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SPOA announces finalists for 2023 National School Photographic Competition

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

School Photographers of America (SPOA) announced the finalists for the 2023 National School Photography Competition. The grand champions for each category will be announced July 13th in Greenville, S.C., at the International Conference on School Photography and Yearbooks at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom Downtown. The contest spotlights the best in school photography, from traditional classroom portraits and graduation photos to dynamic school sports photography and creative senior portraits.


“I am so excited about this year’s competition,” says David Crandall, executive director, SPOA. “After the judges were done and the software brought up the finalists’ images, I was so impressed. There are some seriously talented photographers in our industry that have a heart for kids and a passion for photography. The competition has promoted some healthy competition while increasing the level of photographic quality across the country!”


School Photographers of America will be honoring the finalists in each category - as well as celebrating the grand champion with a prized trophy — at a formal dinner and awards show at the conference. Photographers from all over the United States entered this competition.


The finalists are:


First Last Company Categories Placed

Montel Anderson Wagner Portrait Group Single

Meghan Blaney Visual Image Photography Multiple

Magaly Bocangel Edge Imaging Multiple

Karl Boettcher Visual Image Photography Single

Bryan Bowman Dorian Studio Single

Theresa Brickman Inter-State Studio Multiple

Brittney Carbone SchoolPictures.com Multiple

Ryan Carll Upstate Images Multiple

Corallynn Chesser Leonard's Photography Single

Tomisina Collopy Strawbridge Studios Single

Buford Curry Photo Texas Photography Single

Karlee Daugherty Photo Texas Photography Single

Melissa Davis Focused School Photography Multiple

Chris DeCamillo Upstate Images Multiple

Tyler Desjardins Upstate Images Single

Allyson Eames Leonard's Photography Multiple

Joshua Flye Strawbridge Studios Single

Chance Foster Photo Texas Photography Single

Candice Funk Larson Brothers Photography Single

Allison Giles Leonard's Photography Multiple

Yohskarla Gutierrez The Missing Sock Photography Single

Alissa Harmon Leonard's Photography Multiple

Anne Hull Focused School Photography Multiple

Korin Janes Inter-State Studio Single

Christina Kallis SchoolPictures.com Single

Katherine Keeney Upstate Images Single

Ron Ladao Visual Image Photography Single

Christina Lindenman Visual Image Photography Single

Jake Mark Dorian Studio Single

Madison Meyer Upstate Images Single

Tanya Molander Strawbridge Studios Single

Peter Muhly Leonard's Photography Multiple

Aceson Murray Cady Studios Single

Mayra Pantoja Focused School Photography Single

Amanda Ponte Made the Grade Photography Single

Ryan Ponte Made the Grade Photography Single

Dev Rolston Upstate Images Single

Enrico Romano Photo Texas Photography Multiple

Darcie Saefkow SchoolPictures.com Multiple

Tanya Saenz Photo Texas Photography Single

Timothy Smith Upstate Images Single

Stephaine Staley HR Imaging Single

Alexis Stewart Edge Imaging Single

Dana Stiefel SchoolPictures.com Multiple

Jake Tenner Upstate Images Single

Tom Thomasino HR Imaging Single

Will Thorne SchoolPictures.com Single

Madeline Thornton Strawbridge Studios Single

Jennifer Turrell Upstate Images Single

Jack Upton Strawbridge Studios Single

Martin Veloz III Larson Brothers Photography Single

Emily Walsh Geskus Photography Single

Chrish Whitson SchoolPictures.com Multiple

Zack Zeinz Visual Image Photography Single

Clara Zonis Upstate Images Single


The competition uses online photography software specific to scoring and running photographic competitions. There were two rounds of judging that included specific scoring on things such as impact, expression, lighting, and composition. Judges spent many hours preparing months in advance by discussing categories, and facilitating benchmark sample scoring before spending almost two weeks judging the entries. The finalists should be very proud of their achievements and the honor it brings not just to their company but the students and schools they represented.


The following 24 categories represent top programs that are desired by schools, families and students today and are a great representation of the work school photography companies provide to the schools, students and communities they serve.

  • Preschool - Fall Portrait

  • Preschool - Graduation

  • Underclass - Fall Portrait - Traditional

  • Underclass - Fall Portrait - Creative

  • Underclass - Spring Portrait

  • Classroom Groups - Traditional

  • Classroom Groups - Creative

  • School Staff Groups

  • School Sports - Individual

  • School Sports - Team - Traditional

  • School Sports - Team - Creative

  • League Sports - Individual

  • League Sports - Team

  • Large Group Panoramic

  • Cap & Gown

  • Prom/Dance

  • Seniors - Formal Portrait

  • Seniors - Casual

  • Seniors - Lifestyle/Environmental

  • Seniors - Creative/Open

  • Seniors - Portfolio

  • School Buildings

  • Photographer - Creative/Open

  • Photographer - Portfolio


About School Photographers of America:

School Photographers of America (SPOA) is the national trade association for school photography and yearbooks. SPOA’s mission is to advocate, educate, promote, protect, and preserve the rich traditions of school photography and yearbooks.





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