Yearbook - it's way more than you think!
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Tuesday, July 07, 2015
By Bill Keane
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You'll probably recognize the two guys you see here - yes, the last two Presidents of the United States. Did they think when they posed for their senior portraits that one day they'd be in the Oval Office. Based on the hat and the collar, you have to guess no.

It's the time of year we at Keane Studios start turning our thoughts to the yearbooks we've helped create the past 20 years. If you graduated from Canyon Crest, La Costa Canyon, San Dieguito Academy or Torrey Pines since then, we probably did your senior portrait!

Instead of talking senior portraits, though, I'd like to say a few words of tribute to the kids on the yearbook staffs, and their advisers, who put these publications together. It's where I got my start in photography in high school. Instead of thinking about the yearbook as  a school class, think of it as a business, because that's what it really is. Just like a Rose Parade float entry, thinking starts about next year's yearbook as soon as last year's is printed.

In a yearbook class, there is structure, from the Editor in Chief down. Everyone responds to deadlines that impose hefty late fees for the yearbook if they are not met. Photographers have to think n terms of composition of the entire book. Writers have to think of more than just what their friends are doing. The business manager is actually managing a business with about $100,000 in cash flow! Layout editors learn the tools that professionals use daily.

Of all the classes I took in high school, the most significant ended up being yearbook, because like all the "yearbookers" before and after me, I learned lessons that I still use daily.

And what of its lasting value? The yearbook is a American tradition - you'll get funny looks from Europeans if you talk about your senior portrait and you're only 35! When high school friends get together, what's the first thing that comes out? The yearbook, usually from the senior year. 

Next time you see your own yearbook, or your kids' yearbooks, remember that someday, just maybe, there is a future President. That's the way we think about every senior portrait, the lasting memory of those important years!

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