The Dead Pixels Society podcast

David Crandall of the School Photographers of America

July 30, 2020 Gary Pageau Season 1 Episode 13
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
David Crandall of the School Photographers of America
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
David Crandall of the School Photographers of America
Jul 30, 2020 Season 1 Episode 13
Gary Pageau

Gary Pageau of The Dead Pixels Society talks with David Crandall, the executive director of the new industry association, the School Photographers of America. Crandall discusses how School Photographers of America will take the issues facing volume photographers direct to decision-makers, how it will pursue policies, and ways industry members can become more involved.

School Photographers of America was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic when the entire United States closed down schools in March of 2020.  With no school picture days and the country in a financial crisis, health pandemic and with unemployment at a historic high, Crandall (then a Strawbridge Studios Inc. sales executive) had a vision to rally the industry to protect all school photographers' copyrights and raise awareness of our industry, as so many small businesses were being left behind by government aid.

Show Notes Transcript

Gary Pageau of The Dead Pixels Society talks with David Crandall, the executive director of the new industry association, the School Photographers of America. Crandall discusses how School Photographers of America will take the issues facing volume photographers direct to decision-makers, how it will pursue policies, and ways industry members can become more involved.

School Photographers of America was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic when the entire United States closed down schools in March of 2020.  With no school picture days and the country in a financial crisis, health pandemic and with unemployment at a historic high, Crandall (then a Strawbridge Studios Inc. sales executive) had a vision to rally the industry to protect all school photographers' copyrights and raise awareness of our industry, as so many small businesses were being left behind by government aid.

Gary Pageau  0:02  
Hello again and welcome to another episode. The dead pixels society podcast today we're joined by David Crandall, the executive director of the new Industry Association of School photographers of America. Hello, David, how are you today?

David Crandall  1:12  
I'm doing great. Good to be here.

Gary Pageau  1:15  
So this is a brand new Association. As far as I know, it's officially launched in May or June.

David Crandall  1:22  
We actually started to form the second week of March when school started to start closing and bring...

Gary Pageau  1:31  
Great timing!

David Crandall  1:33  
there's no doubt the we truly came together. I think it was March 27. For our first real phone call, about what direction and what this could look like in the future. And then by mid April, we had already started to send bylaws and an operational agreement to everyone and started off as an LLC before transitioning into 501 c six trade association.

Gary Pageau  2:03  
So tell us a little bit about you where you're coming from. On what basis do you have the background to run a school Photographers Association? Sure.

David Crandall  2:14  
So my career started really, probably at the age of seven, my mom was a territory manager for LifeTouch in South Carolina. And my Saturdays usually consisted of sitting in front of the TV like many kids watching cartoons, except I would strip envelopes and pull money backs. And then by the time I was 14, I was really excited to love photography and went to my first senior training by a gentleman by the name of Les Conrad, and proceeded just to be in a studio and when I wasn't a school, I was taking pictures, and then proceeded to graduate from high school, move on to Clemson University and during the summers would work in the studio with seniors and photograph candids and was on yearbook staff and from there, graduated from Clemson and LifeTouch hired me directly into a program called career track that trained you to be a territory manager and moved around for a little bit and settled in Greensboro, North Carolina for a second territory where we grew from a territory of roughly five individuals up to about 75 individuals so large volume of calls in schools before I then transitioned into a national sales role, where I managed the bids and RFPs across the country and then transitioned into strategic partnerships which worked with educational associations. A sa and a ESP and a SSP. All the educational associations and then transition from that to a territory and Nashville, Tennessee, before leaving them to come to Strawbridge studios, where I am the director of marketing and sales and have that's where I currently reside. I'm currently working to train my two individuals to take on the role that I was doing.

Gary Pageau  4:31  
It's going to take two people. No, no, your job is what? That key?

David Crandall  4:37  
No, no, not at all. They're the focus is having one one focus on marketing and one focus on sales. Okay. And we have we've grown exponentially here in strobridge. And it's the jobs just yield that in general, so we've had significant growth the last seven years and then I plan To once we're fully in a capacity from funding and operational to transition out of Strawbridge in October, November timeframe, allowing me to transition some chips and other pieces of the business. So

Gary Pageau  5:17  
So tell us a little bit about the mission of the school photographers of America. It does have a, it does seem to be like it's going to be very active organization. It's not a just a industry gathering group and it will actually have a mission to advocate for the industry. Can you talk a little bit about that?

David Crandall  5:39  
Absolutely. We, first and foremost, I'm blessed to be surrounded by two incredible boards. The end of vigils and leaders that make up these boards make it almost impossible to fail. We we fundamentally believe that Over the last 20 years in our industry that just some really unhealthy business practices have have happened and been allowed. And it's pretty much unsustainable. You don't find many other industries that do the quote unquote, free services and work for other organizations and still continue to stay relevant. And AP has had absolutely devastating impacts on on the business as is in the case of whether you define it as rebaiting or commissions at the school level, which is absolutely taken some schools mostly in the southeast, but it's it's spread in different parts of the country, where just as the price has gone up on pictures, because the companies are offering larger incentives. Unfortunately, what is done is it's priced them out of the market. Mom, moms have just said hey, you know, it's not worth it, I'm not paying that exorbitant fee for pictures but when you price it right, you know you still have markets across the country regardless of the demographic and socioeconomic and you'll still have 70 80% by rates you just have to have the right price value.

Gary Pageau  7:20  
That's kind of a dicey area for us for a trade association to be involved in obviously pricing issues your you might run into you know, collusion type allegations and things like that. Can you tell I doesn't sound to me like you're really talking about setting prices as much as setting policies

David Crandall  7:39  
we 100% has nothing to do with pricing. It's more of the educational side of from a marketing standpoint, what what has happened, which has made parents stop purchasing, alright, but when it comes to those practices, you have state policies and different states Purchasing policies that either prohibit the rebaiting or Commission on images and school pictures, or how that's done. I mean, there are some companies that come into the marketplace that quote unquote, say, Hey, I'm going to give a school blah, blah, blah, percent commission, they turn around and give that school gift cards instead. Now that not only is in breach of state law, it's probably in breach of certain federal laws too, because it puts that administrator or the person being given that money on discretionary funds to be able to spend whenever whatever or they could potentially use it for personal and those business practices. We want to bring a stop to that it's healthy for everyone. It protects the schools, the educators then we would not be in business. If education was not supportive of us and also the tradition that's just been created by school pictures.

Gary Pageau  9:00  
So one of the things I used to hear back in the day was, you know, the rebate, the Commission, the, you know, was really like you had was an industry practice you had to have, because it was something that, you know, the school is expected they budgeted for it to some extent. So how are you going to talk to schools about you know, replacing that revenue, right? If they're if they're expecting X amount of revenue, and maybe they were allocating some of that money for books or the prom or something? What What is the case for school to say, You're right, I don't want to offer a rebate anymore.

David Crandall  9:43  
Well, that's a it's hard to do a broad stroke across the country because ever each and every market so unique and different, but for the most part, nationally, there has been a significant trend, especially The newer, younger generations of administrative leaders in education, they want to give the lowest possible price they would much rather have more parents be able to participate. Then type of funding back, they look at their PTA, as a as an opportunity if they need things for them to be able to raise money. And also, just the industry's changed the days of those contracts being so large, you can go back, you know, even 15 years ago, a high school in the southeast, it was very common that the contract wasn't even a percentage. It was an administrator looking at you going alright, so if you can pay me $17,000 you can have my contract. But that was back in the day that you were taking proms and they were 1015 $20,000 sales. And as anybody that's listening this podcast, it actually deals with school photography knows that you're lucky if you sell 10 packages at prom today. Moms, you know, the creation of the iPhones and digital technology just as eroded many of those special event type opportunities. And you know, there's just a lot more competition out there. So those sales are not the size of that they used to be. So many schools have already looked at different avenues. Doing they're doing everything from marathons to five K's to selling cookies and cookie dough and popcorn and they've replaced the fundraising mechanism. But unfortunately, there's still a group out there that still targets that. They just the world around them can change, but they still can't comprehend the concept that maybe I should mark up my picture so high when only 19% of my families are actually even buying a package anymore. Right.

Gary Pageau  11:49  
Right. So tell don't tell us a little bit about kind of the origins of the organization. You said it started in March or so right when COVID was starting to hit COVID part of the discussion, or was it sort of the more Was it the thing that that kicked it off into high gear?

David Crandall  12:07  
Think it's without question kicked it off into high gear for the mere fact that just we're not united as an industry when you when you started on March 2, look at my calendar, about March the 17th. is when you started to see industries come together in Washington looking for whether it be you defined it as bailout, or financial assistance and those type of packages being placed into policy and legislation. And you're not going to hear anything in the School of photography industry because we're not united and we don't have a voice. We don't have a voice to sit back in and literally go, how can we be safe? Why Why are we not labeled essential when you when you sit back and look, you know To this day, interview a sheriff interview a any police officer, the first easiest thing to do to recover a missing child is a recent school picture. When you have states that have ID cards in high schools mandatory and yet, when you talk to most administrators, when you talk to people, they think school pictures is just a minimal part of their day. But you look at a year like this year, and we're seniors weren't able to have a graduation, seniors played spring sports were not able to be recognized and what did every administrator rush to, but those pictures to be able to celebrate those kids their journey. So I think there's there's definitely an opportunity for us to unite. And to make sure that schools alike understand what we stand for and the services that we provide are insanely valuable to them and to their their students, their parents, the community. And we just have not done a great job collectively, at marketing that. And when you all come together, we can obviously do everything from the standpoint of just telling our story, making sure that people understand the rich tradition of school photography, one company might not be able to nationally advertise that. But when they all come together, that budget changes a little bit and allows for a type of opportunity. So

Gary Pageau  14:31  
so so as a industry awareness campaign, is that part of the agenda? And what will be the message? I mean, I'm sure it's early, but what is the message on something like that?

David Crandall  14:43  
So it's a multi prong approach. So right now, we're educating at the Senate House representative level. So just making sure they understand there's a group what we do and how we interact with schools, whether it be from administrative software to students safety, we're also doing that at the state level at the department's of education. We're sending the same communications to every state Educational Association, for attendance to the principal's to the the national level as well and to PTA, then once we start to not just educate and get engaged and and make sure that we have some taskforce in place, partnerships and alliances with some of these associations, so that we can educate and make sure that we're giving them the products and services that they need to do their jobs more effectively. Obviously, Win Win partnerships are what we're striving to achieve, but at the exact same time then starting to go How can we collaborate and use our resources together to do a national campaign about school photography. Purchase, why is it so amazing? To keep and watch your child's journey from preschool all the way to their senior year and even their collegiate years, when you sit back and you look at most graduates, what are they sending out, you know, some sort of a card of their senior pictures along sometimes with their kindergarten and those preschool years, just to kind of show the growth and the journey that they've had in their educational experience. And there's no better way of doing that through and through school photography.

Gary Pageau  16:31  
If anything, COVID is kind of woken people up to things they're missing, right? Like, like, you know, I don't think anyone who had a high school senior though in the past school year, or is very happy with how other people school year ended, you know, there's all kinds of events. We've all seen people try to do different things with drive bys and virtual graduations and things like that. But it's really not the same. And with the upcoming school year, you know, questions there, how active Are you going to be in those discussions?

David Crandall  17:10  
Again, that's one of the beautiful things about coming together when we did now we can't. Again, there's not a easy answer that question because it depends on where you are in the country. But we are seeing outstanding conversations with superintendents, other educational leaders and status, Asians and learning, how can school photography still be a part of their school year, whether it's e learning or virtual learning? And, you know, some of that is is you know, you have some states that and some districts that they're bringing back K through eight and their picture days are just going to be normal. And hopefully we're through this mess and, you know, late October, early November, the high schools in the secondary will be photograph Other areas you're you're going right back to school picture day is going to look different and be socially distance there's going to be hand sanitizer, masks and all those types of differences.

Gary Pageau  18:13  
Tankless is the phrase I've been hearing

David Crandall  18:15  
it is there's no doubt but you know in the industry you have some that promote you know, contact lists in the sense that no paper no anything and I you know, sit back and go we we as an organization don't promote that because you're talking about equity for all there's so many families in the country that desperately wanted you know, just one small picture of their job,

Gary Pageau  18:39  
they get that

David Crandall  18:40  
they don't, I don't have a bank account, they don't have an email address and so they need to be able to pay in cash or pay in a cheque. So we we want hundred percent promote that, you know, as long as a family wants something, your organization needs to be able to I betting those same organizations You get a school district purchasing manager superintendent, they would probably say the same thing. You'd be able to accept all payments for these, these students.

Gary Pageau  19:09  
All right. Yeah, that was one of my questions about the upcoming school year was because I've been hearing different things. You know, I'm in Michigan, and they've had various conversations here about like some schools opening up two days a week, right, going virtual, the next three and whatever, and it made me really start thinking about what is the place for school photography in those hybrid environments or virtual environments? You know, so what are your

David Crandall  19:41  
shirt that answer that one actually, the the ABA, ABA model could be an amazing thing for our industry. And if you are, I saw someone post on LinkedIn the other day. You know, our minds are like parachutes. They they only They only help you if you open your mind. And you open your shoot the idea that instead of sending hypothetically four cameras to one picture day, and now you're doing two cameras over two days, it's not a bad thing. You know, it's interesting to speak to an end to have first hand experience there was, there's a time in my life where I'd stretched my calendar so far. I had booked a school and in the rural area of North Carolina and Greensboro and I didn't have enough cameras available on that day and I begged the principal Can I just do it over two days? We've never done it that way. And we made the switch and and I kid you not. She as long as she was the principal of that school, she was like, David, this is the greatest thing we ever did. I just like them makeup day. It's not as chaotic in the gym. It was just controlled. So you know sometimes we have to Look at how things are given to us and do the best in what we can. And I look at that as being highly profitable and a fantastic opportunity to still conduct picture days when it comes to elearning. As long as in school photography you're doing, you're following the CDC and both your state and local legislators, you can easily partner there's tons of scheduling programs out there that would love to earn your business and do a phenomenal job just giving a simple URL that is pushed out by the school that says, hey, we're having picture day today. There's, you know, hypothetically, it's, you know, two families or two students every five minutes. And when you sit down and you think about that you're on a picture day, say from 830 to 330. In a gym, you're not going to have a line, you're not going to have backup and it's going to be it's going to flow really well and now you start looking at the communication, so many school photographers In our industry, so we can blame this on our own industry. schools today communicate with families like six different ways. Yet most school photographers, pre COVID still did business the same way it was done 30 years ago. That's where the envelope, right. And you know, what COVID has done is radically progressed everyone to embrace technology differently. And it may be new to you, but it's not new to these schools. You know, your average administrator is communicating to parents via text message, phone message, some sort of a send home on Facebook, and then on Twitter, right. So parents are used to having multiple platforms to find out what do I need tomorrow. And unfortunately, we as an industry haven't done a great job at that. This has forced our hand and the companies that embrace that and give parents that opportunity. If you come to a school with a solution, they're going to open the door, but if you come to a school without it without a plan without a program, good luck on learning days. So it really just boils down to how organized Are you in? Do you have a very effective plan?

Gary Pageau  23:09  
Yeah, that was always one of the things that for school photography companies, I always thought that was sort of a weakness isn't that they sort of allowed the, or by contract were restricted to, from contacting the parents directly, right. They had the school had to be basically the conduit through which all communication went through. And that's going to change over the years as more digital technology has come up, and people can now order reprints and tchotchkes and mugs and ornaments and all those things directly from the lab. So that's changing, but you're right for the most part, the the process itself has been very analog,

David Crandall  23:50  
very much so very much. So it just with these new scheduling platforms, or in some cases companies have been doing for a long time. It's not rocket science, the link gets sent out and parents go to login and guess what they do when they're logging in, they're getting their email their cell phone number, so you can communicate with them maybe and they're giving it to you by their permission at that point.


Gary Pageau  24:17  
tell us a little bit about the timetable on which you're operating. You said, you know, earlier you started in March and then Jr. put out some things and then obviously, in the fall is when the shooting season actually kicks in. But as you know, as an association, you work endlessly on that schedule.

David Crandall  24:35  
So, really, so from a nutshell, just kind of say how we got started, I probably called and left messages for like 30 companies. If you can imagine. during that first three weeks of March, I want anyone to think about a quote unquote, you think salesperson trying to get through when you're trying to figure out the schools closing down and all that type of stuff. And I was simply calling to say Hey, are you interested in having a conversation about creating a trade association? I got many phone calls back also. any phone calls back some people asked like how did you get the companies that are there? It my answers the same thing I called everybody it's who picked up the phone. All right on to the email. I was blessed to have interstate Strawbridge Dorian HR imaging GPI Wagner lenaerts photo Texas, Katie and VIP and myself kind of all stay on the call, we had other people's on the call at the beginning. And then some people weren't able to say on or dropped off or whatever the case may be. And then we move forward. We've we built a bylaws that basically stated, we're going to have a governing board that truly manages the association from afar hire an executive director that is managed by that governing board and then they're going to approve that policies to make sure we're not doing anything that would be in breach of any type of government or federal laws. And then we'll have an executive board very common to many many things. We we wrote in for other seats, those are at large seats that will be to owner slash executive seats to photographer seats. The two photographer seats was something I was passionate about. I've worked in now to you know, LifeTouch being the largest Strawbridge being the third largest in the industry. And the greatest sales people I've ever met in my career. And there's been some great ones on both sides. None ain't none came from the outside. All of them started behind the camera. They, they they were passionate about school photography. They knew how hard it is to do. And they never really sold out of bounds because they knew it could it couldn't be photographed. So I was very Passionate to tell the group that I think we need two people that are active photographers and I got no buck on it at all. So very excited about that we already have filled the two at large CEOs. That's Michael Bell, from Bell photographers. And then Mike Harris from Victor O'Neal.

And then I'm still in the process of interviewing we had about somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 responses to the photographer's I've narrowed it down to about 30 with the resumes and I'm on about 22 phone calls in doing them for those seats. And and we have a number of new companies that have joined our board too. So the goal there being how do you create an organization that represents all in the industry and when you look at that some of those companies might have just 200 150 in some cases, 90 schools and then you have some in the thousands Right. So it's a really good representation of the entire industry and market leaders, and it's got the quote unquote mom and pops as well. What I'm super excited was is to be the one that gets to help lead the charge as the executive director and I hit a point in my career where after roughly 14 years of living on airplanes and being a national sales, I started to recognize I was doing vacations with friends and customers and other states, not even in my own neighborhood. And I got to hit my wall of travel. So this is really what excited me is that I live all of four and a half, five hours away from Washington DC, be able to do some lobbying myself and partnerships with some of the national associations. And our goal is is truly to have myself one other kind of a communications marketing position. And probably to other intern writers, maybe marketing to be a part of the association full time by December. And then the following year have, obviously we're going to move forward with everything from different types of training. And man, there's so many things we haven't discussed. I mean, some of the big tickets that we're looking at, is creating a vehicle and a platform for school photography companies and photography companies alike to meet the third party requirements given by the Department of Education and the firm. And one of the things that is needed is an organization that kind of police's that and watches it, but also supports it and make sure that the right behaviors are happening, and it's unfortunate. We've got some software companies or industry I have four children myself, I can go log on to one of their as at a charter school and go log on to their homework. screen, and lo and behold, guess what's in the top left corner, their school picture, and you can right click and download it because that software company put in a function that you put you put in the child's portrait, but they never protected it. That's a breach of copyright law, right? But who's do anything about it? And that's really where our organization is going to find another opportunity to ensure that our photographers and our members are protected. And we're going to police that and go after those companies on their behalf. So there's a lot of different things. This organization has a lot of different legs. And obviously, we want to create a meeting place in a platform, whether that's a conference and whatever that looks like. All companies, not just the small ones, but not just the big ones but everyone and to engage and learn and be a part not just always having, quote unquote vendors and other people in our industry to speak during our Side executives, you know, you could think of, you know, whether it's Starbucks or target and other companies that have executives have worked in associations that are great speakers that can provoke thought in mind to all and then who, if not, the most important we should bring to our organization to talk to us, is some of the educational leaders. So tenants to kind of, you know, people sit back and try to have sales strategy, why not just listen to your educators and what they want, how to how to speak to them, to their office, how to gain an appointment instead of being sold. Hey, if you listen to my model, you're going to retire in five years, really. So why don't you just engage with some real life educators and sit back and listen to what they have to say, and then build your your fundamental business around that.

Gary Pageau  31:54  
So the organization is still evolving and sounds like but it's also sounds like so Kind of concrete ideas. One of them is copyright defense and supporting those ideas. So I'm sure there'll be a lot of partnerships and I mean, like minded conversations you could have with PPA and some of the other organizations that are involved in copyright. So that that gives you a good crowd hang with, I think,

David Crandall  32:25  
yeah, it's it's not just it's also the licensing piece apart that a lot of organizations have not embraced. But the thought of being able to give kids the opportunity to have their favorite pro sports or their you know, think of Walt Disney, and the opportunity for an organization to be able to provide a vehicle and a platform for you to be able to use somehow collaborate in those that those worlds and have a legal side that maybe you as a small company couldn't do that. Maybe that was a platform for you. But yeah, you'd be able To license some of those things.

Gary Pageau  33:03  
Okay, so what see you said, you know, conferences possibly events, and you've been in conversations you said earlier before the call was SPAC about possible cooperation there?

David Crandall  33:15  
Sure. Absolutely. Be. We're all ears to what that could look like.

Gary Pageau  33:20  
Yeah. So I guess that's my that's my inference there is you're really open to speaking to all areas of the school photography industry. that's out there right now,

David Crandall  33:33  
very much. And we are we're really excited that we've created a two new pieces. It's not on our website, because our websites being changed as we speak. It should be up in the next two weeks, but we're adding a preschool segment to the executive board. So that there's there's kind of another segment of our industry out there that doesn't really have a voice either, and it's the preschool side That seats gonna be held by Keith Tippett of Wonder Year Portraits, and then we're adding a, what used to be the PSPI or former PSPA Digital guidelines, all moved into School Photographers of America, a gentleman by th name of David Lake from Interstate Studios. And we're rebuilding that committee. I have been blessed to receive and take phone calls from almost every major publisher at this point. Over the last couple of years, the publishers that really not all the major ones had a had a seat, or really cared to show up to that table. And an olive branch really probably was never really put out there. So I've done that. And then we're also going to add a segment that in a subcommittee that I'm going to lead with the publishing industry on how can our two industries coincide and work together Gather better, so that we can both keep our traditions alive and growing. Because there's no doubt there's been a massive hit to that industry as well. Sometimes, unfortunately, our two industries haven't played nice, you know, heaven forbid. So my my goal is is, you know, there, there's definitely times that everyone needs to stay in their lane and do what they do. But there's also an opportunity that we have that how can we better work with one another to grow both the yearbook segment of the industry and the school photography side of the of the industry without hurting each other, if that makes sense? So

Gary Pageau  35:44  
Sure. What I find interesting about what you've been mentioning is you haven't really been talking a lot about technology, which I find kind of refreshing and today because it seems like there's a lot of technological discussions around either delivering school photos or creating your books through, you know, portals and download links and all these things, which I think are part of the future, and certainly part of the present, but don't really address some of the core issues that you've been describing.

David Crandall  36:20  
Absolutely. When I sit back and I think about, you know, there, there needs to be a great deal. We want to make sure that we listen to mom, and whether she's buying a yearbook or pictures. Absolutely we do. But we also want to cherish our tradition, which is a print image, there's no question. The thought that you walk in a person's home and it's just all gray walls. It doesn't give that that family feel. And we still want to encourage moms and dads to buy a yearbook into my pictures to hang on their walls and create that sense of home. However, with that, we do want to give them technology to mom and dad to be able to order, what they want how they want when they want it. But I also want to discourage organizations that want to do nothing. But you know, I saw one the other day of someone you know bragging about a new product where kids would take their own picture and submit that, as you know, a yearbook image and an ID card and all those other things. And I'm like, why would you ever be in this industry and try to create something that diminishes all that what we stand for?

Gary Pageau  37:33  
So that was a that was a school photography industry company that had done that

David Crandall  37:39  
It's just like you scratch your head. The only reason the only reason we that people could disagree with me, I make no bones. I've been in sales and national sales best my life. I'm very, very open to the fact that everyone has opinions and not all of them are always correct, but I was I'd say, we all have jobs. Because we have a tradition. That's it, there was no tradition for school pictures in the US. Were irrelevant at that point, right? There is a tradition to take school pictures, and the thought of eroding that in any shape, way, shame on you. So that's one of the things that we want to do is as an organization is make sure we protect that protect the protect the schools, and make sure that they don't do anything or a company that does go photography, does something that could erode that and take school pictures away, take you know, whether it's image transmission to, you know, something none of us are thinking of, you know, there needs to be an organization that anybody should be able to come in and start a business and have at least an outlet, a resource to look at and go if I I'm going to get into school pictures, what do I need to know? And what do I need to do and what laws to do it here, and there's not really a good resource for that right now. What we want to do is do that there's, there's always, anybody that's been in this business long enough can attest to this, you'll you'll have a district or a let's call it a small district, and you've got a elementary middle school in high school, and a mother or father that happened to weddings and families in town. Got their kids now a freshman in the high school, and they make a pitch to the school to do pictures for all three schools. Great, I'm not I'm not against that. But they don't, they didn't do any research. They all they saw was a money opportunity. No pictures. They turn around, they realize they can't do the ID cards. They didn't partner with a solid lab to be able to coach them through production software and all the services that they need. They just stayed with who they were doing to do family pictures, and it's a train wreck right? Now all of a sudden, that school district calls you back. And I'm so sorry, we should never have left you and you go back. Do you know what happens to sales that next year, even though it's your company, the company that no one had a problem with? They dropped by like 35% because of the behavior of the company that didn't know what they were doing. Right? We want to do is mitigate that I'm not I don't want to stop that company from doing that. We want to educate that company. So they're going to get in the business Don't ruin the the tradition in a market. Right? Know what you're doing before you go in, and poison the well, right. Yeah, and for some reason, I don't know why. Again, I kind of like the thought that I'm 45 and still have a long life to live, even though in the industry since I was 15. That I let the sit back and think why don't we want to share that. I don't understand that that concept. Like if we all get better. Competition is a good thing makes us stronger. It makes us

Gary Pageau  41:03  
So well, you know, that was always one of the things back in the pspa days was the there was a lot of information sharing back then, really, you know, that is kind of what the industry is kind of built on. But there anybody, right, I mean, there there is sometimes a territorial feel, obviously with some people, proprietary processes within their organization. And I don't think you're talking about sharing. I think what you're talking about is basically you know, if you're gonna like you said approaches school because you're a weekend shooter and you think you can do the job. You should be aware of what the job actually is. It's more than just making smiley faces with a background.

David Crandall  41:40  
Absolutely. Absolutely. So and again, the goal there being rising tides raise all ships, and that is whether it's training, better competition, better access to resources, one of the one of the things that I'm working on right now, which is amazing from the front Back to the two companies I've worked for before. Like, there's not really a solid resource guide, if you want to get into this industry, like, I don't care, if you're looking for camera cases, to composite software to all the different scheduling software to CRM, there's not really kind of a guide that says, hey, here's all the different companies that really work in this industry. So one of the things we're building within our platform of our website for our members is that once you log in, there's a resource guide. And it's going to give you all the different plants and all the different software's and then it's going to allow our own members to go on and kind of give feedback on each company and what their experience has been. That way it kind of educates people at the exact same time, you know, I wouldn't be a good executive director of school photography company, if I didn't print it and put in some sort of a yearbook for two Send to our members. So, you know, just providing resources for everyone. And, you know, is very interesting when you dig in and start looking at all the different business partners that people have. You know, those are things that you're like, Hey, we never knew that. And if that helps another organization, fantastic, you know, just one more feather in our cap for our purpose and the health and support of the industry.

Gary Pageau  43:28  
Well, I think it's an important idea to build that web resource, especially now that you know, business travel is gonna be limited for some time, whether or not you know, schools are in session, there still won't be a lot of business travel over the next, depends on who you talk to. the next six months, yep. So if you're planning to go to a photo show, you know, to see, you know, photographic equipment or whatnot, it's probably not going to happen.

David Crandall  44:00  
So you know, that's, that's one of the reasons that we're in the, my father owned a hv AC company. And I happen to go to a trade show for that industry. And it's it's interesting, you're there and it's it doesn't even feel like there's competition you're there with companies that have one truck or two trucks with companies that are in all 50 states that have, you know, thousands of trucks and it doesn't matter. They're there to learn to educate their their, quote, service technicians and the vendors are there to sell to the one truck and to the national company. And we just as an as an or as an industry, we haven't had that type of professional association to bring that to the forefront for everyone to serve the you know, you look at a large company like LifeTouch that truly has been the leader in our industry have, you know you have to sit back and go have have has an industry association given value for them to bring whether it's their territory managers or some senior leadership, sales professionals, photographers? Are they coming to learn anything? Are they setting the bar at themselves? You as an organization, you better you better step your game up if you want to sell to create a value for the inner states of the world the lifetime of the world. The Strawbridge isn't the world, the dorians of the world, right oxtails that have set the standard for this industry. So, you know, that's our ultimate goal is to be able to serve everyone and the betterment of school photography. And you know, and it's great because even if you're not a member, you're gonna see benefits. But obviously, we would love for everyone to join our group, and join the cause and be a part of what we're trying to create. That is just a healthy industry again.

Gary Pageau  46:02  
And if that appeals to you, as a listener, where would you go for information?

David Crandall  46:10  
If you just simply went to our website,, there's ways to join individually right now our governing board is sitting back based on COVID-19. What we've asked his company leaders, they go, "Hey, I definitely want to be a part of this." Just join as a CEO level suite, join, get, you're going to get a phone call from me. And we're going to, we're going to sit and talk one on one and then I'm going to start sharing with you some of the resources that we already have for our members. Get you acquainted to whether you want to serve on a committee or be a part of leadership in any way shape, or form and advocacy day coming up in September, that we're asking everybody to do at their own state level. But we're governing board is working on a company membership. The company membership obviously is what floats the entire organization. And then it's going to be the business partnerships tradeshow training, the legal piece that I shared with you and then some other future pieces that will create revenue streams to help support the organization in the future. Hmm.

Gary Pageau  47:22  
Great. Well, thank you very much, David for your time and I hope you have a great weekend.

David Crandall  47:28  
Absolutely. Thank you as well is great speaking with you.

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