THE UNABRIDGED HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA
School Photographers Association of California began in 1956 with a group of school photographers from Southern California that would run off to Las Vegas to get together. Just think of these SPAC pioneers as the Rat Pack of School Photographers. In 1961 the School Photographers Association of California Inc. came into being with Louis Bartolo as President and Virginia Ferguson as Secretary.
The yearly meeting continued unabated until the mid 70’s when the members started programming an actual conference with educational speakers and all.
Things got crazy in the 80’s when Gary Kranz added a trade show and by the early 90’s the darn thing got so respectable photographers from around the US started showing up for the educational opportunities and to get one on one time with vendors and photo labs. It became the in place to get the inside secrets of the School Photography industry. The crazy Las Vegas night life was taking a back seat. During the early 2000’s the photographers got rich, fat and lazy and turned the conference over to vendors to run the association with poor results. By the end of the decade attendance was a fraction of what it was and SPAC was broke. In 2010 Gary Kranz loaned SPAC money to get out of debt and twisted the arms of Calvin Harrell and Marty Brown to join the board and give the control back to school photographers. With the help and support of our member photographers who are willing to give of their time and talent SPAC has become the leading independent school photographers association in the world. In the last 3 years we have tripled attendance, doubled the number of vendors and socked away a nest egg that has put us back on a sound financial footing.
Heck, we even added a SPAC University that helps new photographers learn the necessary skills that it takes to excel in the world of volume photography thanks to Chris Wunder.
SPAC now presents the largest independent school and sport photographers conference and trade show in the world. With photographers from 7 different countries and over 35 of our states the party has only gotten bigger.
This year we are on track to have our largest attendance ever, with continued top notch education!