Strategies for Photo Coverage

Jostens Advisers & Staff

Associate Marketing Manager, Jostens
Jason works with various print, digital and social initiatives bringing content to life through Yearbook Love, the Digital Classroom and more. A former yearbook adviser, Jason has worked with scholastic journalism for more than eight years.

Sterling High School in Kansas developed five steps to get more pictures of students in their book.

They assign each staff member 4-8 students for every page the staff member creates. For example, if Staffer A was assigned the football page, he knows he has to cover those students (not necessarily football players) in bio/quote boxes, photos and captions or in the story – this forces the staffer to see these students in a specific context, and it makes sure everyone in the school gets covered at least once.
They keep a “leper” list. It’s not a new idea, but it is visual and it does keep things fairly balanced. When a page is finished, a staffer puts a tally mark next to the names on the leper list that correspond to the kids on the page. The staff can clearly see who is in, how many times, and who is not. They stay away from those on the list.
Staffers are required to turn in photography each week – one photo they’ve taken in school and one photo they’ve taken out-of-school. This forces staffers to take the cameras to their classes, their jobs, their youth groups, etc. Twelve people trying to shoot 24 events each week (or every other week) sure forces them to cover lots of stuff!
At dances and all-school events, staffers know they are to photograph the “unphotographable” kids. Yes, Sally may be dancing her shoes off right now – go ahead and take a picture – but Sally will also be on the volleyball page, the StuCo page, the play page and the NHS page. MAKE SURE TO FIND RALPH at the dance and take HIS picture because Ralph doesn’t play sports or join clubs – this might be the only school event he attends this year.
In designing pages, they try to include at least four photos on the page that can just be pics and idents – just another way to get more kids in the book.