National School Picture Day is Sept. 8

The national trade association for school photography and yearbooks, School Photographers of America (SPOA) announced National School Picture Day is Sept. 8, 2022. This year, the celebration is even more impressive as it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the school picture tradition.

“Each year approximately 53 million students have their smiles captured through the craft of school photography,” says David Crandall, executive director, SPOA. “Further, these pictures not only celebrate and commemorate a student’s journey in their education, but schools also rely on our photography for essential services we provide on school safety initiatives.”

Crandall notes, from the beginning, school photography has had an important role for schools and districts. The industry got its start when Edwin C. Broome, the superintendent of schools of the Philadelphia School System in 1922, asked his good friend, S.P. Barksdale, to help him with a problem. Schools were making folders for students’ cumulative records and his principals realized they wanted a picture to go in the file. Schools were growing in size, and it was becoming hard for administrators to keep a name with a face. Barksdale, then an employee of camera maker Wilson Magazine Company, agreed to help come up with a plan as long as he could sell photos to parents. The two then facilitated the first school picture day in Broome’s school district in PA. From there, an industry was born…and the tradition of heartwarming smiles captured in schools has continued.

As the national trade association, SPOA is leading the way to bring standards, support and recognition to this profession. National School Picture Day is just one example of these activities.

Crandall explains that school pictures are just one of many other key activities the association is working on. Other activities and initiatives include ensuring school safety through a new digital student identification program, safeguarding student privacy, the removal of rebating or school commissions, relations and standards with the secondary yearbook industry, guidelines and standards for school administrative software, copyright protections and building a foundation with educators to fund school pictures and yearbooks to displaced students and families that may not be able to participate otherwise.