How to Deal with Inappropriate Attire in Yearbook Pictures

Yearbook advisers and staff members are responsible for the overall look and feel of the book. This means that every detail of the finished product must be carefully reviewed and approved before publication. While most students will dress appropriately, occasionally there will be a student who dons an outfit that is simply inappropriate for a school picture.  In the event that you see way too much skin, a suggestive phrase on a shirt or other items that won’t work, here’s how to proceed:

Offer options
If you spot an outfit that won’t fly for yearbook pictures, give the student a chance to correct the situation. Let them retake their picture, which allows them to give the photo a shot with a more appropriate outfit. Tell the student that this is the only way they’ll see their picture in the yearbook.

Deal with the situation before it happens
It’s always wise to have a yearbook staff member on hand to supervise class pictures. They can help to correct a situation before it results in the need for a retake. For example, adjusting a shirt so it covers more skin allows the student to be photographed without an issue.

Stop a situation before it occurs
Just like some schools have a dress code in place that specifies what students can and can’t wear to class, prior to taking class pictures, send out some information about what is acceptable ahead of time. Let students know what kinds of images or phrases aren’t acceptable on t-shirts, talk about the kind of coverage that tops must provide and offer any other guidelines that students should know about.

In some cases, inappropriate yearbook picture attire happens because students just don’t think about the outfit they’re planning that day. They may not know that pictures are happening or may not think about the long-term impact of the shirt they’re planning to wear. A friendly reminder can help stop a situation before it unfolds.

It’s also important to make sure everyone’s clear on the rules. What some may deem as an offensive phrase or an inappropriate top, others may believe is fine. Instead of offering guidelines that are generic and fail to help students as they pick out their outfits, get really specific. Exactly what kinds of phrases don’t work? How much skin is too much? When there is no possible way that a student could be confused about inappropriate outfits, it’s much more likely that they’ll wear something that fits with the ideal look of the yearbook.