7. THE TOSS - The hat toss. It's a given. Everyone has seen them, everyone knows it's going to happen. But the time the moment is special is when it's YOU. Get the shot for these grads.

8. POST GRAD GLEE - The graduates will surely gather somewhere to take photos with one another along with their families. Get ready and shoot, shoot, shoot. Everywhere you turn will be happy grads hugging, laughing, posing and just enjoying this time. Snap away! People don't need to be posed or looking at your camera...it's often better if they aren't. Capturing true emotion rather than the frozen smile most people produce when in front of a camera is what makes the images you're capturing special.

9. DIPLOMAS - Let the grads pose with their diplomas, too. They worked hard to get here...get them to show them off! Personality while posing is welcome!

10. SAYONARA! - Snapping just a few images of grads walking away in their gowns, holding hats and diplomas will come in useful. Need a last page of your yearbook? Bingo. This is the only day you're going to be able to get this shot...take advantage!

 Approaching graduation day with a photojournalistic approach is going to deliver images that are yearbook worthy!

Approaching graduation day with a photojournalistic approach is going to deliver images that are yearbook worthy!

Take these ideas with you to commencement and you'll successfully capture the day. Creatively capturing the event may be a little more work, but your yearbook will be that much better for it!

 

Almost There - Proofing your yearbook before submission

 Create a team of yearbook 'proofers' to check your staff's work!

Create a team of yearbook 'proofers' to check your staff's work!

 It's spring. That means time to submit your yearbook. You've worked hard and the finish line is well within reach, time to double check all the work your team has done before calling it a year!

The best plan of attack for proofing your yearbook is this: NEW EYES. Don't rely on the person that worked on the book to be able to find their own mistakes. Always let someone else take a look at it. If your book is particularly large, create an entire proofing team.

Break the book into sections so each person has a task that feels possible rather than overwhelming. For instance, have a separate person check each of the following: headlines, spelling of names (one person per grade), matching of names to faces, images make sense on the spread (sometimes there are placeholders that don't get replaced), captions (full sentences, proper grammar), text boxes (no "double click to edit text" hanging around anywhere) and just overall layout (make sure nothing is covering an image, words getting hidden, etc.)

If you can pull together an entire group of people to page through your yearbook and all give the seal of approval, you are, officially, ready to submit. Congratulations!

 

Yearbook Planning Calendar - December

Happy December! The holidays are just around the corner! Wrap up this months tasks before taking a week (or two?) off.

yearbook planning checklist.jpg

Download the PDF here.

December's checklist was created using background B6155S and the fonts: LeHavre Sketch & Lady Renee.

Still struggling with theme ideas? Wondering how to make this year's book unique without breaking the mold entirely? Head on over and peruse the Pictavo Pinterest Boards for some inspiration. https://www.pinterest.com/Pictavo/

Yearbook Planning Calendar - November

Now that the school year is in full swing, it's important to keep everyone on track. Print out November's checklist before the holiday break to assure all bases are covered.

November Yearbook Checklist.jpeg

Download the PDF here.

November's checklist was designed using background B4972S and Quick Print font.

DEVELOPING YEARBOOK THEME IDEAS

Developing your yearbook theme can be one of the most exciting parts of putting together your yearbook. So what better way to help you get started than to provide you with a huge list of yearbook theme ideas!? Use this extensive list of yearbook theme ideas to help get your creative juices flowing as you sit down with your team to determine what your theme will be this year. Then make sure to apply it to your book in the following ways:

PHRASES TO INSPIRE YEARBOOK THEME IDEAS

A PART APART

A SEASON OF CHANGE

AS ONE

A STEP ABOVE THE REST

A THOUSAND WORDS

AT LAST

A TOUCH OF CLASS

A TO Z

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT

AS WE KNOW IT

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

ATYPICAL

A YEAR TO REMEMBER

BLINK

BRAND NEW

BREAKING THRU

BREATHE

BUILT TO LAST

CHECK IT OUT

CHOICES

COLOR ME…

COME LEARN WITH US

CONNECTED

CONTRAST

DIFFERENCES

DISTINCT IMPRESSIONS

DOT DOT DOT…

DREAMS REFLECT REALITY

EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

EYE ON…

FORWARD

FORWARD MOTION

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

FROM HERE

FROM THE INSIDE

FROM THE OUTSIDE IN

FROM START TO FINISH

FROM THIS MOMENT ON

GOING IN STYLE

GOING PLACES

GOTTA HAVE IT

GREAT MOMENTS IN…

HOW DO YOU MEASURE

HOW IT’S DONE

INTO SOMETHING NEW

INSTANT REPLAY

INVISIBLE

IT ALL ADDS UP

IT ALL BEGINS WITH YOU

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING

IT’S A SMALL WORLD

IT’S ABOUT TIME

IT’S ALL IN YOUR MIND

IT’S A LOT LIKE NOTHING ELSE

IT’S ANYONE’S GUESS

IT’S COMPLICATED

IT’S OUR TIME

IT’S YOUR CHOICE

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT

JUST HAD TO BE THERE

JUST SAYING

KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

LIKE IT OR NOT

LIKE IT/LOVE IT

LISTEN UP

LITTLE BIG TOWN

LIVING PROOF

LIVING THE DREAM

LOOK AT THE BEST

LOOKING BACK

MEET IN THE MIDDLE

MIXED SIGNALS

MORE THAN

MOVING ON UP

MOVING ON OUT

NOT GONNA LIE

NOT JUST ANOTHER…

NOT ON THE ITINERARY

NOT WHAT YOU THINK

NOW AND THEN

ON THE OTHER HAND

OPEN YOUR WORLD

OR NOT

OUR TIME TO SHINE

OUT OF THE BOX

OUT T[HERE]

OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW

OVER IT

OWN IT

PIECES OF THE PUZZLE

PLUS AND MINUS

POINT BEING

POWERFUL

PULSE

REMEMBER THIS

REPLAY IT

REVOLUTION

RIGHT ON TARGET

RIPPIN’ BEYOND BELIEF

ROAD TO SUCCESS

SPARK

SNAPSHOTS

STANDING PROUD

STAND OUT

STATUS UPDATE

STILL THE ONE

STORIES MATTER HERE

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

SUM IT UP

SYNERGY

THINK ABOUT IT

THINK AGAIN

THINK FAST

THIS IS OUR TIME

THIS MUST BE

TOGETHER AS ONE

TOO COOL TO HANDLE

TOP SECRET

TOTAL IMPACT

TRACES

TRIED & TRUE

TURNING THE PAGE

UNPLUGGED

UNTIED

UNITED

UP DOWN ALL AROUND

VOICES

WHAT’S THE STORY

WHAT WE’RE MADE OF

WHEN EVERYTHING CLICKS

WHERE AMAZING HAPPENS

WHO KNEW?

WHY NOT?

WITHIN

WRITE YOUR STORY

YOU TELL ME

YOU WERE HERE

YOU WOULDN’T KNOW

YOURS

YOUR STORY

Y[OUR] STORY

 

A CUT ABOVE

A DAY IN THE LIFE

ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

A FLASH FROM THE PAST

ALL IN THE MIX

ALL OF THE ABOVE

A LOOK BACK

A LOT CAN HAPPEN BETWEEN…

AND EVERYTHING INBETWEEN

AND THE STORY BEGINS

A NEW AWAKENING

A NEW POINT OF VIEW

ANY SECOND COULD BE THE SECOND

BEFORE NOW

BE HEARD

BE KNOWN

BETWEEN THE LINES

BITS AND PIECES

CANVAS

CAPTURE THE MAGIC

CATCH THE MOMENTS

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

CELEBRATE

CHECK US OUT

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

DEEP IN THE HEART OF….

DEFINED

DESTINED TO BE…

ELABORATE

EMERGE

EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING

FACE THE FACTS

FIND YOUR PLACE

FIRST CLASS

FLASHBACK

FLEX

FOCUS

FOR MEMBERS ONLY

FOREVER YOUNG

GET THE PICTURE

GIVE AND TAKE

GLIMPSE

GOING BEYOND

HAD TO BE THERE

HELLO GOODBYE 

IDENTITY

IF YOU ONLY KNEW

IMAGINE THAT

IMPRESSIONS

IN A BLINK

IN A FLASH

IN OTHER WORDS

IN OUR OWN WORDS

IN QUEST OF…

INTERTWINED

IN THE MAKING

INTRODUCING YOU

INSIDE OUT

IN THE KNOW

JOURNEY

JOURNEY THROUGH THE YEAR

JUST PASSING THROUGH

KEEPING IT REAL

LAYING IT ON THE LINE

LEARNING TO FLY

LEAVING OUR MARK

LET’S FACE IT

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

LIFE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

LIGHT IT UP

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

MAKE IT COUNT

MAKE IT LAST

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

MAKE YOUR MARK

MAKING THE PIECES FIT

NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

NEVER SAY NEVER

NEW BEGINNINGS

NOBODY DOES IT BETTER

NO FILTER

OLD SCHOOL IN A NEW LIGHT

ONE AND ONLY

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

ONCE IN A LIFETIME

ONE LAST LOOK

ONE TO ONE

ONLY THE FINEST

ON OUR OWN

ON THE EDGE

PARALLEL

PARDON OUR DUST

PHASE 2

PICTURE THIS

PIECE BY PIECE

REACH FOR THE STARS

REALITY

REALLY…

REBUILD

REFINED

REFLECTIONS

SAGA

SAY IT WITH STYLE

SEEING IS BELIEVING

SEIZE THE DAY

SETTLED IN

SHINE

SHOUT OUT

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

SIMPLY THE BEST

SO MUCH TO SAY

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

TAKE IT FROM THE TOP

TAKE OUR WORD

THAT’S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE

THE BEST OF TIMES

THEN AND NOW

THERE’S MORE TO IT

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

THE SPIRIT OF…

THE TIMES OF OUR LIVES

THE WAY WE SEE IT

UNBELIEVABLE

UNCOMMON THREAD

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

UNLEASHED

VESTED

WE HAD A PLAN

WE’LL SHOW YOU

WE’LL TELL YOU

WE STAND PROUD

WE’VE GOT IT ALL

WHAT GOES AROUND

WHAT MAKES US

WHAT’S NEXT

YEARBOOK CONFIDENTIAL

YEAR OF THE…

YEAH, THIS IS HAPPENING

YOU ARE HERE

YOU GOTTA

YOU HAD TO BE THERE

 

New School Year, New Yearbook: Getting Started With Pictavo

It's that time of year again! Summer is quickly coming to an end and school will soon be back in session. What does that mean (beside lengthy back-to-school supply lists and fun new wardrobes)? Only that it's also time to get into Pictavo and get started on your yearbook, of course! Because you have SO many things to worry about as you head back to school, we make it nice and easy to get into your Pictavo yearbook account. No need to try and remember your log-in info if you had an account last year.

Just look for an email with the subject Welcome to Pictavo. It will contain a link you can click on to re-activate your account and link it to your new book. If you are a new user, you'll receive the same email with a link that gives you the ability to create your account. 

  Don't forget to check your Junk or SPAM folder if you haven't received your email yet! Or reach out to your yearbook representative. 

 Don't forget to check your Junk or SPAM folder if you haven't received your email yet! Or reach out to your yearbook representative. 

 Once you click on your link, just fill out the required information to create your account. It's that easy!

Once you click on your link, just fill out the required information to create your account. It's that easy!

 Once logged in, you can get started by creating accounts for other people who are going to help you with your yearbook or going directly to your pages.

Once logged in, you can get started by creating accounts for other people who are going to help you with your yearbook or going directly to your pages.

Either way, a good place to get started is the Ladder, which you can read more about in our previous post about planning your yearbook pages using your Ladders, here

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. - T.S. Eliot

 

 

 

Capturing All Four Seasons In Your Yearbook

We mention it every summer - that your yearbook should include all four seasons, not just the seasons that school is in session. So if you're out there gathering photos and stories, great job! If not, don't fret. There is still plenty of time. 

In the meantime we've put together a list of fun summer-inspired phrases, page titles and headlines for you!