School Photographers of America announces 2022 National Photographic Competition winners

School Photographers of America (SPOA) recognized the grand champions of the first 2022 National Photographic Competition this past Friday, June 10, at during the association’s awards banquet and celebration. The awards banquet was hosted at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas for all the finalists and their respective companies.  In addition, many industry suppliers and business partners were in attendance and commemorated as well.

The grand champions were honored with trophies on stage and were celebrated for their outstanding performance.

“This new national competition promotes healthy competition while increasing the level of photographic quality across the country in many of the areas of school photography,” says David Crandall, executive director, SPOA. “From preschool to high-school senior portraits, school photography is one of America’s rich traditions and a strategic partner of all U.S. schools. Our images are a key component of school safety initiatives as well as a lifetime keepsake.”

The Grand Champions are:

Preschool – Fall Portraits
• Schoolhouse Pictures

Preschool – Graduation Portraits
• Chastity Mata – Photo Texas Photography

Underclass – Fall Portraits
• Sarah Ries – Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co.

Underclass – Spring Portraits
• Kym James – Focused School Photography

Classroom Groups – Traditional
• Isaac Ulrey – Strawbridge Studios

School Staff Groups
• Peter Kramer – GPI – Geskus Photography

School Sports – Individual Portraits
• Peter Muhly – Leonard’s

School Sports – Team – Traditional
• Jen Adamo – Strawbridge Studios (Two entries chosen)

School Sports – Team – Creative
• Peter Muhly – Leonard’s Photography

Large Group Panoramic

• Darrell Thomas – Cady Studios

Cap & Gown Portraits
• Eric Patrie – Upstate Images

Prom/Dance Portraits
• Chastity Mata – Photo Texas Photography

Seniors – Formal Portraits
• Jack Upton – Strawbridge Studios

Seniors – Casual
• Corey Cameron – Cady Studios

Seniors – Lifestyle/Environmental
• Peter Muhly – Leonard’s Photography

Seniors – Creative/Open
• Joy Horton– Cady Studios

School Buildings
• Peter Muhly – Leonard’s Photography

Photographer – Creative/Open
• Alissa Harmon – Leonard’s, Photography

The competition had two rounds of online judging, using the Launchpad6 photography contest website to facilitate the contest and judging.  Judges used a standard rubric to facilitate scoring. All identifying data was removed so judges could only see the image when inputting their score. The first round was facilitated by the industry photography committee. The second and final round was represented by a retired school photographer with more than 30 years of judging experience who is also a Certified Master Photographer, as well as a Sony Artisan photographer, a school district leader, and a state educational leader. This provides the most well-rounded and fair judging experience possible.

“Watching the expression on the photographers that won and came on stage made this competition so amazing,” says Crandall. “I was so excited for each finalist and each grand champion. I am sure many of these schools and districts where the portraits were taken will be just as excited as the photographer that took them.  I am so excited for all the winners and the students, staff, and schools that allowed them the opportunity to facilitate their art in such amazing ways.”