In January, during the PMA 2015 Conferences, Gabrielle Mullinax of Fullerton Photo became president of PMA – where in the past month, a new CEO has been installed and a new management company has been hired to help create fresh growth and opportunities for PMA and its members. In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Gaby talks about the recent developments, and all the changes yet to come, in creating the new PMA. Listen or download at www.pmapodcast.org, or use the player below.
The AIE event enjoyed attendance by a wide range of imaging enthusiasts and executives at the end of CES’ 4th day at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Photographer Joe McNally gave a touching and informative discussion on the importance of preserving our pictures, illustrated with some great shots from his 30-year career. HP Senior Architect Bob Taylor showed Link, the company’s new foray into imaging interactivity.
Panasonic won the Cameras & Capture category;
Sharing & Social Imaging went to Facebook;
Adobe led the votes in Software & Apps;
The victory in Printing & Output went to HP Indigo;
Google’s Project Tango was named the top Future Imaging Visionary technology.
Mylio founder and former Microsoft chief technical officer David Vaskevitch was recognized as an imaging visionary for his work on accessing, organizing, and protecting photographs with his start-up’s new software.
The other nominees included Ricoh, DJI, Instagram, Snapchat, Apple, Mylio, Athentech, Magisto, Mixbook, MediaClip, Artec Group, Jaunt, Oculus Rift, Orbeus, and Samsung.
The top technologies and products were voted on by the membership of the Association of Imaging Executives, a PMA member group.
Nominations for the next Visionary Awards will be open to the industry.
Voting will be limited to AIE members. (Join now!)
The AIE helps imaging executives and industry leaders make strategic connections to advance the profitable use of new imaging technologies.
The AIE Show and Tell session spotlighted the latest mobile apps for outputing imaging products.
Host Hans Hartman called it “the most stressful and the most rewarding session” as he runs it like baseball: when one presenter is talking, the next is “on deck” and ready to go.
Among the software developers were:
Sworl’s Tom Riley presented a new service that is directly selling custom framed photos. The app analyze images for sufficient resolution, and simply does not show the options that will not print well. There are no filters or other adjustments except cropping. “The hardest part was making check-out easy for customers,” he added. “We spent a lot of time on that.” Prices start at $19.99 for a 4×6, framed and shipped. The second challenge was the “trust factor:” getting customers to believe in the quality of the frames, sight unseen. The good news: “40 percent of our customers have already reordered” — and they’ve only been in business a few months.
Sosocio’s Wouter van den Berg said his company first tried to monetize social imaging with advertising and sales on Facebook, but while “people were ordering books, it was not as much as we’d thought: we expected it would be millions a year, and it was tens of thousands.” Advertising on Facebook ate up the revenues. Now his team offers a white-label HTML5 app for photo book creation, and the “completion rate is more than 25 percent.”
Ecce Terram’s Frank Simon showed their photo gift creation software, and noted they now offer more product selections — including wallpaper customized with multiple personal images, and different-sized calendars.
“High conversion rates are not related to the number of features you have,” Taopix’ Jimmy Hennessy said. “It is about providing a smooth and simple user experience.” For white-label photo gift solutions such as that offered by his firm, “it is also important to keep it simple for the print providers to work on the back end to add new products.”
Pixfizz’ Stephen Thorpe said customers “don’t care if its Flash or HTML5 or whatever,” as what they want is “a seamless experience from email link to browser.” The company had started as an event photography service, but later realized software development was their true core competency. They launched the software in 2009, and now have “three of the largest book producers by volume,” using their code, “all under NDA.”
tapsBook has taken the code from its original photo book app, and is now offering it as an software development kit that can monetize other photo apps, Sherwood Yao said. “If you have a photo app, our SDK is the fastest path to adding photo book creation on a mobile platform to any device.” He noted that book creation has to be much simpler, so that potential customers can create one in the down time such as when riding the subway.
Mediaclip has been offering photo merchandise manufacturers white-label tools since 2005, Philippe Gascon said. Most customers are primarily still desktop PC users, he said, “but mobile is growing.” And customers most want “continuity” so they begin a project on one platform and finish it on another. “The goal is to make solutions very simple.” Also, when one customer finishes an order, they can share it with friends or family who can customize it for their own print order.
The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) honored PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax with its Visionary Award at the 2015 PMDA International Awards Dinner on January 5, held at the XS Nightclub at Encore in Las Vegas, Nev.
One of the highest honors awarded in the imaging industry, the PMDA Visionary Award is bestowed on individuals whose work helps shape the photo business space and blaze a trail for others to follow.
“We are delighted that PMDA has chosen to recognize and honor our newly elected president of PMA with the Visionary Award. Gaby’s leadership has been vital to setting PMA’s path into the future, just as it has been in redefining the entire concept of the photo retail business,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe. “Now, as she takes on her most important role yet in leading PMA as President, it’s wonderful for her to be recognized as the true visionary she is. Gaby is so richly deserving of this award.”
“We’re proud to acknowledge Gaby as a true visionary in our industry,” said Jerry Grossman, Executive Director of PMDA. “Her creativity and spirit bring a certain spark that is admired by her peers, and her enthusiasm for innovation is something that we all should emulate. The PMDA is thrilled to recognize her contributions with our 2015 Visionary Award.”
Other PMDA honorees include Person of the Year Go Miyazaki, President and CEO of Fujifilm North America Corp.; Technical Achievement Award, Wataru Otani, Ricoh Co.; Lifetime Achievement, John Clouse, Nikon Inc.; Professional Photographer Award, Joe McNally.
– By guest PMA Newsline reporter Greg Dyro.
Early Tuesday morning in a Bally’s Conference room was one of the most important discussions of the PMA 2015 Conferences. Speaker Heino Hilbig asked: Where do we stand today in the photo market? What are the reasons for this situation? Who can change the situation? Hilbig said applying mathematical formulas to extensive market research data, we can get a clear picture as to what is really going on.
We are all feeling helpless about the camera industry, Hilbig said. Compact camera sales have plunged and DSLR sales plunged right behind them. But looking at these steep declines in sales against known sales models shows us that it’s not the two major things we feared. It’s not market saturation. It’s not smart phones. Therefore, it must be another reason.
The primary reason for these steep declines is “communication.” Look at photos of camera store windows and displays from the 1980s as compared to today. Nothing has changed in those windows. The market underwent an incredible destructive reorganization with digital and smart phones, yet we still are selling and making cameras in styles they way we did in 1980. Its just one thing: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.“ An eye opening presentation for sure.
In a history-making vote, PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations, elected Gabrielle Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, California, as president for 2015-2016, marking the first time in its 91-year history that PMA has elected a female president.
Fifteen years ago, as an entrepreneurial photographer and young mother, Mullinax bought a minilab and joined the ranks of the photo industry. At the cusp of the digital age, this was a analog film processing lab without so much as a computer onsite. With a deep, inherent understanding of her target market – women like herself – Mullinax devised creative, unique promotional campaigns and new product innovations that proceeded to turn Fullerton Photographics into one of the most successful specialty photo stores in the United States. Not only did Gaby spur remarkable growth in her business, but she also transformed the landscape of the retail photo world overall. As a leader at PMA and a speaker for imaging industry organizations such as IPI, PRO and FotoSource, Mullinax generously shares her ideas with others, many of whom have adopted them and achieved similar success.
“As the new President of PMA, Gaby is bringing not only her knowledge and experience of this industry, but also her endless imagination, her undaunted spirit and her absolute refusal to fail,” said John Segall, of Lifetouch, Inc. “Her passion for this industry and its success is unparalleled, and her leadership is exactly what the industry needs.”
Outgoing President Bill Eklund of Sharp Photo in Eau Claire, Wis., said, “Gaby is taking over leadership of PMA at the perfect moment, as we are committing to revitalizing PMA just like she revitalized her business. She is the right person at the right time. I can’t think of a more qualified leader for the job.”
In her acceptance speech, Mullinax noted, “We are taking a fresh look at the possibilities. We are envisioning what PMA would be if it was a brand new organization, coming into existence now for the first time. We are using that picture to restructure, to build something new that serves the current and evolving needs of our members today, and of our future members.
“This is your PMA, and we invite you to join with us in reinventing it. As a unified industry, we will be a powerful force for change, growth and development,” she continued. “Together, we can help consumers realize and embrace the fact that pictures matter. We can do this, because we believe in photos. We believe in this industry. We believe in PMA.”
On a related note, in December, the Board of Directors of PMA appointed longtime industry veteran Georgia McCabe as CEO and Executive Director – the first time a woman has ever held this role. Read more here.
The Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA), elected a new Board of Directors for 2015-2016 at a member meeting held Monday at the PSPA/SPAA 2015 Conference, part of the PMA 2015 Conferences, at Bally’s in Las Vegas, Nev.
Brian Fox of Foxmar Photography is the President of PSPA for the 2015-2016 term. Courtney Lutz of Visual Image Photography is President Elect. First Vice-President is Kevin Jardina of Lifetouch National School Studios, and Second Vice-President is Jake Mark of Dorian Studios. Treasurer is Joy L. Cahill, Cahill Studios of Photography.
The Directors are Ed Sanders, Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co., and Bill Freeman, Freeman Photography. Georgia McCabe, CEO and Executive Director of PMA, is Secretary. James W. Pool is the group’s Technical Advisor.
In Monday’s Official Business Session, held as part of the PMA 2015 Conferences, outgoing PMA President Bill Eklund spoke on the recent “bold moves” made by the PMA Board of Directors. He said:
I woke up last year, the morning of my acceptance speech as I was to be nominated President of the Photo Marketing Association International. I thought, Wow, what the heck have I done? Why did I step up to this awesome position at this difficult time in the photo imaging industry? What’s the future? A train of emotions hit me in the face.
The questions that struck me that day, 364 days ago, were, “Why am I a PMA member?” “Why is anyone a PMA member these days?” and “Ultimately, what makes PMA relevant to its members?”
Relevancy. Over the next few months, I asked and listened. Early on, I set up a Relevancy Committee on the Executive Board to study what relevancy PMA has to its members. The committee had difficulty coming up with answers, other than the convention, the great networking that happens here, and the trade show. But is this enough reason to be a PMA member? My struggle went on.
In the mean time, PMA struggled too. We cut costs. We downsized the staff several times. And it became difficult to run the old organization’s infrastructure with the smaller staff and deliver the services we once did. Your volunteer PMA Executive Board had run out of ideas, and we were lost in the wilderness of cost management. In a recent accounting review, PMA’s accountant issued a concern about PMA’s financial situation. On top of all that, we lost our vision — and our overworked staff had no time to work on it either.
Many of us in the room have experienced a similar situation in the last several years. You are probably sitting here today because you changed your business model. You probably attended PMA last year and I’d bet you picked up an idea or two that helped you hang in there. Some of us are hanging on. But some of us are flourishing! Some of us have seen opportunities and have had the wherewithal to fight back and change and grow again. It’s time that PMA made some changes to its business model, too.
Still seeking answers on PMA’s viability, I was introduced to Georgia McCabe. Georgia has quite a resume in the digital photo industry. She has worked with IBM, Kodak, and served as FujiFilm’s first female Sr. Vice President and General Manager. Recently Georgia has been the digital imaging industry’s go-to social media marketing expert. She showed interest in helping PMA — and your PMA Board seized the opportunity to get her input.
Last October, just over two months ago, Georgia agreed to dig into PMA. She signed an NDA and we opened up our financials, our membership list, our struggles and our soul, so she could dissect them and help us find relevancy. Through this process, Georgia uncovered problems — but most importantly, she spotted opportunities. Not just opportunities,but ideas, paradigm shifts, and new markets that were not on my radar at all. In fact, she was so excited and eager to attack these opportunities that I was blown away.
Today, I am “stoked” about the future possibilities of PMA. By the end of her research, I knew we had to have Georgia on our PMA team. Your PMA Board quickly decided to make several bold moves and revitalize your PMA with new leadership and new ideas, led by Georgia McCabe. And should you decide to elect Gaby Mullinax as PMA’s next President at tomorrow’s election, we can deliver a one-two punch that should get the attention of the world of photography and imaging. Many of us in this room are second-, third- or even fourth-generation PMA members. But this is not your grandfather’s PMA anymore.
Bold move number one: Georgia McCabe was hired as PMA’s new CEO and Executive Director just few days ago. She has jumped into the fire and is busy changing things up. I think you’ll see some changes here during this conference. And I can’t wait to see your faces a year from now.
Bold move number two: PMA has hired Coulter, an association management company. Utilizing a highly skilled management team will help PMA deliver more services to the members, while cutting redundant costs. With Coulter’s manpower, we will have the depth of staff PMA once had, at a fraction of the cost. You’ll see a re-energized look, a new, useable website and member benefits only a large organization can supply. In addition, the management tools available to the Board to help manage the organization will be second to none. A management company also frees up our Executive Director to manage our vision, and not day to day operations.
Bold move number three: PMA needs to change our By-Laws. We need to be more inclusive and allow members from other sectors of the photo industry on our Boards. With input and leadership from experienced and connected Board members, we can see each other’s needs. A more diverse Board will have more have a say in governing their association. This is a motion we will be voting on tomorrow morning.
Bold move number four: The election of PMA’s first woman president, Gaby Mullinax, if you vote for her tomorrow morning. Personally, I don’t look at the sex of the leader. I look at the capability, the vision and the drive. At this point in time, I can’t think of a better candidate to lead the imaging industry into the next 90 years.
The easy thing to do would have been to maintain the status quo, downsize the staff again, reduce our services even more and eventually fade away. However, your PMA Board is making these bold moves to give this organization its best chance to not only survive, but flourish. And thank God, Georgia is willing to take a chance, with a fresh outlook on things, and revitalize PMA for the future.
Elected to his second term as President is Glenn Paul of dotPhoto. President Elect is Reiner Fageth of CeWe Color. Doug Rowan of Imaging Solutions is First Vice President, and Andrew Laffoon of Mixbook is Second Vice President.Treasurer is Fred Lerner of MailPix. Past President Director at Large is Rob Tolmie of R&C Consulting. The Directors are Mark Treadwell, C.R.I.S. Camera Services, Marco Perlman of Digipix and Randall Rothenberg of IAB.