Hannah Dick and Sierra Martin attend a pink-out on October 11, 2019. Yearbook staff spends time outside of school hours taking pictures for the yearbook. During school, they sort through pictures and conduct interviews in preparation for producing the yearbook. Photo: Jim Klimavicz

The high school yearbook is a treasured part of students’ high school experience, but have you ever thought of the amount of work and time the staff puts into it, or how much pressure they’re under?

The yearbook is not a random collage of pictures. Instead, the staff creates a yearly theme and develops their spreads around that theme.

Chris Colston, advisor of the yearbook staff, said that the theme starts way before the first day of school. “So it takes about the whole year,” said Colston. “We start at a yearbook camp at JMU and we go for four and a half days there and sort of set up the whole thing.”

Hannah Dick and Sierra Martin, Editors in Chief of the Lord Loudoun Yearbook, attended yearbook camp with others to get the theme set. “I had such a good time because they make it really fun while you’re still getting a lot of stuff done,” said Dick.

“I attended it this year and last year and it was so much fun,” said Dick. “Last year I didn’t really know what to expect but I went in and I learned so much about yearbook.”

The logistics of scheduling at our school makes it difficult for staff to meet consistently. As with most electives, enrollment is impacted by other courses students want to take as well as required courses such as personal finance.

This year, the yearbook meets once per day, once on A days and another one on B days. Dick and Martin are both present for. “There’s about five or six of us that work both days and there’s some people that are only on A day or B day,” said Dick.

“Sierra and I both have [yearbook] class on B days, but Sierra is only there during A lunch on A days,” said Dick. This is because Martin had a scheduling conflict on A days, during which she has to take a different class. Her dedication shows in her willingness to work during her lunch shift every other day.

Colston and Dick talked about what the most stressful part about yearbook is. “For me personally taking over this for the first year I just don’t know the ins and outs,” said Colston. “I’m learning as I go. Anytime where you have a deadline with a financial penalty is stressful.”

“I think the most stressful part is having deadlines because if we don’t get enough spreads in a certain amount of time then it won’t be finished,” said Dick.

It’s not as easy as it seems, and it’s a lot of commitment, said Dick. “I wish they knew how much work goes into it cause always people are complaining about little mistakes and we try our best but it is hard to make everything perfect.”