You are history makers! Spread the Virtual Spirit

Herff Jones

Our lives are changing every day, and how we finish up the school year is evolving minute by minute. As yearbookers we have the important job of recording the school year and making sure all the memories of this year are included. We want you to consider yourselves as Virtual Spirit Warriors!

We need positive thoughts right now. It is easy to consider not covering events that may not happen, like Spring Sports, the Musical, Prom or even Graduation. But lets consider all the students who have already been at practice for their sport, who have gone through tryouts for the musical or have purchased a prom dress, we can still tell their stories in a new and creative way. So before you make any decisions about the completion of your book, lets start brainstorming alternative coverage! We could be that bright spot that everyone will look forward to after we can all get back together!

We have started a list of coverage ideas CLICK HERE to go to a google sheet. You can add your ideas and check back often for more content. For a list of interview questions per activity, here is a 20 ideas PDF.

We can help you adjust templates, we have been gathering ideas. Just let us know when your ready, and we are here for you! If you need assistance gathering content, we can help with that as well. Consider 5 Star Students surveys, Google surveys, twitter surveys to gain content. It will also bring a bright spot in someones day if you reach out and start asking them questions about sports and events they are passionate about.

Lets bring VIRTUAL SPIRIT to our school community, spread the word that you are still covering their school year, no matter how different it looks!

Follow us on Facebook @MO’re Yearbooks and on Instagram@yrbktraditions for fun brain breaks and the latest in the yearbook world! For inspirational 10 minute breaks, check out our Believe in You videos, they will inspire you to do more!

sample corona layoutSocial distance layoutsample spread 4sample spread 3

Inspiration all around us!

Inspiration, JEA/NSPA, Yearbook Camp

We were thrilled to have the fall 2018 JEA/NSPA in Chicago this year. There was so many great moments, that we wanted to collaborated with Molly Jane St. Clair, a Junior at Central High School in Evansville, IN, to create a short video highlighting the experience. The video was created using iMovie. Video clips were taken on an iPhone and photos were primarily taken by Maureen Olofsson and Jamie Silver with DSLR’s.

We can learn so much from others experiences, that is why conferences like JEA/NSPA and local camps can help grow our journalism programs. Enjoy the video and get inspired to attend a conference or workshop, you will not be disappointed and your program will improve with each experience.




Yearbook August Updates

Herff Jones

You will notice many of the communications coming from HJ YBK this year to use the words Essentials, Next Level, & Expert. We know yearbook advisers are busy, and we love to send you tons of resources, so we have broken the content down for you.

Get to the “Essential” content first and as you have time, work your way to the “Next Level” and “Expert” content.

Download this check list in the link below for all the tasks to get the year started off right! August-Checklist


Covering difficult subjects

Student Journalists

protest photo 1984

(A protest photo I took in 1984 on the Campus of Southern Illinois University)

The Student Press Law Association put together an article that we recommend student journalists read. CLICK HERE TO READ

Protests are nothing new, and student journalists have been covering them for a long time. Remember that protesting is an act of “civil disobedience “. It does not mean people should not do it, you just have to remember there may be consequences for your actions. If you are a student participating, make sure you have a clear idea of what you stand for, and you have studies the facts, from reputable sources.

If you are a student journalist covering the event, make sure you have an open mind and cover all angles of the event.

Alternative Copy

eDesign, Herff Jones, Infographs, Inspiration, mod design, Square One, Yearbook, Yearbook Content

Looking for more ideas for Alternative Copy? Check out a 30 minute presentation by Beth Marshall, Yearbook Adviser at Richmond-Burton HS. The presentation is from the 2017 KEMPA Workshop.

We also have mod ideas listed on the Square One page of this site. Click Here

Improve your Profile Photos

Better Photography, Environmental Portraits, Herff Jones, HJeDesign, Mobile Photography, mod design, Photography, Photography Challenge, Square One

Adding mods to your yearbook spread is common practice, and including a head shot by a quote is a great way to include more student voices in your yearbook. Unfortunately too often, little thought is given to these head shots.  There are some simple changes you can make to your process that will greatly improve the photos in your book, and the people your photographing will thank you for it when the book is printed and they look amazing!


  1. the first is the typical, slap your subject against the lockers. The result, they look like they are in a lineup.
  2. The second is better by simply turning the subject sideways and having them lean on the locker
  3. The third is the best, you not only have the subject lean on the locker, you also walk down the hall where some natural light is coming in behind you, removing the shadows from her face. Be warned adding a harsh flash will not give you the same effect.

These photos were taken with the help of the Libertyville High School Staff.

There are other options for getting a good head shot, that are just as easy. Invest in a backdrop.


  1. The first example is from New Trier High School. They invested in a gray backdrop that is attached to the wall of their yearbook room. This option gives a clean even background, with no need to cut out your subject.
  2. The second option is to invest in a green screen like Maine West High School. As you can see, they also have a light that helps illuminate the subject in a more natural way. Using a green screen will help you when cutting out your subject in Photoshop. Please review the short video on making a cut out posted on this website. Click Here.

In both cases, the subject should not stand up against the backdrop and you should avoid a flash on top of the camera.

The last option would be to take an environmental portrait. This type will take the most time and planning, but get you the biggest wow factor. The idea is to plan the environment that makes the most sense in telling the story of the event being covered.


  1. Angle and leading lines
  2. Depth of field
  3. Vertical or horizontal
  4. Foreground – background relationship
  5. Lighting
  6. Props

As always, if you need help achieving your goal, please reach out to us.

Maureen & Melissa

Improve your caption writing and Photoshop skills in less than one hour

Herff Jones

Our goal is to help you train your staff. Two areas we see staffers struggle is caption writing and Photoshop skills. In this post you will find two videos, the first is a 26 minute video by the Yearbook Adviser at Waunakee High School, Mr. Willauer. He presented this session at the 2017 KEMPA Fall Conference at UW Whitewater.

Have your students be prepared to participate in the presentation, practicing writing captions. You can pause the video for them to write at the prompts.


The second video is just over 5 minutes and will help your students create cutouts with smooth edges and realistic hair.

Both videos can be revisited on their respective pages on this website. These are just the beginning in a series of videos we are going to offer. Our goal is to provide you with a variety of guest speakers.


October Photo Challenge

Herff Jones, Instagram, Mobile Photography, Photography, Photography Challenge

By this time of year, you should have already taken a ton of photos for your yearbook. The reason we want you to participate in the monthly photo challenge is to challenge yourself to become a better photographer.

Contest rules at #yearbookphotochallenge and ybktraditions on Instagram.

Make sure you use the correct hashtag for each challenge. All photos featured here are taken by Maureen Olofsson and Jamie Silver.

The categories for October are:

Depth of Field

Stopping Motion

Fall Colors

Teachers and Students

#YBKStrong – organize an effort of hope

Herff Jones, Inspiration, YBKStrong

It seems like every week we hear about another natural disaster. It is hard to wrap your brains around how you could help. Below is a message from our Florida Yearbook Reps giving us an update. If you are looking for a way to help just email:

and they will let you know how you can start a campaign in your school to help a school in need.

A message from our Florida reps: “Florida Christian School led our Yearbook Strong campaign last night at their football game by donating over $2,200 worth of gift cards to Marathon High School during what would have been their Homecoming Game. The parents in the stands from Marathon stood to their feet during the presentation with tears in their eyes. In addition the Florida Christian cheerleaders, SGA and football coaches served the Marathon students an amazing dinner after the game.


Photo Oct 14, 17 52 26.jpg

Sadly, the Keys and East Collier county (East of Naples) are still hurting badly. Patty and Jose will be going to see all of our Keys’ schools this week to get a better assessment on how you all can help us execute Florida Yearbook Strong to these schools in need.Please help us get the word out. Schools have been sent semi-truck loads of items but the families have no where to store them. Many, many families are displaced. Some are living in hotels. Others are living five families in one home. Others are still living in tents. The schools are requesting gift cards from Publix, Winn Dixie, Home Depot, Walgreens or CVS. Please help us help them.”

There is more help needed, with the fires in California, even more schools will be in need. Thanks Maureen & Melissa