PMA recognizes leaders, companies and individuals for “Out of the Box” thinking

Photo Marketing Association International (PMA) announced the recipients of the Out of the Box awards presented at InnovationNow Photo Business and Technology Summit, Monday, Sept. 28, at Hotel Parc 55, in San Francisco, Calif.

The inaugural Out of the Box Awards recognize innovation and collaboration by honoring the visionaries behind breakthrough achievements across the entire photography spectrum. Out of the Box Award categories span all industry segments, including manufacturers, service providers, small and large in-store and online retailers, software providers, photographic studios, and photographers who have broken new ground.

“PMA wants to recognize, in the digital world, innovations can come from all segments of the industry, from a small family-owned shop to a large multinational,” says Georgia McCabe, CEO, PMA. “The Out of the Box Awards recognize those who understand the way to grow the entire industry is to learn new skills, invent new process and try new marketing approaches.”

The award winners are:

Customer-first award: Mixbook

Mixbook, an award-winning photo service that helps consumers share and relive life‘s most important memories through stunning, one-of-a-kind photo products.

Customer-focused productivity: DSP Photography

DSP Photography, has demonstrated that a total dedication to quality and efficiency can lead to higher profits, sustained growth and customer loyalty.

Market Maker: Circle Graphics

Circle Graphics manufactures and sells personalized wall décor and photo gift products through multiple retail channels, and popularized personalized wall decor with bringing high-quality canvas to new channels and markets.

Millennials Meet the Master: The Artona Group

The Artona Group has adapted to changing technology and business practices from the input from all members of the Rak family.

Engine of Innovation: Mediaclip

Mediaclip’s white-label software solution, which is integrated into hundreds of websites and with the most popular e-Commerce platforms worldwide, allows customers to offer an incredible array of photo merchandise products with a intuitive user interface.

21st Century George Eastman Award: DNP

DNP introduced the DNP WPS-1 wireless print server, allowing event photographers to efficiently increase their shoot-to-print business by eliminating the use of wires and memory cards.

Consumer Market Driver: CEWE Color

CEWE jump-started the photo book market in Europe by offering the CEWE Photo Book through independent retailers and supported with an extensive marketing campaign.

High-Touch, Low-Tech Marketing: Atkins Photo Lab

Atkins Photo Lab, a third-generation photo lab based in Australia, meets the needs of the ever-changing market, all the while advancing the personal touch and service that is the hallmark of the company.

High-Touch, High-Tech Marketing: Live Portrait

Live Portrait breathes new life into the school portrait, which uses augmented reality through a smartphone camera to add a video element to every photograph in a yearbook.

All Are Welcome: Glossy Finish by Lifetouch

Glossy Finish also allows parents and family attending the sporting event to make their own prints at the mobile lab, which not only adds another layer of customer service, but also highlights the quality from Glossy Finish’s own photographers.

Education Leadership: H&H Color Lab

H&H Color Lab actively works to ensure customer success with a commitment to education.

Marketing Maverick: OIympus America

Olympus America has advanced the cause for mirrorless cameras with a humorous video campaign to raise awareness of DSL-ARM, a fictional affliction causing an arm to be stretched through the use of a heavy DSLR. which also highlighted the distinctiveness of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Imaging Evangelist: Panasonic

Panasonic has broken the mold for camera marketing for its Lumix brand cameras. Panasonic is embracing the fact the consumer lives in an age of screens, with moving images everywhere: smartphones, tablets, computers and television displays.

Unsung Hero: Peter Tahmin

Peter Tahmin has been behind the success of many of the photo industries biggest names, including Kodak, Ritz Interactive and Ritz Camera & Image. Currently, Peter is the co-founder & COO at located in Huntington Beach Calif., which also operates Winkflash.

Photo History Preservation: Rachel LaCour Niesen

Rachel LaCour Niesen is the driving force behind Save Family Photos, a popular Instagram site recognizing and valuing the power of a single family photo.

Kodak Alaris research shows consumers losing billions of images

A recent study by Kodak Alaris of U.K. smartphone users estimates more than one-third of British people have lost photos on their smartphone, equaling about 11.8 billion memories. The findings underscore the need for automatic back-up solutions (such as those discussed at the upcoming InnovationNow Photo Business and Technology Summit.)

One in 10 people don’t take any steps to protect their photos, whether printing, backing-up on a PC or posting to social media, the report said. More than three-in-four would print photos taken on a smartphone to put on display, they are deterred from doing so, either due to a perception photos taken on mobile devices aren’t good enough quality (31%), are difficult to get from a mobile to a printer (15%) or because they simply don’t know how to print from a mobile phone (19%).

In spite of a nonchalant attitude to protecting personal content, consumers put a huge amount of effort into capturing images, with one-third of respondents taking anywhere between four and 10 images of the same thing in an attempt to capture the best picture.

The research also showed half of 25-34 year-olds use a cloud storage service to protect their photos compared to just 28% of those who are 55 years or older. Nearly half of people (44 per cent) have lost photos because of a broken/corrupt device, and one in 10 people lost photos from a phone as a result of dropping it down the toilet or a similar mishap.

One-third of respondents have lost photos through defunct tech:

  • Floppy disks: 32%
  • Mini disks: 22%
  • VHS: 12%
  • Zip disk: 11%

Almost half of people surveyed (46%) are worried about being able to access their photos in the future ( usually 10 years’ time). More than half (56%) are worried about the fact technology will change. Nearly a third (30%) worry they won’t be able to find their images.

MMIE 602: Choose the right photographer as class teacher

MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #602 – May 26, 2015

Brian Mundy, Octane Creative Media, Philips Ranch, Calif.

Brian Mundy was part of the focus of last week’s MMIE because he was the speaker at an event at Paul’s Photo in Torrance, Calif. Combine that with his long-time connection with DIMA, and you’ve got someone with some strong opinions about what kind of photographer a retailer should hire to make presentations at classes. mmie 602

There are some amazing people in the business, he notes, people with vast quantities of knowledge. Equally important, as far as Mundy is concerned, a teacher should be something of an entertainer. No, he’s not talking about one-liners or stand-up comedy routines, rather personalities that grab attention, keep people engaged. You want the class to be alive.

Some photographers with lots of knowledge deliver dry presentations, says Mundy, and lose their audience.

So, if you’re searching for someone to teach a class at your store, here’s what you should look for, Mundy advises:

  1. The photographer must be knowledgeable.
  2. The photographer should be an easy-going people-person who keeps you engaged, who makes you enjoy the class and thereby retain the information delivered.

Say, doesn’t that sound like two-thirds of the requirement for a good sales person working the store’s floor?

But if you’re thinking of shoving one of your salespeople in front of a crowd, remember some people are terrified speechless of being in front of a large audience. Many salespeople are great one on one, but a bit apprehensive talking to a group. We remember one retailer who had a salesperson who was great with customers but didn’t want to teach classes. The store started her doing one-on-one personalized classes, then groups of two or three at a time, then larger groups . . . and the rest, as they say, is history.

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
  • 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:

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


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:

hansheadshot 081712original

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


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: