June 11, 2009 / Photography / Staff Management

Now line up for clubs

Written by Robert Haar

To most of us who produce the yearbook, club and organization pictures are significant because they show what your campus offers and what activities students participate in throughout the school year. To handle such a monumental task, we hold a club picture day on campus to get these important shots for the yearbook. Here is a plan to help you run your picture day smoothly.

Step 1 – Pick a day
Look at the school calendar and pick a day during a week that is not filled with too many other conflicting key events such as testing, rallies or holidays. We like to do it sometime in the first four weeks of the second semester so clubs are established. We usually pick a Tuesday or Thursday to ensure most of our students are in attendance.

Make sure you find a facility for the entire school day. We use our Performing Arts Center. Place any maintenance request for necessary equipment such as risers or stands for students to stand on, ladders for the photographer as well as extra extension cords you might need.

Arrange for a photographer to take the pictures. As part of our contract with our senior portraits photographer, they provide a photographer for the day. You may ask your underclassmen photographer to do this as well. This hopefully ensures a higher quality picture than if one of your student photographers were to take the pictures.

Step 2 – Get the Club and Organization Lists
Assign students from the yearbook class to organize and run the day.

Get a list of all clubs and organizations and their sponsors. Review the list and determine which clubs need a picture. We do not take a picture of an inactive club, even though they might be on the current list.

Check the master schedule to find out each sponsor’s prep period. Schedule their club photo session during this time so they can be part of the picture.

Step 3 – Finding the Numbers
Send an information sheet to each sponsor at least three weeks before the scheduled photo day informing them of their appointment, and attach a return sheet for them to tell you the number of club members.

Step 4 – Let the Scheduling Begin
Prepare a schedule for the day beginning five minutes after the opening bell until all clubs have been taken. Base the schedule on how many students are in the club and the sponsor’s prep period, allotting more time for larger clubs. Each photo shoot usually lasts five to 15 minutes. If possible, avoid scheduling larger clubs back to back. Also, be sure not to schedule pictures during breaks and lunch, and try to give extra time at the end of the day for any last minute changes.

Print passes for each club member to attend the photo session. Print them on special colored paper, cut them to size and distribute them to the respective sponsors, giving each adviser five to 10 more passes than they indicated on their return form. Passes should indicate club name, time of picture and a place for the sponsor to sign the pass.

Step 5 – Announcing Club Picture Day
Provide a letter to the faculty and staff two to four weeks before Club Picture Day so they may plan their lessons accordingly. Apologize for any inconveniences this may cause. Attach a schedule for them to follow or post in their classroom.

Submit a school PA announcement one week prior to the day, informing the student body of the day and date. Advise students to look at the posted schedule of their club’s picture time. Also tell students to pick their passes for the picture from their club sponsor so they can leave their class for the allotted time.

Step 6 – Final Preparation
To get the names in order of each student photographed, prepare a notebook to be passed along each row for people to print their names. Write the name of the club at the top of the page in the order each club will be taken.

At least a week prior to the event, arrange for supervision of the pictures either through administration, campus security or, as I do, use yearbook funds to hire a substitute to monitor the activity and help where needed.

A few days before the event, confirm with the photographer the date, time and place to meet them. Make sure the facilities personnel have scheduled and planned all maintenance requests.

Make arrangements for the yearbook students who have organized the day to miss class so they can mange the event. Usually two is all that is needed.

Step 7 – The Actual Day
The yearbook students arrive early to meet the photographer and see that the facility is set up properly with the appropriate number of risers or stands and other equipment. Help the photographer with whatever equipment he may need set up and get acquainted with the work environment.

Once the groups arrive, usher the students into place. Any late comers go to the far right of each row. Distribute the notebooks in each row from left to right and have students print their name. Check names at the end of each row to make sure there is no “fake” or “funny” names or to check a spelling of a name.

Take the picture, usually two to three for quality purposes. You know, eyes shut, not looking at the camera or catching any shenanigans from the members.

Usher the group off the stage and bring in the next group. The adult supervisor should make sure students get in and out. No one should linger and miss more class time than necessary.

Step 8 – Production
During the next few days after the event, the yearbook staff needs to type the club names into a document under the appropriate row and club. The editors can design the pages now knowing how many clubs were taken and can work with the staff to place the clubs accordingly on the page.

Wait for your pictures to return. We ask for digital pictures to reduce the photographer’s turnaround time and to get them back on a disk. You may use hard copy prints, but expect longer lead-time for development.

Get the pictures and put them on the pages. Check the names to the pictures to ensure you have the right number in each row. Use a master school list for any spelling errors.

Turn in the pages and all is complete!

  • 31 May 2013

    Hi Mr. Haar,
    Thanks for all your hard work for the Students. We purchased a copy of the 2013 Thousand Oaks High School Yearbook for our grand daughter yesterday and I was really impressed! Thank you for helping the kids enjoy, as we have, their memories for years to come.
    Is it possible to purchase a Copy of T.HO.H.S.’s 2012 Yearbook? We weren’t aware until yesterday that our little gal missed out on getting one last year. Please let me know how to acquire one, or pass me on to who would.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Crawford
    909-633-3104

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Robert Haar

Robert Haar has been the yearbook adviser at Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks, California, since 1994. He teaches AP U.S. History and is the Social Science Department Chair. The Lancer Legend has earned All-American recognition from the NSPA and been named Gold and Silver Medalists from CSPA.