The Main Components To Run a Successful Yearbook Staff:

In April, applications to join the yearbook committee are posted on the outside door near the yearbook lab.

One month after you have been selected to be a member of the yearbook club, the adviser will host meetings during the summer and assign each staff member their new roles and drive to multiple business areas to have businesses purchase and place their ad in the yearbook.

However, it’s not only the amount of staff members you need to have in order to run a successful yearbook committee: it takes creativity, motivation, driven students who are willing to learn how to adapt to many challenges they never underwent in their many years of schooling. For example, I was on the yearbook staff during my sophomore and junior years as a class editor from August 2009-May 2011. The writing styles for the yearbook vs writing a class paper changed my perspective in many ways. I loved writing but my format and vocabulary needed tweaking. My sentence structuring was a mess because the details I wrote were not self-explanatory and out of order. Therefore, it takes a while to get out of one’s comfort zone and will start to realize how much it helped joining the staff overall. It helped enhance my writing and photography skills which is why I love writing and posting photography to this very day. 

Here are the main components to run a successful yearbook committee:

  1. Create a theme for the yearbook and ask the staff to create a layout for the book page.
  2. Along with the theme, assign your staff members sports pages, extracurricular and division pages. Create a deadline and have each grade member check their sentence structuring, punctuation and spelling mistakes (3 times) before closing the page to be sent to the yearbook company (Walsworth, if using Online Design)
  3. Ensure the division pages match the theme of the yearbook and list the accomplishments to which each class succeeded throughout the school year(s). 
  4. Create an Excel spreadsheet with their contact information, assignments and deadlines.
  5. Over the summer, assign them to take pictures and grant them access to Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, turn the wording above the picture upside down, etc.  
  6. Grant them access to two of the yearbook staff professional cameras during and outside school hours for their assignments only. Or request them to purchase a camera at Best Buy they can take and use to upload photos with a SD memory card. 
  7. And artwork is essential for running a yearbook because the pages are colorful and full of memories that will live onward.

How to Create A Yearbook Page Layout on Photoshop:

  1. File–>New–>Blank File–>Photo
  2. Create new layers for typing, photo paste to which sizes have to be reduced to fit the layout and create/colorize background purposes only.
  3. To copy and paste a photo, use the Rectangular Marquees Tool.
  4. If you don’t want your photo overshadowing the background, you can lighten it through clicking on the layer to which you pasted that specific photo and decrease the opacity percentage.

Seasonal Kickers to Match Your Captions:

Here are some seasonal kickers to create and match your captions if you are writing stories about the four seasons all year-long:

Winter:

  1. Heat Up The Stat:
  2. Light Up A Match & Cuddle Up:

Summer:

  1. Down the Temp to which Has Risen:
  2. Humidity Rise as Storms Bruise through Town:

Spring:

  1. A Time to Bloom and Zoom Through:
  2. Time Zones from Dusk to Dawn:

Fall:

  1. Red Formation Falling Over:
  2. Orange is the Signature Color:

One More Kicker & Caption Example to Provide:

geese with family

Follow The Green Rocky Road: A flock of ducks were seeking for food with their parents on a giant green road filled with flowers and rocks. To their avail, they found their source of comfort to keep them flocking around the park. 

Senior Year Division Story Example for Yearbook Staff Committees:

Hello high school yearbook staff committees: Here is another division story example to provide you with. And remember, it’s important to include the yearbook theme in your division stories because the stories about your graduating class have to match the overall theme. Otherwise, every random sentences you write about without adding information which is supposed to match the theme will not float very well and most likely to be the worst division story to be written.

Theme example from previous post: “The Zombies Awaken.

Seniors–> “At last, we have now reached our final year of high school together. From survivalist to walking zombies of the school chain, we have achieved things we never thought would be possible. From pulling all-night stunts to finishing our difficult homework assignments on time as well as filling out college applications before the deadlines, we have accomplished these things as a team to ensure our graduating class will be memorable. As we reach the end of the tunnel, it is with great sadness to say goodbye to our high school career and say hello to the real world where we will have to survive the zombie apocalypse on a seven-day, 24 hour stretch. To the class of 2017, we are the zombies awoken and nothing will stop us from lurking among these halls.”

Which One Do You Prefer: Online Design or Adobe Photoshop?

As a former yearbook staff member, I learned how to navigate my way into using Adobe Photoshop and Walsworth Yearbook Online Design products. I definitely enjoy using both of these tools because it enhanced my ability to create yearbook and photography book layouts. What’s different about these tools are:

  1. With Online Design, you simply pick out and drag page formats onto the layout whereas with Adobe Photoshop, you have to create a page layout from scratch.
  2. On Adobe Photoshop, it’s essential to know which tool you have to use in order to copy and paste images onto the page layout (Rectangular Marquee Tool).
  3. If you are using Online Design to create your yearbook pages, you will eventually  realize how it is such an easier product which does not challenge you with your creative skill set to build a yearbook from scratch. Adobe Photoshop challenges you to do the work on your own.
  4. And with both of these products, you have to create your own background.

Both of these products are amazing but each yearbook member should be assigned to create their own project using Adobe Photoshop because it helps the staff challenge their skill set as well as helping them improve their ability to use different tools they were not able to use before and personally, I believe both products are great because it can give you a whole different perspective in regards to what you can learn from Online Design vs Adobe Photoshop. No matter how different the products are, you can adapt to both in no time. It takes patience, dedication and time consumption.

Which would you prefer? Adobe Photoshop or Online Design? Why?

Need Experience Under Your Belt? Reach & Snatch for More Opportunities at Hand:

No matter what grade level you are in at this point, if you need to grab more journalism experience under your belt, reach and snatch for more opportunities as quick as you can. Do not expect the opportunities to come your way. Relying on luck and family connections do not guarantee you instant opportunities. You must have previous experience in journalism (writing & reporting news, photography and video skills) to continue.

In all honesty, if you want to be a journalist but are introverted, communication is key. Work in retail for a few years and you will learn how to associate with customers, coworkers and your supervisors. The reason for retail? Because it will help you enhance your ability to speak with the public.  Here are some opportunities you can snatch while on summer break:

  1. Attend concerts and conventions where you will meet famous people. Interview them about their work and you will get an idea what they are about.  Blog about your experiences and what you have learned from attending these events.
  2. Partake in extracurricular activities at your school. For example, join the newspaper and yearbook committees. Learn about these clubs and how they communicate with teachers and students differently.
  3. Make sure you go the extra mile and intern at a local newspaper where you will write stories, snap photographs and deliver newspapers.
  4. Lastly, when you find a story in your hometown that was not covered, jump on it immediately and begin the interview process after gathering information in regards to what the story is about. Write your story, edit it and you can do one or two things with this story (A: Ask your local newspaper if you can publish an article) or (B: Blog about the story before anyone else publishes it).

To Middle School Journalists: Writing Yearbook Story Paragraph Layout

In middle school, you are learning how to expand your vocabulary and speak in front of a large class. But if you love writing and have an interest in joining the yearbook staff, here are some story ideas you can write about regarding your graduating class:

#1 Paragraph: Describe the beginning of your graduating class. First impressions matter the most.

Example: When we entered our first year of middle school, it was difficult to communicate with one another since we came from different places. Learning to know each other took a bit of time and effort but now we understand ourselves at a faster rate since we have completed our sixth grade together.

#2 Paragraph: Describe experiences from beginning to end.

Example: At our first pep rally, we had a blast. From winning the spirit stick to befriending seventh and eighth graders to field trips and joining extracurricular activities, our sixth grade experience has been once in a lifetime memorable flashback we will never forget. 

#3 Paragraph: Conclusion.

Example: To conclude our first year of middle school experience, we welcome the upcoming sixth grade class to join us at a meet-and-greet orientation where our class speaks among the crowd regarding our experiences and how they can enjoy their first year without stressing out as to how many homework assignments they will have to complete on a daily basis. Congratulations class of 2023, we have accomplished one year and look forward to spending time with one another within the next few months to come.