June 22, 2009 / Photography

Yearbook photo concepts

Written by Bruce Konkle

In planning your yearbook, understand all of the elements related to photography that can impact the quality of your book.

  • Candid (unposed) photos should dominate the visual coverage.
  • Photographs must have strong composition to have lasting visual impact.
  • Photographs need to be as technically flawless as possible.
  • A variety of photography shapes and sizes are needed on most spreads.
  • A variety of shooting ranges (close-up, medium, long) should be used.
  • A variety of different angles will add “visual variety” to spreads and book.
  • Good cropping will strengthen individual photographs.
  • Using a dominant photograph that relates to headline words helps package spreads.
  • Eye flow of photographs usually leads viewers into the gutter or to another element.
  • Usually, bleed only one photograph in a direction on any one spread.
  • Small, tightly cropped, “propless” team/group photographs are still preferred.
  • Portraits needn’t be large to just show a face; keep them small and paneled.
  • If color photographs are used, make sure they are quality images.
  • In-depth captions extend the visual information of a photograph’s composition.
  • Photographers must collect information pertinent to their submitted photographs.
  • Photo credits help give photographers incentive to create thoughtful images.

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Bruce Konkle

Dr. Bruce Konkle's previous work experience includes being a journalism teacher and publications adviser at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. He is the former director of the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association and former director of the Carolina Journalism Institute.