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Tips For Sourcing Yearbook Photos From Your Community When Distance Learning

Just when you thought collecting photos from your school community couldn’t get any more difficult. The days of staring someone down at the school drop-off line or tapping someone on the shoulder at the bake sale are over, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need help from your community to get great photo content for your school’s yearbook. Even the most ambitious yearbook photographer can’t do this alone given they can no longer go to in-person school events.

Students and parents are still taking photos, just this morning–while inhaling a granola bar–I drooled over what five of my friends ate for breakfast on my Instafeed. Given photos are still being taken, we thought we’d gather a list of ways for you to get those photos off their phones, and into your yearbook.

Before You Crowdsource, Decide How to Organize Your Photos

Create Shared folders in Your Google Drive

Create as many folders as you’d like and give your community access right from your Gmail account. Once you share a folder with them they can easily organize, add, and edit photos. The best part, it’s free. The downside, you still need to upload all those photos into your yearbook software.

Create Shared Folders in Your Yearbook Software

Some yearbook software (I know of one at least) allows you to build shared folders right in the app that will allow anyone in your community to upload photos. You can have editor only folders as well as folders for your entire school community. They can upload photos right from their phone, Google Drive, Computer, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. You don’t need to upload them to your yearbook software yourself. To top it off, you can even see which photos you’ve used already. Pros = it’s free and easy; Cons = if your school doesn’t use TreeRing to build their yearbook, you won’t be able to do this.

Keep It Simple & Create a Yearbook Hashtag

Use social media to your advantage (rather than just to get jealous over your friend’s eating habits). Come up with a hashtag for your yearbook, it could be as simple as #mascotyearbook2021. This way you can simply search the hashtag and find all the photos your community feels are yearbook worthy. The best part, it’s easy for your community to do–no uploading required on their part. The downside, you’re going to need to remind them often and upload all the photos yourself.

Stay Top of Mind Even When You’re Out of Sight

Just because you don’t see someone every day, doesn’t mean you can’t get their attention, just ask my mother-in-law. Odds are your school already has a pretty solid digital presence, so take advantage of it. Create announcements on your school’s website, social media pages, parent organization pages, and get ahold of your school’s email list. You don’t necessarily need to create unique content for each communication, simply reuse the same message in each location.

Don’t let your message become a one-hit-wonder. Keep reminding your community at least every other week. Here are a few ideas for topics:

Not every idea you share will inspire each person, so send something different each week, and have fun with it. Just remember to always include information on how they can share their photos with you. Provided you stay organized and top of mind, you will have more yearbook photos than you know what to do with.

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