Announcing the Grand National Photography Champions – School Photographers of America

SPOA 2022 Fall Underclass Grand Champion – Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co.

Leonard's - Ali Harmon

Grand Champion SPOA 2022 – Creative Open Category – Ali Harmon – Leonard’s

Strawbridge Studios Inc. - Isaac Ulrey

Grand Champion 2022 – School Groups – Isaac Ulrey – Strawbridge Studios Inc.

Photographic Excellence in School and Volume Photography Honored in Houston, Texas at the SPOA International Conference on School Photography and Yearbooks

I was so excited for every finalist and every grand champion. I’m sure many of those schools and districts where the portraits were taken will be just as excited as the photographer who took them.

—David Crandall

GREENSBORO, North Carolina, USA, June 20, 2022 / — School Photographers of America (SPOA) recognized the great champions of the first National Photography Competition 2022 this past Friday, June 10, during the banquet and the association’s awards celebration. The awards banquet was hosted at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, TX for all finalists and their respective companies. In addition, many industry suppliers and business partners were present and commemorated as well.

The great champions were honored with trophies on stage and celebrated for their outstanding performance.
“This new national competition promotes healthy competition while raising the level of photographic quality across the country in many areas of school photography,” said David Crandall, Executive Director, SPOA. “From portraits of preschoolers to high school, school photography is one of America’s rich traditions and a strategic partner for all American schools. Our images are a key part of school safety initiatives as well as a lifetime memory.

The Grand Champions are:

Preschool – Autumn Portraits
• Pictures of the school

Preschool – Graduation Portraits
• Chastity Mata – Photo Texas Photography

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

Subclass – Spring Portraits
• Kym James – Focused School Photography

Class 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 selected)

School Sports – Team – Creative
• Peter Muhly – Photograph by Leonard

Panoramic Large Group
• Darrell Thomas – Cady Studios

Cap and dress portraits
• Eric Patrie – Upstate Images

Ballroom/Dance Portraits
• Chastity Mata – Photo Texas Photography

Elders – Formal Portraits
• Jack Upton – Strawbridge Studios

Seniors – Relaxed Portraits
• Corey Cameron – Cady Studios

Seniors – Lifestyle/Environment
• Peter Muhly – Photograph by Leonard

Seniors – Creative/Open
• Joy Horton– Cady Studios

School buildings
• Peter Muhly – Photograph by Leonard

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

The contest featured two rounds of online judging, using the Launchpad6 photography contest website to facilitate the contest and judging. The judges used a standard rubric to facilitate scoring. All identifying data has been removed so judges can only see the image when entering their score. The first round was facilitated by the photography industry committee. The second and final round was represented by a retired school photographer with over 30 years of experience as a judge, who is also a certified master photographer, as well as a Sony Artisan photographer, a school district leader and a state education leader. This provides the most balanced and fair judging experience possible.

“Watching the expressions of the photographers who won and took to the stage made this contest so amazing,” says Crandall. “I was so excited for every finalist and every grand champion. I’m sure many of those schools and districts where the portraits were taken will be just as excited as the photographer who took them. I’m so excited for all of the winners. and the students, staff, and schools that have enabled them to facilitate their art in such incredible ways.

School Photographers of America (SPOA) was formed in 2020 on behalf of school portrait studios to defend and protect their copyrights, and to establish and govern sound standards and best practices for the school photography industry . This will ensure that school photography remains a rich tradition in schools across North America.

To learn more about SPOA, visit or email David Crandall at [email protected]


Contact: David Crandall
Email: [email protected]

David Crandall
School Photographers of America
+1 615-924-4780
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Michael E. Marquez