The struggle for school photography services, and the lucrative senior portrait business that is often tied to school contracts, has been simmering for years between small, independent photography studios and larger ones which are increasingly being purchased by national chains. Small studios say they aren't competing on a level playing field.
And although this is in the UK, it is pretty much the same in the states.
I think it should be based on whether the images are good, the parameters of the publication and where the parents want to spend their money.
Having people at the schools DEMAND that the students go to one photographer screams corruption to me. Whether real or implied, corruption literally drips from the relationship.
And having dealt with this crap on occasion, I can tell you there is always a lot going on beneath the surface that few people ever see.
It ain't pretty.