Syllabus for Yearbook by cWlFtF5


									Syllabus for Yearbook

Contact information - Ms. Maggert
816-694-4504 - Call Anytime.

There are three things that we need from each other in order to make this a
successful class, Honesty, Responsibility and Respect. I will give you these three
things to my utmost ability, if you do the same we are going to have a great year!!!!


1. Follow directions the first time they are given.
2. Be in the door and ready for class when the bell rings with all materials you need
including pen, pencil, and notebook, textbook.
3. Make sure that all assignments you turn in are on time and are your own.
not allowed in this classroom.
5. Restroom breaks, drink breaks etc. will not be allowed. Go before class. Don’t ask.
You know the answer. You may have bottled water in the classroom, but not in the lab.

1. Verbal warning
2. Detention
3. Phone call to parent or guardian
4. Trip to Assistant Principal
** Extreme misbehavior earns an automatic trip to the Assistant Principal. **

1. Verbal praise. Given daily!
2. Positive phone call or note home.
3. A reward decided by the class!
        There are many aspects to being a member of the yearbook staff. Each aspect
requires total commitment and a positive attitude. If at any time this school year you are
unwilling or unable to provide either of these to your work, you are urged to drop this
        Yearbook is a year-long course and a year-long commitment. It is my hope is that
students will take the course more than one year. Those students who do drop the course
at semester will most likely receive credit for first semester. The staff and I invest time
and energy in training you; we expect a return on that investment. Likewise, you will
benefit from your investment in many ways.
         As a member of the yearbook staff you will learn many skills that will help you
in your high school career and later in life, including the following:
        • interviewing
        • writing
        • editing
        • peer tutoring, peer evaluation
       •   marketing
       •   budgeting
       •   advertising
       •   public relations
       •   keyboarding
       •   computer graphics
       •   graphic design
       •   photography
       •   time management
       •   cooperative learning

       Staff member responsibilities include the areas of Advertising Sales (Business
Ads, Baby Ads), Photography (Photos at school functions, photos during school), Copy
Writing and Copy Editing, and Public Relations. Fundraising is also a part of yearbook,
which is why we do the Archives Dance. All five aspects work together to complete our
yearbook. Your efforts have a direct effect on the quality of our high school’s yearbook.
        Yearbooks have several purposes. They document history -- of the school, of the
sports and activities, of the students, of the community. Yearbooks stop time. They
remind people of what things were like in high school (don’t you wish your parents
would look at their yearbooks more often?) Yearbooks make people feel important when
they see their own pictures or names. Yearbooks also promote school spirit.
        In order for our yearbook to serve all of these purposes, your dedication,
cooperation and time are needed. Although much of the work for the 2009 Archives
Yearbook will be done in class, you will be required to spend time outside of class as
well. All tasks must be completed and all deadlines must be met, regardless if they fit into
the 85 minute period we are allotted.

As your yearbook adviser, my job is to train you and provide you with the tools you need
to create an exciting, memorable and ACCURATE yearbook for the students of Smith
Cotton High School to appreciate forever. You have my commitment that I will teach you
to the best of my abilities and that I will do everything in my power to give you the tools
you need to make our yearbook the best edition ever. You have my commitment. Do I
have yours?

__________________________ Student Signature
__________________________ Parent Signature
Classroom Policies
or “ways to make things run smoothly”

1. Leave all materials in your assigned mailbox including your staff handbook, idea &
notes folder, pens for interviewing. You must have a binder for this class. It is
mandatory. You must have it by the second class period.

2. You may not leave the classroom at any time without specific verbal permission from
Ms. Maggert. If you do not have YOUR press pass, you may not leave the classroom
for any reason.. If I discover you have left the room without speaking to me first and/or
signing the book, you will receive detention. When a substitute is present, no one may
leave the room unless arrangements were made previously with your teacher.

3. You must keep all work in progress, CDs, interview notes, stories, etc. in your
assigned mailbox. You must never take materials home or out of the classroom without
express permission from the teacher. You may not keep yearbook materials in your
locker. Taking materials out of the room without permission will result in detention.

4. Snacks and drinks of any kind are NOT allowed at the computer stations or in the

5. All yearbook materials should be retrieved from mailboxes at the beginning of each
hour and returned at the end of each hour.. Materials left out will be held hostage.
Clipboards should be returned to the proper cabinet. There is a place for everything and
everything had better be in its place.

6. All photographs are the property of Smith Cotton High School and will not be taken
out of the classroom. You should not show any yearbook photographs to anyone who is
not on our staff. You should not burn CDs of our photos for yourself or anyone else
without Ms. Maggert’s specific permission. You will have an opportunity to get some of
the photos at the end of the year if you want one in particular, but we do not take photos
for you or your friends; we take photos for the yearbook. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU--
7. The yearbook is the project of all staff members and deadlines are not met until all
staff members have finished their work. If you have finished your pages early for a
specific deadline, then it is your responsibility to help those staff members who have not
yet met their deadlines. It’s called teamwork. Staff members who miss deadlines
receive an “F” and are removed from class. We cannot miss deadlines. Every missed
deadline delays the arrival of the book in August or September.

8. Every staff member will have many other assignments to complete, in addition to
work on yearbook pages.

9. Every staff member must attend and take quality photos at a minimum of FOUR
events PER QUARTER. Photo logs must be filled out for every photo at every event.
Credit will not be given for an event until the photo log is complete. It’s easier if this is
taken care of at the time the photo is taken.

11. Every returning staff member will sell $1000 dollars worth of advertising and new
members will sell $500 worth of advertising. More details to follow.

12. It is expected that you will be productively engaged in yearbook work during
EVERY class period. Wasting time wastes away your grade and the quality of our
yearbook. When independent work on pages begins, you will be asked to complete a
DAILY LOG explaining how you spend each class period; these will be graded. The
work must be completed by the deadline whether you work in class every day or not, and
the responsibility is ultimately yours. After school time to work on pages must be
arranged with Ms. Maggert.

13. It is generally not possible to complete all necessary work without spending some
time outside of the class period. This outside class work is considered the same as
homework except that it must be done in the Yearbook classroom.

14. The classroom is available many afternoons after school until 4:00. Computers are
generally available during fourth and fifth block.

16. It is expected that after your initial training is complete, you will take responsibility
to complete assigned tasks in a timely fashion without being told each day what tasks you
should do. When working with a partner on a page or project, you are expected to share
EQUALLY in the workload. I WILL cut your grade if I see that you are not doing your

   17. Failure to follow rules will result in the following: first violation, brief informal
       teacher conference; second, written detention; third, parent contact; fourth,
       expulsion from class. We have too much to do to deal with staff members
       screwing around and not doing their work.
   18. I will work as hard and as long as you do. I will not do pages but I will edit them
        and help you with them.
   19. If you are assigned to a page you have to attend at least three home events in
        order to get pictures for your page. This does not mean you are the only one
        taking pictures of these events it just means you have to actually attend the even
        you are producing the page of. If you are in charge of the spring concert page
        you must attend the spring concert.

Duties of Leadership Positions

Yearbook Adviser: Coordinate student efforts, initially teach all skills needed to produce
a quality yearbook, including the self-discipline needed to work independently,
encourage students, listen to and aid in problem-solving, provide students with the tools
they need to succeed if they provide the effort and time.

All Staff: Responsible for content and completion of the yearbook. Staff is to be
responsible for all duties listed in this handbook and any not listed but deemed necessary
by the adviser.

Managing Editor: Serve as a leader for the staff; attend all staff meetings; with the help
of the staff leaders, plan the number of pages for each section and design and update the
ladder; with the help of the adviser, establish deadlines and mini-deadlines; post all
deadlines and communicate them with staff; maintain the 75% copy three-ring binder
where copies of all completed pages will go; edit all copy and all proof sheets; coordinate
specifications with staff leaders to maintain consistency throughout the book; maintain a
CD/DVD copy weekly of back-ups for each page; encourage and motivate staff;
recognize staff for outstanding effort; teach and help staffers prepare pages for mailing;
teach other students when appropriate.

Business Manager / Advertising Manager: (When assigned) Work to maintain a budget
and ensure the yearbook can be financed; assist the advertising editor with the planning
and directing of ad sales campaigns; work with the assistant managing editor to boost
book sales; work with the advertising editor to maintain a record of all ad contracts; keep
an account of all income and all expenses; collect all money from staff members; bill
advertisers; write receipts; write thank you letters to all who advertise with us; collect all
money from book sales; keep records of number of books received when they arrive in
the fall; maintain a list of students who have purchased yearbooks and assign staffers to
contact those who have not purchased a book; assist advertising editor with layout and
design; is ultimately responsible for all financial matters.
Coordinate the sale and promotion of baby, business, and buddy ads; work to include
quality photos and artwork in ads; keep an up-to-date database of all advertisers,
including paper files of all advertising receipts and records of payment; scan baby photos
so they don’t have to be sent to the plant; present a solid unit across the double page
spread to create strong visual appeals; make staff assignments as needed to reach
advertising goals; plan layout of advertising section; keep files of graphics and photos for
all advertising; is ultimately responsible for all advertising that goes into our yearbook.

Copy/Layout Editor: Edit all copy, including headlines, stories, and captions, adhering
to Predator Publications Policy; run spell check on every block of text; double-check all
student name spellings; encourage and motivate staff; work with photo editor to ensure
that every student in the school either has an additional photo or quote other than the
traditional mug shot; work with managing editor and advertising editor to keep accurate
records and documentation; teach other students when appropriate; edit all layouts on
75% copies as well as on the computer screen before deadline materials are sent.

Photo Editor: Make photo assignments so that every game, meeting, and event has a
staffer there taking detailed notes and pictures; log film and photos; organize digital
photos; work with senior and underclassmen coordinators to assign staffers to track down
and remind those who have not had their portrait taken by the official school
photographer (portrait photos not taken by Hal Wagner will not appear in the yearbook);
schedule group picture day with Hal Wagner Studios and assign a staffer to take pictures
each hour as well; keep a detailed list of every student in the school and log each time
that student appears on a finished yearbook page in order to avoid duplication and include
every student in school in the book; if time is available, send note cards to each student

Student Life Coordinator: (When assigned) Work to ensure coverage of students and
their lives--at school and in other day-to-day routines they follow; set up a calendar of
events and assign staffers to cover events, workplaces, etc.; work to liven up coverage of
routine events such as prom, graduation, homecoming, etc.; use strong action photos that
create a sense of being at the event and include detailed notes of each photo taken; work
to show the “inside story” of each activity, event, or issue; is ultimately responsible for
the completion of the student life section of the yearbook.

Senior Coordinator: (When assigned) Work to ensure that the “senior experience” is
captured in the section; arrange portraits as solid rectangular panels with names placed in
the outside margin for easy identification; provide at least one feature or presentation
focusing on a student, activity, event, or issue relevant to seniors in each double page
spread (not every single page); work with photo editor and underclassmen coordinators to
assign staffers to track down and remind those who have not had their portrait taken by
the official school photographer (portrait photos not taken by Hal Wagner will not appear
in the yearbook); work with photo editor to keep a detailed list of every student in the
school and log each time that student appears on a finished yearbook page (not including
mug shots) in order to avoid duplication and include every student in school in the book,
then send note cards to each student pictured if time is available; is ultimately responsible
for the completion of the senior section of the yearbook.

Underclassmen Coordinators (2): (When assigned) Work to ensure that the students’
experiences at Hillsboro High School are captured in the section, as well as the
experiences of the faculty (we live here, too:-); arrange portraits as solid rectangular
panels with names placed in the outside margin for easy identification; provide at least
one feature or presentation focusing on a student, activity, event, or issue relevant to
underclassmen in each double page spread (not every single page); work with photo
editor and senior coordinator to assign staffers to track down and remind those who have
not had their portrait taken by the official school photographer (portrait photos not taken
by Hal Wagner will not appear in the yearbook); work with photo editor to keep a
detailed list of every student in the school and log each time that student appears on a
finished yearbook page (not including mug shots) in order to avoid duplication and
include every student in school in the book, then send note cards to each student pictured
if time is available; are ultimately responsible for the completion of the underclassmen
and faculty sections of the yearbook.

Organizations Coordinator: (When assigned) Work to provide interesting coverage of
the activities, events and issues facing all organizations; picture all individual group
members; work to develop coverage from the actual activities, events and issues rather
than from a mere club-by-club posed approach; keep posed photos less prominent than
action/event photos; investigate the activities and events that affect organization members
and the impact that they make on the school and community; work so that the copy and
the photos are unique to this year’s groups; feature as many members of the group as
possible in photos, quotes, and the main story; consult with photo editor to schedule
group picture day with Hal Wagner Studios if needed and assign a staffer to take pictures
each hour as well; send staffers to group meetings to take notes and photos; should not
list officers, but focus on memorable events; is ultimately responsible for the completion
of the organizations section of the yearbook.

Sports Coordinator: (When assigned) Work to provide complete coverage of all sports
and all levels of the sports; work so that verbal and visual content will appeal to the
players, coaches, and support groups such as fans, as well as the rest of the audience;
provide a season record, with coach’s permission, in a readable, accurate, and attractive
scoreboard; attend as many sports events as possible, taking as many notes and photos as
possible to get the complete story of the event; make photo and note assignments for
other staff members so that every athletic event is covered throughout the school year;
keep records of teams, players, coaches, and a calendar of sports events, including the
jersey numbers and names of opposing teams so we have them for photos later;
remember that girls’ softball ends early (approx. in October); is ultimately responsible for
the completion of the sports section of the yearbook.

Academic Coordinator: (When assigned) Work to capture (in photos and copy) the
action and interaction of students and teachers in a variety of academic activities; seek a
unique approach to coverage, not just classroom experiences, but all aspects of the
educational process such as homework, report cards, tests, etc.; will not allow more than
one boring photo of a student just sitting in a desk in the section; promote the section to
students and teachers to find out what is going on in school that we can document and
photograph; is ultimately responsible for the completion of the academic section of the

Fun Day Coordinator: Organize one fun class period per completed deadline where no
work will be allowed and the object of the day is to have fun; organize one outside school
event for staffers to attend (baseball games, bowling, water balloon contest, ice skating,
etc.); plan food for after-school deadline work sessions; obtain approval of adviser for all
plans; is ultimately responsible for making sure we don’t forget that all of this stuff can
be fun!
Publication Policy
To print or not to print ... That is the question.

The faculty, staff, and administration of Smith Cotton High School want to maintain the
highest standards and good judgment regarding what should and should not be printed in
our high school yearbook. It is our policy that we will not print any copy which violates
the following:
        • the rights of others
        • obscenity standards
         • copyright laws
         • libel laws
         • personal privacy

We will strive to adhere to the following standards:
• We will never print anything that is untrue.
• We will never print anything that will injure someone’s reputation or make that person
appear foolish.
• We will make every effort to make sure that all information is correct.
• We will avoid insinuations, innuendo, editorial comments, and private jokes.
•   We will make sure all copy is original or that permission to reprint has been granted.
•   We will make every effort to ensure that all quotations are accurate.
•   We will not use “gag” or “joke” captions.
•   We will report what we are told and let the reader draw his/her own conclusions.
        • We will avoid language that is vulgar.               profane, or obscene.
        • We will avoid photographs that are vulgar, profane, or obscene. This includes
         nude baby photos.
         • We will not promote or portray in a positive manner the following teen issues:
         alcohol use or abuse, drug use or abuse, sex, pregnancy.

If the use of certain copy or photographs is questionable, the final decision to print will
be made by the adviser and the principal or assistant principal.
        Yearbook copy is usually one of three types: headlines, captions or body copy;
three types of body copy are a news story, feature story, or special copy.

Writing Body Copy

Step One: Research
      Locate and photocopy the pages/story from the previous year. Use the year before
that if last year’s yearbook is unavailable.
         Read the story and note from what angle the story was written. No one wants to
read boring copy. No one wants to read the same captions or information year after
        Find out the history of the event / club / sport at our school. Gather any paper that
has to do with your topic: football programs, copies of stats, newspaper clippings, etc.
        Write a list of possible students and staff you could interview to find out more
about your topic. Keep in mind who was interviewed last year and don’t repeat it. Try to
interview students who are not involved in multiple activities to give coverage to a
greater number of students.
          Just gather the facts. There is no room for your opinion in your writing, especially
if it is a negative one. No editorial opinions are allowed. Both paper facts and people
facts are what you need to gather.
          Keep all of your research and subsequent notes in a deadline envelope labeled
with your topic and name. This includes interviews. Leave the envelope in your staff

Step Two: Interviewing
       The most important part of quality copy writing is getting the most important and
most interesting information when you interview.
       Face-to-face or phone interviews are the best. Never write a list of questions and
hand them to a student to answer in writing; this robs you of the opportunity for follow-
up questions, and follow-up questions get the most interesting information out of people.
       Don’t ask yes/no questions, but questions that encourage the person to talk and
feel comfortable with you. Some small talk before you get to the actual interview
questions may help. If the person you are interviewing doesn’t feel comfortable with you,
he/she is not going to say much.
        Prepare a list of questions before the interview, but be prepared to think of more
on the spot as the person talks to you. Take something to write with, one of our
clipboards, and your interview sheet of prepared questions to the interview. If you are
going to a sporting event and will be taking pictures as well, be sure you wear a yearbook
staff identification nametag.
        The FIRST question you should always ask is for the person to spell his/her name
for you. Even if the name sounds simple, it may not be spelled how it sounds. Remember
to ask people what they have to do specifically with the topic. For example, if you are
interviewing someone on the soccer team, ask her what position she plays, how long she
has been playing soccer, and how long she has played for HHS. (For other sample sports
questions, see the back of your handout entitled “Sample Interview Questions.”)
        When someone is responding to one of your questions, write quickly and
abbreviate whenever possible. Always ask why or how. For example, if you ask someone
what her favorite game was and she just names the game against De Soto, ask her why.
Readers will want to know the details; that’s where the real story is.
        Don’t be afraid to read the answers / quotes back to the person, ask him/her to
slow down, or ask him/her to repeat something. ACCURACY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
       When the interview has concluded, thank the person for taking the time to talk
with you. Mean it when you say it. A handshake, a smile, and other positive body
language can go a long way. Interview a minimum of six people for each story you
write or topic you cover. Take mug shot (during the interview) or action photos of the
people; action are preferred.


         Don’t forget to turn in your interview sheets for a grade.

Here are a few interview techniques from Taylor Talk Magazine (Issue 1, 90-91)
        Tell me a story about ...
• being on the bottom of the football pileup.
• the closest score your team overcame.
• losing an important game.
• riding on the bus to an away game.
• running in bad weather.
• crossing the finish line second.
• overcoming a physical challenge.
• the worst competition you have in the county.
• your best friend on the team.
• how the coach motivates you on the field.

Student Life
        Tell me a story about ...
• a recent shopping trip.
• driving to school.
• riding in a car pool.
• the first date you had this year.
• choosing/buying your prom dress (or renting your tuxedo).
• getting to work on time after school.
• cooking dinner for your family.
• something fun you and your sibling did together after school.
• going on your first job interview.
• the worst movie you saw this year.
• being seen with your parents at the mall.

• acting out a play in class.
•getting a test back with a less-than-great grade.
• studying with a group.
• preparing a group presentation.
• giving a speech in class.
• reading literature and understanding it.
• visiting a math tutor.
• going on a field trip.
• finishing a project the night before it was due.
• renting the movie instead of reading the book.
• a baffling chemistry experiment.
• sitting in assigned seats.

• getting wet at the annual car wash.
• going on a field trip related to your organization.
• any special guest speakers that inspired you.
• getting organized for the group picture.
• why you’re in the organization.
• the neatest thing you’ve learned in the organization.
• any funny thing that has happened with the group.
• electing officers.
• decorating for a banquet/social event.
• an especially frantic fundraiser.
• going to competition.

Step Three: Writing a Rough Copy
        Read all of your interview notes and research again. Pick the most interesting part
and start the story with it.
        Use different colored highlighters to group quotes and facts that are about the
same idea. This will help you organize your paragraphs when you begin writing.
        If you are a decent typist, I suggest you type the rough copy of your story. It is
much easier to edit and move text on the computer than on paper. If no computers are
available, then write it out. Remember, I will most likely ask you to rewrite and rewrite
again, so don’t get too frustrated. It takes a while to get the hang of writing in this style.
        The beginning of a story is called a lead. The purpose of the lead is to grab the
reader’s attention and let the reader know basically what the story is going to be about.
There are many different types of leads, which we will discuss in class. NEVER start
your story with a boring sentence like “The Varsity Volleyball team had a great season.”
        Don’t ramble in your story. Make sure your story has a pattern of some kind. If
you have a difficult time writing and making your sentences flow and using transitions,
you may want to make a detailed outline before you actually write. This will save you
time and work.
        You should have leftover information. You should not use every single fact or
every single quote in your story. Use only the ones that logically fit together to create the

Step Four: Revising your Rough Copy
        Print out your rough copy. Read it aloud to another student and check to make
sure the writing is clear and accurate. This is a content check, not a grammar check.
Make corrections and mark on your paper where you need to make changes. Ask the
person you read it to to sign the paper.
        Give the paper to a different student to read for mechanics, usage, grammar and
spelling mistakes (MUGS). That proofer should circle all mistakes and you should
correct them. Ask this proofer to sign the paper as well.

Step Five: Prepare Another Rough Copy
       Make all corrections in the computer that you had on paper. Print out another
rough copy.
Staple both rough copies with the most recent one on top. Make an appointment to have
Ms. Maggert or an editor read and go over your work with you.


       For example, instead of writing a multi-paragraph story, we relate the information
using charts and graphs, long captions called story captions, extended headlines, and
others. Look in current magazines to find these types of treatments that are alternatives to
the traditional story.


As the adviser I am frequently frustrated by the lack of effort and creativity in captions,
headlines, and infographics. We will write traditional stories if that’s what it takes to
show you what I expect.
Interviewing Assignment #2

For this assignment, you will interview a classmate. Your teacher will randomly assign
your person to interview. You really need to interview someone you don’t know very
well. If you are a returning staff member, for example, we don’t want you paired up with
someone you know from last year’s staff.

After you have received the name of the person you will interview, take about ten
minutes to prepare some questions. You must have a minimum of 10 open-ended
questions for the person. The questions you prepare will be graded. Use your Yearbook

When your teacher tells you time is up for preparing your questions, move your desk and
interview your classmate. Keep in mind all the techniques we have learned from the
handouts. Don’t forget to check name spellings, grade, and all other basic facts, including
reading quotes back to the classmate to ensure they are correct.

When you have collected your answers with your questions, turn them in. They must be
readable and all direct quotes should be in quotation marks.

Don’t forget that your Yearbook Interview Log must have both your signature and the
signature of the person you interviewed, or you will not receive credit for having done the

Interviewing Assignment #3

For this assignment, you will interview a freshman in our school. Your teacher will
assign your person to interview. Again, you really need to interview someone you don’t
know very well.

After you have received the name of the person you will interview, take about 10 minutes
to prepare some questions. You must have a minimum of 10 open-ended questions for the
person. Focus on something unique or interesting about the person as well as that
person’s “Freshman Experience” so far. The questions you prepare will be graded. Use
your Yearbook Binder.

When your teacher tells you time is up for preparing your questions, you will take turns
with your classmates and go conduct your interview. Your interview should not last
more than five minutes or so because you cannot keep your interviewee out of class very

Don’t forget to SIGN OUT and BACK IN.

Never forget to use your MANNERS.

We make every effort to avoid interrupting teachers who are lecturing.

Knock on the door of the classroom of the person you need to interview, politely ask the
teacher if you are able to conduct the interview now and if not when would be a better
time. Thank the teacher for his or her time regardless of the answer. Note on your
Interview notes the date and time if you are not allowed to conduct the interview.

When you are conducting the interview, keep in mind all the techniques we have learned
from the handouts. Don’t forget to check name spellings, grade, and all other basic facts,
including reading quotes back to the student to ensure they are correct.

When you have collected your answers with your questions, turn them in. They must be
readable and all direct quotes should be in quotation marks.

Don’t forget that your Yearbook Interview Log must have both your signature and the
signature of the person you interviewed, or you will not receive credit for having done the
        While many people think taking pictures is pretty easy, photography does require
hard work and planning.
        The event you are planning to shoot will dictate the type of camera you need to
check out from the library or from the classroom. For example, sporting events will
require our best camera with its telephoto lens to get close-up to the action from the
sidelines. You may also need a tripod, especially for volleyball and football games.
Candids in the hallway can be taken with our regular 35 mm auto focus cameras.
        We do have FOUR quality digital cameras that should be used for most photos
taken during the school day.

        Always take a variety of vertical and horizontal shots. Always return the camera
as soon as possible after the event. That means you should bring it back before school the
next class day.

        Always mark on the photo log what camera you used. You must also include your
name, the
date, and the event if you want credit for attending the event. If you have extra film in
one of the disposable cameras when you turn it in, leave the photo log with the camera
for the next person who checks it out. That way we know what’s on the roll of film still in
the camera. Do not waste the pictures, even with the digital camera. We should not be
downloading bad photos that will slow down the computer for no reason and waste
everyone’s time later.

         Work to get good photos. Just because it looks good on the digital screen doesn’t
mean it’s going to look clear on the computer or on the page. Don’t be afraid to take five
or six different shots or poses to get a good photograph. You want to have choices when
you go to lay out your pages.
        Establish a photo idea file. Review last year’s yearbook and list the traditional
photos that must be taken in the coming year. Develop different ways and locations to
take these traditional photos. Decide now, not the day the picture(s) needs to be taken.

        Sports are difficult to shoot, but I have confidence in you. Here are a few tips.
        Use the best camera we have and take the regular and telephoto lenses with you.
        Wear your yearbook ID card so you look official. Don’t be afraid to get in there in
the action. If you don’t get yelled at by the ref at least once this year, then you’re not
getting close enough.
        Pick a location on the court or playing field that sees a lot of action. Set up your
stance, focus in on that section of the court or field, and wait for the action to come to
you. Patience is an important part of getting great photos.
        Do not, however, stay in the same location the entire game. If it turns out to be
a poor location, or poor lighting in the gym for example, your entire roll will be poor
        Get full body shots and include the ball whenever possible. Never take a photo
from just the waist up; we can always crop it later if we just want just the facial
expression, but for the most part, sports photos look silly without the person’s complete
body. Facial expressions make the shot, so try to capture some type of emotion with your
        Always pick up a copy of the program which lists jersey numbers and names of
our team and the team we’re competing against. Each person in the photo, even those on
opposing teams, should be identified.
        All sports photos do not have to be taken at games. Team practices often provide
great photo opportunities to get closer to the action. Sometimes a posed photo from a
different angle you couldn’t otherwise get during a game is great.
        Work with the coach. A little kindness goes a long way. Always introduce
yourself and let the coach know that you want to get some great photos of his/her team
for the yearbook. (DO NOT ask the coach during a busy time.) Stopping by to talk to the
coach during the school day before a game or match is sometimes helpful. The coach just
might have some advice about whom you should photograph or what would make a great

        Don’t take pictures of students sitting in desks or teachers lecturing. It’s too
routine. Everyone remembers that school is sitting in desks. There must be some sort of
action going on. Try to photograph other academic events.
        Talk to teachers, one on one, and ask when they will be doing any activities where
students won’t be sitting in their desks. Ask permission to come in to take pictures. If you
don’t have that hour free, get another staff member to take the photos for you. We all
need to work together and help each other.
        Put the word out with other students that you’re looking for the chance to take
pictures of students in classrooms doing other things besides sitting in their desks.
        Try to get as many students as possible in the photo, but don’t overdo it. We need
to be able to tell what the context is in the photo (like if someone is dissecting a rabbit in
biology class, we need to see part of the rabbit and the biology tables in the photo).
Close-ups of individual students working on a project tend to make the best photos,
although they don’t necessarily help us get more students in the book. Again, facial
expressions make the shot.

Special Events
        Events like Homecoming require some planning, too. Every year somebody takes
that faraway picture of the Homecoming court. Instead, try to use the telephoto lens to get
the king and queen close up and get pictures of each couple before coronation actually
begins. Work with the group organizing the dance to have a few extra minutes to get this
       Don’t forget to get photos of the work that goes into making the special event
happen. Pictures of juniors working on decorations for prom would probably make a
good action photo.
Five Steps to Better Pictures
       by Jerry Cornelius from Taylor Talk                         Magazine
1. Closer Please
        Most student photographers take pictures while standing some 10 to 15 feet away
from the subject, regardless of the situation. This creates a subtle “sameness” about all
the pictures in the book.
        Change the distance. Move in closer, or back up. Generally it’s better to move in
closer on most yearbook subjects. Changing the typical camera-to-subject distance will
create subtle action in the reader’s mind as he/she views the pictures in your book.

2. Don’t Just Stand There
        Naturally, most photographers shoot while standing. And the camera angle stays
the same. Change the angle by kneeling or lying down, by moving to the left or right, or
by using a ladder to gain height. Sometimes you can move the subjects to gain a different
        Too many photos are shot with the subject at eye level and straight ahead. Move
to the side, move up, move down, move all around to try something new. (Don’t move
while you’re actually shooting, though. You need to remain completely still when you
actually take the shot.)

3. Steady Now
        Blurry pictures can be caused by camera movement during exposure. On
especially long exposure times it’s impossible to keep the camera from moving a little.
Avoid lengthy exposure by using a flash or shooting outdoors. If you can’t avoid low
light, use a tripod to steady the camera. If a tripod is unavailable, steady your body
against a wall, desk or other stable object. Cradle the camera and hold your elbows close
to your body.

4. Clean Up Your Act
         Cluttered backgrounds on photographs detract from the center of interest. The
center of interest is the reason you take the picture. Choose an angle that eliminates
clutter surrounding the subject. This takes us back to step one -- move closer.
         Watch carefully for tree limbs, telephone poles or other background objects which
can often look like they’re “growing” out of the subject’s head. Move the camera or the
subject to eliminate these distractions.
5. Expose Your Intelligence
       In our lab, we see too many good pictures ruined because the film was over or
underexposed. Take the time to check your exposure by using a light meter. If in doubt,
make several exposures at different lens settings. This is called bracketing.
       With a point and shoot camera, take some with and some without the flash.

Photography Assignment #1

For this assignment, each student will need either his/her own digital camera or a
disposable camera with a flash, with at least 24 exposures on it, but preferably 36

Your assignment is to take photos of students from our school. Sound easy? There are a
few more requirements.

You must use a photo log when you take your pictures. Include the who, what,
where, when, why and how.

Although many of you will take the photos while in school, points will be earned for any
photos taken outside of the normal school-day setting. (Thus the reason for the disposable
camera.) Here’s the catch, though: The photos for this assignment can’t be of anyone in
your group of friends. These photos may very well be used in the yearbook and we can
get pictures of your friends anytime. They like you so much, they would be flexible with
us on a deadline, I’m sure, so we don’t want their photos now.

Try to take pictures of people you don’t think will be featured elsewhere in the yearbook.
Refer to your photocopy of last year’s index if you’re not sure.

When you are finished taking your roll of film, you should turn the camera in to your
teacher. She will develop it and let you know when the film is back (this usually takes
about three days).

There are many types of photos, and these are the types you must take for this
 1. Large group (up close of up to 10 people)
 2. Small group (up to 4 people)
 3. Overall shot (a stand-back shot of a
      large group)
 4. Close-up of an individual
 5. Strong dominant element (must have
      something very powerful in it to
      catch the attention on the page, an
      action/reaction shot or emotion-filled
      shot works well for this one)
 6. Bird’s eye view (above the subject)
 7. Worm’s eye view (below the subject,
      shooting up)
 8. Vertical shot
 9. Horizontal shot
10. Candid emotion (the subject is not
      looking at the camera and is     otherwise engaged in another
      activity and shows an emotional
      reaction to it)

You may finish the roll with individual close-up shots.

I suggest taking at least two of every type of shot. Then when the photos come in, you
can decide which ones you want graded in which category and label them accordingly for
your teacher.
You will print any digital photos as well.

Photography Assignment #2

Using the types of photos you were assigned in Photo Assignment #1, find pictures in
magazines or newspapers that are good examples of the following:

1. Large group (up close of up to 10          people)
2. Small group (up to 4 people)
3. Overall shot (a stand-back shot of a large
4. Close-up of an individual
5. Strong dominant element (must have something
       very powerful in it to catch the attention on
       the page, an action/reaction shot works
       well for this one, as does capturing
6. Bird’s eye view (above the subject)
7. Worm’s eye view (below the subject, shooting
8. Vertical shot
9. Horizontal shot
10. Candid emotion (the subject is not looking at
       the camera and is otherwise engaged in
       another activity and shows an emotional
       reaction to it)

You will receive points for each photo you submit; only one is required per category.

To turn in the photos, cut or neatly tear them from the magazines. Leave them in the
context of the page--in other words, do not cut the photo apart from the page, instead
submit the entire page. If there is more than one photo per page, label the photo with a
marker so your teacher knows which photo you are submitting for which category.

Use a glue stick to affix the photo to a sheet of typing paper or construction paper. Write
your name, date, hour, and what category the photo falls into on the back of the paper.
Without this information, you will not receive credit for turning in the photo.
Work on this activity while you are shooting and working on Photo Assignment #1 to
give yourself some ideas.
Writing Headlines
       Writing a headline means decorating the copy for the double page spread with a
phrase or two so cleverly written and so good-looking that everyone will stop to read the
headline and stay to read the whole page.

        Good headlines
        • use a present tense verb
        • use poetic techniques such as vivid verbs, metaphors, puns, alliteration and
      • unify the photos, captions and other copy on the spread, both visually and
       • make the page visually appealing
       • suggest both the tone and the content of the copy and the photo
       • hook the readers so that they will finish the story
       • avoid unnecessary words such as “a,” “an,” “the.” Conjunctions, connecting
words like “and,” “nor,” and “but,” are replaced with commas and semicolons.
       • may or may not incorporate the theme
       • generally should not use the school name, initials or mascot
Take notes on examples of the following:

Types of Headlines:
       • Eyebrow or kicker--Eyebrow could be underlined and tied into primary headline

       • Hammer--Reverse of the eyebrow headline. The primary head sits on top of the
secondary headline.

        • Tripod--The primary is on the right and the secondary headline is on the left. It
can be reversed if the arrangement of the words works. The tripod is often effective with
quotes in the headline.

       • Wicket--The secondary headline is three lines that reads right into the primary
headline. Quotations can be effectively used in the wicket style.
Headline Assignment #1

Find and label examples in magazines and newspapers of each of the four types of
headlines listed above. Neatly tear or cut out the entire page from the magazine; do not
just cut out the headline.

In addition to these types, find six more headlines that appeal to you, either because of
the typestyle, word play, poetic techniques, or a connection with the photo or spread.
Label each for the characteristic you like about it (use the list in the left column if you
have a hard time pinpointing what appeals to you about the headline).

You will receive points for each headline you submit, as well as proper and thorough
labeling of the headline.

Writing Captions
       Captions are very important. They identify the people and the content of the
photo. They tell the before and after of the photo. They add spice and flavor to the page.
Writing great captions is one key to a quality yearbook.
         When you take a photo, it is vital that you write down important information
about the setting of the photo on the photo log. You should remember what setting is --
the time, place, and atmosphere of the photo. Little details make the caption memorable.
         For example, if you take a photo of a couple dancing at Prom, don’t just note
where and when Prom was, but write down the song the couple was dancing to. Was it
late in the evening or early? What was the theme? What were the decorations like? You
could even ask the couple what they thought about Prom and include some quotes in the
         Don’t wait until the photo is cold in the digital camera the next day or until the
print comes back from the lab to try to figure out who was in the picture. That is a
HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE mistake to make because even if you are the person who took
the picture, the chances that you will remember all of the details are pretty slim. Write it
down when you take the photo. Your cutlines/captions will be noticeably better if you
gather facts and get the whole story.
        No one will be allowed to photolog from the computers this year. All photo logs
must be filled out at the event. If you are by yourself at an event, take a photo, then stop
to log it. Take a photo, then stop to log it. I would rather have fewer photos and have
them properly logged than have an entire roll of “I don’t knows.”

Hints for writing quality captions:

1. Captions, also called cutlines, are always written in present tense.

2. Captions that talk to the photo or make insinuations or those that take liberties with the
feelings of the person in the photo are considered bad journalism. They are in poor taste
and they could be libelous. “Gag” or joke captions will not be tolerated.

3. Captions should be an extension of the photo, not a repeat of it.

4. Captions should be written in sentence form. They can be mini-features or stories.
They can have leads to catch the reader’s attention.

5. Captions should have descriptive language and vivid verbs. Avoid using “am, is, are,
was, were” verbs.

6. Captions should be handled in a variety of ways to avoid repetition. For example,
don’t always start out listing the names or the activities of the person pictured.

NEVER use these words or phrases when you write captions:
“... is shown ...”
“Among those shown...”
“Pictured left, or above...”
“From left to right...”
“Seems to appear” or “Appears to”
“Takes time to pose for the camera,” or “Smiles for the camera.”
Trite expressions such as “a lot of fun” or “a lot of hard work.”
Don’t say an individual is “looking on.” If they are not doing something, they should be
cropped out of the picture.

Guidelines for writing captions for group shots:
1. Rows should be identified as front row--not first row. Subsequent rows can be second
row or third row; finally back row or top row should be used in place of last row.

2. Row identifications should be set off somehow in parenthesis, italics, bold face, caps
or bold caps to separate from names so it’s easier to read. We’ll pick a style and maintain
it throughout the book. Follow the example on the template.

3. The best place for a caption is right next to or under the photo. When you go to place a
caption near a picture, always place it adjacent/next to the photo but nearest to an outside
corner of the double page spread. This is a design hint we’ll talk more about later.

4. Captions that are very long or placed beneath very wide photos should be divided into
two or three columns. Page-wide captions and long single line captions are unattractive
and difficult to read.

5. Every person in the photograph should be identified unless the background is a crowd.

6. Sports captions should identify players of both teams by jersey numbers and names.

Sample technique for writing captions:

       The photo is of a girl being crowned by a boy in a football uniform.

       The weak caption might read:
       Suzy Jones is crowned by John Doe.

       This caption lacks specific information, is incomplete, grammatically incorrect,
too short, a fragment of a sentence and really, really boring.

Follow this technique:

1. Who is in the picture?
      Suzy Jones and her escort, John Doe.

2. What else do I know about them, or what else can I find out about them?
        Suzy is a junior who hasn’t missed a football game in four years. She plays
volleyball, is on the yearbook staff and speech team. John is a senior who went to Boys’
State last year and is a varsity football quarterback.

3. What is going on in the photo?
        Suzy has just been crowned and been given flowers, a gold football necklace and
a kiss.

4. When?
      During the October 11 homecoming football game half time.

5. Where? In the home stadium.

6. How?
        Football team chose candidates, student body elected queen; football team chose

7. What came before this action?
      Twelve senior girls were introduced and football escorts walked them to a
temporary platform in the middle of the football field.

8. What was the outcome of the action?
       Suzy reigned during the rest of the game and at the dance the following night; the
home team won by seven points.

9. Any little known facts?
       Suzy is a third generation homecoming queen. Her mom was queen in ‘65 at
Hillsboro and her grandmother was queen in ‘46 at Festus.

10. Choose a lead which will hook your reader.
         Third generation royalty--Like her mom in 1965 and her grandmother in 1946,
Junior Suzy Jones takes her place among homecoming royalty. A varsity volleyball
player, Suzy is crowned by Senior quarterback John Doe during traditional half time
activities. The event added glamour to the excitement of a 7-0 victory over the Festus
       Not all of this information is necessary or desirable, but collect it all anyway. Fold
the paper on which you’ve recorded your name and the information. Attach this
information to the photo log.
       This kind of information could potentially be used for any number of photos you
took that day; it doesn’t just apply to the one photo.
       Make the caption longer than it needs to be and include extra information.
We can always cut information later if it’s too much, but it is nearly impossible to
reinvent the information once the event is over and done with.

To top