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A win for schools, students, as well as the school photography and yearbook industry

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Leaders from the school photography and yearbook industry voted on new guidelines and standards. The focus was on copyright protection and inclusivity. Every company wants to ensure that all students and staff have the opportunity to be included in their yearbooks. Following the pandemic’s impact on schools, students, families, school photographers, and yearbook publishers, leaders from all over the country came together to discuss ways in which schedules can be adjusted and industries can work with one another. The goal is to provide everyone the opportunities to cherish the rich traditions of school pictures and yearbooks.

This meeting was led and organized by the industry's trade association, School Photographers of America (SPOA). A new set of standards and guidelines were created for the 2021-2022 academic year. These standards improve the opportunity for all students and staff to be photographed and included in their school yearbook. In addition, new copyright protections were added to ensure the protection of students and the school photography companies that photograph them.

"This is such a huge win for everyone," says David Crandall, executive director, SPOA. "The pandemic has taught us all one thing: Schools, parents, and students value school pictures and yearbooks now more than ever. These cherished traditions capture the journey of their PK-12 education and create memories that will last a lifetime. It is an honor to see such incredible leadership from both the school photography and yearbook industry during these challenging times!"

In summary, the document spells out industry-standard formatting. All school photography companies will produce images in accordance with these standards for any yearbook publisher. Additionally, a new three-tier approach to deadlines was established. This standard correlates the deadline with the start of school.

Here is an example: Any school or district that starts on or before August 13th, the first available yearbook deadline for photography companies to provide images for underclass or senior portraits will be Dec. 3. This new standard allows for better inclusivity regardless of location or socioeconomics.

The final document is below and will be shared by all industry leaders and with education departments across the country. For more information, please visit

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1 Comment

Foster West
Jun 08, 2023

Hello! I think such reforms will benefit every school. As a professional writer who can help with personal statements I understand that copyright protection is pretty serious. At our writing services company, we take these laws seriously. After all, we always work to generate high-quality content and take care of our own reputation.

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