Conquering Group Photo Day
A STEP-BY-STEP PLAN
To conquer this day successfully, you will need the help of your school faculty. Keeping them informed of the process will help you succeed. Give them plenty of warning and communicate clearly when the group photo day will occur and what you need them to do.
SAMPLE EMAIL TO SCHOOL FACULTY MEMBERS
The following is important information to include regarding group pictures for the yearbook.
ALL FACULTY MEMBERS:
1. We will be taking all the club/activity pictures on [enter date here].
2. Please release students at the VERY BEGINNING of the hour. We take pictures right after the bell and need all students in the gym immediately.
3. All students should return to class within 15 minutes.
4. It is IMPERATIVE that you allow students from your class to leave. Last year we had several teachers who refused to release students. For many, their club photo will be the only place besides their portrait where they are pictured in the yearbook.
5. Final details will be e-mailed on [enter date here].
SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR CLUB SPONSORS (NOT SPORTS TEAMS):
1. The yearbook staff will provide you with special passes to distribute to your club members the week before photos are scheduled. We fill in the name of the club and hour of the photo. We need you or a club officer to NEATLY print the student names on the passes and sign the pass.
2. We will make an announcement the week of [enter date here] letting students know about yearbook photos and letting them know they must have a pass from you to be included.
3. The yearbook staff will NOT issue any passes on the day of the photo. If a student in your group loses/did not receive a pass, it will be up to you to provide a new one so that we can make sure only members of your club appear in the photo. We will give you a few extra passes. We will NOT permit any student without a pass in your photo.
4. Please make every effort to ensure all group members have their passes neatly filled out. If we can not read the names, we wind up bugging you for help!
1. If you sponsor a club, check the attachment (list of all club and activity groups).
2. Is there a group listed that is not active this year and needs to be removed?
3. Has the sponsor/contact person changed?
4. How many passes do you need this year?
CLUB SPONSOR DIRECTIONS FOR YEARBOOK GROUP PIC DAY
Please distribute these passes to club members during the week of [enter date here]. We need you or a club officer to NEATLY print student names on the passes and sign the pass. We will make announcements [enter dates here] letting students know pictures are [enter date here], and that club members will receive a pass from you.
The yearbook staff will NOT issue any passes on the day of the photo. If a student in your group loses/does not receive a pass, it will be up to you to provide a new one so we can make sure only students you approve of will appear in the photo. We will give you extras, but we will not permit any student in the photo if he or she does not have a signed pass from you. Please make every effort to ensure all group members have their passes neatly filled out. If we can not read names, we wind up bugging you to help us ID the photo.
We will make an announcement at the start of each class hour on [enter date here] asking teachers to release students scheduled for photos that hour, and we also need you to report to the gym as quickly as possible to help get your club members lined up for the photo. If you have any questions/concerns, please e-mail me.
YEARBOOK STAFF – GROUP PICS STEP-BY-STEP
TWO WEEKS BEFORE GROUP PICTURE DAY
1. Get an accurate list of all clubs/sponsors, the adviser/moderator’s prep period and the approximate number of students in the club.
2. Make a schedule with each group pic being taken during their sponsor’s prep/conference hour if possible so they can help get their group organized. Make sure NOT to have all your largest groups the same hour!
3. Make Photo Day passes for each club. Have the yearbook staff fill in the name of the club and the hour of the photo and deliver the passes to the sponsor. Include about 10 extras for each club. The sponsor is responsible for signing each pass, filling in the name of the club member and delivering the passes to the students in the club.
ONE WEEK BEFORE GROUP PICTURE DAY
1. Post picture schedules around the school for students to see. Put a copy in each teacher’s mailbox and/or send them an electronic copy.
2. Run announcements reminding students to get passes from their sponsors if they want to be included in the group picture.
3. Confirm time/date/location with your photographer.
THE DAY BEFORE GROUP PICTURE DAY
1. Prepare an 8 ½ x 11 sign for each club. Use the LARGEST size possible for the name of the club. Purchase some dowel rods (super cheap at most home improvement stores) for the signs. You can just make the first group and then bring tape and the rest of the signs. Have a staff member re-do the signs before the start of each class hour.
2. Meet with your staff and make club assignments for each hour. If they are in a club, that is perfect as they can get their group organized then jump on the end of a row. Make sure they all understand the SHAPE the groups must be in . . . is it square? A strong horizontal? This is based on what your group photo layout design is in the yearbook.
3. Go over the whole procedure with the staff. Explain that they must be professional and courteous, but firm. I tell my staff to think of themselves as cowboys on a cattle drive.
4. Enlist an administrator or secretary to make an announcement the next day at the beginning of each hour for students to be released (i.e. Teachers: Please release students in the following groups to report to the gym for pictures . . .)
1. Bring supplies to the gym. A large envelope with each hour marked on it, extra pens, paper clips, rubber bands, your signs, tape and put some extra passes (50) in your pocket.
2. At the start of each hour, your staff will spread out along a horizontal line in the gym facing the empty bleachers. They should have their club signs held high.
3. Have a staff member announce (repeatedly) over the microphone for students to find their club, line up tallest to shortest behind the sign and have their passes out. If they do not have a pass, they MUST get one from their sponsor. YEARBOOK STAFFERS DO NOT GIVE OUT PASSES!
4. Your staff members must go up and down the line to check passes to make sure they are SIGNED and that the name is readable. This is VITAL to ensure that only club members are included in each photo and that an accurate caption can be included.
5. If students are in more than one picture that hour, tell them to go to the smallest group first, but to keep their eyes open to make sure the other group does not go first.
6. Your staff has to work QUICKLY to get the group lined up and ready. We do tallest to shortest to reduce the space between rows. As soon as the group is ready, the yearbook staff member(s) walks them to an open spot on the bleachers and gets them in the appropriate shape. The photographer(s) then moves to the group. You can probably get three to four groups on the bleachers at a time.
7. Once the photo is taken, tell the students to remain in their spots and the passes will be collected. Have the yearbook staff member in charge of that group begin with the bottom row and collect the passes IN ORDER from the left (facing the group) with each pass being placed UNDER the one before. After the bottom row, they return (like a typewriter) to the left end of the next row and so on. When all the passes have been collected, rubberband them and place them in the envelope for that hour. Those staffers can then move on to help with another group.
8. It is VERY hectic for the first five minutes, but once groups are ready to go, they move on and off the bleachers in a hurry! You can shoot about 10-12 groups in 15 minutes if you have two photographers and a staff of 20 helping out.
9. After all the pictures have been taken that hour, send most of the staff to a computer lab to type in the captions. Though they will not have the rows divided yet, they can get all the names in. Have the photographer(s) upload the pics in a folder marked for each hour.
10. If you can spare a staff member or two, have them insert the group pic on the Word file with the caption and add in the row indications. Have them COUNT each student in the row to make sure you have the correct number of names. You can even give a printout to the sponsor that day and ask them to check it as well.
THE FINAL STEP
1. Reward your staff the next day with a pizza party or something while they spell check all the names!
2. Show your appreciation to the school by putting a treat in faculty/staff mailboxes with a thank you note (i.e. Lifesavers etc.).
GROUP PICTURE PASS
This is a sample group picture pass. You can find a printable full page sheet of group picture passes here.
Nancy Smith, yearbook adviser
Lafayette High School, Wildwood, MO
All across the country, there are teachers in their first and second — and third — years as advisers who get to the end of the day and think, how in the world? It gets easier, but until then, here’s some advice.
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