February 12, 2010 / Middle School Moment / Photography

Making sure all your photo opportunities get covered

Written by Lesley Hagelgans

One of the biggest challenges of putting together the middle school yearbook is getting photo coverage of every school event.  Our staff tackles this by using a couple strategies.

We have a master calendar of our school’s events posted in the yearbook classroom.  At the beginning of the school year, we plot out every event we know will occur.  The athletic department makes their schedules known early so that’s where we start plotting events on our calendar.

As the weekly calendars are published by the main office, we fill in other events on our calendar as they arise.  There is usually some event to photograph at least twice a week.

Along with keeping our calendar, we also send out an invitation to all faculty and staff.  This note invites the staff to notify the yearbook of anything interesting going on whether it’s within the classroom or the whole school, such as an assembly.  When we receive a notice from a teacher, we plug it on our master calendar.

To keep things organized, we have staff meetings every Friday – or Monday if we don’t have school on Friday.  At these meetings, we look at what’s on the master calendar for the upcoming week.  The staff makes sure that they have someone assigned to cover each event.

If for some reason nobody can cover something, then we go out and find “guest” photographers.  We might ask students who are attending the away basketball game to take photos while they are there.  We might also ask a parent of a music student for a copy of the photos they took at an evening concert.  Parents often email photos to the yearbook staff or let us borrow their memory cards to copy what we need.

Covering every event that happens in and out of a middle school can be a daunting task for the yearbook staff, but with a little planning, it’s certainly manageable.

  • I love your master calendar idea. Can you send me an image of the calendar you use? If I can see it action, I can make it work.

    I have looked a many calendars, but I am concerned about what will work in a busy high school setting and managing the photo assignments.

Lesley Hagelgans

Lesley Hagelgans is a language arts teacher and yearbook adviser at Marshall Middle School in Marshall, Michigan. She was co-editor of her high school newspaper in her junior and senior years. She enjoys yearbook because students are "all working on something different that interests them at any given time, which is a great platform for authentic learning."