Liberty marks 30th anniversary


libertyLiberty Synergistics is celebrating 30 years in business. Ron Green founded Liberty in 1984, initially as a supplier of plastic and stainless steel ball bearings to the photo and motion picture industries. Over the past 30 years, Liberty has grown significantly to meet the product, parts and accessories needs of wholesale and retail image processing companies across the USA and internationally. In recent years, Liberty added a fulfillment division, ivoke, making millions of personalized products. ivoke is a production and fulfillment powerhouse, working behind the scenes of many companies, brands, photographers and artists.

“We are continuing to realign our product offerings to include all the new innovative products that allow us to personalize our lives through imaging,” comments Green, CEO.

As a testament to Liberty’s commitment to the evolving imaging and personalization industry, the Company is launching a new website,, in August. Using the latest web and e-commerce technology, the new site offers a broad array of products to help imaging and personalization companies grow their revenue. From wide format printing to sublimation, direct print and mounting, Liberty2create offers a broad line of products to help labs increase their revenues and provide new and differentiated products to their customers.

Check back often, as the site will continually be updated with how-to videos, new products, and more.

Walk off the war: Fujifilm sponsors veterans organization

warrior walk fuji

warrior walk fuji

The U.S. division of Fujifilm is sponsoring Warrior Hike, a non-profit organization supporting combat veterans transitioning from their military service by hiking America’s National Scenic Trails.

Warrior Hike has partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and more recently with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, and the Pacific Crest Trail Association to expand the “Walk Off The War” Program. During the 6-month 2,000-plus mile journey along a National Scenic Trail, veterans have the opportunity to decompress from their military service and come to terms with their wartime experiences while learning to use the outdoors as an alternative form of therapy.

As part of its sponsorship, Fujifilm has donated several FinePix XP-Series rugged, waterproof cameras “so that as the veterans embark on their journeys through the “Walk Off The War” program, they are able to capture the scenery and memories as they experience them.,” the company says. “We hope the veterans will find solace in the images and movies they capture along the trails and help them as they transition back into civilian life.”

In addition, Fujifilm will be supporting the Warrior Hike by matching their employee donations through their Corporate Giving program.

Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation is the Regional Headquarters for all the Americas, comprised of subsidiary companies in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.

IPC celebrates 40th anniversary at 2014 PMA@CES

The IPC 40th Anniversary logo, designed by IPC board member Kathy Magrane and IPC member Muzammil I. Sidiqqui, combines elements of IPC’s traditional logo with 40th anniversary graphics.
The IPC 40th Anniversary logo, designed by IPC board member Kathy Magrane and IPC member Muzammil I. Sidiqqui, combines elements of IPC’s traditional logo with 40th anniversary graphics.

The IPC 40th Anniversary logo, designed by IPC board member Kathy Magrane and IPC member Muzammil I. Sidiqqui, combines elements of IPC’s traditional logo with 40th anniversary graphics.

PMA began its 90th birthday celebration this week at the PMA 2014 Conferences — but we’re not the only ones marking an important milestone in 2014.

The International Photographic Council (IPC), the New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing worldwide recognition of photography as a universal means of communication, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. To help launch a year-long celebration, IPC unveiled a new commemorative logo during PMA@CES today —“PEACE THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY”—which reflects its history and core mission.

Since it was founded in 1974, the non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations, with an international membership representing every major photo industry sector, has supported initiatives that embrace the motto “Peace Through Understanding, Understanding Through Photography, the Universal Language.”

From its early achievement in getting a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service to honor photography, the IPC has driven and implemented major initiatives in support of the photoimaging industry.

Each year, IPC President James Chung invites professional photography organizations to nominate a professional photographer who best represents their group’s ideals. Honorees are recognized at an Annual Leadership Award Luncheon at the United Nations during “May: International Professional Photography Month.”

In 2012, IPC presented a United Nations Photo Exhibit at Photokina in Cologne, Germany. The “United Nations: Decades of Achievement” exhibition ran throughout the convention, September 17-23, and continues as an international traveling exhibit.

IPC offers scholarships to outstanding photoimaging students: the Ira Seebacher Scholarship Award for American school students who excel in the study of photography; the Kunio Yatomi Scholarship for graduate students in Japan who achieve excellence in their photoimaging major; and the Sophie Smoliar Scholarship for outstanding European students in photographic classes. The photo industry of Germany co-sponsors this European scholarship.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “This year, our Annual Leadership Award Luncheon at the United Nations will be a very special occasion,” says IPC President James Chung. “In addition to celebrating the achievements of our professional photographer honorees, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary. We join our friends at PMA in celebrating their 90th anniversary, along with the 175th anniversary of photography in 2014 — a year filled with key industry milestones.”

Throughout 2014, IPC will be posting anniversary-related stories and images on its website and social media. Watch for testimonials and anecdotes from Leadership Award honorees, photographs and IPC historical trivia, on the IPC website.



John Segall of Lifetouch receives 2014 PMA Hall of Fame Award

John Segall receives PMA’s highest honor. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.
John Segall receives PMA’s highest honor. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.

John Segall receives PMA’s highest honor. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.

I’m delighted to announce John Segall of Lifetouch is the recipient of the 2014 PMA Hall of Fame Award – PMA’s highest honor — for decades of service to PMA and to the imaging industry as a whole.

John was born into a photographic family. His grandfather, Louis Segall, was a portrait photographer in Germany; his father, Karl Segall, a Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA) Past President and a recipient of the PMA Distinguished Service Award, joined Louis in opening a photography studio after they immigrated to America in 1938.

John and his brother Jeff joined the family business more than 40 years ago. In 1995, the Segall brothers sold both Segall-Majestic and Elegant Images to Lifetouch Inc., and continue to work with Lifetouch to this day.

John attended his first PMA seminar in New Orleans in 1974. He joined the PSPA Board of Directors in 1982, and served until 1988. He was elected President of PSPA in 1985 (a position John’s brother Jeff also held, in 1995). John served on the PMA Board of Directors from 1989-1997, and was elected President in 1993. He became a PMA Lifetime Member in 1994, and was a member of the PMA Services Board of Directors from 2004-2012. John was the organizer of the industry gift to Roy S. Pung, upon Pung’s retirement from PMA in 2002, and serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Michigan State University Roy S. Pung Best Practices in Management Lecture Series. John received the PMA Distinguished Service Award in 2008, and the PSPA Lynx Award in 2012.

John currently serves the imaging industry as Vice President and Board member of the International Photographic Council (IPC), and organized and staged the United Nations Exhibition of Photography on behalf of the IPC at Photokina in 2012. He is also a member of the Buck Rogers/NPG Group.

“With his long and remarkable service to PMA and the entire imaging industry, John continues and builds upon a proud family legacy,” said PMA president Allen Showalter. “On behalf of the entire PMA membership, it is truly a privilege to recognize John with the PMA Hall of Fame Award, as a symbol of our thanks for his lifetime of hard work and dedication.”

John will be presented with the PMA Hall of Fame Award on Jan. 7, 2014, during 2014 PMA@CES, Jan 7-10, 2014, at the LVH in Las Vegas, Nev. Look for more about John in the upcoming Jan./Feb. 2014 issue of PMA magazine.

PMDA names 2014 Person of the Year

pmda logo

pmda logoIt’s always exciting to see people honored for their contributions to the industry. PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) announced today that Myoung Sup Han, president of the Digital Imaging division of Samsung Electronics, has been named their 2014 Person of the Year.  This distinguished award is being given to Han in recognition of his contributions to the highly innovative Samsung Galaxy digital imaging products that are driving new consumer experiences in digital photography and connectivity.

Han will be honored at the 48th Annual PMDA Awards Dinner, which takes place on January 6, 2014 at XS Nightclub at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, just before the start of 2014 PMA@CES.

In addition, Dr. Ren Ng , founder and executive chairman of Lytro, will be given the Herbert Keppler Technical Achievement Award; Don Franz , publisher of Photo Imaging News, will be awarded the Norman C. Lipton Lifetime Achievement Award; and a special Visionary Award will be given to the Eddie Adams Workshop in celebration of their 25th anniversary of promoting young photographers. In addition, famed rock-and-roll portrait photographer Lynn Goldsmith  will be presented with the 2014 Professional Photographer Award.

“We’re pleased to be able to recognize these distinguished individuals for their accomplishments in the field of digital imaging,” said Mike Kahn , president of the PMDA. “Our event will once again shine the light on the many accomplishments and innovations that has kept the digital imaging industry on the forefront of the consumer electronics revolution. It will certainly be a night not to miss.”

Samsung and Nokia to debate Mobile Imaging

mobile conference


mobile conference

Samsung and Nokia will be onstage at the Mobile Photo Connect conference discussing the industry consequences as smartphone vendors make rapid and dramatic improvements in their camera hardware and software, generating ever better photos.

Will there be place for both smartphones and digital cameras in the future?  If so, who will use which type of device on what type of occasion?  Will both device types support compatible photo apps and what does this mean for photo app developers?

The panel will feature Jay Kelbley of Samsung and Jason Gregory of Nokia, joined by Manish Vaidya, co-founder & VP of photo community site and photo app developer Streamzoo, as well as co-hosts Hans Hartman and Alexis Gerard.

Mobile Photo Connect will also feature such sessions as Mobile photography in 2013 and beyond; The connected camera perspective; Weeding through the API jungle; Monetization options for photo apps; and three photo app Show-and-Tell sessions, featuring 26 photo apps.

As PMA is a media sponsor of Mobile Photo Connect, members can get $100 off the conference price, paying $399 rather than $499, if they register here. More information on the conference is here.


Adobe hacked: source code, customer financial data taken

adobe revel 2


adobe revel 2

Thieves cracked the code behind Adobe’s Cloud, taking source code for several apps, and the financial data of some customers.

Attackers accessed IDs and encrypted passwords relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers — “including names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders.”

“Cyber attacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today,” the company says. “Very recently, Adobe’s security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving the illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products. We believe these attacks may be related.”

Critics have already noted the attack calls into question Adobe’s recent strategy of offering its professional apps only as a cloud-based subscription service. Adobe says it “deeply regrets that this incident occurred. We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident.”

Adobe is resetting passwords and alerting affected customers, as well as the banks processing customer payments.


Struggling to overcome the Boulder floods

A Boulder home (to the right, behind the trees) on day one of the flooding
A bridge, mostly under water

A bridge, mostly under water

Record rainfall caused massive flooding in the Boulder, Colorado area, last week, claiming several lives and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. We’ve been reaching out to members in the affected areas to see what they are facing. Kathy Sniffin of Picture Woods, a PPFA-member manufacturer of hardwood mouldings located in Boulder, shared these images  and explained what’s been happening:


Our region has been hit by devastating floods over the last few days.  The city limits of Boulder, where we are located, have been particularly hard-hit by massive rain and unprecedented flooding.  We received 15 inches of rain in four days in a region where we receive an average of 14 inches of total precipitation all year.  All of us in this area have been affected.  We’ve all been bailing out homes and neighbors, negotiating streets that were suddenly rushing rivers, and looking for ways to help each other ride this whole thing out.  As I’m writing this, the skies are clearing, it’s warming up, and it looks as though the worst has passed.

A Boulder home (to the right, behind the trees) on day one of the flooding

A Boulder home (to the right, behind the trees) on day one of the flooding

Our shop and office are fine; the street, lawn, and parking lot were filled with water, but thankfully no water came in to the building, and our crew is back at work. Picture Woods is already back to full production, but it will still take us a couple of days to catch up on the back log. We are optimistic that any delays will be short-lived.  We are used to crazy, unexpected weather in our part of the world, but the dose we got over the last few days was extreme, and we look forward to a return to “normal.”

The same home — yard, garden and trees now gone — on day two

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many people in our region who have been devastated by this terrible natural event.  All of us in the region are regrouping with a mixture of sorrow for what people have lost and appreciation for how much our community is holding together.  I feel particularly lucky to live in a place where people are proud and happy to extend their help and support to each other.

Our thanks to Kathy for sharing her experience, as well as these photos of her neighborhood. If your business has been affected by the Boulder floods, email me, and we will include your story too.

Mobile Photo conference slates speakers

mobile conference

mobile conference

The Mobile Photo Connect industry conference announced its initial list of speakers who’ll discuss the mobile photography market next month.

Also, an “international cast of over 24 presenters” will demonstrate cutting-edge photo apps. Conference chair Hans Hartman says developers and platform vendors in the imaging, photography and mobile industries “have been clamoring for a forum where they can interact and create opportunities to partner. In many respects, these are still two separate worlds, but both are acutely aware of the need to bridge the divide, and are seeking ways to leverage each other’s technologies and/or user base.”

The conference is October 15 in San Francisco. Speakers include Erin Lodi, Mobile Imaging Editor, DPReview Connect/Digital Photography Review; Mikkel Aaland, photographer and book author; Jay Kelbley, senior marketing manager, Samsung; Jason Gregory, head of sell-in & customer engagement, Nokia; Manish Vaidya, co-founder & VP, Streamzoo; Avi Muchnick, chief product officer and co-founder, Aviary; Darren Johnson, chief growth officer and vice president Kodak Alaris Personalized Imaging; Ksenia Polonsky, strategic marketing photo segment manager, HP; Tekin Tatar, CEO, BeFunky; and Hans Chung, business development, PicCollage.

More information is here.


Wall Street Journal: Compact cameras fading fast

wsj logo icon


wsj logo icon

It’s no secret that compact camera sales have been on the decline for a while now, for two primary reasons: most people are satisfied with the camera in their smart phone, and those who want more photographic capability than a phone provides generally already have more — and the camera they bought a year or three ago is still very good and doesn’t exactly demand replacing.

Now the Wall Street Journal is putting some figures on those declines, with help from market analysts at IDC.

The global camera market may shrink to 102 million units this year, compared with a peak of about 144 million in 2010, according to IDC. Global shipments plummeted 42 percent in the first five months of 2013, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association.

As a result, the Journal reports, companies such as Fujifilm and Panasonic have pared down product lines, and Canon lowered its full-year profit outlook by 10 percent.

“This comes as the number of photos being snapped is soaring exponentially,” the Journal adds. “Fujifilm estimates that 1.6 trillion photos are taken annually with smartphones, cameras, and other devices, compared with about 100 billion photos a year during the heyday of film cameras around the year 2000.”

The complete story is here.