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March madness and new successes

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

For basketball fans, the phrase “March Madness” traditionally brings excitement and passion for college basketball. It means the beginning of conference tournaments and the selection and play of the NCAA tournament. For school photographers in 2021, however, it takes on a new meaning.

From school districts you thought were opening and now have pushed out again, to secondary schools and yearbook advisors in a mad rush to get high schools photographed so they can produce yearbooks, to the cramming together of some fall and spring sports all at once. This March and April may be the most challenging months this academic year.

Yearbook meeting success

There are, however, some beautiful things happening. We held multiple industry meetings with yearbook industry leaders. One of the most important calls in the history of our industry happened March 10, when executives from almost every major yearbook company met with our entire Governing Board and the president and vice president of our Executive Board. All but one national company participated. We addressed the concerns many of your shared in our survey as well as discussed ways in which to support each other's industries. We will be sharing its future outcomes in our March Industry Update that you may register for either on LinkedIn or on Facebook.

Standard software size

In addition to great things happening in the yearbook industry, we have put together a committee focused on the creation of one standard size, format and structure for software. We have listened to your concerns and have made this our top priority for the 2021-2022 academic year. We have been in conversation with the leaders in school-management software and applications and shared that school photographers across the country have united and will soon be delivering a new industry standard for the establishment of a single solution for our industry. No more different sizes, naming functions, resolution sizes and file structure headaches, just one export for the software industry for the protection of student data privacy and school photographers protected copyrights. In addition, their parent portals are placed on alert, so if the school photographer's image is not protected from parent download or printing, we will be seeking legal action either by SPOA or the infringed photographer. As you can imagine, this has taken a massive undertaking but in the end should mean huge wins for each of you, your labs, and workflow partners.

National vaccination updates

Vaccination updates are coming out every day. School Photographers of America has been advocating on your behalf with your state governance as well as the national authorities. We are seeing great success and hearing about photographers able to use their ID Card and get their vaccination in the states where it is possible. If you need help, please reach out to use and we will file a letter to your county and state officials on your behalf. Thank you to the SPOA members that have been sharing this information with their own state officials.

The time to join is now

We are growing exponentially! If you and your company have not joined us officially yet, please visit our website and go to the "Get Involved" tab, and touch memberships. Make your selection and get started today. Shortly after you join, we will send the official membership registration which will collect all the information required to get your company listed on our website, who from your company will be the voting member/representative, and getting all your staff enlisted as well. As a reminder, the setup fee has been waived for the month of March, so register and join today!

Last, I simply want to thank the leadership of our founders, governing board, and executive board. These individuals have truly worked for almost a year to help make all of this possible. Many of them have sacrificed their time, staff, and money to make this association a viable organization with no guarantee of benefit to them. They understand the mission and vision and know we are so much stronger together. We are already seeing that belief become a reality. I personally have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and leadership I have seen over the last 12 months. Our industry is set up for great success with the talent that I have been blessed to get to know thus far. We are still growing and need, not just your support, but your time and talent. We have photography positions open on the Governing Board and multiple chairs and committee positions open on the Executive Board. Join us today and help make history and school photography and incredible industry for generations to come.

David Crandall

Executive Director

School Photographers of America

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