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.

MMIE: Bring in the band

MIME Logo PMAN

MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #601 – May 19, 2015

Mark Comon, Paul’s Photo, Torrance, CA; http://www.paulsphoto.com & Brian Mundy, Octane Creative Media, Philips Ranch, CA; http://www.octanecreativemedia.com/

Tuesday, April 7 was First Tuesday at Paul’s Photo . . . actually at its Creative Photo Academy . . . and the band was groovin’. Band? At a photo class? Indeed. Not just any band, it was Brian Mundy’s Brewhouse Blues Band, and if you’ve been paying any kind of attention to these pages you’ll recognize Mundy’s name from his close association with DIMA and PMA. But, still, a band?

That’s Brian Mundy, back left, on bass, with the Brewhouse Blues Band, and the speaker at Paul’s Photo’s First Tuesday event.

That’s Brian Mundy, back left, on bass, with the Brewhouse Blues Band, and the speaker at Paul’s Photo’s First Tuesday event.

 

You see, Brian hardly needs an excuse to get the boys together to play, and the fact that he was a guest speaker at the Creative Photo Academy . . . well, it was a natural.

In fact, he says, there are a lot of creative people in the photo industry, people who have a strong musical bent along with their photographic knowledge. During the First Tuesday event, attendees were relating to the music, making a connection with the creative.

After the band’s set, Brian then segued into a presentation on his life behind the scenes of the digital imaging industry as part of the Academy’s Pro Talk series. Past pros making presentations have been many and varied in their specialities, providing insights and motivation for those taking part in the session.

Part of the email promo for classes at Paul's Photo

Part of the email promo for classes at Paul’s Photo

Mark Comon says First Tuesday is the store’s art get-together, just like the First Friday art walks which are a big deal in some communities. Mark says if he doesn’t get 100 people to attend, he’ll be disappointed. And it’s not as if Brian’s going to be selling products; this is a community-building deal.

“It’s 100 percent about getting people to love photography.”

What a great way to get customers to hang out for an evening, a fun event, giving back to the community.

So, looking for a way to liven up the classes your store presents? Try bringing in a band.

What’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now 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.
  • And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

MMIE 600: Cultivate relationships

MIME Logo PMAN

MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #600 – May 12, 2015

John Williams, Showcase Photo & Video, Atlanta, Ga.

For John Williams, it was a natural for Showcase Photo & Video to help sponsor an exhibition of Ansel Adams’ photos at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, a small suburb north of Atlanta, when the museum’s administration came knocking on his door. And that relationship continues.

This email promo was recently sent out by Showcase Photo & Video and included a $2-off coupon to a photo exhibition it was helping to sponsor.

This email promo was recently sent out by Showcase Photo & Video and included a $2-off coupon to a photo exhibition it was helping to sponsor.

For the Adams exhibition, Showcase encouraged its customers to visit it.

Now, it’s an exhibition of the work of seven photographers who worked in the White House, produced by National Geographic and chronicling the activities of successive U.S. presidents. Once again, the museum came to Showcase, once again the store happily agreed to help sponsor the exhibition and, once again, the store is promoting the exhibition to its customers. For example, a recent email from the store included a $2 off admission price coupon.

The museum’s website includes a large logo of both Showcase and Canon, and at each one of four events featuring one of the White House staff photographers, a Showcase rep will be present to acknowledge the store’s help with the sponsorship and to hand out gift certificates.

The website of the museum exhibiting the work of presidential photographers includes large logos of both Showcase and Canon.

The website of the museum exhibiting the work of presidential photographers includes large logos of both Showcase and Canon.

The museum, says Williams, “is a stunning place” with magnificent architecture and astonishing contents. It has a photo guild, which we might know better as a photo club, and that’s also a connection Showcase has been cultivating.

For Williams, it has definitely been worthwhile cultivating this relationship and supporting the community.

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now 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.
  • And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

PMA CEO Georgia McCabe responds to Bloomberg Business “Fastest-Fading Business” article

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GM-09-CA2_0136

PMA CEO Georgia McCabe

It is interesting that on April 30, Bloomberg Business posted an article entitled Twilight of One-Hour Photo, America’s Fastest-Fading Business. Of course, those of us who live in the photo business know that far from being, dead, consumers today are taking more pictures than ever before. In fact, just last year consumers captured and shared more than 10 times the number of personal images than were taken at the peak of the analog photo business, back in the early 1990s. Clearly the consumer’s “love for photography” today is stronger than ever. Personally, I believe that the opportunities in photo are actually greater now than they were back in the late 1800s, when George Eastman first evangelized photography to the mass market. Eastman had to educate the consumer about the value of personal photography. Today, that is a given – and photography pervades all aspects of everyday life. Posted personal images are by far the largest source of traffic in the exploding world of social media. Our challenge is to make it possible for consumers to enjoy connected photography and at the same time, preserve and celebrate their special images with a wide variety of exciting digital photo output products. The problem has been that while many of the new players in digital photography understand the tremendous appeal of personal imaging, they often have little knowledge or concern for the responsibility of capturing and storing those most important moments of everyday life. That is what real consumer photography is all about.

But don’t just take my word for it; here are excerpts resulting from discussions with knowledgeable imaging industry analysts.

Hans Hartman, President of Suite 48 Analytics and Chair of Mobile Photo Connect, sums it up rather succinctly:

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Hans Hartman

Really it’s quite simple:

  • Thanks to smartphones…people take more photos than ever before
  • Thanks to smartphones…people are engaged in photography at an earlier age than ever before
  • When offered innovative photo products and easy apps, smartphone photographers often order photo products. Major photo retailers, such as Shutterfly and Walgreens in the US, and CeWe and Photobox in Europe, all report double digit percentages of their orders coming from…smartphone users!

Frank Baillargeon, President of F/22 Consultants offers his own unique take:

Frank Baillargeon

Frank Baillargeon

We are living at a time during which mass market photography has gone from the occasional (8-10 times per year) purchase of a roll of film and a bag of prints, for those with the means, to an ever-present part of the lives of virtually every adult on the planet. Photo is central to the business models of the new titans of enterprise (Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.). As consumers, we capture with ease and no cost, share instantly with family and friends, edit creatively as we choose, (increasingly and most importantly) save and organize our precious images in the cloud to enable us to create and order fabulous new products from online retailers, and, yes, from tens of thousands of traditional brick and mortar photo retailers as well.

And then there is this statement, from Vint Cerf, Google VP and “father of the internet” (really!):

Vint Cerf of Google

Vint Cerf of Google

Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of

information – on our hard drives or in ‘the cloud.’ But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution.

I worry a great deal about that, you and I are experiencing things like this. Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.

And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is or where to find it.

Photo printing is far from dead. It is staging an exciting rebirth, born on crests of both product and manufacturing innovation, advances in mobile technology, and software innovations that connect us instantly and intuitively with create and order capabilities directly from our connected devices to product solutions from scores of retailers, both online and in-store. Simply stated – printed photo output matters to all of us. Not the bag of prints that were our only way to preserve and share, but exciting and valuable new products that tell and preserve our stories in a richer, more personalized fashion. The end of film processing is hardly the end of the photo output story. It was simply an important chapter in the continuing effort to preserve and share what’s most important to all of us.

As Mark Twain so aptly said, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Those of us who have spent our careers in photography refuse to break our sacred pact with the consumer…this is a challenge that we at PMA understand well, and intend to continue to make good on.

Georgia McCabe

CEO, PMA

PMA’s new National Photo Month site offers free promotional materials, photo contest and much more

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NationalPhotoMonth_FINAL-04We have some exciting news to share. We have launched a compelling new website to promote May, which is, of course, National Photo Month!

At this site, natlphotomonth.org, you will find a constantly-growing supply of free tools, marketing tips, and downloadable marketing content for you to use to promote your business all throughout the month. They include National Photo Month logos, customizable posters and signs, and ready-to-use photo tweets and social media posts. (While this is a US-based campaign, there are  also tools here that can be used to inspire photo consumers worldwide, and to promote photography year-round.)

In addition, the site offers a wealth of information for your customers, and a photo contest with very valuable prize packages – people can enter at either the professional or hobbyist level.

There are many prize packages, including the Grand Prize in the professional category: an Apple iPhone 6 Plus, a Fujifilm X-T1 Mirrorless ILC, and a Focus Pyramid Autofocus Lens Calibration Tool. The Grand Prize in the consumer category includes: an Apple MacBook Pro 13″ – Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD; a Canon Rebel T6i DSLR; a Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro lens; and a 20×30 Canvas Certificate from MailPix.com.

There are many, many other impressive prizes, too. We’d like to offer a big thank you to our wonderful contributors, who have donated very generously to support the contest and the website. The growing list includes:

  • Collages.net
  • Creative Live
  • Design Frames
  • Fujifilm
  • Fullerton Photo
  • GoPro
  • H&H Color Lab
  • Cristina Photography Tools
  • LumiQuest
  • Macphun
  • MailPix
  • Nationwide Studios
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic
  • Precision Camera
  • Sony
  • Sunpak
  • SYNC
  • Tamron
  • Teddy Bear Portraits
  • ToCAD
  • WinkFlash

We encourage you to join with us, and all of our sponsors, in promoting photography, your business, and National Photo Month! Be sure to come back to the site often, and encourage your customers to do so too, because new resources are being added all the time. Also, be sure to visit and like our new Celebrate Photos Facebook page.

Hashtags:

#celebratephotos

#nationalphotomonth

MMIE 599: Show them

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #599 – May 5, 2015

Mark Comon, Paul’s Photo, Torrance, Calif.

Had to laugh when we received an email promotion from Paul’s Photo, a message bearing the picture of a shark. Okay, not just any shark, a paper cutout shark. The image is included here.

Paul’s Photo uses a shark to show a camera’s zoom range.

Paul’s Photo uses a shark to show a camera’s zoom range.

The shark didn’t just happen to swim by, says Mark Comon, it was purposefully used, liberated from the hands of a staffer who was using scissors when he should have been doing work (“gotta fix that,” he notes), to help illustrate the length of the Nikon Coolpix P900’s 24-2000mm zoom.

It’s hard to describe that zoom, he says; it needs a picture to show it.

Hmmm, wonder if you could do the same thing with binoculars and spotting scopes (hint, hint)?

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now 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.
  • And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

Use Twitter to attract new customers for National Photography Month

Bernard Perrine is the CEO of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv
Bernard Perrine is the CEO of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv

Bernard Perrine is the CEO of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv

Business Success Logo

May is National Photography Month. Since receiving that designation from Congress in 1987, it has been marked with festivals, photo contests and other celebrations nationwide.

Of course, the business of photography looks much different today than it did in 1987. After decades of growth, the camera market spiked late in the last decade and has been contracting by double-digit amounts every year since.

Some in the industry blame this fall-off on the emergence of the smartphone, some on yet other factors. Regardless of what is causing the problem, it is imperative that photo retailers, professional photographers and others in the field use events like National Photography Month to remind consumers about the fun and the benefits that cameras can bring to their lives.

Ironically, one of the best avenues for using the beauty and power of pictures to generate photography-related business is a social media network that originally was a text-based medium: Twitter.

By limiting users’ posts to 140 characters, Twitter has perfected what’s known as “intent-based marketing,” meaning delivering advertising messages to consumers who have expressed an interest in a product or service.

Consumers use Twitter to express their thoughts and feelings in real time, something no other social media outlet delivers to marketers. People announce on Twitter that they are getting married, having children and a host of other important life events that can create business for people in the photo business.

Listen and engage

While Twitter represents a vast marketing opportunity, it can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Some 288 million monthly active users send out 500 million-plus Tweets daily.

Understanding the difference between how people use the service compared to other social media and search engines is the first step in sifting Twitter for business.

Twitter is all about conversation. A user who is announcing that her boyfriend had proposed might Tweet, “I am getting married!” But that same woman could use different language in employing, say, a search engine, where she might use a phrase such as “marriage photographers in Dallas.”

Finding business opportunities like this on Twitter entails monitoring what people are talking about – a process called “social listening” – and then moving quickly when good fortune arises.

An important element of a good listening effort is choosing the best “keywords” for a given business. Keywords are words and phrases that marketers seek in Tweets.

For instance, two of the most commonly used phrases on Twitter are “I want” and “I need.” Easy tricks can help narrow the list of Tweets to a geographic area. Searching Twitter for the keywords “I need photographer near: Dallas” provides a list of people in that Texas city who may require a studio’s services.

After picking keywords, the next step is gently joining the conversation that the person who could turn into a customer is having.

The “engagement mechanism” a marketer uses could simply involve sending a Tweet to the individual with a message that is relevant to what he or she is talking about.

For instance, if a Dallas resident announced her engagement on Twitter, a photo studio could reply with an offer of a 10-percent discount on its services for her wedding.

That discount offer is what’s known as a “call to action” – a reason for the bride-to-be to act immediately. Any outreach a business does on Twitter needs a strong call to action, because opportunities – in the forms of weddings, births or bar mitzvahs – can pass quickly.

To better catch a Twitter user’s eye, it always helps to include some of the photos one’s business works so hard to produce.

One study of Tweets by news organizations, for instance, found that adding a picture increased the percentage of Retweets by 27 percent.

While it’s important to know what steps to take in conducting a successful advertising campaign on Twitter, sometimes the best move is the one that a marketer does not make.

In this regard, it is best to avoid the use of software known as “auto-responders” to Tweets. Always have a human examine Tweets for relevance before replying to them.

After all, there is a big difference between a Tweet that proclaims, “The photographer took some sick photos at our wedding,” versus one that says, “The photographer took photos of someone getting sick at our wedding.”

Why not Instagram or Pinterest?

Twitter is not the only social media network that has attracted advertisers’ attention in the photography business. A pair of Twitter competitors, Instagram and Pinterest, has raised marketers’ antennae, largely because both focus on images and video.

To be sure, both of these platforms offer advantages that are hard to ignore. Pinterest should have close to 47.1 million active monthly users by the end of 2015, with about 83.3 percent of those users female, according to a recent eMarketer study. In December, Instagram eclipsed 300 million active monthly users, and a recent study says 53 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 use the service.

On the other hand, both Pinterest and Instagram pose challenges for marketers, especially for small and mid-sized businesses.

For Pinterest, part of the issue is how much growth it has in store. The site’s central function, which is acting like an online pin board, may not mesh with what large numbers of people enjoy doing, the eMarketer study noted.

The study also knocked Pinterest’s advertising products, saying they are “fairly limited” for now.

Instagram has several times more users than Pinterest. The problem, in the eyes of some observers, is that Instagram is becoming overly pricey to advertise on, much like its corporate parent, Facebook.

Conclusion

In my book, the best bang for the advertising buck on social media remains Twitter. No other outlet provides a window into people’s purchasing sentiments that is both real-time and so cost-effective, especially for small and mid-sized photo businesses.

And if that isn’t a pretty picture, then I don’t know what is.

Bernard Perrine is the CEO of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv. He can be reached at bernie@socialcentiv.com.

MMIE 598: Who gives the best advice?

Testimonial ads have been used successfully by many companies, as this screen capture from Google images shows.

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McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #598 – April 28, 2015

MMIE’s Editor, Don Long, went online in search of a lens, encountered lions and tigers and bears (Oh my!) along the way, leading to an idea:

Testimonial ads have been used successfully by many companies, as this screen capture from Google images shows.

Testimonial ads have been used successfully by many companies, as this screen capture from Google images shows.

This past December I bought a new camera and a couple of lenses from a very reputable dealer. I’m getting ready to head off an a major trip and need another lens. While I’m borrowing one from my brother, I decided to look online to see what I could find, just for the fun of it. To keep this short (my wife heard the long story yesterday and said she hadn’t heard me talk that much in years), I’ll focus in on one particular character and the advice he offered.

Are you familiar with KenRockwell.com? The site offers all sorts of advice, primarily on Nikon and Canon products, but also wades in on other gear, too. Some people love Mr. Rockwell’s advice, others hate it. He doesn’t have any advertising on his website, but he does get paid for the links and click-throughs to retailers such as B&H and Adorama. (“I’m completely independent. I have no camera companies as advertisers,” he says on his site.)

mmie b

How do you respond to something like this from kenrockwell.com? Testimonial ads, perhaps.

So it was with a raised eyebrow that I read the following on his site at the end of March:

“Retail stores are mostly gone the way of the horse and buggy, as obsolete and unnecessary hassles, as I’ve been saying for years.

“No one needs them, their attitudes, high prices, lack of service, salespeople driven by commission and not customers, lack of selection and lack of full cash refunds.

“I haven’t bought cameras or electronics at retail since the 1970s. I’m surprised anyone still does; mostly the ignorant or those without computers or phones.

“If you’ve got a great local, single location walk-in store with the owner on-site like Adorama, B&H (or OC Camera), great, but otherwise, especially with people being more environmentally conscious, retail has got to be stamped out. No one needs retail (except the retailers themselves), and keeping them open creates traffic and pollution that hurts everyone. Pay more to get less? Not me.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had bad retail experiences. I’ve also had great ones. Mr. Rockwell must have had an entire series of really bad ones. But what has me concerned (other than worrying about the state of retailing), is Mr. Rockwell’s influence. He purports to be “the world’s largest independent source of photography information. Even the world’s largest printed photography magazine has less readership than this website.”

During my online lens research I encountered a number of people who took exception to Mr. Rockwell’s advice on particular products. But one individual who posted on the digital-photography-school.com website under the moniker “The Solitaire” said something which warmed my heart:

“If I have the time I really enjoy browsing KR’s website, Thom Hogan’s site and photozone.de, but I am normally not the kind of person who blindly orders a lens from an online seller based on a review I read.

“The main source I rely on when shopping for a new lens is the camera store where I can stick the lens on a camera and give it a try.

“In this case the most fascinating thing for me was to see a hype being created, people jumping in on that bandwagon, prices for used 70-210 lenses go up, some kind of general disappointment sets in, a counter movement swings up, people jump the new bandwagon and in the end all that fuss about a lens that now is pretty much forgotten again.

“All of that got me curious enough to see what’s up with that particular lens. . . .

“It’s not stellar in any respect but it’s a lot better then [sic] about half of the user reviews found on the internet suggest it is.”

Given the major influence peers have on purchasing decisions, all this leads me to suggest a specific kind of advertising might be in order. Is anyone doing, has anyone considered testimonials? This means getting your customers – people who have bought from you – to feature in your store’s advertising. Let them tell the world how great you are, what super advice they got, how helpful your sales staff is, what a great deal they got. And get those customers to talk about how beneficial it is to get the product in their hands. Then pass it around – on Facebook, Twitter, store cards, stuffers. Peer influence, a major purchasing factor, is one you can’t afford to ignore.

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now 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.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

 

UPDATED: “In great hands:” District Photo to acquire Snapfish from HP

snapfish

snapfishBig news for our friends at District Photo, which will re-acquire Snapfish back from HP. An announcement released today by HP says:

As part of District Photo, Snapfish will be well positioned to continue to grow its global online photo service, partnering with leading retailers and helping customers around the world easily store, share and print their photos online. District Photo expects to provide Snapfish customers with the same level of service and support as they receive from HP.

After the transaction closes, HP will maintain a partnership with Snapfish. Snapfish will continue to use HP printing solutions, and HP will provide the HP Connected Photo application developed by Snapfish on HP consumer PCs, including the Sprout computing platform.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, HP expects the transaction to close in the second half of its fiscal year 2015. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Analyst Frank Baillargeon of f/22 Consulting commented, “District Photo’s (re)acquisition of Snapfish has major competitive implications. Certainly increased anxiety in Redwood Shores. DP can and will compete very well with Shutterfly in the U.S. and Cewe, Cimpress, etc. in UK and EU.  HP unloads a business unit that no longer fits.  Neil Cohen signals that he and his team are ready to become one of the truly dominant global forces in photo output.  I’d loved to be a fly on the wall at DP’s leading retail customers today.  Here they are, once again, facing serious and determined competition from a major supplier (or will a new collaborative model emerge?). Congratulations to District Photo!  It’s terrific to see this evidence of faith in photography. Snapfish is back in great hands!”

Scott Brownstein of Brownstein & McCabe noted, “This should be incredibly encouraging news for all of us who love and value photography. Things are definitely looking up when a successful and experienced photo entrepreneur and industry icon like Neil Cohen ‘doubles down’ on his commitment to connected imaging and District Photo takes SnapFish back from HP. Neil has personally participated in most aspects of consumer photography going back at least 40 years and his business agility, innovation and accomplishments prove that we can expect to be surprised and amazed at what he has in mind. District is a team that I would bet on.”

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here

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The new issue of spreadsjpg-Q1PMA Magazine — Connecting the Imaging Communities is here! In this issue, meet PMA’s new leaders, President Gaby Mullinax and CEO Georgia McCabe, and learn about Coulter, PMA’s new management team. You will also see the excitement of the PMA 2015 Conferences in our story of the event in pictures.

Also in this issue:

A warm sendoff for PMA Australia’s Peter Rose and industry icon John Swainston

John and Peter
Special thanks to guest reporter Paul Atkins for providing this first-hand account of a very special evening held last Friday in Syndey, Australia. Paul also served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Thanks also to Paul and John Ralph for the photos.
Friday night, April 17, was a night to remember. Over 100 Australian photo industry members from all around the country gathered to see into retirement two of its stalwart members, John Swainston, former head of Maxwells Australia, and our own Peter Rose, director of PMA Australia. The dinner was held at the Roseville Golf Club in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs.John and Peter with their framed caricatures
The evening was planned and executed by Barbara Bryan and her husband Richard. Barbara’s energy and love for the industry, and these two statesmen, were reflected in the lengths she went to in making this special — from the film-themed name badges, to the Kangaroo Paw native plant gift to symbolizing new beginnings.
As Master of Ceremonies for the evening that went from 6:30 pm through to 11:00 pm, I at times struggled to keep the audience’s attention for the next speaker, as they drifted into old conversations with one another. Most notable of speeches was given by Bill McCurry; the room was dumbfounded that he and his lovely wife Kathy traveled all the way from their home in the Eastern U.S. for this evening, and hung on his every word as he read letters of support for John and Peter. Professor Des Crawley Peter Rose replyingspoke for John Swainston, in a very touching speech that one rarely hears, and John Paxton did a lovely job speaking for Peter.
I also read a letter written on behalf of the PMA International community, PMA staff and board, and CEO Georgia McCabe, that began with a quote from the poet Rumi: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” This quote, and the letter it began, summed up the careers of both John and Peter, and drew warm applause.
John and Peter then gave their replies, letting us into their worlds, which, from two gentlemen who spent their careers on everything about everyone else, was fascinating. We even had the pleasure of meeting their partners, Ellen Rose and Marie-Alice Swainston, a first for most of us. John’s career has been remarkable, moving from the selling hifi to customers such as Ringo Starr, to speaking regularly at camera clubs (which he did most recently just two nights before; thankfully there

Bill McCurry read tributes to Peter and John

Bill McCurry read tributes to Peter and John

is little sign of him hibernating.)  Peter presented his career in a projected series of photographs that was riveting, gasps of recognition from the audience as they sighted old faces and places; giggles and outright laughter peppered the show, as did the kind of solemnity that comes when you count the years.

Barbara had engaged cartoonist Steve Panozzo to draw John and Peter. The result was fantastic. Barbara had arranged frames for these and they were presented to the honorees at the end of the evening. Steve stayed on until the end, drawing guests in his unique caricatured style. Barbara had also arranged for a gift from PMA for Peter of a voucher in his favorite golf shop. Peter and John reciprocated with an unexpected gift for Barbara and Richard.John and Peter
The take-away memory was the obvious strong relationships amongst the guests. It was a joy for them to catch up, and they reluctantly separated with handshakes and hugs . This is an industry that cares for its own. This was an evening for the industry.
Special thanks again must go to Barbara and Richard; “above and beyond” sums up their efforts. Thanks also to the financial contributors for the evening: Kodak Alaris, Maxwell International, Nikon Australia and PMA International.

The group by Peter Eastway