Photo by: Sarah Won

October 5, 2023 / National Yearbook Week

National Yearbook Week: Yearbook Photography Matters, and Here’s Why

Written by Ciara Pemberton

Let’s face it – photography can make or break your yearbook. We all know that without photojournalism, yearbook storytelling would lose the spark that pulls your readers into each page. Photos capture the essence of the school year in a way that words alone cannot replicate.

Yearbook photography helps us immortalize the moments and the memories that make each year special. While we celebrate National Yearbook Week, it’s important to reflect on the strengths of your yearbook program and identify which areas might benefit from improvement.

Why Photojournalism in Yearbook Matters

Photography should mean much more to your yearbook staff than just another grade entered in the gradebook. And while utilizing beats or another staff coverage system is vital to ensuring your student body is equally and fairly represented, the photojournalism taking place in your classroom should be thought of as a storytelling mechanism to capture the year in a way your readers will always remember.

The first step to great photography is making certain your students believe in its purpose, power and importance. Their photos will define this year in more ways than one. Members of your community will be able to look back through the yearbook and relive the history, traditions and memories unique to this year thanks to the photos your students will have taken.

It may seem obvious, but instilling the significance of great yearbook photography in your staff is essential to the success of your program.

It Starts with the Basics

To embark on the journey towards great yearbook photography, it’s essential to begin with a strong foundation. Mastering the basics of photojournalism through storytelling will equip your staff photographers with the tools they need to be confident and successful in their craft.

But don’t just take our word for it. Kari Riemer, CJE, explains all you’ll need to know to get your staff rolling in the Fall 2023 Idea File article, “Let the Pictures Tell the Story: The Power of Storytelling in Your Yearbook”. Click here to discover invaluable tips and techniques that will help your students become masterful storytellers through photojournalism. Contact your local Walsworth Yearbooks Sales Representative to get the latest issue of Idea File.

Enhance Your Program’s Photography in More Ways than One

Walsworth provides all the resources you need to enhance your photojournalism and allow the photos that live in your yearbook to shine a spotlight on the students who are making this school year one for the books. Take advantage of our wide collection of eBooks, webinars, curriculum and so much more by visiting our Resources page.

Start off strong with our Class Starter covering the art of “Getting Dynamic Reactions” in yearbook photography with Jim Jordan, Jim McCrossen and Jill Chittum, MJE.

Learn the basics of yearbook photography and revolutionize your program with the “Photojournalism: Telling Stories with Images” unit from our Yearbook Suite curriculum.

In 2023, anyone can be a photographer! Your staffers are walking around every day with a state-of-the-art digital camera right in their pocket – their smartphones. In our Using Your Smartphone to Capture Great Photos eBook, learn how your staff can start using their smartphones and a few simple apps to take yearbook-quality pictures.

What makes a picture stand out? Take a look at the amazing images in 101+ Great Yearbook Photos That Captured Our Attention and Why, and find inspiration for award-winning photos. Want 100 more? No problem – check out our 100+ Great Yearbook Photos eBook.

yearbook photography


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Ciara Pemberton

Ciara Pemberton is a Marketing Specialist for Walsworth. She worked as a Marketing Intern for Walsworth before graduating from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing and returning to the company full-time. Ciara is passionate about all things creative and is always eager to continue expanding her knowledge of the yearbook world, which she was a part of in high school.