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Yearbook Portrait Ideas for 2021 During the Covid-19 Pandemic: When hiring a photographer is not possible.

Virtually Together Yearbook Portraits

Our students are losing so much this year, it’s hard to take away their professional yearbook portraits too. I don’t know about you, but my family and I laugh for hours at the expense of my crazy styles from the ’80’s. Given the pandemic and distance learning, it might not be possible for your students to get their beautiful yearbook portraits. With a little help from some of our creative yearbook advisors here at TreeRing, we’ve gathered a list of yearbook portrait ideas for 2021, when hiring a photographer might not be possible.

The process may change a little, but as a yearbook editor, you can have more fun with portraits than you have in the past. Nothing can replace a professional photographer, but if you need to, consider flexing some of your creativity to get the job done. Simply decide on your next best option, clearly explain it to your school community, and upload them to your yearbook.

Yearbook Portrait Ideas for 2021

Depending on your school’s limitations, we’ve come up with three different ways to get yearbook portraits for all your students.

Student yearbook portraits ideas
  1. Create a Zoom background. Zoom offers many backgrounds to choose from, but you can also create your own. Consider this an opportunity to incorporate your theme into the background or your school colors. Whatever will work best for your yearbook style.
  2. Ask parents to send in photos using a white sheet as the background. White sheets are easy to find at the dollar store if families don’t already have some, and this will help you create a clean and consistent look.
  3. Ask people to take portraits at your school. You’d be surprised how great a students portrait can look in front of a brick wall, wooden fence, or even some shrubs or a garden. Simply tape an “X” on the spot where the student should stand, and an “X” on the spot where the photographer should stand.

Communicate Your Portrait Plan to Your School

Make no mistake–though these ideas sound fun–it will be more challenging to get photos of each student than it was when you simply needed to upload one CD from your photographer and all the photos and names laid out automatically. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely not a talented photographer, and chasing down hundreds of parents is not my idea of a good time.

To set yourself up for success, once you’ve decided what you’d like your student’s yearbook portraits to look like, make sure you communicate it clearly to your community. Before you share your plans on social media and via email, draft some clear and concise tips.

  1. Make sure the photo is only of head and shoulders. (include an example)
  2. Don’t use any filters.
  3. Have the student sit or stand slightly to the right or left and turn their face toward the camera.
  4. If taking photos outside, it’s best when the sun is directly above, but never in front of the students face. Consider recommending the best time of day.
  5. Share some of these great links to turn your community into better photographers:
    1. Taking Your Own Headshot With An iPhone
    2. How to Take a Decent Head Shot Using Your Phone

Once you’ve outlined your tips, be sure to continually remind your community. Before you know it, you’ll have a bunch of portraits that will not only look great in your yearbook, but they will be treasured by your students for years to come. Now all you need to do is upload them to your yearbook. Find out from your yearbook provider how they plan on supporting this. It won’t look nearly is professional as with a pro photographer, but this year is all about making do the best we can with what we have available.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to cover the 20-21 school year, check out our ever-growing list of ideas for yearbooking during a pandemic.

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