History of the Seattle Professional Photographers Association

In 1945, as World War II came to an end, a group of enterprising Washington State professional photographers decided it was time for them to call a truce among themselves as well. They banded together and took the necessary steps to form a professional photographers association. Prior to then a veil of secrecy, and a fear of other photographers, prevailed.

They agreed they would open their hearts, as well as their darkrooms, which had been off limits to their fierce competitors.

Among this pioneering group were: John Ralston, Earl Kennell, Sam Walters, Russ Clift, Bill Hildebrand, and Roger Dudley Sr. Before long a group of photographers left and formed the Professional Photographers of Washington. The original group became the Professional Photographers of Seattle. The name was later change to Seattle Professional Photographers Association.

Since the beginning in 1945 many changes have taken place in this association. There have been productive years as well as weak years, but a constant effort has been made to enhance the image of professional photography. Among the many promotional activities that the SPPA has sponsored are: Mall exhibits, Home Show display, CoOp advertising, Yellow page listings and NewsPaper advertising, all with one goal in mind: to promote SPPA.

In 1957 and 1959 SPPA sponsored Sandra Teslow and Linda Juel, both of whom who became Miss Seafair Queens of Seattle.

SPPA has continued to remain active and has met monthly for over 50 years. It remains highly respected by the general public, the PPA, PPW, and by its former and current membership. Considering the strength and positive attitude that currently prevails, it will undoubtedly continue to remain a very productive entity for many years to come.

Gene Harmon – SPPA Life Member