Taking Amazing Yearbook Photos With Your Smartphone

Photos are the focal point of a yearbook, and informal photos most of all. Fun, spur-of-the-moment informal photos are the best way to capture those memories and moments that you’ll want to keep forever. 

More and more, yearbooks rely less on professional photographers and more on smartphone photos taken by students, staff and parents. So how do you get your smartphone photos to look amazing enough to earn a top spot in your yearbook? 

Here are some tips to get your yearbook photos looking great:

  1. Take lots! The great thing about digital photos is that they don’t cost anything, unlike old-school photos from film. If you see something worth commemorating, just keep clicking until you get the right angle. The more shots you take, the more likely that one will turn out great. TOP TIP: try using the burst setting in your phone camera to quickly capture a series of shots. 
  1. Keep it natural. You might need to use the flash in very dark indoor settings, but otherwise try to stick to natural light. No one looks good with a flash going off in their face! In darker settings, try using the HDR (high dynamic range) setting on your camera instead, as this will pick up a greater range of lights and darks.
  1. Check your settings. Lots of photos have specific ‘portrait’ settings for taking photos of people. These can help even out harsh lighting. 
  1. Crop and edit. Once you’ve got a great shot, make it perfect with your phone’s editing tools. Preset filters are great, but most photos will look ten times better after a simple boost of brightness and contrast. And don’t forget to crop! Decide what’s important in the photo is and crop out any unnecessary space around the sides.
  1. Lose the zoom. Avoid using the zoom function on your smartphone camera as it can cause your photos to lose definition. Either get closer to your subject if possible, or crop the photo afterwards.
  1. Get app-happy! There are tons of apps that allow you to add effects, filters, frames, stickers and captions to your photos. Get creative! Two of our favourites are VSCO and Snapseed
  1. Don’t snub the selfie stick. Yes, they’re kinda naff, but selfie sticks really do help take better photos by reducing the distortion that happens when you’re too close to the camera and by allowing you to include more of the background. 
  1. Consider your composition. Even the most amazing-looking scene will look better in a well-composed photo. Here are some tips for setting up great photos: https://petapixel.com/2016/09/14/20-composition-techniques-will-improve-photos/

Happy snapping! Don’t forget that our Yearbook Hub software allows you to crop, edit and filter photos while you create your yearbook, so they look their best on the page. Get started with a FREE trial account today!