The coronavirus has changed many processes and ways of doing things, including creating a high school yearbook.
Typically, members of the yearbook staff would be able to discuss ideas as a group, get interviews, and take pictures in person. Now however, the members must communicate in google meets and contact interviewees virtually. Yearbook staff have started to rely on social media and email to try and fill out information in the yearbook. Katelyn Jones, a first year yearbook staff member, said, “I think the most challenging part was interviewing people online and having to communicate only through email.” The yearbook members are lucky if anyone responses to their emails, and even more lucky if they are able to get pictures from students.
People have sent in selfies and their own pictures instead of the staff using professional cameras to take the pictures. Along with having to get pictures from students and teachers the virus has caused a decrease in events to take pictures of. Leah Rawls, one of the yearbook’s section editors, said “This year the yearbook staff has been struggling with getting responses from other people and gathering pictures. Some of the pictures this year had to be stock photos that related to peoples interview instead of a picture of the person either because they weren’t available to take a picture, didn’t have a picture to send, or they didn’t respond.”
Additionally, what is covered in the yearbook has also had to change. Editor in chief, Alexis Elliott, said “This year one of our biggest problems has been that some sports and clubs aren’t doing anything so we have had to come up with other random topics to put in their place.” Many sports were pushed back from late 2020 to early 2021, which has forced the yearbook staff to work on more of the book later in the year than they normally would. The amount of sports and clubs pages have decreased, but the yearbook staff have been able to add in some fun and creative new pages.
The returning yearbook staff have had to to adapt while the new members have had to learn how to create the yearbook in general. It was difficult for the members to teach the new students how to create the yearbook, take pictures, and upload pictures all while being virtual. Cristi Johnson, the yearbook advisor, said, “We have strong leadership in the program that has guided us through these tough times. Our new members are amazing as well; they have really stepped up to the plate.”
Gathering interviews and pictures this year has been the most difficult for the yearbook staff. This has also been one of the most challenging yearbooks to put together since most of the yearbook staff is doing online school and there have been many many changes due to covid-19.