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


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.”

MMIE 597: Use your customers’ pictures


McCurryIdea_200x139McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #597 – April 21, 2015

Remember how you’d see a print coming off the machine and get an 8-by-10 made of it, then show the customer how great it looked as an enlargement – hint, hint?

Today, with most pictures ending up on hard drives and maybe on Facebook, retailers lose the ability to talk with customers about the pictures they have taken.

mmie 597 b

It doesn’t have to be that way: Lynette Kitt of Unforgettable Memories, located in Fort St. John, B.C (a town of about 20,000), uses Facebook as a way to start the picture conversation. “Customer put their pictures up on Facebook – for example a picture of the Northern Lights – and we’ll phone and ask them to send us the jpeg so we can make a print of it,” she says. “We’ll put the picture on display in the store and talk it up on Facebook and Twitter, telling our friends they can buy the print from us. The photographer usually links to our message and may make his or her own post (‘check out my picture at Unforgettable Memories’). If the picture is purchased, we’ll kick some of the money to the photographer.”

mmie 597 c

Kitt adds that her team is “all over social media. We follow people, acquire images and sell them on behalf of the photographer. We pick the images we like and showcase them in the store. I constantly get new displays, people can buy the print, better yet, customers see what they can do with their pictures. We’re constantly searching for images. Eighty-five percent of the pictures in the store are from outside sources.”

Once they have the right image, how do they output it? “We’ve been trying out metal and acrylic,” Kitt says. “In fact, one wedding photo we did in metal. The original image was found on the wife’s Facebook page — and the print was purchased by the husband.”



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

On the PMA Podcast: Coaching for Warriors


Jeffrey Shaw

Jeffrey Shaw is a business coach, the host of Creative Warriors podcast —  and a photographer.

He works with entrepreneurs who are marketing themselves, and their talents. His core message: they must have a clear direction, know what they stand for, develop a unique branding message, and effectively communicate it.

On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Jeffrey shares advice on “knowing your story,” how to diversify your business, and overcoming the challenges that might stand in your way.

You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here


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:

30 million wearable cameras to ship annually

Abstract tech vector design

Abstract tech vector design

By 2020, wearable camera shipments will surpass 30 million units annually, projects market researcher Tractica — up from 5.6 million in 2014.

The firm adds that GoPro is driving momentum in sports applications but consumer, enterprise, and public safety applications are not far behind. “In many ways, wearable cameras are an extension of the smartphone camera, enabling hands-free functionality that allows users to capture both planned and spontaneous moments from unique perspectives, by using body or head mounts, or simply clipping the camera to clothing. Wearable camera adoption will be strongest in areas where there is a clear and specific use case or context in which the camera is used”

Other areas noted include consumer “lifelogging” cameras, public safety/body-worn cameras for police officers, and enterprise uses such as user experience research in retail and hospitality.

Tractica says its “Wearable Cameras” report analyzes the global market for wearable cameras, providing an assessment of market drivers and barriers, technology issues, and key industry players. The study provides detailed forecasts for wearable camera shipments and revenue across application markets including sports, public safety, consumer, enterprise, industrial, and healthcare.

There’s a free executive summary here.

Apple acquires multi-image sensor developer LinX

linx module

linx module

SLR image quality in a phone?…
Last year we reported on the LinX’ technology that captured high-resolution images using an array of lower-res sensors. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reportedApple acquired the developer for approx. $20 million.

The Israeli company last year claimed it could match SLR image quality with lower-cost components thanks to its arrays and algorithms.

In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, the developer of a 3D-sensing imager.

From our previous coverage:

Mobile module combines cameras
“The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end,” claims LinX Computational Imaging. So, of course, they say they have a new route, by developing miniature multi-aperture camera modules.
The mobile modules “are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of creating stunning color images,” the company says… Its ““multi-aperture imaging technologies” combine multiple images “captured from different points in space.” It also has overcome problems such as registration errors and occlusion-related artifacts arising from combining multiple images. The technique also captures accurate depth information, and creates a depth map that can be uses for 3D reconstruction.
There’s more information here.

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax honored with Small Business of the Year Award


MullinaxGaby_2013PMA President Gaby Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif., is having a good year. In January, she was honored with the PMDA Visionary of the Year award, and, of course, the following day, she was elected president of PMA – becoming the first female president in our 90-year history. Now, she is being honored again, this time with the Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes businesses for extraordinary achievement in a number of key areas, such as involvement in the community, service above self, outreach, ethical business practices, length of service, innovation, leadership, environmental awareness, and ability to promote wellness and learning for employees.

“Those of us in the imaging industry are very familiar with Gaby’s remarkable vision, her business acumen, her creative genius, and her generous spirit, so it’s certainly no surprise to see her being recognized once again for her achievements. That she is now being honored by her local community with the Small Business of the Year award is just another reason for us to be proud and confident to have her leading PMA as president in this critical year of reinvention,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented to Fullerton Photographics at the Chamber’s Business Achievement Awards Dinner on June 17.

Nerds fly drones legally, “protect homeowners from rogues”



“According to the new FAA proposed rules, drone operators need permission to fly over private property,” says Albuquerque-based Nerds Limited LLC. And so their iOS app Legal Flyer “aims to bridge the communication gap between drone pilots and worried citizens.”

The app provides drone operators a permission slip to fly, and a property release to allow videographers and photographers necessary permission to fly and film, the company says — and “protect homeowners from rogue drones.”

The Nerds say their app “is a tool for drone operators to get necessary permissions, as well as, inform and educate the public on their privacy rights. We hope through informed consent more citizens feel comfortable with drones, while more videographers are able to fly homes.”

The $10 app not only complies with FAA rules, but also more relevant FCC rules and privacy laws, the company adds. “Many citizens have concerns of privacy and most individuals are unaware they own the airspace above their home” up to 83 feet.

There’s more information here.

legal flyer


Facebook sued for faces



Using facial recognition, Facebook automatically identifies people in pictures, and asks if you’d like to tag them.

Now a class-action lawsuit filed April 1 says it violates users’ privacy, Newsweek reports. “Facebook’s facial recognition technology is able to identify friends in pictures by scanning their faces, isolating their facial features and comparing the information against its database of faces. Lead plaintiff Carlo Licata of Illinois’s Cook County claims that by collecting users’ facial data and secretly amass[ing] the world’s largest privately held database of consumer biometrics data, Facebook is violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008.”

What do you think – must Facebook get permission from each and every user before applying face recognition across the board?

Newsweek’s full article is here.

Moms challenged to “Get in the Picture”



On April 11, NBC Universal’s 24-hour preschool network Sprout will campaign to “inspire Moms to get in front of the camera and back in the picture with their kids — and to commemorate all of life’s perfectly imperfect moments.”

The 2015 #MomIsHere campaign kicks off with a 30-day social media challenge, the company says.

An added wrinkle: Sprout is emphasizing “#NoFilter30,” and inviting moms “to share the real beauty of being a mom by posting one candid, “#nofilter” photo of themselves and their children every day for the 30 days leading up to Mother’s Day.” Those who successfully complete the 30-day challenge will have the opportunity to win a grand prize worth $2,500.

“As a mom, I know how easy it is to stay behind the camera and take pictures of my kids,” says the network’s host. “The #MomIsHere #NoFilter30 challenge is a great way for moms like me to challenge themselves to get in the picture and capture the many beautiful moments that we so easily miss by being behind the lens.”

Here’s more information.