It is just a fact that yearbook staff members cannot be everywhere all the time, however the fact remains that the student body in general is there. Most of them have cameras that could be put to good use in capturing all those special moments that belong in the yearbook.

Host a school-wide photography contest to give your community an opportunity to showcase their talents as well as contribute to the memories of the yearbook. The contest will not only give your readers ownership into “their” yearbook creating a buzz about the yearbook and staff, but will also get you some amazing photos to help document the story of the year.


Advertise on posters and make announcements. Man your staff members with cameras during passing periods and lunch and have them stage a mob freeze or flash mob.


Consider five or six categories to keep judging manageable but be sure to include those which will yield photographs that you know will likely have a natural place in the yearbook (student life, academics, clubs, sports) as well as a portraits (Facebook-like) and open category for nature, pets, etc. You might consider a student and faculty/staff category for the contest.


Adviser, professional photographer, administrator/faculty member.

Prize Ideas

Gift cards, photo featured in the yearbook with photographer’s photo and the story of the photo and bio, photo showcased on school announcements and in a school photography show.

Photography Show

In a visible place in school, display the award winners. Mat the photos with professional identification tags crediting the photographers.

Yearbook Showcase

In the book, create a spread where you can feature the winners as well as all of the submissions. Or find a way to credit the contest entries if you use them on spreads throughout the book. If you have enough entries, create a photo strip in the index to include all entries.

Sample Release Form

The undersigned (photographer and subjects in photo) hereby consent that any photograph submitted for this contest may be used for inclusion in the yearbook without any additional consideration to the undersigned.