When you work with other teachers at your school to gather great shots for your elementary school yearbook, it’s easy to just turn people loose, and use whatever images they send in. You might feel like you’re being bossy if you direct them to very specific photo grabs right off the bat: but in reality, most of your fellow teachers appreciate a little more direction when you ask them to submit some yearbook photos from an event. Below, I’ll walk you through some steps you can take to empower your volunteers and help them snap awesome images for the pages of your publication!
Create an Easy-to-Use Guide
To help your team, you need a quick-access guide that can easily be updated as new ideas and photo opportunities come to mind. Detail out simple photography tips that are applicable on the go. Your list should be short and to the point. While you want to offer pertinent information, you also don’t want to overwhelm them with too many details. Keep in mind that most of your teachers use their smartphone camera for images. Use our photography guide as a starting point to pull together some fantastic tips that your teachers can easily use.
This type of guide is a situation where Google Docs can again be super handy. You can share and update your information without re-sending a new document with every change, and quickly share photo ideas when new events are coming up. Additionally, your Google Doc is accessible when your volunteers are mobile, which means they don’t have to worry about remembering all of your tips at a moment’s notice. This type of document is the most efficient way to provide the best information and keep your team –and the teachers working to support your content–informed.
Offer Great Photo Concepts
Offering direction in your quick photography guide goes beyond just giving your team tips on taking great photos. You should also include awesome inspiration on where to take the most fabulous shots! Think about this from the perspective of the teacher, and where they’ll be grabbing photos of your students. Then add some examples of where to watch for photo opportunities. This will ensure that you don’t just get random shots of students milling about, but build a base of images that contribute real value to your elementary school yearbook. You should make your ideas specific to the types of events and expeditions at your school, but here are a few of my favorites to get you started.
- Field Trips: Look for ways to grab shots of hands-on learning experiences that kids will love reliving. These are the types of events that show parents how their child learns, which communicates more value from the programming on your campus. These photo ideas could include participating in an experiment at the science museum, petting undersea animals at an aquarium, or even images of your class taking a snowboarding lesson together.
- School Fundraisers: A highlight for many kids, school fundraisers are an important part of your school-community interaction. Look for opportunities to grab group shots of students enjoying themselves at the fundraiser. For example, a school carnival is a great place to take photos of students experiencing fun game booths and enjoying cotton candy. This is also an excellent way to promote your school fundraisers–the more everyone can see the fun kids are having, the more people will want to participate next year!
- In-Class Events: Special in-class learning events make for fantastic yearbook content. Grandparents’ Day, a historical wax museum, and class parties are all perfect places to get some fabulous photos. In these instances, showcasing the special day in story form is ideal. Grab a few shots of the event set-up, students participating in activities, and a final group shot of what your class created. This shows the full range of what went into the event, and is a lasting way to memorialize big happenings at your school.
Make Your Elementary School Yearbook Brilliant
The more hands you have to take great yearbook photos, the better your content will be. You simply can’t be in all of these places at the same time, because your yearbook isn’t your full-time job (plus, there’s only one of you)! Encourage other staff to get involved, and remind them how much excitement they’ll spur when their students see all of these memories encapsulated in the book at the end of the year. Then, offer them your great tips to make it easy to get the best photos possible. This is the perfect way to take your yearbook content from good to totally brilliant!