Truview Digital Inc., Bentonville, AR, has taken the photo album into the digital age with the Digital Photo Album. It looks like a photo album, but when you open it up, there’s a single 7-inch or 8-inch LCD screen, or there’s a model with two 8-inch screens. The album comes with a remote. It accepts SD, MMC, MS, XD and USB, and supports JPG, MP3, MP4 and AVI file formats. Each album has storage space for several memory cards. Photos can be viewed full screen or four-up. A rechargeable battery and adaptor are included. The album is available in red, black and brown leatherette. The album has been on display at PMA 2010, being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA.
Shooting outdoors in the cold? Really cold? International Supplies, Inglewood, CA, has something to keep your camera warm. It’s the Camera Warmer, a waterproof nylon cover for your camera, containing removable chemical heat packs. The company says temperatures inside can be 20-30 degrees higher than ambient. The cover will fit most DSLRs and camcorders, and folds to fit a pocket or camera bag. As well as keeping the camera warm, it protects it from snow, rain, sand and salt spray. The Camera Warmer has been on display at PMA 2010, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA.
The inaugural AIE Output Summit, held yesterday at PMA 2010, brought together a wide ranging group from across the imaging industry to discuss an equally broad spectrum of printing opportunities. The event began with presentations from sponsoring firms Eastman Kodak Co., Xerox Corp., HP Inc., and Fujifilm North America Corp.
Kodak’s Ed Monahan said while prints many decline over time, there are tremendous opportunities for the soft copy world. People are recording their lives like never before; capture has become ubiquitous. The print provider’s ability to frame that content in context is critical. Much of imaging is now free for consumers, but they can become willing buyers if presented with the right value proposition.
Brian Segnit of Xerox said success in digital printing requires the right business model, the right workflow around it, and the right technology. He advised AIE members not to worry about losing some 4-by-6 prints, but to instead utilize the same tools they use to create digital press products to enter the print-on-demand business, which is a much larger, $50 billion market.
Sheri Martin from HP stressed the importance of using print to market your business. She cited several examples of companies who have found growth by presenting themselves in a unique way. Once was Duggal Visual, a traditional, high-end photo lab in New York that saw huge increasing after going after the fashion market, offering lookbooks, art catalogs and cosmetic swatches.
Fujifilm’s John Meyer said silver halide is declining but won’t go away. He advised the audience to look for new products to supplement the silver halide business. He said Millennial moms are looking for products to help them express themselves, and are interested in hardcopy if it is for a specific purpose. He suggested providers focus on the huge and growing number of microbusinesses, which represent 20 percent of the total workforce. He warned customers are now defining what they want. If your business does not respond, they will leave you behind.
The second half of the output summit presented two panel discussions. On the Big Volume panel were Jim Jamison, Miller’s Professional Imaging; John Lacagnina, Colorcentric; Rob Tolmie, Photo Create; Bob Friend, District Photo; and David Drum, H&H Color Lab. The panel was moderated by Gary Pageau, PMA.
“I think there are great opportunities,” said Drum. “While the overcapacity has just begun, and we’ve only seen the beginning of price competition, we continue to succeed by listening to our customers and responding as quickly as we can. We’re actively engaged in social media, and we meet with customers face-to-face. We have customer forums of 20-30 at a time that are in a similar niche, and we show them new products and software to get their feedback. It gives us tremendous focus on new product development.”
Lacagnina said, “I see the merger of the publishing space and the photo space — personal content and personal photos. There is an enormous amount of content out there that wants to be monetized, and thousands of mini supply chains that need to be satisfied. I think of this market as 6 billion people. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg.”
Only 29 percent of consumers are even aware of photo books and how to make them, said Friend. “The remaining 71 percent is in front of us, and that is just business waiting to grow. That said, I’m looking over my shoulder all the time, studying how we can be better and more efficient. If we watch only what’s happening in our industry, we leave ourselves susceptible to others coming in and taking our market.”
A common topic is the number of images on Facebook, which could be monetized by the right solution, Jamison said. Unfortunately, young consumers don’t seem to care about image quality, and this is a challenge the industry must address. “If you can print an 8-by-10 for a consumer that looks like terrible, but they are happy when you hand it to them, we are in trouble.”
Tolmie stated, “We did a customer survey and found customers want to know more about taking better photographs. It’s aspirational, but they are not actually doing something about it. We are responsible for creating excitement and getting Gen Y to take action. We have to give them valid reasons that will motivate them to do something with their images.”
On the Emergent Business Models panel were Ben Zlotkin, Edition One; Joe Kenemore, Send Out Cards; Mark Zucker, Zookbinders Inc.; Glenn Paul, Memsender; and George Champagne, Abar Imaging Center. The moderator was Paul Worthington, Future Image.
Each presented a look at his very unique business model. Zloktin’s company provides high quality, high touch photo books in a range of formats to clients like galleries, museums and high end photographers. The company does the printing, as well as the traditional binding and finishing.
Champagne, owner of commercial lab Abar Imaging Center, recently launched a new company called Screencraft Tileworks. The company prints on glass tiles, which are then sold through gift shops.
Kenemore’s company allows users to choose a greeting card, and add personal content and text. Send Out Cards then addresses, stamps and mails the card. Marketing is based on a network of sellers, similar to Amway, and growth is solely through word-of-mouth advertising.
Zookbinders began as an album company, and has evolved into albums, printing, technology, and merchandising. The company is a back-end provider for other photo labs and album companies.
Memsender, which just launched at PMA 2010, allows consumers to upload digital content, which the company puts it on an SD card. Consumers can customize a label and include a note – such as, “Hi, Mom, here are a thousand pictures for your digital frame” – and have the SD card mailed to the destination of their choice.
Completing the AIE Output Summit was Scott Brownstein, who told the audience, “There is a growing crisis in traditional photography. We have really strayed from the idea, ‘You push the button, we do the rest.’ And it’s not working.”
Is this the death of consumer photography or merely its midlife crisis? “It all depends on what we do today,” he said. “If we don’t become technically easier to deal with, the information highway will bypass all of our businesses. Every customer has a right to expect every picture of himself to be accessible on any device for any purpose.”
Brownstein concluded, “I have hope for this business, and I think we are on the path to do what needs to be done.”
Carry, stash, store, protect – whatever you want to do with your gear, there’s a new bag or case to do it with being shown, thrown or otherwise demo’d on the floor of the PMA 2010 trade show floor, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.
Think Tank Photo, Santa Rosa, CA has five soft-sided shoulder bags in its new Retrospective series: three shoulder bags and two lens changer bags. Retrospective 10, 20 and 30 carry a pro size DSLR with zoom attached, have front pockets to hold pro size camera bodies, include an organizer pocket in the main compartment, feature a seam sealed rain cover plus soft, adjustable shoulder strap. The Retrospective Lens Changer 2 and 3 feature lenses carried in separated compartments for rapid access while changing, the ability to carry two or three lenses plus small accessories, organizer and seam sealed rain cover.
The company also has announced the Logistics Manager, its first rolling equipment case for lighting and photographic gear. Its roomy interior will hold multiple combinations of cameras and lenses, lighting gear, and accessories. It has a TSA combination lock to secure the main zipper, a rear security cable and combination lock, an extendable handle, replaceable wheels, attachment points on both sides for tripods or light stands, and numerous pockets.
Lowepro, Sebastopol, CA, has launched the Pro Runner AW series of backpacks and convertible rollers. The four larger backpacks have padded laptop compartments. The two largest models feature a checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeve. There’s a built-in All Weather AW Cover and rainflap lids cover all the zippered closures. Side compression straps with quick-release buckles are on all models except the 200 AW. The Pro Runner x350 and x450 backpacks have a spring-loaded trolley handle and replaceable wheels. The padded harness system converts the roller to a backpack. The fully padded and completely customizable main compartments easily adjust for a variety of gear arrangements. The Hideaway Tripod Mount system secures a compact tripod or monopod to the pack. The six models accommodate a wide range of capacities and packing options for a variety of camera gear, accessories and lenses sized up to 300mm.
Redesigned using customer input, the three new and improved models of the Lowepro SlingShot AW series add a Hideaway Tripod Mount system, compatibility with the latest popular prosumer and professional grade DSLR cameras, and a more efficient storage and workflow layout. The new models offer increased volume in their upper compartment for personal items and include an elastic band for securing a camera manual or book. A zippered stash pocket on top holds a filter, cell phone or keys. In addition to its quick-rotating design, SlingShot AW features easy-glide zippers throughout its construction.
Lowepro also has launched a top-loading holster-style series, Toploader Zoom AW, for amateur and prosumer photo enthusiasts. Designed especially for introductory and mid-level DSLRs and standard zoom, the three-model series offers multiple carrying styles. The holster-style profile makes it easy to wear as a shoulder bag or on a belt and an easy-access lid opens away from the body to provide full access to camera gear. The series includes the All Weather AW Cover, a fully padded and customizable interior; interior and exterior zippered storage pocket; integrated belt loop; padded grab handle; plus a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap. The two larger models also include the SlipLock attachment loop system (one on 50 AW and two on 55 AW).
Tamrac, Chatsworth, Calif., has added the Evolution Series of bags, featuring a unique harness system, so they can be carried as a backpack or as a sling pack using a single strap worn over either shoulder. Internal dividers are foam-padded and adjustable. A mesh accessory pocket inside the front door is designed to make small accessories visible and organized. The foam-padded top compartment stores personal items or photo accessories. The QuickClip tripod attachment system with a tripod foot pocket for a compact tripod. Each side has a zipper-closing pocket for accessories. One pocket contains a removable rain cover. The Evolution 8 also holds most 15.6-inch laptops in a separate pocket, and holds a DSLR with grip and attached 8-inch lens. The Evolution 6 holds a DSLR with an attached 5.5-inch lens. The Messenger 4 is a slim-profile messenger bag which converts from a camera bag to a briefcase.
St. George, Utah-based Clik Elite has the Explorer Series, with three packs – the Traveler, Impulse and JetPack. The JetPack holds camera, laptop, clothes and toothbrush. It carries as a pack or sling; has a removable camera capsule which holds a compact DSLR, lens and flash; has a front organizer and internal mesh pockets; plus mesh side pockets. The Traveler is a shoulder bag with padded camera bay holding a compact DSLR, lens, flash; modular organization; organizer pockets; zippered media pocket. The Impulse Sling has a 300 cubic inch customizable camera bay, is padded, and has a 450 cubic inch top compartment, plus weatherproof zippers.
Clik’s ProBody Sport is the big brother to the Compact Sport, sized up to carry larger camera bodies, outdoor gear plus a water reservoir. The Trekker Waistpack is a lumbar pack for camera gear and outdoor essentials. The Escape is a pack built for organization, customization and travel anywhere.
Clik’s BodyLink Telephoto Pack has a frame which can support cameras and lenses. The Pro Express holds a lot of gear yet fits in an airplane’s overhead bin.
The Clikstand is available on three packs: Nature, Hiker and Pro Elite. It pulls double duty as a pack frame that carries heavy loads then, on location, becomes a workstation stand that mounts and supports a mobile studio.
Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases, Covina, Calif., has a larger computer case, the SE710XCC, holding laptops with 17-inch screens. Under-compartments hold DVDs, CDs, external drives, etc., and there is a compartment for cords, adaptors and cables. The case is made of injection molded polypropylene, and has neoprene seals. The company says the cases are watertight, airtight, dustproof, and crush resistant.
The UP-Rise series, from Vanguard, Whitmore Lake, MI, is a line of high-quality bags, expandable to handle changing lens and gear needs. UP-Rise has a sleek, sporty design with an orange interior. Features include removable rain coats and multiple pockets. UP-Rise is available in messenger, zoom, shoulder, sling, and backpack styles.
Designed for photojournalists and on-the-go photographers, Vanguard’s Sydney series shoulder bags are lightweight but with thick padding. A Rapid Access System provides quick contact with gear from the top or side. A customizable interior can be removed to convert to a versatile messenger bag.
Weatherproof and lightweight Pampas series shoulder bags from Vanguard have a roomy interior with thick padding and a protective wall. Users can convert it into a messenger bag. There’s a front pocket and a side hanging system for small accessories.
Tom Hayes, Visual Image Photography, Cedarburg, WI, took the stage at SPAA 2010, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif., on Monday afternoon to talk about team and group posing and lighting. Hayes, with more than 30 years shooting teams and groups, said the industry as a whole needs to be better at what it does to ensure the teams get the quality pictures they deserve.
He said he’s shooting team portraits, with heavy emphasis on the word portraits, and that quality will give you loyalty.
Part of his success, he says, is arriving early to scout locations, allowing extra time for the creative groups, noting the shooting schedule will dictate his staffing needs. He also emphasized the coach’s time is valuable. “We have to treat the coach with respect.”
Be on time, be precise, take charge, have a plan, and know what you’re doing, he says.
Hayes showed a number of his shots, pointing with delight at the precision with which he had arranged the team members, with almost ruler straight head lines and perfect symmetry.
Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA), a PMA member association, announces Marcia Rubenstein, Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, Calif., assumed office as PIEA president, succeeding Carole Lichty-Smith, Cincinnati Country Day School, Cincinnati, Ohio, who moved to the post of past president.
Jason Leath, Rye Country Day School, New Rochelle, N.Y., was elected president-elect of PIEA. He will become president in February 2011.
Also elected for two-year terms: Heather Protz, College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev., as vice president; Ian Kent Robinson, Wiltshire College, Salisbury, United Kingdom, as vice president, international affairs; Joseph A. Ippolito, Ph.D., Costa Rica Workshops, Costa Rica, as vice president and webmaster; Janet Bonsall, Ph.D., University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Mo., as vice president and journal editor; and Glenn Meyer, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, as director-at-large.
The combination of Sony’s UP-DR200 and UP-DR80 digital photo printers offers customers a range of
photo prints from 3.5×5 up to 8×10 inch enlargements. Sony’s consumer-friendly software, CD burning and scanning expands the system’s capabilities and offers retailers more revenue opportunities.
The small footprint and simple operation of Sony’s instant digital photo kiosks means there is no need to hire or train additional staff. The PictureStation solution also offers the flexibility of a network configured system so users can send their photos from their home to the retailer for pick-up, create online photobooks, or order photo gifting products.
DR80 photo printer is not only an integral component of the PictureStation kiosk but also receiving acclaim by the professional and event photographer as a stand-alone printer. The Sony UP-DR80 printer is this year’s recipient of the 2010 DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out award in the Dye Sublimation, 8-inch roll printer category.
At PMA 2010, Noritsu America Corp., Buena Park, Calif., announced Noritsu Technical Services (NTS) has expanded its support programs to include all imaging products, regardless of manufacturer, including the family of products manufactured by Lucidiom, which Noritsu acquired in December.
Lucidiom customers will now receive an expanded level of support as a result of the company merging Lucidiom’s Technical Support Operations with NTS, with all Lucidiom incoming phone and email requests to be handled by Noritsu national call centers. By expanding its support to all imaging systems, including Noritsu and Lucidiom, NTS can offer its high level of support to customers around the globe regardless of which product they are using. Expanded support hours and 7-days-a-week access demonstrates NTS’s continued commitment to the quality service and personalized attention to its customers.
As with all NTS services, customers will receive same day emergency visits and response times within two days for routine maintenance.
At Sunday’s PMA 2010 Official Business Session, author Peter Sheahan facilitated a panel of leading photo retailers who have all found successful business models in today’s imaging environment, and who all believe there has never been a better time to be in the photo industry. On the panel were Gaby Mullinax, Fullerton Photographics; Richard Moross, MOO; Brad Jefferson, Animoto.com, Bob Hanson, Harold’s Photo Center, David Guidry, Lakeside Photoworks; and Gabe Cano, Specialty Color Services.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” said Moross. With MOO, we try to make remarkable products people haven’t seen before and will talk about. Great products market themselves; and when you’re making something no one has seen before, people don’t have preconceived price points. We can operate at very high margins.”
“For us, it’s all about the inspiration,” said Mullinax, who was wearing a photo scarf she developed and sells in her store. “You have to be so inspirational that they can’t resist doing business with you. There is lots of opportunity to merge photos with text and help people do something meaningful with their images, but you have to do it for them; you have to show them how to create something so compelling that they want to do more and more.”
Jefferson said a key for his business’ success is automating a process that is very difficult for consumers to do otherwise. “Our passion is creating value for our customers with the click of a button. We are freeing them from a very intensive process of creating a professional looking video from their pictures, video and music.”
Creating solutions that work well for customers both in store and online is critical, said Hanson. “It’s more difficult, but also more exciting, to operate in both worlds. In our stores, people can pick up and touch all the things we make, and we can really interact and help customers become passionate about what we do. We are a specialty store, so we must be special. But we also must have a compelling online solution, because my customers want to shop online even if they also come to the store. And, they will go home and tell a sister-in-law in another part of the country about our great products, who will then go online and order them for herself.”
A willingness to try new thing and risk occasional failures has helped Cano’s business on its successful path. “Being afraid to fail will hold you back. We have discovered that within the community we’re building our business around, it’s okay to fail – and it’s okay to show it. That comes across as authenticity,” he said. ”My business partner and I are just two guys who are nuts about photography. What’s happening in our industry is really exciting to us — and showing that excitement is really attractive to people. Especially with Generation Y, they don’t want us to be slick; they want us to be real.”
A fundamental shift in the imaging industry has made it much more difficult for consumers to do anything with their pictures after capture, said Guidry. “For a long time, the concept was, ‘you push the button and we’ll do the rest.’ Now, if we want consumers to make something with their images, we say, ‘We’re going to give you a difficult assignment that will be technologically challenging for you, but when you’re done, we will make you something great,’” he commented. “We need to take that burden from them.”
PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations elected 2010-2011 officers at the Official Business Session today of the PMA 2010 International Convention and Trade Show at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.
PMA elected Brian Wood, PhotoVision, Salem, Ore., as its new president. Wood’s advancement from president-elect was automatic under the PMA constitution and bylaws. Prior to his position as president-elect in 2009-2010, Wood served as Association vice president as well as treasurer.
Along with the election of Wood, other Association officers were elected for the 2010-2011 term: Mark Klostermeyer, MCPF, Design Frames LLC, Falls Church, Va., was moved to president-elect; Gabrielle Mullinax, Fullerton Photographics Inc., Fullerton, Calif., was elected vice president; and Robert L. Hanson, Harold’s Photo Center, Sioux Falls, S.D., is the new treasurer.
Ted Fox was reelected executive director/secretary of PMA.