Learn How to Take Your Yearbook Photos to the Next Level

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Say cheese!

No matter if you went to high school 30 years ago or are currently in high school now, you're familiar with school picture day. It's the one day of the year where the cameras are out, your clothes must be just right, and a thirty-second click can make or break your image for the year.

Yearbook photos attempt to capture an entire year's worth of school and put it all together in a single book. Each student and staff member has their own chance to make themselves known through their photo.

Which is so stressful! A single photo can make you the hottest kid in class or the laughing stock of the entire year.

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Speaking of funny, ever wonder what the class clowns get up to in their class photo? Well, you're in luck! We've got a collection of the ten best yearbook photos of all time to make you laugh, chuckle, and know exactly what not to do on picture day.

Whether these people intended to be funny or not, they have left a permanent mark, not only in their yearbook but on the internet for all to enjoy.

So sit back, relax, and smile for the camera! It's about to be one heck of a trip down memory lane.

Marking Your Place in History

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For those of you still in school, you might be wondering, “What's the point?” Why does a stupid yearbook photo matter so much?

Honestly, there isn't much of a point while you're in school. Why? Because you see those people every day. You know how the football team did that year, how wild Stephanie's hair was, and who was voted cutest couple.

But how much of that will you remember 20 years from now?

Old Yearbook

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More than anything else, yearbooks are time capsules of special moments in our lives. They allow us to remember who we were growing up, who we hung out with, and what was going on in our school all those years ago.

When you smile on picture day, you're capturing a part of your legacy that will forever be preserved inside the pages of a yearbook. It's a personal reflection of all those years spent wandering the halls, taking notes, and laughing with friends.

Sure, maybe it doesn't matter to you today, but someday, when you flip back through those pages, it's going to mean the world.

Prepping for Success: How to Outshine Your Classmates

Old Yearbook

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So you want to take an impressive yearbook photo, huh? You want to be the star of your class with a smile that's brighter than the sun. Well, if that's your goal, you're going to need to do a bit of preparation.

There's quite a bit more to taking a successful photo than smiling at the right moment. Ask any model, and they'll tell you there's a lot of prep work to make yourself look your absolute best.

Even though modeling may not be your desired career path, knowing how to take a good, professional photo will help you out both now and in the future. So let's get started.

Old Yearbook

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The first step you need to remember is that you want to be clean on picture day. No, don't just spray some more cologne on and call it good. Get in the shower and scrub yourself down.

Freshly washing yourself will help to make your skin look more vibrant, especially if you make time to wash up the morning of. Rinsing out the grease in your hair will also make your photo stand out a bit more and make you feel better about your appearance.

Plus, staying clean is also a great way to stay healthy and improve your image on a daily basis. Nobody wants to be stink or appear dirty—so shower up!

You'll also want to put on a cute top for your photo. Think about picking something that will compliment you, not outshine you. Clothes that are too distracting make it difficult to focus on your face. Find a fun, yet moderate top that goes well with your eyes and skin tone.

Old Yearbook

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You're all clean, you put on the perfect top, have any makeup and hairstyling done, and are ready for your picture. But wait, are you really ready?

Right before they snap that photograph, it's probably a good idea to run to the bathroom and check your appearance. Bring a small brush or comb with you so you can readjust your hair if needed.

You should also try to think positively. If you go into the photo shoot with a negative attitude, you'll walk out with some sour photos. Get pumped, laugh with your friends, and go in there with a smile already on your face.

Then, the hard part's over! All you have to do is sit, smile, and shock the world with your radiant photo.

Up or Down?

Yearbook Hair

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The worst day to have a bad hair day is on picture day. Nobody wants to be remembered as the girl who wore her hair like this.

But what should you do with your hair? Should you wear it up? Or maybe it'd be better to keep it down? Does it make a difference?

Honestly, it won't make a ton of difference how you decide to wear it. But, there are a few valuable tips you should be aware of before deciding on that braid you saw on Pinterest.

Yearbook Hair

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Firstly, have a good understanding of where your camera is going to be located. If you're taking a single headshot with a camera that is facing you directly, you may want to avoid tight updos. This includes things like ponytails and medium to low buns.

Why? Because in the end, it may look as though you have no hair. A straight shot will likely not pick up on your hair easily if its slicked to your head and not flowing down the side.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't wear your hair up. You will just have to be conscious of that fact and bring your updo up even further so the camera will see it.

Leaving your hair down can make it easier to see, but sometimes makes you run the risk of hair flying into your face, especially during senior photo shoots. The last thing you want to be remembered for is a strand of hair whipped across your forehead.

Yearbook Hair

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In the end, the most important thing to do is wear a hairstyle that fits your personality. If you never wear your hair down, why would you wear it down for your photo?

Both updos and down looks have their own sets of struggles, but they can each work out if you pay attention to your surroundings and where your camera is located.

Wear how you want to, kid! It's your day, so wear the look that's right for you.

America's Next Top Yearbook Model

For those of you in your senior year of high school, you're probably extra nervous about this year's yearbook photos. That's because instead of only taking a single picture in front of a dull backdrop, you're going to have to head out and take a plethora of shots to celebrate your upcoming graduation.

What do you do for a photo shoot? How do you position your body when it's not the same as everyone else? Can you even smile for that long?

Don't fret. This video has got all the tips you need to have a successful senior photo shoot. They'll show you how to pose, work that camera, and walk away feeling like the best model the world has ever seen.

Ten Best Yearbook Photos of All Time

Yearbook Hair

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Whew! Now that we've finally gotten your yearbook photos under control, let's take a break to laugh at yearbook photos gone wrong, yet oh so right.

While most of these people intentionally made themselves look silly in their photos, others had the unfortunate luck of being unprepared during the moment of truth.

Here are the top ten yearbook photos of all time, taken from all different schools, areas, and times.

Ten Best Yearbook Photos of All Time

Yearbook Stare

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Who says the students get to have all the fun? Why not let the teachers get in on some of the action?

This hilarious yearbook page was trying to showcase the homeroom teachers of that year, but rather than simply getting smiling at the camera; two teachers decided to start an intimidating stare down.

The bottom teacher looks up, almost prodding the other to glare down at him. This is a simple, yet intelligent, way to get a good chuckle out of your students and fellow staff.

Hopefully, those two aren't still duking it out. It's unhealthy not to blink for too long.

Under the Sea

Yearbook Fun

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Ahhh! A shark! Just kidding, it's only an inflatable shark.

Another group of teachers has gotten around to having way too much fun in their yearbook photos. Through some impressive coordination, three teachers helped create an underwater scene spanning across their pictures.

Each of them got suited up in scuba gear and nabbed some inflatable friends to make it look as though they were deep beneath the waves. Every detail seems to fit together so well, that it may even be hard to realize that each of the photos was taken separately.

They've certainly made a splash on that year's teacher section, and should probably get away from the water for a while. Who knows what an angry octopus might do.

Can You Spot It?

Yearbook Dog

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From a distance, this looks like your standard yearbook photos page. All the students are in even rows and columns with their names neatly printed on the side.

But wait, do you see that? There's a particular spot that seems a bit different… Who let their dog in on picture day?

In line with all the other students lies a furry friend. While the dog may be a bit out of place, he's certainly got his smile ready for the camera. Just look at that tongue! He might have the best smile of the whole bunch!

While we don't suggest substituting your face for your dog's, we can't help but smile at this well-dressed pup posing for the camera.

One Shot and That's It

Yearbook Awkward

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Yearbook photos are generally a one and done deal; you've got to get it right on the first take or else. But sometimes, they should make exceptions to that rule.

Like in the case of this poor guy. Beyond the fact that his hair is out of place and the pattern on his shirt is a bit questionable, his face was far from prepared when the camera flashed.

His eyes are unfocused, his smile isn't in place, and he looks as though he might pass out from too much alcohol. Which brings us to another important reminder for all of you shooting your yearbook photos soon: don't drink and drive or take yearbook photos.

What's This?

Yearbook Bird

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Oooooh! What's this?

That's the exact expression of the staff member featured in this yearbook photo. The man holds a small bird in his hand and bulges his eyes, staring at the bird. Funny enough, it looks as though the bird is staring right back at him.

Perhaps the funniest part about this photo is that it looks like such a natural expression for him. Especially compared to the woman on his left, who is straining her head so much she appears to be in pain.

It's unclear what she is trying to do, but she could certainly take some notes from the birdman on how to captivate an audience while looking exciting, comfortable, and dramatic all at the same time.

Irony is So Ironic

Sad school pic

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Not everyone is as excited to have their photo taken. In fact, this kid looks like someone just field-stripped his dog on the front lawn. And yet, the packaging boasts that "your smile has arrive." Maybe they've shipped it separately. 

It's hard to tell if this kid is pouting out of spite, just because he's been ordered to smile. Or is something deeper, more sinister going on here? Is this an emo kid in the making? 

What's great is that this picture captures an emotion we all know so well. There are just some days when you can't pretend to be in a good mood. 

Double Trouble

Yearbook Double

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Ben! What did you do with Teresa?

Unlike some of the other yearbook photos on this list, there is nothing particularly wrong or strange about the pictures. The man looks quite normal, has a sophisticated expression, and is wearing regular clothing.

The only trouble is that there's two of him. It's unclear what happened to the picture of Teresa, but somehow, Ben managed to snag two spots in this yearbook.

Or maybe, Teresa is actually just Ben's twin! Or his doppelganger! Or maybe, just maybe, Ben and Teresa are the same person! The world may never know.

Screw the Dress Code

Yearbook Dress Code

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Ah, the dress code. One of the most despised aspects of school outside of the classroom.

Faculty set a standard of what clothing is acceptable and what is not for the students. Sometimes those rules are practical, and other times they're downright stupid.

One kid decided to break those dress codes in a way that also managed to stay in line with it by wearing chain link armor. With the full headpiece, this guy is ready to head into battle, and head to English class.

His smile is bright, and his attitude is definitely in the right place, which is probably why he got away with this in the first place. I heard he's off fighting dragons and protecting the village these days — what a guy.

A Little Cosplay Never Hurt Nobody

child in Captain America costume

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Posted by a harried mom who spent hours creating this homemade Captain America costume, this picture is sure to make you grin. Especially when you hear the story behind the photo.

Mom thought it was costume day, but it turns out it was picture day, instead. She stayed up past 3 a.m. the night before to perfect this adorable outfit in time for school.

When they arrived the next morning, she discovered that none of the other children were dressed in costume. One of the teachers asked if she had brought a change of more suitable clothing for the photos.

But, Mom opted to let him wear his costume with pride. And yes, she ordered the deluxe package.  

One and the Same

Yearbook Nguyen

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When two people share the same last name, we often assume that they are somehow related. Perhaps they are sisters, cousins, or even aunts and uncles. What we sometimes forget, is that many last names are very common.

Which, after a constant stream of questions about your non-existent connections with other people, you'd probably get a bit annoyed about. Like these four ladies did in their yearbook photos.

To finally set the record straight and let everyone know that they were not a part of the same family, they each shared a word to a single sentence, “We are not related.”

Now, everyone can look back and remember that a name does not make your family, but it can form a strange bond of hatred toward the said name.

Turn That Frown Upside Down!

Yearbook Nguyen

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Don't stress out! Have fun!

Yearbook photos are meant to capture who you are and immortalize that in a book for all to see. So don't get panicked or scrunch your face up in worry. It's all going to be okay.

Have fun, smile freely, and your yearbook photos won't seem so bad. Now you know just how to prepare, how to look great, and how not to make yourself the laughing stock of the internet.

Show the world your beautiful personality and don't forget to say cheese!

Featured Image: CC0 via Pixabay.

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