Capturing Great Yearbook Photos

How Do You Take Great Yearbook Photos?

Capturing Great Yearbook Photos

Each year, students excitedly await the much-anticipated release of their school yearbook. Reliving the events and experiences shared with friends and classmates is what yearbook photos are all about. A great yearbook starts with great yearbook photography! Here are a few tips and tricks to get great yearbook photos!


  • Lighting: Natural sunlight is perfect for softly highlighting your subject’s best features. Photographs taken outdoors should make sure the sun isn’t directly overhead to avoid squinting and unflattering shadows, or behind the student which creates a silhouette effect. Indoor yearbook photos should avoid bright tube lights and find a window that lets the sunlight softly fall to the side of the person.
  • Use a tripod: Even the most experienced photographers take blurry pictures as they try to find the perfect angle, or get fatigued after taking yearbook photos for long periods of time. A tripod can help steady your frame.

yearbook photography

  • Angles: Yearbook photos are best taken at about a 45 degree angle to soften the edges of the face and elongate the jawline.
  • Stand back: Even the perfect angle can be ruined if the camera is too close. Pictures should be taken from about 4 to 5 feet away for great yearbook photos that balance the subject and the background.

What Is The Rule Of Thirds In Yearbook Photography?

The expectations of what yearbook photos represent has evolved over time, forcing photographers to become more aware of what their lens is capturing and how the space is filled. Centering subjects in the middle of a frame is now awkward and unnatural for yearbook photos.

At the most basic level, the photograph should enable the viewer to interact with the picture naturally. To accomplish this, the photographer breaks the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically setting up the frame into 9 equal parts. This grid provides the photographer with 4 ideal locations in the frame where points of interest should be centered on or where to align the subject to create a balanced image.

What Kind Of Pictures To Put In The Yearbook?

With varying designs from school to school, the purpose of a yearbook is to create a memory book highlighting the students, faculty, events, and memorable experiences. Yearbook photos have become much more relaxed in recent years, capturing students and classmates in candid and authentic moments. Many still include the student lineup of headshots with special sections for the graduating class, teams, and clubs. However, it is now perfectly acceptable to include many of those small, memorable and sometimes silly moments that someone snapped with their camera that give yearbook photos personality and allow them to tell the past year’s story.

What Does A Yearbook Photographer Do?

A professional yearbook photographer has the necessary equipment to set up a permanent or mobile studio for student and teacher pictures on “picture day.” An experienced photographer uses lighting, poses and camera angles to capture flattering yearbook photos of each person with natural expressions. A student photographer that’s part of the yearbook committee will cover school events, extracurricular activities, and the average school days. They typically take traditional shots but also experiment with creative angles and perspectives that document their classmates’ interests and personalities.

Why To Hire A Professional Photographer For Yearbook Photos

Hiring a professional photographer will ensure that your yearbook photos are properly lit, capture portraits with genuine expressions, and are edited professionally. More importantly, only experienced photographers can make each student, teacher, and faculty member feel comfortable while getting their pictures taken to ensure natural smiles. For large groups, efficiency and experience is vital for coordinating and organizing yearbook photo events and delivering tasteful products.

The Natalie Roberson Photography Team Offers Full-Service Yearbook Photos!

Recognized as industry leaders in yearbook portraits, the team at Natalie Roberson Photography is any school’s first choice for taking yearbook photos! Contact us to find out how Natalie Roberson Photography takes a modern day approach to picture day, making it a fun, organized and efficient process, resulting in the best school portraits parents have ever seen!