SPOA announces finalists for 2023 National School Photographic Competition

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Sample entries from the 2023 contest.

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
Corallyn 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  American Photo Marketing Multiple
Tanya Saenz  Photo Texas Photography Single
Kamil Scislowicz  Visual Image Photography Single
Timothy Smith  Upstate Images Single
Stephaine Staley  HR Imaging Single
Alexis Stewart  Edge Imaging Single
Dana Stiefel  American Photo Marketing Multiple
Jake Tenner  Upstate Images Single
Tom Thomasino  HR Imaging Single
Will Thorne  American Photo Marketing 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  American Photo Marketing Multiple
Zack Zeinz  Visual Image Photography Single
Clara Zonis  Upstate Images Single

The competition uses an 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, 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 to 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