About Jennifer Kruger

Jennifer Barr Kruger is Director of Communications for Photo Marketing Association International and Publisher of PMA magazine. In addition, Kruger is editor of PMA Newsline and PMA Newsline Weekly, and was previously the editor of several other industry publications. She is a contributor to both the DIMAcast (www.DIMAcast.com) and the Imaging Executive Podcast (www.imagingexecutive.com). Kruger is a 2010 ADDY Award winner for podcasting. She joined PMA in 1994.

Fireball Tim and his Hollywood “star” cars return to The Big Photo Show

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TheBigPhotoShow_dates_250x223Hollywood legend and TV personality/producer Fireball Tim Lawrence and his stable of Hollywood cars will return to The Big Photo Show, May 17-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Big Photo Show is for photo enthusiasts, advanced amateur photographers, pros, and everyone who loves taking pictures.

Sponsored by Sony, several famous vehicles will be featured in Fireball Tim’s Hollywood Car Showcase, provided by LA’s premiere build house, Picture Car Warehouse. Fireball Tim has designed some of the most recognizable vehicles in the world, creating cars and motorcycles for companies like Disneyland and Universal Studios. You have seen his vehicles in Avengers, Priest, Knight Rider, Batman, Son of the Mask, Pitch Black, Jurassic Park, X-Men, Gone in 60 Seconds and more than 400 other movies and TV programs.

“I’m really excited to be back for this year’s Big Photo Show, which is going to be even bigger and better than last year. It’ll be awesome — I’ll have all new movie cars for photo buffs to snap, and I will be teaching a Car Photography Seminar each day of The Big Photo Show at 11:30 a.m. We’ll be shooting some really cool movie cars and movie bikes, learning angles and space division. Plus, I will share ideas on how to enhance your shots with Photoshop, Instagram and all online networks – and take SuperSelfies!” Fireball said.“I’m eager to spend two days in the coolest photography convention ever, because this year the technology and tools are even better.”

Among the “star” vehicles Fireball Tim will be bringing to The Big Photo Show are the “General Lee” from Dukes of Hazzard, the Camaro from the new movie 22 Jump Street, the motorcycles from the movie Priest, the Continental from the Justin Timberlake film In Time, and the new 2015 Cadillac Escalade that will soon be featured on Fireball Tim’s show, 5Minute Drive.

Fireball Tim has appeared on the Speed Channel, TLC, Discovery and The Auto Channel. He is also author of the children’s book, “Fireball Tim’s Big Book of Wacky Rides,” and the forthcoming “Fireball Tim’s Big Book of Wacky States,” and will be signing books at The Big Photo Show.

For more information about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities at The Big Photo Show, contact Jeff Frazine at jfrazine@pmai.org.

Photography businesses can reduce taxes using excess inventory

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Business Success LogoIn the photography business, excess, nonmoving inventory is a common problem that contains its own solution.

By donating new, idle photography items to charity, businesses in the U.S. can earn a federal income tax deduction under Section 170 (e)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

The IRS Code says that regular C corporations may deduct the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between cost and fair market value.  Deductions may be up to twice-cost.

Let’s say you’re a retailer of photo equipment and you buy a film for $2.00.  Your price to the consumer is $4.50.  Your deduction is $3.25.  If the markup is considerably higher, deductions are limited to twice cost.

If you’re an S corporation, partnership, LLC or sole proprietorship, you qualify for a straight  cost deduction.

Even if your photo business realizes only a straight cost deduction, it may be to your advantage to donate your stagnant inventory rather than clear it through a liquidator.  Since liquidators look for the lowest price they can get, their offer may be less than your cost – substantially less.

Investigate donating inventory before negotiating with a liquidator, however, to be able to justify the product’s fair market value with the IRS.

Besides the tax deduction, your company can realize other benefits by donating excess inventory:

Help deserving nonprofits, schools and church organizations.  This good deed can translate into good will.  Consider a gifts-in-kind non profit organization that accepts product donations from businesses and redistribute those goods to qualified nonprofits, schools and church organizations.

To earn this deduction, make sure that the nonprofit recipient is a 501( c )(3), since only that IRS classification of nonprofits qualifies. Public or private (nonprofit) schools may also qualify to receive these goods.

Have your accountant or tax adviser instruct the recipient group as to what information it needs to include in the documentation it furnishes you as proof of the donation.

You will need to include the recipient’s letter on your corporate tax forms as support for claiming the deduction.

If you have a large quantity of product (a semi-trailer or more), instruct the recipient groups that under IRS regulations, donated merchandise may not be bartered, traded or sold.  Charities, schools or churches may not auction or sell donated merchandise to raise cash.

By Gary C. Smithwww.naeir.com

MMIE: Be proactive

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #552 – April 15, 2014

Dale Farkas, president, Dale Laboratories, Hollywood, Fla.

What’s that old saw? Starve a cold, feed a fever? What about a virus?

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Here’s how Dale Lab’s “Heartbleed” email looked.

You could always turn off the computer, but that plays hell with your website and/or online sales. Ba-dump. (Sorry, that was a bit of dad humor.)

Humor wasn’t going to cut it for Dale Farkas, owner of Dale Laboratories, not with all the media coverage surrounding the discovery of the Heartbleed security incursion and breach in all sorts of high profile sites. He felt his customers and potential customers would be gun shy of passing along financial info when placing an order.

So he sent out an email with the subject line “Don’t Worry About ‘Heartbleed’ When Placing Your Orders.” You can read the full email at http://visitor.benchmarkemail.com/c/v?e=463D90&c=E0BF&l=1C2575E&email=DvU10354w9Qls27w5W7qstZlJZ3xvXrA&relid=A0B0D86

The body of the email said:

“Over the last 2 days the recently exposed ‘Heartbleed’ vulnerability on the Internet has made major news. We want you to know that you are totally safe using any of our online ordering programs. Your computer and financial information are not at risk. This Heartbleed security incursion and breach affected only Linux servers running OpenSSL. We are Windows based. So, our ROES and iPrints encrypted online orders were not affected or compromised.”

The email then went on to offer some advice, steps to take when on “other sites.”

Dale explains the reasoning behind the email:

“I was raised in a family where it was quite common, in the communications from my elders, to use the expression ‘They know.’

“What I found time and again in my youth and my business career was that whenever I heard anyone say ‘They know,’ the odds were pretty good that they didn’t know, whether it be a subject or a technical problem.

“On Wednesday I received my first notification about this Heartbleed breach from the fellow who handles our web pages to let us know that we were ‘fixed’ so that our various sites would not be compromised and customers’ credit card data taken. Then, I checked with the two companies that handle our online fulfillment sites . . . again to protect our customers and our lab. We were OK on both of those fronts.

“I could have stopped there. But, on my drive home I heard a news story on NPR about Heartbleed and its impact regarding stolen data. They said that on a scale of 1 – 10, this security breach was an 11.

“On the 11 o’clock news there was also another story about Heartbleed. So, I assumed that if everyone in the media was so upset that my customers might be, too.

“Therefore, I got up on Thursday morning and knocked out this email, with what I thought was useful information (maybe.) I wasn’t so much concerned about questions coming in by phone. Rather it was the inertia caused by irrational fear that might affect sales. (When I heard the news I told my wife not to go online for 24 hours to give all the IT people in various companies a chance to sort out the problem . . . as was suggested on the NPR story.)

“Since I was reaching out I figured that there was no harm in providing a few useful links for interested parties.

“Did I have any idea I’d be writing this email when the week began? Of course not.

“But, I went back to what my father had taught me when I questioned doing the ‘right thing.’ ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ was what he’d always say. To date I haven’t had any complaints. People seem to have accepted this email as the good deed it was meant to be.”

It’s your turn

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• The archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange contain more than 1,000 marketing ideas as a resource for you: http://www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas.

PMA helps you promote National Photo Month in May

May is National Photo Month
May is National Photo Month

May is National Photo Month

May is National Photo Month in the U.S., and we have lots of tools and resources to help you promote all the fun and joy of photography to your customers, including:

  • National Photo Month logos
  • “Print It or Lose It” posters
  • Customizable e-newsletter content/templates on lots of photography topics
  • PMA Academy photography classes for customers
  • PMA TV – marketing tips galore from PMA keynote speakers
  • Certified Passport Photo Center program
  • Royalty-free images
  • Free listing in Find a Digital Lab
  •  The Big Photo Show consumer photography event in Los Angeles, May 17-18, which will drive consumer interest nationwide

Visit the National Photo Month page here – and let the celebrations begin!

PMA and PPFA welcome new members

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PMAlogo_CMYK_smallWe’re so happy to welcome all our new members, including: PPFA_RGB_150

  • York Framing Gallery, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Lewis & Clark, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Matilda Framers, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Premier Galleries Inc., Flower Mound, Texas
  • Select Mattes, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Pat’s Place, Goldedendale, Wash.
  • Photogenic Inc., Chicago, Ill.
  • Sity Communications Inc., Richardson, Texas

Business Success: There’s one in every crowd

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Business Success LogoIt’s great to work with highly talented people who are also kind and pleasant to be around. Nothing makes you appreciate those wonderful coworkers more than having to work with someone who isn’t so kind and pleasant. Some folks, in fact, are downright insufferable, and can make a workplace miserable. Since punching these people in the nose is pretty much never a good solution, what do you do?
Judith Orloff, MD, TED speaker and author of  The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, offers some great suggestions on getting those not-so-easy personality types to work well with the rest of the team.
Five Difficult Workplace Types — and How to Get Them to Cooperate

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The workplace is filled with difficult personalities–bullies, know-it-alls, rumor mongers… Our fallback reaction when faced with problem people at work is to either assert ourselves or walk swiftly in the other direction.
But there’s a middle ground, a way of communicating that’s more effective, because it’s not rigid or oppositional. It’s about being fluid, surrendering to your intuition, and letting go of your need to push back or control the outcome. Your ability to go with the flow is really important when dealing with difficult people.
Here’s a look at some common difficult personality types, and how to deal with them.
The Narcissist. These types have an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement, crave attention, and require endless praise. Some are obnoxious ego-maniacs, others can be quite charming. Both types know how to belittle you and make you serve them. First, let go of the belief that you can win them over with loyalty and love. Narcissists value control and power over love, and they lack empathy. Next, don’t make your self-worth dependent on them. Seek out supportive coworkers and colleagues instead. Finally, to get your goals met with narcissists, frame your request in ways they can hear — such as showing them how your request will be beneficial to them. Ego stroking and flattery also work.
The Passive-Aggressive. These types express anger while they’re smiling or showing exaggerated concern. They always maintain their cool, even if through clenched teeth. Start by trusting your gut reactions and the feeling that their behavior is hurtful. Say to yourself, “I deserve to be treated better and with more respect.” If the person is someone you can speak directly with — a team member as opposed to a boss — address the behavior specifically and directly. You could say, for example, “I would greatly appreciate it if you remembered our meeting time. My time’s very valuable, as is yours.” If the person doesn’t or won’t change, you can decide whether to accept their behavior or not.
The Gossip. Gossipy busybodies delight in talking about others behind their backs, putting them down, and spreading harmful rumors. They also love to draw others into their toxic conversations. Start by letting go of your need to please everyone or control what they say. Then be direct. Say, “Your comments are inconsiderate and hurtful. How would you like people talking about you like that?” You can also refuse to participate by simply changing the subject. Don’t share intimate information with gossip mongers. And finally, don’t take gossip personally. Realize that gossips aren’t happy or secure. Do what you can to rise to a higher place, and ignore them.
The Anger Addict. Rageaholics deal with conflict by accusing, attacking, humiliating, or criticizing. Let go of your reactivity. Take a few short breaths to relax your body. Count to 10. Pause before you speak. If they’re spewing verbal venom at you, imagine that you’re transparent and their words are going right through you. To disarm an anger addict, acknowledge their position, and then politely say you have a slightly different approach you’d like to share. Request a small, doable change that can meet your need. Then clarify how it will benefit the relationship. Finally, empathize. Ask yourself what pain or inadequacy might be making this person act so angry.
The Guilt Tripper. These workplace types are world-class blamers, martyrs, and drama queens. They know how to make you feel terrible about something by pressing your insecurity buttons. Start by surrendering the notion that you have to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, so if the guilt tripper is scolding you, you can simply apologize or take responsibility, and that will shut them down. Also, know your guilt buttons. If there’s something you feel bad about, you can work on being compassionate with yourself so you’ll feel stronger when this difficult coworker tries to push that particular button. Finally, set limits with the guilt tripper. Tell them you can see their point of view, but that it hurts your feelings when they say those things, and you’d be grateful if they stopped saying it.

Former Sony VP Mike Kahn brings new “gig” to The Big Photo Show

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Mike Kahn newYou probably saw our recent announcement that Entertainment Radio News will once again be broadcasting live from The Big Photo Show, and we are very excited to welcome them back. ERN will broadcast their nationally syndicated and internet radio programs including Popular Technology Radio, Working Mother Radio, and Popular Science Radio from the show. You also might have noticed, when reading that announcement, a name very familiar to many in our industry among the show hosts: Mike Kahn.

Yes, it’s that Mike Kahn, our good friend and former Vice President of Partnership Marketing at Sony Electronics. Mike recently became host of  Popular Technology Radio, in which, along with Pop Tech’s impressive array of regular contributors and guests, he covers all the latest news, products and gossip concerning the wide field of consumer technology and entertainment.

Popular Technology Radio broadcasts via syndicated radio every Saturday from 9:00-11:00 AM PT on 41 stations nationwide in markets including; Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Orlando, St. Louis, Nashville, Grand Rapids, Memphis and Jacksonville.

Mike has also shaken up the consumer technology world with the advent of the Pop Tech Testers program which allows consumers to try out the latest and greatest technology first-hand. Testers are given the opportunity to provide real, relevant feedback live on Popular Technology Radio.

Kahn commented, “I am thrilled to be hosting Popular Technology Radio for ERN. My mission: share new technology that makes our lives better, easier and most importantly, fun.”

He will be doing just that at The Big Photo Show in Los Angeles on May 17. Be sure to listen in!

Lucidiom offers marketing tools program from InfoCircle

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Independent photo retailers can access free turnkey programs — including actionable social media content and marketing materials — from retail and online imaging solutions provider Lucidiom.

“In our day-to-day conversations with dealers, our staff hears the challenges faced by dealers to create and to implement effective marketing programs,” Lucidiom says. “We’ve responded by offering this program to help our customers build better businesses.”

The marketing programs were developed by content marketing firm InfoCircle LLC, which will also offer monthly webinars. “Today’s independent photo retailers are looking for new ways to connect with customers,” says InfoCircle Principal Gary Pageau. “The program provides communications strategies, tips and materials that will increase engagement and profits.”

There’s more information here.

MMIE: Make your words work

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #551 – April 8, 2014

Howard Copeland, Scott Photography, Peekskill NY. 

Want to make more money when selling passport photos? This is something we found while reading Bestphotolist. Not heard of that? It’s a Yahoo group that’s been around for ages. We’ll give you the information about that below, but first, let’s see Howard Copeland’s idea:

“I charge $xx for 2 passport photos. Some people say they only need one; my reply is that depending on how you apply, you might need 2. I don’t know if that is true, but it serves to stop any complaints, and I have never had to explain myself.

“When people ask how much the photos are I say that 2 are $xx, or 4 for xx + $5 or 6 for xx + $10. When asked whether two may be enough, I say probably, but add that a lot of people like to have extras, just in case. Sometimes they say no and then change their mind – it’s only $5 more. I now sell four copies to about half my customers. Since I print on a 4×6 sheet with equipment that will make up to 6 on one sheet, this is a winner. (I do avoid showing them that I am printing six images if they are not buying 6.)

“This is a great way to teach new sales people how important their words are. Don’t leave money on the table. You can’t sell ‘em, but if you explain it like this, they will buy the extra sets.”

mmie 551To join the Bestphotolist website (https://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bestphotolist), just send an email to bestphotolist-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive a confirming email from Yahoo groups. When you click on that confirmation, your browser will display a text box to add your personal contact information, your company name, and position at the company. Click the “send request” button and your membership should be activated in a day or so. Any questions can go to bob@bestbusinessassociates.com.

And by the way, PMA just launched a new program to help you make money in the passport photo business. The PMA Certified Passport Photo Center (CPPC) program is a new marketing program to drive customers to select photo retailers for passport, visa and ID photos. Learn more here.

It’s your turn

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• The archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange contain more than 1,000 marketing ideas as a resource for you: http://www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas.

Focus on: Paul Dawson, Hydro Photographics

Paul Dawson
Paul Dawson

Paul Dawson

Straight up, I have to be honest…. I’m biased! I’m in awe of Paul Dawson. He is a champion, a leader, a pioneer, funny, crazy, dedicated and smart, with amazing business acumen. As a passionate supporter and full-on activist for PMA, and in particular, PSPA, he helps our association in numerous ways. Paul is the perfect example of if you want things changed, don’t whinge about it, get involved and do it yourself!

Born June 1968, in Mordialloc, Victoria, Australia before moving at aged 5 to Port Macquarie, on the north coast of New South Wales, Paul left school at Year 10. At age 19, after working for 3 years for the State Bank, he decided to leave Port Macquarie and head to the big city, working at another bank in Sydney, part time, as well as a sales rep for Morey Boogie Body Boards and Wet Suits, managing a surf shop and sorting mail at the post office at night.

Working 16 hours a day, still involved in the surfing scene, Paul was given the opportunity to open up his own surf shop back in Port Macquarie, so he borrowed $20K, got some stock, opened Hydro Surf and operated the business successfully for 5 years.

Paul Dawson shopHe was president of the Mid North Coast Board Riders and President of Bonny Hills Junior Board Riders, and got into photography through writing a weekly column ON THE BEACH in Port Macquarie News. He always wanted to have photographs in the column and kept hassling the newspaper photographer to take them. One day he was told “here’s my camera, and my tripod, here’s a roll of film, this is how you work it, go and do it yourself.” So Paul took the photographs, processed them, and had a photograph in the newspaper the next day, which gave him a real buzz and a passion for photography.

A professional photographer since 1988, Paul has achieved worldwide acclaim for his pictures, which have featured on the front pages of major metropolitan newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The Weekend Australian, The Age and The Sun Herald’s Weekend Property section. Paul’s photographs of major Australian news events, including the Kempsey bus crash, the refugee landing at Scotts Head and Australia’s largest Heroin Haul, were sent worldwide.

While still working in the surf shop, he started doing school formal photography, and just as he was recognized for his surf photography, he was soon sought after to do family portraits – he would take his film for processing to the local shop but decided he could do better himself. Thus, Hydro Photographics was born, with encouragement from Agfa rep Steuart Meers, who lent him enough for a new Agfa MSC2-3. There were a few scares at the start, trying to run the surf shop and the photography shop at the same time. When digital first came in and processing became too competitive, he decided to go full on into school and freelance photography, and at this point photographs 20,000 kids per year.

Regularly asked to speak and educate photographers and students on workflow and file /color management issues, Paul remains passionate about the photography industry. He is the National Chairperson of the Professional School Photographers Association of Australia and New Zealand (5 years), has re-written the Australian Code of Practice for the School Photography Association, is a spokesperson to the photographic industry on industrial relations laws, and is always keen to help fellow photographers. In 2011, Paul was awarded a PMA Distinguished Service Award for service to the photographic industry.

Paul says “he has learnt over the years that someone else knows something that you don’t, so it’s always good to listen. There have been a lot of people who have helped me over 25 years, and I feel being involved with PMA, PSPA or an industry association is the best way to repay them – sharing any knowledge to those starting out or needing assistance.”

During the last couple of years, Paul has been heavily involved with the Google Business View program, photographing inside businesses using Google Street View technology. He assists people in setting up their Google+ social and business pages so that they are both effective and optimized. In 2012 and again in 2013 he was awarded the prestige “Google Business Photos Photographer of the Year” for Australia/New Zealand.

To relax, Paul used to play golf every week, playing off a handicap of 6; these days he likes to spend more time with his family: wife, Shannon and two daughters, Mia and Grace.

As this article goes to print, Paul is in John Hunter Hospital waiting for a pacemaker, having had an issue with his heart last week. The doctors say this will keep him goin,g but he has asked for a “lifetime warranty on the battery!” Everyone connected with PMA and PSPA send Paul their good wishes for a quick return to health.

 – By Barbara Bryan