After a year of lockdowns, it’s amazing to see so many of you hiring, onboarding and getting back to business. While we are pleased to see you back, there are many national concerns affecting our industry, from new state student-data privacy laws that potentially impede on Federal Copyright Law for your images to the new hiring challenges stemming from COVID, government assistance, and simply the life changes people have made while in lockdown, to the ongoing moving targets the CDC, federal and state governments continue to implement due to the new variant. As you move forward with bringing your business back to full-steam, know School Photographers of America is committed to ensuring you can navigate these waters with facts, figures, expertise, and national and state knowledge, so you can focus on growing yourself, your business, and your profits.
So, how do we plan to help you this fall?
Accelerating staffing resources and national marketing for careers in our industry. We have some amazing companies and leaders in this industry. Too often, however, industry members say “school photography”, and unintentionally leave out the labs, the yearbook companies, the software companies, the camera companies, the marketing agencies, the packaging companies, and all the other suppliers allow our school traditions to take shape. Your association’s vision is to create a national commercial, national marketing materials, and a national intern program to grow more interest in careers within all of these fields. We need to share and brag about your successes. This industry tends to have great staff longevity in staff; it truly is an awesome industry to be a part of.
Expanding digital tools to save you time and help you grow your business. Our intentions are to deliver for members by October a robust collection of digital assets for marketing, for human resources, for operations, for sales, and for leadership. In addition, we will continue in October our training series starting and add these to the member portal as well. We have some amazing talent both in our school photography membership as well as with our business partner membership.
Getting you a seat at the table. We have spent a lot of time educating and lobbying for matters like establishing school photographers as essential service providers, removing to barriers of entry, and simply explaining and educating legislatures about our industry and the pivotal role photography plays in the safety and security of students and schools. In addition, one major focus for our organization will be reimagining how we serve schools. Our industry fundamentally was created to help administrators be better at their jobs by giving the resources to identify students in their schools and districts, all while documenting the progression of kids in their journey through their school-age years. School photography was never meant to be a fundraiser for schools. Our industry has continued to see declines in participation that are directly contributed to the increased costs associated with rebates or commission that have driven consumers away, based on their perceived lack of value for the cost associated with the product. SPOA will be taking major steps in finding ways through state and federal legislation to remedy this behavior and regain value and participation back to all families regardless of their economic status.
Providing world-class training. Between our new partnerships with Dale Carnegie, new certification training with national organizations for photography, and school business official, SPOA is committed to raising the bar on this industry starting in late August. Please keep an eye on registrations. In addition, we could not be more excited about the SPOA International Conference on School Photography & Yearbooks this coming June 9-11, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Between the speakers at both the general sessions and breakout sessions, you and your company will be inspired by proven speakers and trainers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. Department of Education. Please make sure you are pre-registered on our site to earn early discounts and to gain first access to these amazing opportunities.
Your membership and commitment to our industry trade association has never been more important. Our industry drastically needs representation in Washington, D.C., as well as at the state level, to ensure we have a crystal-clear road ahead. That starts with your participation. We need your time and talent, not just your financial commitment. The one thing that has given me more excitement than ever is the rich talent throughout this industry. I have been blessed to have been asked to speak and to attend many of our members' and business partners' meetings. I am simply amazed at the innovation, leadership, and talent that I have witnessed this summer across the country. I could not be more excited for what our future holds in this industry.
If your company has not yet joined SPOA, please ask yourself why not? We need your voice, your time, and your talent to change the direction on participation, on profits, and on career interest. With your company and the companies that have already committed, we can truly make a huge impact not just this year but for generations to come! Join today.
On behalf of the more than 4,300 SPOA members, we hope you will join us in uniting our industry and ensuring that we are in an industry that people are running to, not from. Again, that starts with taking action and helping make a difference for future generations.
It is an honor and privilege to serve our members and this industry. Thank you and I look forward to a bright future for each of you and the companies you represent.
School Photographers of America