Focus On: Mümken Sales distributes Noritsu equipment




This week Elisabeth Scherer reports on a successful young firm in Germany:

In 2011, Thomas Mümken’s new firm became the exclusive distributer for Noritsu’s photochemical and duplex inkjet equipment, and consumables such as paper and ink.

The distribution area for Mümken Sales* now covers 18 countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In the last four years, the company has sold and installed 300 Noritsu duplex inkjet printers and other equipment.

Operators of these devices are almost exclusively stationary photo dealers who produce high-quality prints and value-added products for their regional customers on spot, such as photo books, greeting cards and calendars. Silver halide labs are sold in small numbers only to specific imaging service companies with high volumes, such as school photo labs and specialized photo labs.

Now general manager, Mümken is the former sales director of Noritsu (Deutschland) GmbH. He is assisted in sales and technical support by eight colleagues — all former long-term Noritsu employees as well — in addition to distributors such as Kurt Freund, who is active in Switzerland and Austria.

Since January 2014, the head office of Mümken Sales has been in Hünxe, on the Lower Rhine. The community is conveniently located on the northern edge of the Ruhr area, 50 km from both the Dusseldorf Airport and the Dutch border.

Mümken lives with his wife and three daughters in nearby Oberhausen. He is an enthusiastic  cyclist, and often rides his racing bicycle for the 25 km commute to the company in Hünxe, instead of driving by car. “Consequently, I stay fit for business, and thus easily cope with the daily challenges,” says the confident entrepreneur.

Mümken has been a PMA member for many years, and regularly attends the PMA tradeshows in the US, “because I appreciate the perfect organization of the PMA, and the interesting exchange of ideas with colleagues from industry and commerce from around the world.”

(*Dipl.-Ing. Th. Mümken Sales GmbH, in full)

How to hang ’em…

shutterfly hangs

shutterfly hangsWe’ve all matured past the point of taping prints onto the sheetrock, right? >cough<

And tacks? Please no…

It can be tricky to get your large prints up onto a drywall, let alone concrete or other materials. Shutterfly is offering a thorough overview of how hang a big photo on just about any type of wall.

“Creating a gallery wall is easier than you think,” the company says. “Whether you want to create a family wall or add decorative artwork to your office, our design-a-wall tool will help you do just that. You can hang canvas prints, metal prints, wood wall art and more. This guide will help you hang pictures on any surface: drywall, plaster, brick and concrete.”

The full infographic is here.

(via PetaPixel)


Focus on: Raj Patel


In this week’s “Focus on” column, we invited Raj Patel, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, to tell his own story.

Raj Patel photo Oct 14I started my career in Nairobi, Kenya, fresh from school,and worked my way up from junior assistant to General Manager of a well-known retailer before leaving to emigrate to the United Kingdom in 1992.

During my 21 years there, I gained invaluable experience of their successful multi-channel business, and the new minilab business in particular, which was especially helpful when I later joined one of the main processing businesses in the U.K. and took over the running of one of their minilab businesses.

However, I had always had the ambition to run my own business, and when the opportunity came along in 1999, I did not hesitate to open my own new minilab business in Welwyn Garden City, with the support and assistance of my wife Urvi who still works alongside me today. I have also benefited both from being a member of PMA and having access to other members and colleagues who can offer advice and support when needed.

So, fifteen years later, despite many changes in our industry, my business continues to provide for me and my family, and by embracing the changes that have come along and by providing our customers with excellent service and quality products, we continue to grow stronger. Long may it continue!

Welcome, new members of PMA and PPFA


We are happy to welcome so many new members to PMA and PPFA!


Avondale Artworks, Inc., Jacksonville, FL,


Coastal Colors LLC, Cape Canaveral, FL,

Cyancolor Com Serv Fotograficos, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

Dataline Engineering, Westlake Village, CA,

David Thomas Photgraphy, Bayport, NY,

Fazio Art Custom Frame & Supply, Charlotte, NC,

Grads Photography, Glendale, AZ,

Ivan Kobiolke Photography, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

Khalid’s Studio, Karachi, Pakistan

Lors Photography Inc, Union, NJ,

Mat About You, Ellicott City, MD,

MatShop Art Supply, Saanichton, BC, Canada

Media Meditations, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Miter Tighter Color Glue, Pickerington, OH,

Ramon Davis Photography, Glendale, AZ,

Sami Farag Ltd, Newe Yark, Israel

Studio De Chêne, Baton Rouge, LA,

The Art Factory Framing & Gallery, Marianna, FL,

The Ink Well, Allegany, NY,

Yellow Lab Imaging, Overland Park, KS,


On the PMA Podcast: PMA Official Business Sessions speakers Colby Jubenville and Bill McCurry


PMApodcast_icon_sqColby Jubenville says being unique, agile and fast is paramount to your success in business. The co-author of “Zebras and Cheetahs,” he has suggestions to help you rethink your approach to being unique. This episode of the PMA Podcast features Jubenville on the McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange. Listen and discover that just as every zebra has unique stripe patterns, every successful business can use its strengths and collective passion to be unique. On January 4, 2014, spend some time with both Colby Jubenville and Bill McCurry at the Official Business Session during the PMA 2015 Conferences at Bally’s Las Vegas. Get ready to kick start your business to move at cheetah speed with agility to respond to whatever 2015 holds for your organization.

Forest Service says you can still shoot in the wild


meet-forest-serviceThere’s been a lot of talk online lately about the U.S. Forest Service banning or fining pro photography in the woods.

Just a misunderstanding, the government agency now says.
Nonetheless, it’s also asking you to have your say at its site as it seeks to firm up future policies.

Arizona Highways reports that while shooters were justifiably concerned that the proposed rule change for photography permits in wilderness areas could affect amateur photographers and the general public, “the Forest Service has clarified its stance on the issue. The proposed change would only make permanent a temporary directive that’s been in place for years. And it only applies to commercial shoots, such as movies or TV commercials; it would not affect the vast majority of photographers or other visitors to wilderness areas.”

“If you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required. We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” the agency says in a statement. “Professional and amateur photographers do not need a permit to photograph in wilderness areas unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas that are normally off-limits to the public; or incur additional administrative costs.”

The Forest Service is soliciting public comment on the proposal here.


Stay off those train tracks!



The photo ain’t worth it: Believe it or not, people *die* every year from purposely standing in front of an onrushing train.
…Okay, they were just posing for a photo — on a train track.
On which a train arrived. At full speed.

As The Online Photographer reported earlier this year, “on January 18th, in Auburn, Washington State, a 42-year-old Las Vegas man was struck and killed by an Amtrak Cascades passenger train traveling from Portland to Seattle. What was he doing on the tracks? You guessed it — posing for his girlfriend, who was taking pictures of him.”

• In 2012, TOP reports, a 52-year-old California high school photography teacher was killed on the train tracks. “She was photographing one train approaching her and was struck by another coming the other way. She must have assumed that the horns and ground vibration she heard were coming from the train in front of her, not another one behind her.”

More than 900 people were injured or killed while trespassing on railroad property in the U.S. just last year alone, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

Now the Union Pacific Railroad is officially “urging professional photographers to refrain from taking photographs of sports teams, high school seniors, wedding parties and other subjects on or near train tracks or trestles.”

“You never know when a train will come along,” says Union Pacific’s director of public safety, and so “we want to remind photographers that walking on or near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous.”

Want to safely and legally access a site? Look here.

Business success: Why predict failure?

Business Success Logo

Business Success LogoIt’s too easy to be a pessimist. But while pessimists fail, at least they were right about that impending lack of success.

In this week’s Business Success article, Alan C. Fox argues that it’s better to better to overcome your possible pessimism, and succeed in spite of it. Fox is the author of People Tools for Business: 5o Strategies for Building Success, Creating Wealth, and Finding Happines.

Alan C. Fox

Alan C. Fox

I’d Rather Succeed Than Be Right
By Alan C. Fox

“I’d rather be right then be president,” said former US Congressman and Secretary of State Henry Clay, Sr. (1777–1852). And right he was. The senator from Kentucky ran for president three times during his illustrious political career, and lost every time.

Many of us, perhaps most, often predict our own failure.  “I can’t climb that mountain.”  “My speech will be terrible.”  “I don’t suppose you’d like to go out with me.”

Why? Simply because it is much easier to fulfill a prediction of failure than it is to actually succeed.

But wouldn’t you rather predict success ten times, succeed five times, and be “wrong” in half of your predictions than predict failure all ten times and be entirely correct?

I for one would rather succeed.

I’ve used this attitude for most of my career. While I’m not always right, I am always confident.  And I end up succeeding a large percentage of the time.

A Sporting Chance
Heck, the highest major league career batting average of all time belongs to Ty Cobb.  His lifetime batting average was .366 (1905-28).  This means that out of 1,000 at bats, Ty Cobb — one of the best hitters of all time — failed to get a hit 634 times out of every 1,000 attempts.

And Detroit Lions quarterback Bobby Layne is reported to have said, “I’ve never lost a football game:  Sometimes my team was behind when the clock ran out.”

No one wins all the time, but you are far more likely to succeed if you go into your next interview (or deal, hearing, or review) anticipating your success.

Early in my career my business partner Harvey and I negotiated for eighteen months to buy an apartment complex.  Several times I told Harvey to give up, but he persisted.  After a year and a half, the seller finally agreed to accept our offer, and the transaction was later completed.  I must admit I learned something from Harvey: to work hard and expect success.  Harvey’s confidence was never shaken, and he had refused to take “no” for an answer.

In a 2013 Los Angeles Times interview, the great orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache (whose clients include Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone) was asked if he ever got nervous. “No,” he said, adding he always feels confident that he can solve any problem that arises.

So rather than go with Henry Clay’s approach, I’d rather follow the Queen’s advice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

“There’s no use trying,” Alice said.  “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” replied the Queen.  “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

So why not tell yourself that you can do it—that you will succeed, despite the odds or obstacles?

Impossible?  Not at all.  And before breakfast is a good time to be optimistic.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had an impossible dream, and look what he accomplished.
Henry Clay, Sr., on the other hand, ended up being right—he lost all three of his campaigns for president in 1824, 1832, and 1844.
• Alan Fox is the president of ACF Property Management, Inc, and author of The New York Times bestseller People Tools: 54 Strategies for Building Relationships, Creating Joy, and Embracing Prosperity.  Fox is also the founder, editor, and publisher of the Rattle literary magazine, and he sits on the board of directors of several non-profit foundations. Visit

Focus on: Paul Boniface, Scone Digital Imaging

Paul & Margaret Boniface IMG_9528
Paul & Margaret Boniface IMG_9528

Paul and Margaret Boniface

Paul Boniface of Scone Digital Imaging, Scone, Australia, is a very interesting character, born and bred in country New South Wales, in Scone, a town in the Upper Hunter Shire in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, about 4 hours from Sydney. Scone is known as the horse capital of Australia; the regional thoroughbred industry is said to be second only to Kentucky in size and value.

Paul went to Scone Rural School and left when he was sixteen, starting work in a furniture store, installing televisions and laying carpet. It wasn’t long before he joined his Dad, who had a bakery from 1965 and Paul became a baker. The Boniface family delivered bread to houses in three horse drawn bread carts. Paul was driving it himself up until 1983. Proudly displaying the sign ‘Boniface & Son ‘Bonny’ Bread & Cakes,’ they were the last commercial bread carts delivering to households in New South Wales.

In 1992, one of his daughters decided to leave her job in Canberra and come home, so Paul bought two businesses in Scone that had gone broke, a color copy shop and a photo shop. He bought all the equipment and set up a business to work with his daughter — who promptly decided she had made a mistake. That’s how Scone Instant Images began. Paul was running the bakery and the small photo business with one staff member, at a time when they would send photos away to be developed — remember the days when Kodak would pick up the bag and process them and bring them back!

In 1993, he sold the bakery and decided to take a year off and travel overseas. He had a mate who wanted a business but had no money, so Paul went to the bank and worked out a way to have the holiday and his mate take on the business. When he got back from his trip, he was told “you can have it back, mate, it’s too bloody hard!”

He went on from then and built the business up, with a name change to Scone Digital Imaging. In 1997, he moved the shop into an old country store, opposite the Post Office, right in the middle of town — a perfect location. The business has gone through lots of industry changes but churns away, doing as much in-store as possible, large format printing, mugs etc.

Semi-retired, living in a unit overlooking the beach, Paul looks after the Scone business remotely; going in as required for large projects but is happy to leave the day-to-day running to his two staff who manage quite well without him! In fact he has always been able to have time out of the business because he trained his staff to run the business as if it was their own, which gave them confidence and experience. One of his greatest pleasures is the number of people who stop him to say how wonderful his staff are… an acknowledgement that “service beats price every time”.

There is no doubting Paul’s commitment to PMA Australia and PMAI; he attributes his business success and longevity to belonging to an Industry Association and has attended every Australian conference; and gone to the USA Convention for the past 15 years – listening, learning, networking and sharing. It’s where he gets ideas and early knowledge about what’s ahead; so he can do something different and keep moving with the times. Along with Tim Jones, Paul holds the record for attending the most conferences. As part of Kodak he won several trips and also did training courses with them.

He is also still involved with Leading Edge, and was one of the original members of the buying group, and helps out in an advisory capacity.

In 2000 Paul had a heart attack whilst in training for a Hockey Championship, and then was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2005 when he was told to “get his affairs in order”. For a non-smoker, this was a reality check and it is testament to his strength that he got through this period, albeit affected by radiation treatment which leaves him without saliva glands, and more recently with a complete new set of teeth! Definitely the most “sparkling” man in town! He’s okay, he is getting on with life, living for the day and enjoying it to the max. He is good for a laugh!

He has time to run on the beach, help out with photography classes at community events and enjoy his hobby of taking photographs, winning a prize at the 2012 Scone Art Show for a photograph he named “Reflections”. Paul has also been playing Hockey locally for many years, now as a striker, and for the past 12 years has been going away to the Australian Masters Hockey.

Married to Margaret for 15 years, both have blended their families for the complete connection. They have 6 children (4 daughters and 2 sons) and 12 grandchildren. There will be no handing over of the keys to the business to any of them though – they are widespread, independent and happy with what they are doing.

Paul is a “keeper” – a nice guy you would want on your side if you were in trouble, fighting a battle, or simply trying to win a game!

 By Barbara Bryan, PMA Australia

On the PMA Podcast: Fotofast makes the right move


Just three years after a major move to a new storefront location, Brisbane, Australia’s fotofast moved again, having watched its bottom line disappear in what should have been a prime location. A little more than a month after this latest move, Phil Gresham, a former DIMA president, joins us on the PMA Podcast to talk about what the new location has delivered in terms of costs, clients and profits (hooray!), and the restructuring that was required. You’ve got to hear what his rental costs were in the old location!

Listen in at, or use the player below. And be sure to look for an article about Phil and his new shop in the upcoming issue of PMA Magazine.