The School Photographers of America held its first conference, the International Conference on School Photography & Yearbooks, held June 7-11, 2021, at the Westin Galleria, Houston, Texas. This conference and trade show brought together all segments of the school portrait and yearbook industries. The event was preceded by the ImageQuix/PhotoLynx Mastering Volume Photography user group conference.
The conference drew more than 300 attendees for three days of networking and instruction, culminating in an awards night recognizing innovators from the industry's nearly century-long tradition, today's rising stars, and the photographers themselves.
In addition to hard-hitting breakout sessions, the SPOA conference featured top with keynote addresses from Joe Hart, CEO of Dale Carnegie; V.J. Smith, world-class speaker and public servant, and Tyler Tarver, director of learning and development, Tarver Academy.
The conference's success culminates a year of rapid progress for the new association, which sprang into existence in response to COVID-19 in an effort to get school photography declared an essential service. Since its debut, the association has promulgated numerous industry initiatives, including establishing the American Foundation of School Pictures and Yearbooks and working with industry partners for a universal standard image-export format for school administrative software.
The Dead Pixels Society produced a short video with conference highlights, shown below: