Creative Ways to Celebrate Grads in the Yearbook

By Nicole Hammond, Professional Development Trainer

Graduation day is arguably the most important moment of a senior’s entire school journey. We know just how big of a disappointment that is for the students, their families, and the staff who put their hard work and time into planning for everything to come together. That includes the yearbook team. But, there is a silver lining – those empty pages reserved for graduation don’t need to be taken out or left empty! Here are some creative ways you can still celebrate your grads and fill up the section with some other content that will make your yearbook stand out from others.

1 – Guess Who by the Shoes

You can tell a lot about someone’s character by their shoes! Have students take a photo of their favorite footwear (formal or everyday) and share it with the yearbook team.

Then, use those photos to build a ‘portrait’ page of everyone’s defining footwear, but remember, no names!

This is an activity for students. You want to let them guess who it is, and then check for the right answer using an upside down key on the corner of the page (make sure it’s tiny so it’s not obvious right away!)

2 – Dress to Impress

Many students would already have bought their dresses or suits for the ceremony. Instead of returning, why not take advantage of them and do a little photoshoot? And that’s not all, give your Photoshop skills a go and do something fun with backgrounds. You can even compose group shots!

Pro tip: See if you can stand in front of a plain white background (even better if it’s green!). This will allow you to ‘mask’ or anything behind your body in the image, so you can replace it with a landscape, a magazine cover template, or other background. Have fun with it!  

3 – Senior Stories

The beautiful thing about speeches, is that they can be written down and preserved. Get your valedictorian, salutatorian, and class president to submit their speeches, so they can be featured in the yearbook (and if you can get them to submit them handwritten, that would make for a great image). 

You can also get quotes from students about memorable moments throughout their time at the school, to keep everyone involved. 

4 – The Impact

COVID-19 will continue to be the topic of the year, but what your school community will really want to learn about in the yearbook was its impact. Tell stories and share photos of what students did with their friends and families to keep that feeling of normalcy, and get accustomed to social distancing. What kinds of activities did they do online to stay connected, and in the case of graduation, how did they celebrate ‘together’? Did they have a video call or livestream? Maybe they created a video. Let’s document these moments so that they can be remembered years from now.

Tip: Make your yearbook interactive! Include QR codes or short links to content online, like a blog post or even a video playlist. Now, in addition to the photos, readers can explore even more dynamic content.