During summer break, you’ll likely find yourself flipping back through the pages of your yearbook and reminiscing over how much fun your committee had throughout the school year. Another thing many coordinators notice when they look back at last year’s project is where they can improve things for next year. And since yearbook photos are the focal point of nearly every publication, you’re probably wondering how you can up your team’s photography skills in the coming season. A summer photography class can be the perfect way to integrate a fun learning experience into your summer break. Below, I’ll walk you through the specifics, and how you can find inexpensive courses that give you all the tips!
Better Yearbook Photos
There are dozens of different courses available to help you to hone your photography skills. If you’re not an avid photographer, start with the basics. An entry-level course can help you understand all of the terms and settings that will immediately improve the quality of your yearbook photos. This will also give you the right tools to pass along your committee, ensuring each of your photographers has at least a basic understanding of how to improve their shots.
Who to Bring
You’re not the only photographer for your yearbook. In fact, you’re probably not even the main person taking those fabulous yearbook photos. And if that’s the case, you want to bring one or two of your committee members to the photography class with you. Who you bring depends heavily on the focus of the course. For example, if you’re taking a class that is predominantly focused on camera settings and how to pose your subjects, the committee member who is handling the majority of your photography in the upcoming year would be a great person to accompany you. Conversely, if the course focuses on how to edit your photos to add interest, the main photography editor for your yearbook photos is a great fit.
Other things you’ll want to keep in mind about the person you bring is their leadership skills. You want that individual to soak up information, and then disseminate those tools to the rest of your team throughout the course of the school year. They need to be a good leader, and in turn, able to teach others how to apply their knowledge. Beyond this, your budget will be a concern. The more money you have allocated for teaching and training, the more people you can bring with you to the course. If your budget doesn’t allow for additional committee members to attend, any training opportunities will have to be optional, as your committee members will have to pay their own way if they want to participate.
Find a Course
You don’t have to go to a fancy weekend in a big city to learn some new skills that improve your yearbook photos. With the emergence of new digital technologies, there are more local photography courses available to you than ever before. Start by searching your local community education guide and deal sites like Groupon to find excellent classes near where you live. You can also look at longer courses through local community colleges, if you have the funds available and want to really deepen your skill set through a summer-long endeavor. There are also many online sites and forums that you can use. Clickin Moms is one that offers excellent tutorials and online classes, and is super budget-friendly.1
Share the Knowledge
As you’re taking your class this summer, remember to take notes. You want to share as much knowledge as possible with the rest of your committee. If you can, create some tip sheets, or even a photography guide, that shares what you learned. Then the rest of your team can practice and apply your newfound skills to their own yearbook photos. And that will definitely boost the quality of the content you put out in next season’s publication!