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Imagine a time where no one can complain about a bad yearbook photo. Rest assured; this may be a new reality due to COVID-19.                 

Capturing A Moment in Time

Yearbooks have forever held the power of highlighting and commemorating the past year of events and accomplishments through photography. In the ever-increasing predicament situations, COVID continues to present the world with, capturing team photos for yearbooks is added to the list. How does a publication successfully take and deliver team photos for clubs and sports teams without being with each other? 

Virtual Solutions

An idea for school publications to achieve group photos of clubs and sports is to have each member submit a headshot of themselves. COVID grants school yearbooks the opportunity to get candid with its subjects. 

Each participant now has the freedom and creativity to capture their own headshot photo, eliminating the ever-popular, “bad yearbook photo” expression from the mix. 

With the quality of smartphone cameras increasing significantly over the years, a quality photo can now be taken on small handheld devices. 

TreeRing, a website dedicated to creating lasting memories through yearbooks, offers articles dedicated to helping high school publications capture their school’s events and accomplishments during COVID. 

Taking a Great Headshot

In an article titled, “How to take great yearbook photos with an iPhone” by, the author lists tips and tricks to taking a great photo. Some recommendations include holding the phone with two hands and using the grid feature to balance the shot. To learn more, check out the article for the complete list of tips. A complete list of tips can be found here: 

If this sounds like an idea that would work for your high school publication, TreeRing also suggests implementing and communicating a plan for all participants to successfully obtain the photos taken by students. 

Communicate Your Plan

Presenting the requirements of the headshot, and tips to achieve the highest quality of the photo is essential to provide guidance and clarity to participants. 

According to TreeRing, “Yearbook Portrait Ideas for 2021 During the Covid-19 Pandemic: When hiring a photographer is not possible” concise and clear tips to include in an email are listed below. 

  1. Make sure the photo is only of the 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 student’s face. Consider recommending the best time of day.

Along with an email, publications can also post the guidelines to their socials. This ensures the guidelines are clearly communicated and easily accessible to all participants.

Get Creative!

 Once all the photos have been successfully submitted and reviewed by your school’s publication the real fun begins. This creates an opportunity for fun and creativity to be used when arranging the photos in the final publication. 

COVID-19 continues to present communities with endless amounts of unknowns, these yearbook solutions will be sure to add a new spin to the original yearbook format and create a new look to capture the memories of this unique year.