Tech’s yearbook is a labor of love from a dedicated group of students and faculty advisors who work to design, write, edit, lay it out and photograph it into existence.
Because of the pandemic, the 2020-21 yearbook is unlike any other in Oakland Tech’s history. Students worked on an extremely short deadline with almost no resources to produce a visual document of a school year during lockdown. We have prepared a preview of the book as well as a frequently asked questions section.
Due to the modified schedule for the 2020 – 2021 school year, the class only had 13 weeks to complete the yearbook. In a normal school year the class has 32 weeks. Because of this shorter schedule this yearbook is quite different from previous books. Here are some frequently asked questions:
Seniors were able to take portraits. Why not grades 9 thru 11?
Senior photos are taken by appointment only. This is a very safe system because the photo session is just two people. There are no long lines or crowds of people waiting for their turn. Photos for grades 9-11 are taken in large groups with long lines. It was decided not to have a photo day due to safety concerns.
Why don’t the quotes appear below the senior portraits?
There wasn’t enough time to add the quotes below the photos. Seniors were still taking portraits in March which meant that the yearbook class didn’t receive the processed photos until April. April is when the book gets sent to the printer.
Why aren’t there more pictures in the yearbook?
We really needed about 2000 submissions in order to fill the book properly. We received 900 photos total and not all of them were usable. We tried to include everyone but some photos were too blurry, low resolution, or we could not identify the subject.
I didn’t know you were accepting submissions. Why wasn’t I notified?
Announcements were posted on oaklandtech.com, in the advisory slides (for students), posted to the OTHS Connections Instagram, and put in the newsletter. There were also zoom info sessions for parents and students in December.
There are no captions below the photos. Why is that?
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to add captions. The majority of the photos submitted were sent in days before the deadline on March 15th. Then many people requested an extension to the deadline. The entire book goes to the printer in April so that leaves very little turnaround time to complete the book. Next year we can start the submissions process earlier but this year the class didn’t start until mid October due to the quarter system.
Why does the yearbook cost $70? I get books on Amazon this size for half the price.
These books are digitally printed in small batches which means the cost to produce each book is higher than when Simon and Schuster prints a book. The small profit from the sales goes back into funding the yearbook program.
I found duplicate photos in the book. How did that happen?
The yearbook software used was not designed for getting hundreds of photo submissions. That feature was designed before the pandemic and was meant for a small number of people in the community to submit photos. Those folks could be trained in the photos submission process. With the entire community sending in photos many people were just guessing about categories and formatting. Some community members submitted the same photo five or six times to different sections. Some renamed the file and submitted multiple times which meant duplicates would not appear side by side. This created an organizational challenge for the staff. We simply couldn’t keep up with all the duplicates that we received.
Why are some of the photos blurry?
Some of the photos submitted were low resolution. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible we kept some of these photos in the book. Some of them survived the printing process and some did not. We hoped that as many photos as possible were clear enough.
I uploaded a photo but don’t see it in the book. What happened to my submission?
Some photos got lost in the sorting process. Some photos were not usable because we could not identify a person in the picture. Some screen captured photos did not have enough pixels to print properly.