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1. IDEAS ARE EVERYWHERE. Brainstorm as a staff who you know and what you know about them. Make sure the stories you seek are relevant to the theme, concept and voice you want to communicate in your yearbook. 2. ASK FOR SUBMISSIONS. Use the daily bulletin, school website, school newspaper, Facebook, etc. to invite students to submit a summary about an interesting, emotional, life-altering or unique experience in their lives that could be considered “story worthy” for the yearbook. 3. TEACHERS KNOW STUDENTS BEST. Ask English teachers to recommend students who have shared interesting, emotional, life-altering or unique experiences in their writing. Teachers will generally pass on such information only after they have sought permission to share.

5. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. A photograph has the ability to convey emotion, mood, narrative, ideas and messages — all of which are important elements of story telling. Just like story telling, however, great photographs don’t simply happen. Good storytellers are intentional about learning how to tell stories and practicing their craft. Human interest photos need to have something in them that grabs the attention of a viewer, something with visual and/or narrative focal points that lead the viewer into the photo. A photo should intrigue and leave a reader imagining what the photo reveals about the topic.

6. BE SENSITIVE IN SEEKING STORIES. Stories sensitive in nature, such as dealing with loss, terminal illness, addiction, etc. must be approached in a sensitive manner. The responsibility for getting permission to write or approach students about such stories and determining the viability of these 4. HAVE CONVERSATIONS. Interview the subjects of stories is generally left to the person with a familiar the stories or do what my staff identifies as “having bond or awareness of the subject. a conversation.” Often the profound details of a story develop from the one-on-one conversation (continued on next page) with the student telling the story. Staff members must be trained to be good, empathetic listeners who ask the right questions at the right time. These skills allow them to relate to their subject as a confidant establishing a sense of comfort and ease that lends to a more intimate and detailed story, and therefore captures a real sense of honesty and authenticity. It is best to record these conversations and only write down details about facial and other physical mannerisms noticed as you listen; this way you can capture the intimacy of the story.

WINGSPAN, JAMES C. ENOCHS HS, Modesto, CA Sometimes staffs imagine that all compelling stories deal with tragedy or trauma, but that is definitely not the case. Amazing experiences, passions and dreams are equalling interesting when interviewers dig deep, share details and provide insight into a subject’s interests. Features in the underclass portraits section of this book tended to be shorter and lighter, while 20 seniors were covered with full-page profiles on the pages showcasing the Class of 2010’s senior portraits.



Y e a r b o o k DISCOVERIES


Profile for Herff Jones Yearbooks