May 14, 2009 / Photography / Staff Management

Ready the Photo Staff: Sample Timelines

Written by Bill Hankins

To help you organize the processing and editing of photographs, here are sample timelines for traditional and digital photography that can be followed by a yearbook photography staff. No matter what your staff size, I believe it is imperative that photographers edit their own negatives. This builds their own initiative and ownership of their work. I used this approach and found that shooters appreciated being able to help usher their images into print. Look at this from another perspective — should an editor select which quotes a writer must use in his story?


  • after developing film and placing film in storage sleeves, do initial edit of negatives using sharpie or stick-on dots
  • show edit to photo editors who verify assignment met; critique as needed; negs filed


  • with layout design in hand, edits negs for printed page
  • reviews and selects with photographers who will be scanning or printing for the layout
  • once final scans are in appropriate deadline folder on the computer, will place them on the layout; if staff is printing will check prints for quality and make sure they fit the layout
  • sees that scans are backed up on zip or CD and negs are filed


  • plug cameras into IMACs and download assignments
  • do initial edit, picking out 4-5 top images
  • put raw selects into personal folder on network server


  • accesses photographers’ folders on network
  • reviews, selects and makes appropriate editing decisions
  • saves images in necessary folders for later digital toning, moving image toward being placed on page layout
  • at least once a month burns CDs of all images for archives or further review
  • after backing up drags image files off the computers

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Bill Hankins

Bill Hankins taught scholastic photojournalism for 26 years, advised student publications for 29 years, and instructed more than 1,600 photojournalists, mostly at Oak Park High School in Kansas City. Before retiring, Hankins received the Missouri Journalism Teacher of the Year Award, the Pioneer Award from the NSPA, the Certificate of Merit from the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the JEA.