Every high school I know of in the area requests a portrait for the yearbook. Some schools use a specific photographer, others have preferred photographers and most have a list that have done well in the past. This image is used in the yearbook as the student’s official picture and often is used for the class composite shot hanging in the hallway gallery.
Most of the schools require this shot to be submitted by mid October to mid November. All the schools require the shot to be done in a studio setting with a simple background. The shots are from mid-torso to mid-shoulder up. The schools ask that both shoulders are showing. The most common dress code is that girls should have their shoulders covered and minimal cleavage showing. Not really any dress code for boys. If you review most yearbooks for what boys are wearing you will see about 65% wear a jacket and tie, 15% shirt and tie, 15% a casual shirt and the remaining 5% wear whatever they woke up in that morning. Every school has specifications for the sizing of the image and how it is to be delivered. Some of the sizing specs make sense and are understandable and complete, most are usually missing one component and require guesswork.
The yearbook shot is a pretty simple shot for an experienced photographer and should not take much time to do. With everything set up the sitting could be done in as little as 5 or 10 minutes, as long as an hour. I like to include the yearbook shot with some additional studio portraits if the student likes.
After your session you should get a way to review the images and make your choice. The photographer should then process the image, do appropriate retouching and submit the image to the school with confirmation to the parents.
For more about the yearbook shot and other senior high school photography FAQs go to: http://www.mpkseniors.com/docs/FAQ_MPKseniors0715.pdf