Your Step-By-Step Guide to Organizing Yearbook Photos Throughout the Year

Keeping all of your content organized from the start of the school year to the finish is a challenge. This is especially true where your yearbook photos are concerned. While I’ve previously outlined great apps that help you store and organize your photos with ease, you also need to put in a little elbow grease as you upload to your content management system of choice. To help you build some best practices that your whole committee can follow for organizing yearbook photos, I’ve developed a quick and easy process that you can share and use with your committee below!

Step One: Create a Shared Folder

No matter where you’re uploading your images to, the first step is to create a specific file for each group of your yearbook photos. Make it easy for a third party to understand what’s inside by giving each folder a title that reflects the event and date of the photo shoot. You can also add some extra identifying criteria, like a teacher’s name for class photos or a grade number for school concerts. This comes in handy when you take photos of a lot of similar events. For example, if each grade at your school has a special field and relay day in the spring, add details to the file name with the date and grade number. This makes it much easier to figure out which images go on certain pages of your yearbook, without sorting through all of your files to find the right pictures.

Step Two: Narrow Down Your Images

When you photograph an event, you wind up with many more images than you actually need for your yearbook. While you don’t need to determine exactly which images will wind up on the pages of your book right away, you should pare down the pictures you plan to save as soon as you upload–the blurry shots, the repeats, and so on. This leaves just the great shots in each file, and eliminates some of the time that you’ll eventually need to narrow down your choices for a particular piece of content. In this step of the process, you have two options: delete the images from your shared file system completely, or save them in a ‘rejected images’ folder. The latter keeps a smattering of random images around, just in case you decide to do a yearbook photos bloopers page or need some filler content down the road.

Step Three: Caption Your Images

To provide context, add captions or notes to your images. If your content management system doesn’t let you add enough details, consider a corresponding spreadsheet that offers additional space. It’s especially helpful to have this information tagged to each photo, when your committee won’t write the accompanying copy right away. Since all of the details of the photoshoot are still fresh when you upload, this is the ideal time to record your notes. Be sure to include any unique details garnered during the shoot–what happened right before or right after?–they come in handy when you need to add a creative edge to your content at the last minute.

Prepare Your Yearbook Photos for Success

Since you’re working across a broad range of ideas and content, your organization system needs to be easy to understand. Everyone on your committee should be able to quickly access your yearbook photos through your shared file system, and understand the context of each image. This makes your entire process run smoothly, and also cuts down on the amount of time your committee members spend searching for the right images for their content.

Beyond this, you’ll be able to look back and quickly swap out yearbook photos down the road if you decide that a feature needs a fresher take. Since building a yearbook probably isn’t your full-time job, efficiency is important. When it’s simple to navigate your organizational system, it’s easy to pull together content without a hassle. A user-friendly system also keeps your committee members sane–and makes them more likely to stay involved in next year’s publication, too!

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