Your yearbook comes to life through pictures, and candid photos capture the moments that make each year different and memorable. Capturing candid photos that include more students in the yearbook, however, can seem like a daunting task without a plan.

Yearbook editors make a few common missteps when it comes to candid photos. One common misperception is that candid photos are captured through stealth activities (like hiding behind bushes). Another mistake is not thinking about candid photos throughout the school year. A thorough understanding of how to capture those candid moments, along with a strategy to keep the candid photos flowing in on an ongoing basis, can help you include more students in this year’s yearbook. The result will be a more robust representation of the student body and a more colorful depiction of the year as it unfolded.

Your Guide To Getting More (And Better) Candid Photos For Your School’s Yearbook

  • Enlist some help. Do you know of a student that is always capturing photographs at events? Or, a teacher or principal that is present for all the major and minor happenings at your school? Recruiting someone like this to help capture candid photos will create a pipeline of photos ranging from students working hard on a competition for the robotics club to a group of friends out supporting the football team and beyond. Be sure to give some guidance as to the types of candid photos you’d like and how to submit them seamlessly to the yearbook team. At YearbookLife, our software offers a photo upload site that allows students and staff to contribute photos for your consideration for use in the yearbook.
  • Be discreet. The idea of a candid photo is there are no poses, no cheesy smiles and no real awareness of the camera. This does not mean that the photographer has to be completely incognito. You can tell your subjects to carry on doing what they’re doing and capture photos as they act naturally. Some of these semi-candid photos will not make the cut, but eventually, the students will forget that you are there and truly act natural. Then, the magic happens. You capture them laughing, working, clapping or making funny faces – all while they know, on some level, that you are there taking photos.
  • Attend events. When events occur, it is important that you (or someone you’ve recruited) attend. It’s an obvious statement, but of course, life gets busy and key candid opportunities can be missed. It’s also a good idea to check out the smaller, less publicized events. Of course, Homecoming is definitely a great event to get candid photos, but what about the baseball team’s Halloween game or the environmental club’s annual gardening event? Those smaller events can create amazing candid photo ops that show the true personality of your school and the year in pictures. Be sure to share an events’ calendar with your yearbook team and assign photographers to attend those events.
  • Be okay with imperfection. Candid photos often are not perfectly centered or at the perfect angle with the best lighting. Students walking toward the volleyball court before a big game or friends with arms around each other on the last day may not fit perfectly into the frame, but it adds character to the story your yearbook tells. Being okay with the imperfection of candid photos for your yearbook helps you not overthink it and take more pictures!
  • Don’t forget to ask for permission. While candid photos are a key way to include more students in your yearbook, it is important that you have permission to include those represented. Be sure to include a process to double-check that all students represented in the yearbook have provided the appropriate forms for consent.

Need Help? Have a Question? Contact Us Today!

At YearbookLife, we have mastered the art of making designing and creating your school’s yearbook easy. Our software provides templates that will simplify the design process of your profile pages. The kids love the results, The yearbook staff loves how easy it is to use and how much support we provide. And, the parents love our affordable pricing. We can guide you through the process from start to finish. Get a free quote today!