Yearbook Photos with an Edge: How to Capture Movement With Ease

Static yearbook photos are the old standard, but not always the best way to really showcase your content. In some situations, you want your images to embody the movement that inspired your piece, be that a sporting event, active kids at recess, or even your school’s end of the year relay day. To capture these types of shots in a way that offers context and keeps your pictures simple, you need to keep some great tips for capturing movement in your back pocket. Below, I’ll walk you through five simple ways you can take better pictures on the move, while also adding extra interest to the images that wind up on the pages of your yearbook!

Use Shutter Speed to Your Advantage

To take stunning yearbook photos, you need to learn how to use all of the settings on your camera, including your shutter speed. We’ve talked in detail about shutter speed before, to  help you fully understand and master this skill. In layman’s terms, shutter speed is the feature on your camera that dictates how quickly the shutter closes when you’re snapping shots. The faster your shutter speed is, the more crisp your subject will appear. Decreasing the shutter speed can show more movement within your images and create the effect of speed. A longer exposure time can have a big impact on the final quality of your image, so play around with this setting until you get the outcome you’ve been hoping for.

Use a Tripod

While you can certainly capture moving images while also moving your camera, you’ll find that a tripod can help you get a better final shot. This is because it keeps your camera static while the subject moves, and leaves less room for errors like excessive blurriness. If you don’t have or don’t want to invest in a tripod, find a flat object that you can set your camera on. To keep your camera extra still, use the self-timer to take shots without disturbing your setup. The key to this trick of the trade isn’t in the specific tools, it’s in the technique. So long as your camera is kept still and stable, you’ll get the effect you’ve been trying to create.


While it sounds counterproductive, and you certainly wouldn’t want to use this effect on all of your photos, zooming while you capture a picture can add some unique movement to your final yearbook photos. Again, you’ll want your camera to be mounted on a tripod or other stationary object to stabilize your shot. Choose a shutter speed between one and four seconds, then zoom in to the widest angle you want to capture. Push your shutter button and zoom in on your subject at the same time. Keep your hand steady, as a smooth zoom that ends just before the end of the exposure will produce the best results. This style of movement photography captures something totally unique for your yearbook, and might work best in an art feature. But wherever it appears, it is sure to add a ton of interest to any spread!

To Take Great Yearbook Photos, Be Ready at a Moment’s Notice

As with many photography opportunities, there isn’t a lot of advance notice that a great shot is coming. As a result, you need to be ready within a few seconds time. Prepare for your photoshoots by getting everything you need ready in advance. Keep your camera ready to go throughout the photoshoot to grab a great picture in a split-second’s time. As you deepen your photography skills, you’ll develop an intuition for when to nab a great photo. In the meantime, be vigilant and prepared when you’re taking photos. This will create more opportunities for awesome content that goes beyond what your students normally see in the yearbook.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Taking great movement snapshots to add to your collection of yearbook photos isn’t something you’ll master overnight. In fact, practice is the one thing that will help you get more comfortable with photographing movement. Over time, you’ll figure out which settings work best for the types of environments you frequent. That’s what will ultimately build a smattering of fabulous yearbook photos that capture more than just the traditional posed shots of years past!