With the start of the school year quickly approaching, there’s one thing that nearly every parent is starting to prepare for: back-to-school day! An event that takes place before the school year actually starts, it’s a day that allows students to meet their teachers, check out the new additions to your campus, find their way around (if they’re new to the building), and bring in all of their supplies for the school year. It’s a popular concept that many schools across the nation have implemented. Many even do their school pictures at this fun event! And since it’s one of the first experiences of the school year for your students, it’s an excellent feature to include on the pages of your yearbook. Below, I’ll walk you through how you can use your school’s back-to-school day as a resource for your publication, from the yearbook pictures you should take to how you market your book to parents!
Create a Plan of Attack
Back-to-school day is a big event that involves your entire faculty and campus. To capture the best yearbook pictures, you need to plan out what you’ll cover in advance. If it’s a big deal for kindergarteners to drop off their school supplies for the first time ever, you’ll want to capture this. If there’s a freshman welcome and orientation in the gym, you’ll want some photos from it. And if your school pictures are taken at back-to-school day, then you’ll definitely want some coverage there. Determine these great photo opportunities based on the feature you want to include in your book. For example:
- Beginning vs. end: Feature students at the beginning of the school year, and again at the end. Grab some photos at your back-to-school day, and ask students what they’re most excited about for the year. Then capture the same students on camera at the end of the year, and ask what they most enjoyed. This is a great way to bookend the whole school experience from the perspective of the kids on your campus!
- What goes into a school portrait: Grab some shots of students taking their school portrait, and ask what they did to get ready for the big event. School pictures are a big deal to your students–and that makes this a cute feature for your book!
- Crowdsourced content: Parents and students alike will document your back-to-school day on social media, because it’s the kick-off to the new school year. Create a spread that features some of these shots to capture your back-to-school event from the view of the attendees!
Enlist Some Help for Yearbook Pictures
Because there’s a lot of ground to cover, it’s helpful to have multiple photographers at your back-to-school event. Communicate with your committee in advance to get some volunteers. Try to get two or three returning members of your team to attend the event and grab some photos. This will help you capture more special moments in the form of yearbook pictures for your book. You’ll also be able to focus on taking great shots, instead of trying to be in three different places at once.
Don’t Forget About Marketing
While it’s early in the school year (very early–it hasn’t even begun!), your back-to-school day puts you in front of most of the students and parents at your school–which makes it the perfect time to start marketing your book! Similar to my recommendation for parent-teacher conferences, set up a table in your school’s entryway. Have flyers that you can share, detailing all of the benefits of the school yearbook. Make it clear how parents can order a copy for their child. And don’t forget to offer an early bird discount for those who order before the start of the school year! This will get some orders in early, and help you cut a little of the sales stress that comes along with the role of yearbook adviser. All in all, there are tons of ways to use your back-to-school event to the advantage of your publication, and get this year off to a great start!