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Past SPE National Conferences

2017 SPE National Conference Special Events

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Learn more about special events taking place at the 2017 National Conference

*Events listed with an asterisk require pre-registration 

Student Portfolio Critiques & Professional Portfolio Reviews*

Student Critiques - Friday, March 10, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm | Orlando I
Professional Reviews - Saturday, March 11, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm | Orlando I

SPE offers organized portfolio reviews and critiques for a limited number of conference attendees. This opportunity is free of charge and uses a lottery system to match participating artists with up to two 20-minute sessions with participating portfolio reviewers.

Early conference registration is a must. During the online conference registration process, artists will be presented with the option of enrolling in either student portfolio critiques (Friday) or professional portfolio reviews (Saturday) based on SPE membership level. Once the reviews reach capacity, the registration system will indicate that the reviews are unavailable.

Registered participants in portfolio reviews will be contacted by email a few weeks prior to the conference with a questionnaire and the names, institutions, and interests of available reviewers. Participating artists will have one week to rank their top choices for reviewers. Participants should read through the list of participating reviewers and identify their top 20 choices. Questionnaires must be filled out completely in order for artists to be placed. This is mandatory. If you do not submit the request questionnaire, your portfolio will not be reviewed. After the request period concludes, SPE conference coordinators will process the requests in random order and assignments will be posted on Thursday by 5:00 pm outside the Pavilion Ballroom. Please check the schedule to confirm your scheduled session(s) and time(s).

Canceled and forfeited slots will be available on a first come, first served basis to conference attendees on a standby waiting list during the conference only. To be added to the standby list, you will need to see a Portfolio Coordinator onsite outside the Pavilion ballroom. "Standby" participants must be present when their name is called or they will forfeit their place on the list.

What if I cannot attend my scheduled session?
If you cannot attend your scheduled session, please notify a Portfolio Coordinator as soon as possible. The coordinators will be located outside the Pavilion Ballroom. Reassignments will not be made and your spot will be given to an individual on the standby list. Individuals who are five minutes late for their appointment to meet with a reviewer will forfeit their session to the standby list. SPE Reserves the right to make last minute substitutions based on the availability of participating reviewers.

Additional Considerations

  • Please plan to arrive at least five minutes prior to your scheduled session time.
  • Please note, if you plan to use a computer or tablet to share your work, be sure it is fully charged. Power sources will not be available.
  • Photolucida has assembled a helpful guide for artists preparing for portfolio reviews, available for download on their website:

Please direct any questions to SPE Portfolio Review Coordinators at

Career Mentoring 

Friday, March 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Lake Lucerne
Saturday, March 11, 9:00  – 11:00 am | Lake Lucerne

Career mentoring is back this year and open to soon-to-be MFA students as well as adjunct professors looking for help on the road to academia. A handful of volunteer mentors will be available in two sessions on Friday and Saturday to answer questions regarding teaching application packets and to conduct mock interviews.

Sign up on-site at the Registration counters in the Orange Ballroom Foyer beginning Thursday, March 9, 2017, on a first come, first served basis.

Participating attendees seeking advise on teaching packets should come prepared with the following:

  • C.V. 
  • Cover letter expressing your interest in this position. 
  • Names and contact information for three references who can speak about your creative research and teaching performance. 
  • Statement of teaching philosophy. 
  • A portfolio of your photographs (up to 20 images no larger than 3000 pixels on the longest side) and portfolio of student work (up to 20 images). Include the image list for both portfolios: including medium, size and date.

SPE Annual Members Meeting

Thursday, March 9, 12:00 – 1:30 pm | Lake Eola

All SPE members are invited and encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the membership. The SPE Members’ Meeting is a forum for discussion of SPE business and information regarding the direction of the organization. Acquaint yourself with SPE’s National Board and Staff, and learn about important organizational business, news, and updates. The membership will have a chance to address the leadership. Light refreshments will be served, and no other programming will conflict with this meeting.

Curator Portfolio Walkthrough*

Pre-registration is required ONLY if you want to display your work. The event is open for all attendees to network, browse and view work on display. 

Friday, March 10, 8:30 – 11:00 pm | Orange Ballroom Foyers

Local and SPE member curators, collectors, gallery owners, historians, and scholars are invited to join us to give informal feedback on both student and professional members' portfolios. Following the success of the 2015 National Conference, SPE requires attendees interested in displaying work at the Curator Portfolio Walkthrough to pre-register for this event. Sign-up to secure a space in the Walkthrough and take advantage of this opportunity to show your work to a new audience! Attendees who register to participate in the Walkthrough will receive confirmation and instructions prior to the conference.

Member Pin Up Show

Friday, March 10, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, March 11, 9:00 am – 12:15 pm | Orange Ballroom (Exhibits Fair)

All member attendees are invited to bring and hang a print (no larger than 11” x 14”) to share throughout the duration of the Exhibits Fair Friday and Saturday. Prints will be hung on a first come, first served basis, as space permits. Participating members should include their name and image information beneath each image, as no labeling will be provided.

Industry & Education Forum

“Industry, Educators and Students”
Friday, March 11, 8:00 – 9:45 am | Orange AB

This year’s Industry & Education Forum, moderated by Tom P. Ashe, will once again include a student table. This forum will feature four tables each focusing on a different topic: curriculum, demonstrations, resources, and students. The student’s table will allow those currently learning photography to add their important perspectives into the conversation. Coffee and breakfast will be served at 8:00 am, set your alarms early and join us for this engaging forum!

Silent Auction

Open for bids Thursday, March 9, 8:30 – 10:00 pm; Friday, March 10, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday, March 11, 9:00 am – 12:15 pm 
Closing begins Saturday at 12:15 pm | Orange Ballroom (Exhibits Fair) 

Don’t forget to swing through the Exhibits Fair and peruse the Silent Auction tables. Bid on a fantastic rooster of products from our donors including books, photographic supplies, marketing consultation, premium inkjet photo paper, online photography services, and much more.

Timing is everything with the Silent Auction, so be sure to place your bids before 12:15 pm Saturday when the auction closes!


Drawing begins at 3:45 pm on Saturday | Orange Ballroom (Exhibits Fair)

Enter for your chance to walk away with some serious conference swag. See below a list of artists that donated for this year’s annual print raffle. For only $10, you could leave with a piece of photographic history. Regional officers and board members will be selling tickets, so keep an eye out for those yellow buttons! You may also purchase tickets from the SPE booth in the exhibits fair and at registration.

Winning tickets MUST be identified within 60 seconds of being drawn to receive raffle item. Raffle winner will be asked to show the other half of their winning ticket to receive their item(s). If you are unable to attend the raffle drawing, you may send a representative. They must have your ticket in hand in order to claim your prize. 

Ticket Prices: 

$10 for one ticket, $25 for three tickets, $50 for seven tickets, $100 for 20 tickets

We are grateful to have print donations from the following: 

Kelli Connell, Renee Cox, Bill Gaskins, Mark Malloy, Barbara Jo Revelle, Cindy Sherman, Jerry Uelsmann. More to Come! Check back often for an updated list! 

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