Confession: academics photos used to be my least favorite. There is so much glory in snapping an action shot from a soccer game—those are the photos that bring the likes and shares. Well, what if we approached classroom photos the same way? Using the tips below, your classroom photos can be just as exciting.
Tip #1: Focus on the Reaction
Miley was right: it’s the climb. When we showcase the day-to-day, it provides meaning. A-ha moments, in-process projects, and brainstorming sessions are just as important as the end results. Have your camera ready for laughter during a monologue or the face of concentration during a science lab.
Tip #2: Angles Aren’t Just for Geometry
Of the problems with “work” photos is students’ faces tend to be pointed at the desk. My yearbook adviser used to say, “Zoom with your feet.” Here are some quick ways to do just that.
Use Your Environment
Desks provide epic leading lines and a captive crowd adds depth and excitement. Above, the combination of depth of field and a crouched position shows the rapport of classroom teachers during an in-service. Use the crowd the next time you are photographing classroom presentations, calendar time, and open house.
Up, Up, Up, and Away
The birds-eye angle (right) shows the same students and adds the intensity of their work by showing copious notes and study materials. The angle works well for groups studying together as well as individual students drawing or reading.
Tip #3: Make a List and Check it Twice
Because you can’t be everywhere, enlisting the help of your teacher comrades is one way to increase both content and coverage. Share this list of ideas with faculty and staff to give them ideas (or else, you’ll be drowning in group shots).
Just like the yearbook represents the entire school community, the academics section highlights the bulk of a student’s in-school day. It shows the distinctives of each department. It showcases students’ work. It covers the diverse learners on campus. You can divide coverage by
Special Considerations for Including Exceptional Learners
To paraphrase the Student Press Law Center, yearbooks cannot separate or denote students as members of special education programs because it is a part of their private student record. Always check with your district to see if they have a specific policy.
So, grab your yearbook team and get in the classroom to apply these photo tips. Your academics section will thank you.