Many a high school yearbook are largely conceptualized and designed by the students themselves. This means that students are given plenty of opportunities to submit their photos as part of the solicitations for yearbook ideas, many of which will eventually be incorporated in the final school yearbook.
If you are one such avid amateur photographer who wants his photographs to be published in the annual book, your photos must tell great stories. And when we say great stories, we are referring to memorable events where the subjects photographed display a wide range of emotions that viewers can relate to. Here are useful yet easy tips on how to present yearbook ideas via photos that speak a thousand stories.
A great high school yearbook certainly is not made by accident and neither are great photos. Careful planning is then necessary to get the information you need to shoot great pictures of the people, places and events in your school.
Basically, you want to understand the situation where you plan to take the photos instead of just pointing your camera in random and shooting equally random – read: below average – pictures. Interview the people involved and even the spectators about the things to expect during the event. Observe the situation at least once to get its feel.
For example, sports events like baseball remain the most popular of the yearbook ideas for any school yearbook. You should then watch a baseball game on home turf to determine the best spot to take pictures, the players that provide the best expressions, and the plays that give the most excitement to the crowd. Your sports photos will then tell a story that viewers can relate to – the crowd making the wave action with their hands and bodies, the players pumping their fists, and the coaches passionately arguing with the umpire.
Tell the Truth
Many yearbook ideas in relation to photos are the products of a fertile imagination; Photoshop is, after all, an overused tool nowadays. Still, you must never set up shots, manipulate photos using software, and generally just tamper with their original composition beyond cropping. Once you start manipulating photos, you lose the spontaneity and sincerity that all great school yearbook photos have in abundance.
The best thing you can do is to look for the images in the situation being photographed that tell the most compelling stories. Personal interactions, close-up portraits and expressive reactions are often your best bets in this regard.
Apply the Principles of Good Photography
Just as all yearbook ideas must pass the tests of good composition (i.e., good fit with the chosen theme, good storytelling potential, and a healthy respect for institutional and individual sensibilities), so must all photos submitted to the high school yearbook committee. You can apply the following principles of good photography in relation to composition:
• Use shallow depth-of-field, tight in-camera shots to remove distracting elements in the background.
• Establish the mood of the photo with colors, lights and other elements.
• Capture secondary yet significant details accompanying the dominant subject, which will establish a sense of time and place.
You will find that your photos may even be the inspirations behind many of the yearbook ideas in the annual publication – and that is a reward in itself!