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Photographic Competition

2023 Grand Champions

Have the signed model release for your entry ready! Feel free to use these sample ones from SPOA. Your studio's own model releases are also accepted.

SPOA's annual photographic competition for professional school photographers is under way! As part of the SPOA Industry Awards, we're looking for the most extraordinary school photographers in our industry and announcing the grand champions at our annual International Conference for School Photography & Yearbooks.
Entry Categories
  • Pre-K-8th Graduation: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Pre-K-8th grade student in a volume situation showcasing commencement, promotion, or graduation to the next grade level.

  • Pre-K – 11th Grade Fall Portrait “Traditional”: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Pre-K – 11th grade Fall portrait of a student showcasing a traditional head and shoulders style of imagery. Submissions must include a human.

  • Pre-K – 11th Grade Creative Portrait: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Pre-K – 11th grade student in a more creative, non-traditional type of photography. ¾ length, Spring, Modern, Contemporary, etc. images are submitted in this category.

  • Pre-K – 11th Grade Traditional Group Portrait: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a group of students posed in a traditional manner highlighting proper posing, grouping, symmetry, and lighting. Examples include elementary class group photos, grade level photos, club photos, etc.

  • School Staff Group Portraits: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a School Staff. Traditional and Contemporary images will compete head-to-head in this category. From symmetrically posed 4:5 aspect ratio using bleachers or risers to on location groups of various panoramic sizes. All Staff Group images are encouraged.

  • Sports PreK – 12th Grade Individual Traditional Portraits: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of an athlete showcasing their sport. Traditional sports images will use environment, lighting, posing, and overall photographic ability to create the image. Youth sports/League sports and school sports will compete head-to-head in this category.

  • Sports PreK – 12th Grade Individual Composite: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of an athlete showcasing their sport. Composite sports images will be images photographed with any background replacement technology and presented with any graphics or templates. The judging in this category will be weighted more towards the lighting and posing than the graphics or templates, however, the overall impact of all image components will be considered.

  • Sports PreK – 12th Grade Team – Traditional: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Sports team showcasing their sport. Traditional sports images will use environment, lighting, posing, and overall photographic ability to create the image. Traditional team images can include creative posed teams. Youth sports/League sports and school sports will compete head-to-head in this category.

  • Sports PreK – 12th Grade Team - Composite: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Sports team showcasing their sport. Composite sports team images will be images photographed with any background replacement technology and presented with any graphics or templates. The judging in this category will be weighted more towards the lighting and posing than the graphics or templates, however, the overall impact of all image components will be considered.

  • Seniors Cap and Gown: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Senior utilizing a cap and gown as a prop, feature point, or garment choice. Traditional head and shoulder, environmental composite, and studio portraits will all compete head-to-head in this category showcasing a senior cap and gown image.

  • Senior Formal Head and Shoulders Portrait: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Senior in a traditional, formal head and shoulder portrait. Images may include any attire and will be judged by traditional portrait standards of lighting and posing.

  • Senior Indoor Casual: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Senior in any indoor type of environment. Casual setups, studios, images utilizing the interior of a school all will compete in this category. Images will be judged on impact, posing, lighting, composition, and storytelling.

  • Senior Lifestyle/Environmental: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a Senior in any outdoor type of environment. On location in parks, beaches, towns, sports stadiums, etc. showcasing a senior lifestyle type of portrait with judging based on impact, posing, lighting, composition, and storytelling.

  • Senior Creative/Open: Eligible photographs will consist of an image(s) captured of a senior where they were photographed with the intent to create a composite. This entry may contain multiple images on one entry, utilize graphics, utilize templates, etc. Overall image will be judged based on impact with graphics, lighting, and storytelling all included.

  • Photographer Creative/Open: This category is intended to showcase a photographers work outside of the volume categories listed. Images can include, but are not limited to; landscape, nature, commercial, wedding, photojournalism, street photography, macro photography, etc. No images of inappropriate nature will be accepted.

  • Photographer Portfolio: In this category, photographers must submit 5 total images, from 5 different SPOA categories. Example; PreK – 11th Fall Portrait, PreK – 11th Creative, Senior Indoor Casual, Senior Lifestyle/Environmental, Sports Team Traditional. The entrant can select which 5 categories they choose their submissions from. Overall portfolio will be graded head-to-head against other portfolio entrants.

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