Sony Electronics, a SPOA business partner, has an innovative program to partner with schools and SPOA members to provide new photo gear to schools. The program, announced at the 2022 SPOA convention in Houston, helps schools trade in their old DSLRs for new Sony mirrorless cameras, as well as get a discount on new gear. There are three models in the program: Sony a6100, Sony a7C, and Sony ZV-1.
Samantha K. Corn, Sr. Business Development Manager and Education, Digital Imaging Division, Sony Electronics, has had a long career in developing markets through business relationships. Previously, she held similar roles with Eastman Kodak Co. and Durst.
She says Sony and SPOA members have a unique opportunity to serve schools and students with this program. Corn says students will be more engaged if they are using current gear, as opposed to decades-old DSLRs. Also, the latest Sony cameras also take great video, which is of great interest for today’s budding content creators.
“The response has been overwhelming,” says Corn. “The students don't want to shoot on the same old DSLR cameras. They want mirrorless because they are used to something small because they're so used to their phones.”
Sony has a dedicated website - https://alphauniverse.com/edu/ - to support the program, with the goal of building a community.
For Corn, the objective is beyond selling cameras.
“My goal is teaching, educating, training on what I consider a trade,” she says. “I want to try to get the students when they're in that K-12, so that when they do go into the university level, they're familiar with different models of cameras that they've used.”
SPOA members can partner with Sony to offer the program to their schools.
“It depends on how the studio wants me to do it,” she says. One option would be for the studio to work directly with the school, exchanging old cameras through Sony. That way, as the point of contact, the studio can build a stronger relationship with the school. For those SPOA members who prefer it, Sony could also work directly with the school.
Sony isn’t just about selling gear, though. Corn’s objective with the program is to build content and videos for students to grow their skills in shooting groups, sports, and other school journalism-related topics.
“This program has three benefits,” says Corn. “It benefits the school and the student, plus it does benefit the studio because they can cut down on the number of visits to a school to photograph sports and other events. For me, it means a lot when the students do that work because they're learning to me, they're learning a trade. They may go on to photo school or film school.”
Corn sees the program as the first step in Sony’s partnership with SPOA and school photographers.
“The open arms of SPOA has been amazing,” she said.