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Old 04-23-2021, 01:40 AM
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Default Parent-made "yearbook" tips

Because of the crazy year (all virtual until March), my daughter's elementary school isn't offering a yearbook this year. DD's class is graduating from elementary this year, and the teachers are hoping to have parents put together a memory book/yearbook for the grade that the kids can order. I'm sure I'm going to be kicking myself for this in a few weeks, but I just volunteered to take it on. There's a good chance it's just going to be me working on it, and it will have to be turned around pretty quickly since school ends in early June. I'm still waiting to see if the teachers have anything specific in mind, but has anyone done anything like this? Can you show me what you've done or point me in the right direction? Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:19 AM
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I actually worked at a photography studio doing digital imaging for the photography studio in Oklahoma that took 90% of the state's school pics and we did the Sr. board layouts, the class group pictures and the individuals layouts. We didn't do the actual yearbooks (thank HEAVEN) - but we did a LOT of the stages of it.

The first and biggest tip I have for you is organization AND streamlining the process for yourself. I'd setup a certain information form for the teacher/parents to fill out so that you are getting exactly the info you need in the order that you will need it.

I'm guessing that there isn't a group picture since most of the schooling has been remote & distanced... so I'll hold off on these tips.

But - as for the individual shots, I'd have each class teacher gathering all of the photos & information for their particular class - which will then be sent to you as a complete package / download. - you do NOT want to have to deal with all of the individual parents. It will be madness. Truly.
Narrow down what information will be listed with each photo.
Make sure they print.

Once you have a draft for a class done, send it back to the teacher for the proofing / making sure that all is included and correct. To make notes of all necessary changes that is then sent back to you completed (again, not piece-meal --- everything at once. I can't stress enough how much of the detail stuff should be left to the ind. class teachers. If you take on each individual student/parent and have to put it all together too, it will be MORE than a full time job)

For doing such layouts, InDesign is best (offering a ton of free templates) followed by Illustrator... but you can do it in Photoshop, or whatever your software is. ---

OK, I have a jillion more tips -- but not sure what you specifically are looking for. From the photos themselves ... to some of your layout questions. This was just a quick off the top of my head...

Feel free to message me if you'd like to visit more.
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:23 AM
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Again, let me state that organization, streamlining & conformity (i.e. each class & student handled the same - and the quality of the images you are given) are my biggest tips for you.
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:30 AM
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I've done this type of yearbooks.
What I did basically is a two-page spread layouts and make them into a book.
I don't know if you want to make it 'formal' like a typical yearbook or not.
I'll try to upload some pages and show you.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:49 AM
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Yes, to repeat what was said above. I have done these and videos and so many photo projects (still doing them now at my older son's service academy!!). Some of this may not apply in COVID-times, but it's what I learned.

-we said no b-day parties, club sports events, etc. It was amazing that parents would just literally send DUMPS of photos to us.....100's at a time...that we could not even use, but still had to sift through. Pictures with grandparents, on vacation, etc. Our rule was it had to be at school (but this won't work for this year likely). We sort of had a flashback section (it was 5th grade promotion) and one mom sent a photo of her 8 year old daughter in the tub with her naked brother and sister. I know it is a cherished photo, but NOT for the school yearbook!!

-We got a class list and checked it off to make sure we had at least 2 photos of each kid.

-If you do solicit from parents (which you might need to since maybe your instruction was virtual), provide some guidelines (like subjects takes up at least 25% of the frame) and instructions on how to send "ORIGINAL" photos. In my experience, nobody had any idea how to check the resolution, so we streamlined some requirements (if it was too wordy or too long, nobody read it and then would send 100s of photos, so decide what you want and make short bullet points).

-Sort your photos first by resolution once you get them all - ones that are bad, put in a separate folder to use only if needed.

-organize, organize, organize. Take the time upfront to come up with a plan, maybe even a template of how you are going to make the pages. You can still make little tweaks at the end to add a photo, change a portrait to landscape, and all that. I used to think a template locked me in, but realized after the first 100+ hour projects, the template just helped me get started and made it WAY easier to tackle. You will feel like you want to dive in, but hold off until you have your file structure set up and photos all downloaded, etc.

-Along with organize, edit your photos first. Crop, fix the lighting, etc. You will feel like you are wasting time, but it's one good thing to do while you are still waiting for all the photos to be submitted.

-Decide on a font, set up font styles and color pallette/set up swatches. I made Master Pages in InDesign for each section which helped the process.

-And like someone said above, get a proof and get the teacher to WRITE her comments on the page. I made everything a PDF, told the teacher to print it out and handwrite her comments....so much easier than going through an emailed list of what to change.

-Make your deadline way earlier than you anticipate and stick to it. There are always those late parents that want to add their photos in at the last minute. It is soooo tough to say no, but one change makes more changes and more to track.

Haha, I'm getting all agitated just thinking about all of this again. Truth be told, these are my favorite memories from my kids growing up...but each time it was stressful!! Good luck!!
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:18 AM
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My Senior is one of the editors of her Yearbook at school. They have been virtual until March also. But they are still working on and planning a full yearbook for this current year. Some things they have done are get photos from teachers, instagram, facebook etc. (photos of kids learning at home, virtual Spirit weeks, school projects, desk set ups of teachers and kids at home, etc). The kids had actual school photos taken in March, so they will include student sections too. You could reach out to students, teachers and parents to get any photos they can give you! Sports has happened off and on and they have included any photos from that too! I would do a page about covid (with the facts, toilet paper shortage, Disney closure, mask wearing, social distancing, what your school has done for the past year- shut down for almost a year, virtual learning, google classroom, zoom etc. Keep it light hearted since it is an Elementary book). Maybe add a couple coloring pages or activities to fill space. Talking to some of the teachers/parents/students can give you an idea of the theme of some of the pages. Maybe one teacher had all the kids dress up like historical figures, you can include that. Basically thinking outside of the box, like this whole school year has been! Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:37 AM
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My son graduated from 5th grade last year. Since we had been in school most of the year, we had a normal yearbook, however 5th grade always gets their own memory book usually passed out at their party. Below is the link to a google doc that was sent out to all parents to complete with their child. You could always ask for a headshot to go with it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:12 PM
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Thank you so much! These are great tips and give me something to work off as I [quickly!] plan and make these. To add an extra wrinkle, the school is considering buying them for every student from the end of the year budget, which means they'll have to be very inexpensive. I can get it down to $8/book through Shutterfly, but they may tell me it needs to be lower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justpattyanne View Post
The first and biggest tip I have for you is organization AND streamlining the process for yourself. I'd setup a certain information form for the teacher/parents to fill out so that you are getting exactly the info you need in the order that you will need it.

But - as for the individual shots, I'd have each class teacher gathering all of the photos & information for their particular class - which will then be sent to you as a complete package / download. - you do NOT want to have to deal with all of the individual parents. It will be madness. Truly.
Narrow down what information will be listed with each photo.
Make sure they print.

Once you have a draft for a class done, send it back to the teacher for the proofing / making sure that all is included and correct. To make notes of all necessary changes that is then sent back to you completed (again, not piece-meal --- everything at once. I can't stress enough how much of the detail stuff should be left to the ind. class teachers. If you take on each individual student/parent and have to put it all together too, it will be MORE than a full time job)
LOL-unfortunately, the one thing I already know is that the teachers don't have time to handle it. They've been upfront that if they have to be too involved, there won't be a memory book. But this info about printing everything, teachers sending ALL corrections at once, and designing the form with exactly what I need in the order I need it is great. I'm not sure yet what I may need to know about layouts, etc--I'm waiting for the teachers to get back to me. As far as photo quality and things like that, I think the bar is a lot lower this year. Between having so little to work with and so little time to pull it together (probably 3 weeks to collect everything AND finish the book through the proofs stage)...I'm just hoping for decent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eve11ne View Post
I've done this type of yearbooks.
What I did basically is a two-page spread layouts and make them into a book.
I don't know if you want to make it 'formal' like a typical yearbook or not.
I'll try to upload some pages and show you.
Thanks! I'm waiting for confirmation from the teachers (and the budget, which may dictate everything else) but I think we're going with something somewhat formal--an individual photo of each child, whatever parents and teachers send me for other photos, a few blank pages for autographs, and some quotes from the kids throughout. I don't think we'll have any class pictures to include, unfortunately. None from last year either because they're taken in the spring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jennv View Post
-we said no b-day parties, club sports events, etc. It was amazing that parents would just literally send DUMPS of photos to us.....100's at a time

-We got a class list and checked it off to make sure we had at least 2 photos of each kid.

-provide some guidelines (like subjects takes up at least 25% of the frame) and instructions on how to send "ORIGINAL" photos.

-Sort your photos first by resolution once you get them all - ones that are bad, put in a separate folder to use only if needed.

-organize, organize, organize. Take the time upfront to come up with a plan, maybe even a template of how you are going to make the pages.

-Along with organize, edit your photos first. Crop, fix the lighting, etc. You will feel like you are wasting time, but it's one good thing to do while you are still waiting for all the photos to be submitted.

-Decide on a font, set up font styles and color pallette/set up swatches. I made Master Pages in InDesign for each section which helped the process.

-And like someone said above, get a proof and get the teacher to WRITE her comments on the page. I made everything a PDF, told the teacher to print it out and handwrite her comments....so much easier than going through an emailed list of what to change.

-Make your deadline way earlier than you anticipate and stick to it
These are great tips, thanks! Ugh--I hadn't even considered the photo dump from some parents, but I should have. I get it on a small scale from my family when I put together calendars. I've learned to be very specific about the number and types of photos, but still 1 person sends at least 4x what I've asked for, many of them low resolution. The turnaround is going to be pretty quick for families, so unfortunately I think I'll get a lot of late submissions. It's looking like I'll need to plan on 1 week for submissions, 1.5 weeks for me to put it all together, and then 1/2 week for teachers to look at proofs and me to make corrections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiegirl View Post
Some things they have done are get photos from teachers, instagram, facebook etc. (photos of kids learning at home, virtual Spirit weeks, school projects, desk set ups of teachers and kids at home, etc). The kids had actual school photos taken in March, so they will include student sections too. You could reach out to students, teachers and parents to get any photos they can give you! I would do a page about covid (with the facts, toilet paper shortage, Disney closure, mask wearing, social distancing, what your school has done for the past year- shut down for almost a year, virtual learning, google classroom, zoom etc. Keep it light hearted since it is an Elementary book). Maybe add a couple coloring pages or activities to fill space. Talking to some of the teachers/parents/students can give you an idea of the theme of some of the pages. Maybe one teacher had all the kids dress up like historical figures, you can include that. Basically thinking outside of the box, like this whole school year has been! Good luck!
I'm glad that your DD's school is still pulling together a yearbook! I know our MS and HS are, but yearbook is a elective class at our HS so they've at least been able to work on it all year. Great tips about the kinds of photos to look and ask for! We also had a school photo day right after school resumed in person, but I don't think I'm going to have access to those photos. I like the idea to include a page about covid and how it affected their year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bienejen View Post
My son graduated from 5th grade last year. Since we had been in school most of the year, we had a normal yearbook, however 5th grade always gets their own memory book usually passed out at their party. Below is the link to a google doc that was sent out to all parents to complete with their child. You could always ask for a headshot to go with it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
That's really helpful, thanks! I won't be able to include a printed version of this for each kid (there are about 100 graduating 6th graders), but I love the idea of including it blank so that each child can record memories in their own copy.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:05 PM
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Price wise you might want to check Entourage yearbooks. Price depends on pages, cover, etc. but they’re cheaper than Shutterfly.

That’s who our homeschool group uses. They have an online editor and templates and also have a special tool to populate your people pages.


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Old 04-24-2021, 04:20 PM
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I started doing a preschool yearbook 11 years ago and this is year 10 for me doing the elementary school's where my daughter used to go. We have managed to make a yearbook despite school closures last year due to covid and this year due to 100% online instruction and then now to the hybrid model. I will PM you the company we use as they are super reasonable and do amazing work. They have fantastic customer service and parents can create their OWN 2 FREE custom pages that will only appear in their child's book. I started the elementary on using them 10 years ago and as long as I am the yearbook lady (there is no team...just me!) I will not switch! =) The pricing is very reasonable.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:27 PM
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Thank you! Hearing your suggestions also made me think of another printer I've used for personal projects like graphic-heavy planner pages, so I'm also throwing Best Value Copy into the ring for the school to consider. They're about half the cost of Shutterfly.

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Originally Posted by just_jo View Post
Price wise you might want to check Entourage yearbooks. Price depends on pages, cover, etc. but they’re cheaper than Shutterfly.
Thanks! I just filled out the form for an estimate.

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Originally Posted by kelseyll View Post
I will PM you the company we use as they are super reasonable and do amazing work. They have fantastic customer service and parents can create their OWN 2 FREE custom pages that will only appear in their child's book.
Thanks, I'd appreciate that! I love the idea of the custom pages, but I think that might be too ambitious for this year, especially since the school is looking into ordering in bulk for all the 6th graders rather than making the parents buy them like in a normal year. I bet they'd love that option for the future, though.
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Old 05-23-2021, 03:03 PM
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How did it go?

When I first started doing our elementary yearbook I literally scrapbooked each page and added it to the yearbook site. This year was my 13th year (and hopefully LAST) doing the elementary yearbook for our schools. I started with doing one school, K-5 with about 200 kids. Now I do a book that has 3 schools with different grades at each school and probably 700 kids. I've found lots of ways to streamline the process, but I do use the program available through our yearbook company now. I'm glad that I am no longer trying to scrapbook each page though!
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Old 05-23-2021, 05:09 PM
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I'm working on such a book for my son since he will be graduating elementary school this year too. After summer it is high school. I'm making this book myself so we can give each kid a copy of it full with memories of kindergarten till grade 6..

Each page looks pretty similar depending on the number of photo's there are in that specific theme. Each grade has multiple spreads...

Started this book end march/begin April, and it is almost finished for printing

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Old 05-24-2021, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyp View Post
I'm working on such a book for my son since he will be graduating elementary school this year too. After summer it is high school. I'm making this book myself so we can give each kid a copy of it full with memories of kindergarten till grade 6..

Each page looks pretty similar depending on the number of photo's there are in that specific theme. Each grade has multiple spreads...

Started this book end march/begin April, and it is almost finished for printing
That looks awesome!!!
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherri Tierney View Post
How did it go?

When I first started doing our elementary yearbook I literally scrapbooked each page and added it to the yearbook site. This year was my 13th year (and hopefully LAST) doing the elementary yearbook for our schools. I started with doing one school, K-5 with about 200 kids. Now I do a book that has 3 schools with different grades at each school and probably 700 kids. I've found lots of ways to streamline the process, but I do use the program available through our yearbook company now. I'm glad that I am no longer trying to scrapbook each page though!
It went really well! I was only doing a 20-page 8x8 yearbook, since that was the cheapest option for the school to buy for everyone. There are about 100 kids in their graduating class, and they were the only ones in the book. In the end we had the teachers take all the candids so we didn't have to wait on parents or deal with photo overload. I did scrap the pages, but since this was a small book and only a one time thing it was more trouble to deal with the limitations of the printer's program than to just scrap it. It was somewhere between lightly embellished pocket style and traditional yearbook, much simpler than I'd do for my own pages. I think they'll be at the school early next week, but I probably won't get to see it until my daughter brings hers home in a few weeks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyp View Post
I'm working on such a book for my son since he will be graduating elementary school this year too. After summer it is high school. I'm making this book myself so we can give each kid a copy of it full with memories of kindergarten till grade 6..

Each page looks pretty similar depending on the number of photo's there are in that specific theme. Each grade has multiple spreads...

Started this book end march/begin April, and it is almost finished for printing

That looks great! What an ambitious project to cover K through 6th! It's going to be an amazing keepsake for the kids to have.
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:09 PM
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I did 4 5th grade yearbooks for our elementary school. (my kids were in 3 of the years) The last one was about 6-7 years ago. I also used to do one for my prek classes when I was a teacher.

For the 5th grade books:
We printed thru Docu-copies, they had the best prices at the time. (not sure about now) They had a calculator that let you estimate your costs.

I set up an alias email so parents could easily send me pics and forms.

We also ran some ads to help cover the cost. Businesses could buy ads, and parents could purchase a love line or a love block.

Make lists and check lists.

I asked parents for photos too. Photos of first and last day, trips, homework, school activities, sports etc....

We sent out forms for the parents and kids to fill out. We had help from the teachers to make sure each item when to each child. (we had 60-80 kids in 5th grade, 3 classes)

I had all files organized in folders and asked several other to proof read pages for me. (i'm the queen of typos...)

Our books were 8.5 x 11. printing at a standard size kept cost down. I will try n post a quick video of them so you can see what I did. I can look later and see if I still have my templates from each page, if you are interested.
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Old 05-30-2021, 01:29 AM
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I will try n post a quick video of them so you can see what I did. I can look later and see if I still have my templates from each page, if you are interested.
It's so nice of you to offer! But fingers crossed that the books are already printed and on their way to the school--last I heard, they were due to arrive by Tuesday.

Between when we decided to do a yearbook and when I needed to upload the pages for printing, we only had about 3 1/2 weeks to pull everything together. Even so, I think we hit the highlights--individual photos of each child and teacher, candids from every class, and quotes from each student about their future and their favorite elementary school memories.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:42 PM
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It's so nice of you to offer! But fingers crossed that the books are already printed and on their way to the school--last I heard, they were due to arrive by Tuesday.

Between when we decided to do a yearbook and when I needed to upload the pages for printing, we only had about 3 1/2 weeks to pull everything together. Even so, I think we hit the highlights--individual photos of each child and teacher, candids from every class, and quotes from each student about their future and their favorite elementary school memories.
Glad you were able to get them done! I should have looked at the dates above....lol...

Sounds like they will be awesome!!!
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
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It's so nice of you to offer! But fingers crossed that the books are already printed and on their way to the school--last I heard, they were due to arrive by Tuesday.

Between when we decided to do a yearbook and when I needed to upload the pages for printing, we only had about 3 1/2 weeks to pull everything together. Even so, I think we hit the highlights--individual photos of each child and teacher, candids from every class, and quotes from each student about their future and their favorite elementary school memories.
Sounds cool! After all, this is such a wonderful thing as a keepsake for every child and parents about what the educational process was like, what impressions and memories the children have.
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Old 05-31-2021, 12:36 PM
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Can't wait to see how they turned out! Please upload some of hte pics!
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