Yearbook Planning Videos
IT’S TIME TO THINK THEME // Dan Mueller, CJE
Important theming information is presented in two parts, each lasting roughly 30 minutes.
Theme basics and voice make up the first component and structure, coverage and consistency are grouped together in another segment. Lots of examples and explanation help students understand the thought processes involved in making great theme decisions.
COVERAGE THAT COUNTS // Meredith Bledsoe, CJE
From the traits of solid coverage to varied strategies for telling the year’s stories, the series begins with an emphasis on what the students need to consider as they tell the school’s many stories. Next, the scores of examples from coast to coast illustrate how many different ways there are to tell those stories.
Each of the segments of the two-part series lasts roughly 30 minutes.
HOW TO WOW VISUALLY // KATY HOFFSTATTER, CJE
Learn some of the nuances of graphic design and visual communication in this three-part series.
Beginning with typography and hierarchy, examples galore provide inspiration and insight. Sessions covering photography and color, and then structure, space and alignment follow to round out the series.
YEARBOOK 101: WRITING CAPTIONS // Jeff Willauer
This 26-minute video details essentials for writing solid journalistic captions and can be followed with this quick quiz. Or, assign students to take three photos and write complete captions for all three if you need another assignment from them.
PHOTO BASICS // Jamie Silver
In less than an hour (48 minutes), viewers will get great explanations and examples of both rules of composition and lighting guidelines. Each topic could turn into a quick assignment where students use their phones and take shots in or around their homes to demonstrate either the eight rules of composition covered or outdoor images taken in sunny, shady, hazy and backlit situations as well as during the “golden hours” of dawn or dusk. Using both aspects of the video, have them shoot examples in different lighting and of composition rules and you could have the students busy every day for a week — and evidence that they utilized what they learned. It’s easy to have them submit all of this back to you by email. Even better if they present their best examples to the class during a group video conference.
THE FILM CHALLENGE //
Fast forward to :11.39 to begin this 15-minute segment of Silver’s podcast for a quick tutorial for the true camera buffs among them. Even if they don’t have access to film cameras, the lessons on aperture and shutter speed will help students understand more and be able to control depth of field/focus. If you want, (and if students are interested), you could host your own “Film Challenge.”
The Yearbook Academy videos are not a new tool, but they are a testament to the lasting value of guidelines based on great information. The series, hosted by HJ rep/editor duos, is divided in categories for marketing, theme and photography. Most of these short videos present clear explanations and lots of examples in five minutes or less — and could be incorporated into lessons that end in brainstorming or combined for a lengthier learning session. Maybe you assign them the entire theme section and give them a week to view those before starting the extended project that leads to some theme brainstorming.
- Excitement for Yearbook Marketing
- Print Marketing for Yearbooks
- Social Media Marketing for Yearbooks
- Guerilla Tactics for Yearbook Marketing
- Targeted Yearbook Marketing
- Top 10 Tips for Yearbook Marketing
- 30 Yearbook Marketing Ideas in 60 Seconds
- What is a Yearbook Theme?
- What Makes a Good Yearbook Theme?
- Picking Your Yearbook Theme
- Kinds of Themes: School Name and Initials Themes
- Kinds of Themes: Student Reaction and “Fun” Themes
- Kinds of Themes: Anniversary and Change Themes
- Kinds of Themes: School Location and Pride Themes
- Kinds of Themes: School Colors and Mascot Themes
- Kinds of Themes: Diversity and Double-Edged Themes
- Intro to DSLRs
- Great Photo Composition
- Picking Your Yearbook Theme
- The Exposure Triangle
- What’s in Your Camera Bag?
- Lenses: Where Do We Start?
- Canon vs. Nikon
These videos have been in the Herff Jones toolbox for years and — while most of the content is evergreen — there are some dated references (like SnapChat being mentioned in the Social Media segment and more disparity then than now in shooting amazing photos with a phone). The book examples were fresh when the videos were made (except for some classics in the Kinds of Themes videos), but the explanations of the details and development rationale are proof that great theme work maintains its impact through the years.
BELIEVE IN YOU
Believe in You® is a video series designed to educate students and staff about the incredible power of believing in yourself, despite the challenges and trials that life may present. Hosted by Kevin Atlas, the videos present stories of personalities from around the country who have overcome personal challenges to accomplish the extraordinary.
Looking to create a movement of positivity, leadership and confidence among America’s students, Varsity Brands concepted the series to bring some of the most inspirational and influential personalities from around the country into classrooms to facilitate conversations around topics such as relationships, chemical dependency, inclusiveness and depression.
Videos can be viewed in a class Zoom meeting as a group, or individually on any mobile device. Each of the episodes lasts for approximately 10 minutes, and is accompanied by lesson plans and activity guides to take the conversation further and spark critical thinking.
Access all these materials at www.believeinyou.com.
Mind the Gutter Podcast
Mind The Gutter introduces yearbook advisers and editors to the network at large. Each episode is a glimpse into the philosophies, situations and personalities of a passionate, long-time Herff Jones yearbooker. We’ve selected three recent episodes and created tools you can use for interaction and assessment… but there’s enough other content on this pod for weeks of learning.
In yearbook, we often say that everybody has a story. While yearbookers themselves often choose to dig for interesting stories of others, this podcast celebrates advisers and editors working behind the scenes to make great books for school communities from coast to coast. You’ll learn about the people, their processes/policies and the aspects of yearbook they believe matter most. For each episode, there’s a quiz on included content and an answer key if you need to give quantitative assessment as well as a list of project suggestions/topics for reflection which would allow the students to imagine/create/produce something that could benefit them personally or your yearbook program now or going forward.
Robin Christopher’s Traditions yearbook students at Del Norte HS in San Diego have created great yearbooks for years, but they only recently got involved in yearbook outside the San Diego yearbook bubble when they entered national competitions for the first time and landed on both finalist lists! Christopher is the only adviser ever to work with staff at her school — and they celebrated their tenth year on campus in 2019. She shares thoughts about setting realistic goals, understanding hierarchy and a four-week deadline cycle that works.
Jenni Parsons, CJE, did not set out to be a publications adviser. After five years in the classroom, she found herself in the role because she was a scrapbooker — and that led people to believe she’d be a great yearbook adviser. Ten years in, Ingenium has been on either the CSPA Crown or NSPA Pacemaker list (or both!) for five years running and Greenfield Jr. HS in Gilbert, AZ, is known as home of one of the best yearbooks out there. A firm believer that the yearbook needs to fit and reflect the audience, she shares guidelines galore.
Born into a family of storytellers and designers, Sergio Luis Yanes, CJE, was a high school pub kid who sought to become an adviser when he returned to the classroom. Yanes’ experience teaching and advising in schools in Florida and Colorado has accentuated his belief that a healthy school culture fosters empowered editors and thinkers. He’s proud that the Arvadan staff considers the community first and tells stories of students of all types, reflecting the diverse and accepting nature of Arvada (CO) HS.
The Yearbook Whys Podcast
Mike Simons, MJE, Tessarae yearbook adviser at Corning-Painted Post HS in Corning, NY, is in his third season producing Yearbook Whys. His interviews with editors, advisers and others provide lots of food for thought. We’ve selected a couple of timely episodes and created tools you can use for interaction and assessment… but there’s enough other content there for weeks of learning.
Imagining that your goals might be helping the staff assess new coverage plans, dream about their 2021 theme or be productive by ticking tasks off their (and your) end-of-year lists, we prepared resources around three episodes. For each, there’s a quiz on included content and an answer key if you need to give a quantitative assessment as well as a list of project suggestions/topics for reflection which would allow the students to imagine/create/produce something that could benefit your yearbook program now or going forward.
Simons runs through his own list of 10 things yearbook staffs everywhere can do now to benefit their programs yet this spring and in the future.
Simons’ guest is Carrie Faust, MJE, Summit adviser from Smoky Hill HS in Aurora, CO. An award-winning adviser who workshops from coast to coast, Faust discusses the process of selecting a theme that fits the school and will have highest impact for the readers. We think you may decide to break this episode into two or three parts — it’s nearly an hour and a half long — so this could be a multi-day project. There are logical breaks at 33:06 and 56:12. Word is they are working on a new, shorter version which we’ll share when it’s posted.
The inspiration and examples of how the Summit yearbook staff carried their theme through the yearbook they discussed can be found here: tinyurl.com/ybkwhysep11
You can find additional ideas at this website: https://yearbookbesties.com/
National HS Journalism Teacher of the Year Erinn Harris, MJE, has been a hard-core yearbooker since middle school, and she’s all about tailoring the coverage in each volume to the theme/concept. Adviser to Techniques yearbook at Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, Harris explains how varying from traditional sections contributes to her staffs’ books being different from year to year — and how a strong process, creativity and word play are important to their success.
Harris has made available three books’ worth of slides and examples for you and your staff to study. You can access those here: http://tinyurl.com/ybkwhysep10