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Picture This

Yearbooks have come a long way from the days of being limited to class photos, as we strive to tell stories about the people and moments that make each year unique. But headshots are still part of that process, appearing in profiles and secondary coverage. What do your mug shots look like? Are they helping you to tell the story?

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White, or negative, space is a beautiful, beautiful thing – unless it’s unplanned and takes away from the quality of your pictures. A photo with content that fills the frame has power. It compels the viewer to stop and take notice. You have two chances to compose the perfect photo: once when you take it and once when you place it.

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Academic photography is a unique challenge. Unlike sports photography, which seeks to capture an awesome moment, classroom photography is about creating the awesome moment through composition. A budding photographer needs to learn to slow down and see. But how?… EDFAT.

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One of the most popular visual building blocks of modern yearbook design is the cut out, also known as a cut-out background or COB. While a majority of cut outs seen in yearbooks are a full extraction of a subject from its background, just a little creative imagination can add spice, variety and interest to this technique.

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As you begin to think about the next yearbook, and prepare photographers to cover summer activities such as students at work, football drills and marching band practice, this is a good time to set up an image file system that will work for you.

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You’ve noticed them at school events and activities on and off campus. They always seem to have a camera bag strapped around their shoulders. And while everyone on the yearbook staff may be required to take photos for a grade, somehow these students are the ones whose exceptional photographs dominate the pages of your yearbook.

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As coverage of the school year is winding up, think about what would have helped your photographers this year, and consider creating a checklist for them for next year.

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Student photographers still need to capture great moments even when they do not have a staff camera in their possession.

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