On weekdays, I look forward to sitting in front of a computer in the morning to design pages for the yearbook. This is my fourth year in a yearbook class, but my second year at La Cañada High School. The moment I open the door to class, I see an Apple iMac, waiting for me to open up Adobe Indesign, a software used to create the yearbook.
Before the new school year started, few yearbook staffers, photographers, and the advisor, attended a Balfour workshop in the summer and took classes to learn how to use tools in various software, such as Indesign and Photoshop, as well as learn how to take professional photographs.
This year, La Cañada High School’s yearbook class consists of eighteen staffers, with three being editors and one being the editor-in-chief. As a sophomore, I hold the position of a copy editor and oversee stories and captions, and help staffers write their stories for their pages. There is a section editor, who regulates each section of the yearbook, and the design editor who confirms the designs on the pages and helps the staffers to layout photographs and design elements on their spreads. The editor-in-chief organizes the ladder, which is a diagram that shows the order of the content and pages and is responsible for turning in a certain number of pages by the deadline.
Priya Shah, the editor-in-chief and senior at La Cañada High School says, “Being on the yearbook as editor-in-chief is a love-hate relationship. It is great to work with a group of staffers where each person has a really strong personality. I genuinely get to learn from everyone every day, and I trust the staff’s opinion a lot. But again, they have a strong personality, so they aren’t always open to criticism, so that part can be difficult.” Shah continues, “A difficulty is trying to make the staffers understand the ‘pressures of yearbook’ because no one besides the editors really feel the rush and pressure of upcoming deadlines. So, if the staffers don’t cooperate, it’s really difficult for the editors to do the work and reach deadlines.”
The yearbook has approximately three hundred pages, including senior ads, and there are six deadlines, with the last one ending in the middle of March. The last deadline will help ensure the yearbook’s arrival in May. For each deadline, advisor Gayle Nichols-Ali submits designed spreads to Balfour. In just a few days, we receive yearbook proofs that represent the actual spreads of the yearbook. The proofs have marks that are to be corrected and sent within 72 hours, and are then, officially submitted as completed yearbook spreads.
Every day we are busy emailing, collecting photographs, and designing spreads. We are also dedicated to finishing our pages, sacrificing our lunchtimes and after-school hours. Yearbook spreads often consist of headlines, subheadlines, stories, modules, quotes, and statistics. Each element is carefully placed and aligned using grids and columns.
Being part of the Yearbook is a great experience, and I would not trade it for anything. I have learned how to express my ideas and creativity on pages, and most importantly, I learned how to work with people around me and communicate well with others. I am excited about the final masterpiece that is yet to come.
Holly Bae, Grade 10
La Cañada High School