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Executive Director's Letter: What an incredible month!

Updated: Mar 29, 2023


What an incredible month it has been for SPOA and our industry! Just think about what March has seen for our industry

  • Millions of students are photographed for spring pictures, sports pictures, and team pictures

  • Thousands of yearbook advisors have submitted their final submissions or are wrapping up their submissions

  • Students and schools all across the globe are starting to prepare for the end of another school year. Your products and services help them commemorate their journey through their school years and, in many cases, help protect them while they are on campus

Please do not take lightly what you do! Your products and services are essential to schools across the world, much less here in the United States. Students taking the SAT or ACT need either an ID card you provided or a driver's license. Each day, an educator looks at a school administrative software program and uses the search function for a name, and then looks at an image to identify a student before a meeting or inquiry. Each day, a portrait you created is used to celebrate a student's achievement and success. Each day a team picture is used on social media or in a paper to celebrate their success. Unfortunately. each day a child goes missing and it is your image that is used for Amber Alerts and for law enforcement to find and recover the child. Do not take lightly what it is you do!



Unhealthy business practices

Do you know what school pictures and yearbooks were not intended to be? A fundraiser! I just recently argued this case with the 17th largest school district in the United States which has some very unhealthy district and board policies for our industry. There will be more to come on this in next month's newsletter. The point, however, is sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Nowhere in our industry's history is there a story that school photography or yearbooks were designed to be a fundraiser. I have facilitated dozens of parent focus groups throughout my career and never once when commission/rebating was discussed did parents want it. When given the option, parents would much rather their school do some sort of official fundraiser - where they could sell to their neighbors or friends - versus self-funding or paying extra for their own child's school pictures and/or yearbooks. So if you are in a market where these behaviors prevail, please consider attending one of our training sessions or attending our conference this July. We will have a panel discussion with educators that are adamantly against the commission/rebating model. They simply want a good, reputable partner that provides excellent quality, performance, and delivery at a competitive price all families can afford.



March is a big month for SPOA

I couldn't be more thrilled about the month we are having here at SPOA! Here is what we have seen already this March:

  • New company memberships

  • New industry supplier and business partnerships

  • Dozens of tickets sold to our annual conference

  • Our shipping contract and participating companies exceeded 8 figures in volume

  • SPOA landed an HR company business partner to help provide formal and legal training at a discounted rate for our members

  • We had the largest student photographic competition yet, with more than 1,800 entries across the United States

  • We launched the 2022-23 SPOA National Photographic Competition website and entry platform that will showcase the best of the best in our industry on the evening of July 13th, 2023 at our Annual Conference in Greenville, SC.

  • We launched the first-ever Industry Hall of Fame nominations

  • We addressed the legal departments at TikTok and YouTube that have videos of watermark-removing AI impacting all companies in our industry

  • We presented and continue to fight for change at the CMS school district on behalf of the industry

  • We will be delivering and hosting the first of a series of virtual training for our first Volume Photography, School Photography, and Yearbook Bootcamp this coming Wednesday.


There is so much more we have accomplished. I wanted, however, to articulate these points specifically as, without our members, business partnerships, and conference, these would not have been possible! Last, it has been incredible to hear across our members and the industry, how much success they have seen this year. We are hearing incredible growth in participation and in the acquisition of new customers in both the school picture and yearbook markets. There is no question, this is an incredible industry and will continue to serve schools, organizations, parents, students, and communities for generations to come.


Best,







David Crandall

Executive Director

School Photographers of America




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Foster West
10 Ιουν 2023

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