A great yearbook photo caption should do two things: it should inform readers and it should entertain. Your yearbook photos are going to be some of the most-seen graphics in the yearbook. If the photo captures your readers’ attention, they’re likely to read the associated caption.

Great yearbook photo captions should tell a story. You may be wondering where to even begin? Our yearbook caption writing tips can help you create memorable, entertaining and informative captions. 

Tips for Writing & Designing Yearbook Photo Captions 

A photo caption is a small, easily digestible piece of information. A great caption should tell the reader everything they need to know about a photo: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Once you’ve gathered this information, the caption will all but write itself! 

Think of writing your yearbook caption like a story-teller would. Give your readers enough information to give them the complete story. Your caption should be able to answer the five W’s:

  • Who? Make sure your caption describes who is in the photo. Name up to 6 or 7 people or groups. Top Tip: Take advantage of yearbook publishers with software that helps you index your yearbook images. YearbookLife offers software that will automatically index people you tag in your yearbook photos. Talk about a useful feature!
  • What? What is happening in the photo? Try to focus on the non-obvious information. For example, it’s Tom’s first time playing the flute at a school event. Rather than “Tom, playing the flute” you could try, “Tom’s first time playing the flute at the Spring Fling.” 
  • When? When did the event happen? Was it special in anyway?
  • Where? Where was the photo taken? 
  • Why? This is a great opportunity to provide additional information behind the photo. Perhaps it was a charity bake sale. This gives you a chance to tell the reader something they cannot see in the photo. 

Tip: Getting a quote from someone in the picture can really compliment your story-telling! 

Yearbook Photo Captions: Dos and Don’ts

Here’s a quick list of the dos and don’ts for writing your yearbook photo captions:


✅ Answer the five Ws

✅ Be descriptive

✅ Be factual 

✅ Use lively, visual, action verbs

✅ Write in the present tense

✅ Use first and last names

✅ Write in complete sentences


❌  Use label leads (such as baseball guys, etc.)

❌  Use a lot of -ing verbs

❌  State the obvious

❌  Use joke or “gag” captions

❌  Forget you’re telling the reader a story

Writing the yearbook photo captions is a great opportunity to think back on all the fun you’ve had in the school year. Put on your story-telling hat, get creative, and most of all, have fun! 

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At YearbookLife, we make yearbooks easy. Our easy-to-use yearbook design software and technical support assistance help simplify the yearbook process for you. Plus, our experienced customer care team are on hand to help you market your yearbook and increase your yearbook sales. If you’d like to request a quote today, please click here.