Kick Middle School Yearbooks Up a Notch with a “Student Eye” Project


Middle school yearbooks always feature tons of photos from throughout  the school year – that first school dance of the year, sports and clubs, and even the big spring carnival. But most of these photos are from an outside perspective looking in. They may lack an inside- the-action viewpoint. Why not add photos to your yearbook spread directly from the students’ eye? It’s a lot easier than you might think. It all starts by investing in a few disposable cameras. Ready to get started? See how to take yearbook photos from good to great!

Choose Student Photographers

The point of adding a “student eye” section to your yearbook spread is to see how students perceive your campus, but you also want to offer diverse views.  Avoid working with students from just one grade or group of friends, or you’ll end up with photos that look a lot alike. Choose a diverse group of responsible students to get an array of images and outlooks. Be sure to select students that are active on campus and in a variety of activities. The more involved they are on campus, the wider range of photos they’ll bring back. Arm them with a disposable camera and set them loose. If you don’t have the budget to process film or don’t want to deal with disposables, remember that most middle schoolers have smart phones they can use to capture images on the fly and email to you.

Offer Guidance on What to Photograph

Encourage the students to take lots of candids rather than posed pictures that you already have from standard yearbook shoots. Tell the student shutterbugs to look for photo opportunities like small groups in class, what they see when they walk into school and how they interact with sports, clubs and other after school activities. You don’t need to limit them to only on-campus activities, but tell them the pics they snap should be school-related. Skate nights at the local rink and PTA nights at local restaurants are great to include. These student-taken shots will help the kids relate to the content in your book on a more personal level. Consider pulling together a little guide that students can use for inspiration. A quick training session that demonstrates basic composition can be helpful and show them examples of engaging photos to guide their work. Their unique perspectives can instantly kick the quality of your yearbook feature up a notch.

The Result? A Better Quality Book

It’s easy to add your student eye project photos to the middle school yearbook’s layout. Choose the best pictures that capture student life on campus and build them into your spread. Involving the student committee in the photo selection process will give them some ownership of the project and take some of the work off of your shoulders. This fresh idea will boost the authenticity of your content while making your life easier – and that’s a yearbook coordinator’s dream come true!