By now, I’m sure you know that if there’s one thing that takes precedence over everything else in a yearbook, it’s the photos. Because let’s face it… every book is better with pictures.
No matter what approach you take, you’ll never be able to get away from senior portraits, class pictures, and group shots. Senior portraits are in a class all their own (pun intended), as they come in all sorts of varieties – head shots, outdoor photos, glamour shots (of 80s and 90s fame), posing with sports equipment, and so on. Class pictures are what they are – the good, the bad, and the simply weird.
But taking group shots is where you can get super creative. If you haven’t checked out our post on stylized photo shoots, take a gander now – those tips will come in handy because you’re about to embark on five awesomely unique group shot ideas!
- Football Follies – Showing the football team in all their Varsity Blues glory is great for school and community morale. But if you’ve ever seen ESPN’s top 10 bloopers, you know that as much as people love to see a team win, they also get a lot of pleasure seeing them slip up in hilarious ways. At some point in the season your team will have a mess-up or two – some may be just small blunders, while others are of epic proportions. Instead of having the players stand together with peacock-puffed chests and scowls on their face, hold a group photo shoot with everyone posing with the season’s bloopers. Maybe the boy with the golden toe missed the winning kick, a player took a pass to the face, or the running back jetted down the field in the wrong direction. Whatever happened, show it in the group photo… you’re guaranteed to get more than a quick browse of your yearbook sports pages! Sports blunders don’t have to be a public shame – make light of them by recreating the blooper for a fun group team photo.
- Chess Club Ballers – Just as great as it is to show the football team in a riotous light, to highlight the teams or clubs that don’t get as much attention in a sensational way would be just as funny. In other words, show the chess club off as champions of their craft. Use formal lighting and playful shadows to capture them deep in thought and crafting strategy. Use close-ups and cool colors to show exaggerated, winning moves. Many times these kinds of teams or clubs get no more than quick group snapshots in a classroom during lunch. They work just as hard as everyone else, so give them the focus they deserve! Use interesting angles and lighting to create neat shots of those clubs and teams that don’t get as much time in the limelight.
- Hard-Hitting Cheerleaders – Everyone has different thoughts – both positive and negative – on cheerleading. If you can’t tell from my bubbly posts, I was in fact a dedicated cheerleader… so I tend to take the pro stance. No matter what your opinion, cheerleading does not get the play that it deserves. Annually, it endures more injuries than football, yet most schools consider it an extracurricular activity rather than a sport. The yearbook is the time to finally give them some attention for more than wearing the shortest skirts. Instead of having the cheerleaders pose in their regular cutesy outfits, big bow hair ties, and perfect curls, show them getting down to business. There is a lot more to the squad then cheers – they do some super impressive stunts, hyper-extended jumps, and high-energy original dances. Show the group putting up some great stunts or doing a collective toe-touch. Capture what people don’t see on the football sidelines.
- Dress the Part – For those clubs like FBLA, the school newspaper, and various language clubs, a fun idea would be to dress up as what their club represents. Maybe for the newspaper group photo, you set up a shoot made to look like a newsroom. Have the writers/reporters with pencils behind their ears, group brainstorming, and wilding writing down ideas. The editor can be looking over spreads, while the photographer snaps pictures, and the gossip columnists whisper factoids to one another. FBLA can dress up as what they see the “Future Business Leaders of America” looking like – politicians, CEOs, real estate agents, etc. The language clubs could represent the different countries – like the French kids sipping coffee in a café, or those interested in learning Japanese wearing cultural garments and preparing sushi, and so on.
- International Students – They have only been there for a semester or two, but they were an important part of the school and should be represented. Keep a special group section in the yearbook on hold for the international students, and bring out what represents each of them. The students are there to learn, and for you to learn from them. Ask them to dress up or pose in a way that represents their experience. Were they a crucial part of the foreign language programs at your school? Did they open students’ eyes to new cultures? Form the photoshoot around the many important roles they played in the student body.
No matter what the group – a team, a club, or simply a group of pals – there’s no need for the usual stiff, unexciting portraits. Use these ideas or go with your own inspirations to create group photos that will have everyone turning back to their yearbook again and again for years to come!