In previous years, the photography decided what the story was for each spread. Meaning the best photo was the dominant photo therefore the story.
To me that seemed like the easy way out. We could be missing stories all because a photographer didn’t take the best photo or no photographer went.
My solution was to do a brainstorming sessions the last week of the month in preparation for the next month. Meaning we brainstormed for November stories the last week of October. The staff was notified which day the session was, and expected to each bring one story idea. At the end of the session, staff members signed up for stories.
Reflecting back, it was one of the best things we did as a staff. Stories were written better and had more depth. Since the story was planned, we knew to send our best photographers out to take those pictures.
In July 2017, I attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference where I learned more about myself as a journalist which sparked something in me. I brought many of the lessons I learned back, as well as newly found determination to make the best book my school has seen with the copy, design and photography. But to do this I had to have a staff that was just as motivated as me.
Before we got into the full swing of making the yearbook, we spent every Friday doing activities to get to know each other and having fun. We called it Family Friday. The idea behind it came from the idea that we will work better if we are comfortable with everyone.
Some days it was yoga, other days it was sitting in a circle and talking about ours favorite things. With the occasionally pot luck on holidays.
Its nearly impossible to make a 500 page book in the two hours allotted for staff members. Meaning I do a majority of my work outside of class. One of the easiest was is for me to text a staff member asking for them to complete a task.
Behind the text: The adviser and I were at school on a Saturday proofing spreads, and realized the only thing left on this page was the complementary to a caption. Thing like this get over looked often, so it was normal for me to ask the student to direct message there forensics connection.