When “outsiders” think of yearbooks, they imagine little beyond the portrait pages. They see the obligatory blue background and big grins that accompany a moment in time many of us, as students, dreaded. (C’mon, we all didn’t receive the Glamor Shots by Deb experience!) Since this is a part of students’ permanent record, it’s a necessary component. It is a part of the historical record of the school year. It’s also not our students’ favorite. Long ago, this adviser decided to decrease the size of yearbook portraits, while increasing specialized content. Here are three ideas to break up your portrait pages by adding rich, personal content.
1. By the Numbers
Use stats and surveys to provide a quantifiable portrait of the students pictured on your pages. Begin by understanding what is important to your students and then ask questions. For example, if your school’s focus is on health and wellness, break down how students and staff contribute to that goal by including content such as
- The number of miles each grade ran in the morning running club
- How many pieces of fruit the cafeteria distributed
- What percentage of students participate in dance, martial arts, or other athletic pursuits
Pair the numbers with photographs of students engaging in the activities and quotes for an even more personal approach. What does it mean to be a part of a community so encouraging of physical activity? How do students balance their school work with tournaments and performances?
2. Keep Content Class-y
Grade spreads in your portrait section are ideal for academics or class-specific coverage. Highlight the unifying aspects of school life, such as class trips or advisery periods, and then ask students about their individual experiences with each. Grade sections could also include:
- Surveys about their favorite subject
- Class color day photos
- Academics coverage by grade level
- Class contribution to the annual fundraiser
- School hacks or advice by upper grades
3. Get Personal with Portraits
Personality profiles and student life modules both create opportunities for an inclusive yearbook by targeting lesser known students or students with interests outside school-sponsored arts and athletics. These content modules add voices to the portrait section of your yearbook!
- Quote bars
- Ten things to do before graduation
- Fill in the blanks
- Trending now
- Hang out places on campus
- Letters to my younger self
Take advantage of the additional space you’ll create by shrinking portraits to pull out more content from your student body.