Written by Idea File Staff
Armstrong Middle School
Kristina Cummings, adviser
Our staff members go to dances and the cafeteria during lunch a couple of times each year and sell “Buddy Pictures.” This is a great income generator, as we do not sell advertisements.
I started this because we were in debt when I took over the book nine years ago. I was trying to think of a way to include more students in the yearbook as well. At our school during dances, groups were selling Polaroid shots of kids for $3 each, and the kids would keep the photos. I thought kids might like to be “guaranteed” in the yearbook, so we tried it. It also increased the number of books we sold because students knew in advance that they were in the book!
Before we go to an event, we do a workshop during the first few staff meetings on how to take a good photo. Mostly we are just concerned that we are not cutting people off and making sure we can see faces. The kids take some practice photos, and then we send our best photographers to a Buddy event.
We use our digital camera so there is no cost to us. We charge the students $5 and they can include as many friends as they want in the photo.
We take the photos primarily at dances and during lunch. We advertise where we will be. We take one round in September and another round in January. You have to be carefull not to show up in too many places or the students think they have unlimited time to get one. Usually, we take the pictures at one dance and one day of lunches per round.
The photos are guaranteed to appear in the yearbook. We use the photos in collage-like pages or to fill in sections of grade-level school photo pages.
It helps us include a wider variety of students in the yearbook and earns us $500 or more per year. The funds are usually more than enough to cover the cost of purchasing the ceBuzz or custom endsheets.