Brownstein, Hanson, McNaught and Wood to receive PMA 2015 Distinguished Service Awards


I am delighted to announce four outstanding individuals are being honored with the 2015 PMA Distinguished Service Award in recognition for contributions to PMA and to the photo imaging industry as a whole. Recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award are Scott Brownstein of Brownstein & McCabe; Bob Hanson of Harold’s Photo Experts; Nigel McNaught of PMA UK; and Brian Wood of Photovision. They will be recognized at an awards presentation on Jan. 5, 2015, during the PMA 2015 Conferences at Bally’s Las Vegas, immediately preceding the Digital Imaging/Photography Conference and Marketplace, presented by PMA, at 2015 International CES in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Scott Brownstein

Scott Brownstein

Scott Brownstein During his 23 years at Kodak, Scott Brownstein was responsible for many advanced digital products including dye sublimation printing, “Create-A-Print” consumer operated kiosks and finally the Kodak PhotoCD system. In addition, Scott was also the founder and Chief Technolo gy Officer of Fujifilm e-Systems, where he was responsible for the conception and development of advanced digital solutions for the professional and retail markets alike. While at Fuji, he was also the creative force behind 1-hour web-to-retail printing at more than 1,000 camera stores and over 3,500 mass merchandiser locations. He holds 20 U.S. patents. He was the founding president of the Digital Imaging Marketing Association, served as a member of the Board of Trustees for PMA, and was also a member of the Board of Directors of PNI. Since leaving Fuji in 2006, Scott has remained active as an independent imaging consultant and visionary to small and large photo industry stakeholders alike.

Bob Hanson

Bob Hanson

Bob Hanson Bob Hanson is the president of Harold’s Photo Experts, which operates four retail photo stores in South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa. Harold’s is a family-owned business that was started in 1910 by Emil Hanson, Bob’s grandfather, as a portrait studio. Bob’s three children are active in the business. Harold’s has been an early adopter and currently operates a central lab with full production capabilities that include film, scanning, wide format printing, press printing, video, sublimation printing, and framing. The company offers a comprehensive online ordering platform and employs a staff of about 60. Bob served as a PMA Territorial Vice President in the 1970s, and was actively involved as a member of PMA’s Retail Local Markets Committee in the 1990s and 2000s. He has also served on the PMA Board of Trustees, and the PMA Executive Committee as both treasurer and vice president. Bob has been a member of the Photographic Research Organization (PRO) for over 40 years, and served on the PRO Board of Directors, on the Executive Committee, and as Chairman of the Audit Committee. Additionally, Bob is a member of Independent Photo Imagers (IPI) and contributed to the development of IPI’s Marketing Services Program.

Nigel McNaught

Nigel McNaught

Nigel McNaught Nigel McNaught spent 50 years working in the photo industry, starting as a shop assistant at a local photo dealer during his youth. He studied the science and technology of photography at University in London, United Kingdom, and his first “real” job was using photography within a research department in the aerospace industry. He joined Polaroid in 1973 as a technical sales rep, and held many subsequent posts, including publicity manager at the time of the patent infringement court case with Kodak. He then headed up the national accounts sales team before moving to Olympus as general manager. Nigel’s career also included an international marketing role with Hope Industries and working with darkroom supplier De Vere before joining PMA as UK Director in 2003. With PMA, Nigel introduced the very popular retail business forum program, which became a regular vehicle for the exchange of ideas. Among the many posts Nigel held over the ensuing 11 years was Chairman of the Skillset Imaging Forum, part of a government initiative to regularize training and qualifications in the creative industries. He also headed the ongoing ID/passport photo campaign for specialty photo retailers, and frequently shared his extensive knowledge of the imaging industry and trends by speaking at sales conferences and meetings. Nigel has also been a regular contributor to a number of photo magazines. Nigel retired from his role at Director of PMA UK in 2014, but says he “is surprised at how many telephone calls he still gets asking his opinion on matters photographic.”

Brian Wood

Brian Wood

Brian Wood Brian Wood fell in love with the photo industry when his parents bought a photo business in Salem, Ore., in 1968, where he began learning to dry and sort prints on a Pako drum dryer. By 1973, he was working after school in both the camera store and the photo lab. In 1977, he took over the photo lab side of the business and soon split it off from the camera store as a separate company. Over the past 35-plus years, he has built the business extensively, while taking the time to serve the industry in many capacities. In 1993, Brian joined IPI, and was invited to join the National Photofinishers Group (NPG), which he served as Chairman in 1996. Three years later, he helped merge NPG with the Buck Rogers Group, and became Chairman of Buck Rogers in 2001. Brian served on the board of IPI from 2006-2011, including positions of US National Chairman in 2006 and Chairman from 2007-2009. In 2008, Brian joined the PMA Executive Board, and served as President of PMA from 2010-2012. Brian currently serves PMA on the Board of Trustees. Register for the PMA 2015 Official Business Session on Jan. 5, where Scott, Bob, Nigel and Brian will receive their award, as well as all the other exciting sessions and opportunities PMA has to offer in conjunction with CES this January, by visiting

Focus On: Stephen Perris, Byron Photo Magic

Stephen & Karen Perris


Stephen & Karen Perris

Stephen & Karen Perris

In the beautiful and tranquil Byron Bay on the north coast of Australia’s New South Wales, Stephen Perris runs Byron Photo Magic.

Perris started his career “straight from school.” He says he’d always had “an artistic flair,” and so started in a pro lab in Newcastle. “From there, I worked in a number of other businesses before taking on a management role at Byron Photo Magic. I finally bought the shop 25 years ago.”

Working in Byron Bay, Perris meets a combination of people who keep him busy: visitors and locals, millionaires and backpackers.  But what’s the secret of his business longevity? “These days, you need to find your niche,” he answers, “and service that market with what you do best: show how to use products, and give top quality service — not just provide what’s in a box.”


In the good old days, Perris was a hockey player. He still loves sport, particularly the Rugby League, and he is a West Tigers member. Perris is now a member of the Ballina Surf Club, and has been involved with Rotary for over 20 years. In June this year, he was awarded Life Saver of the Year at the Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore Surf Life Saving Club annual awards.

He is also surrounded by women! He works with two girls at the shop (Karen & Ming), and with Karen, his wife of 20 years, has two daughters, Amelia and Karina.


Perris has had a strong affiliation with Fujifilm Australia for over 25 years, and is an alliance member of Camera House group.

Perris is a strong advocate for PMA and all it stands for: He has been a state representative since 1998, and he’s attended every DIMA meeting in Australia since its inception. He is now the Queensland State chairperson, and has been instrumental this year in making the regular meetings into some of the best attended in Queensland in recent time.  The goal is to keep everyone informed, he says, provide networking opportunities, and to learn at least one thing. A great cross-section of PMA’s membership attends the events.

Perris continues to build rapport with industry leaders and retailers, and received many accolades at the 2014 conference for expanding the involvement of all industry members.

Perris can be contacted at, or (02) 6685 5877.

On the PMA Podcast: iON enters home security

ion home family

ion home family

iON Cameras has made a name for itself in the last few years with its WiFi-enabled wearable and mountable action cameras. Now the outdoor-oriented consumer electronics firm is almost literally entering a new area: inside your home.

In this interview, CEO Giovanni Tomaselli tells us why the company entered the security market, how it’s competing in action cameras, and what other markets hold potential for imaging.

You can download the episode or subsribe to our podcast here.

Or listen in now through the audio player below.

Business Success: Observe your OCD

Business Success Logo

Business Success LogoNo one wants to be ignorant — but on our quest to be knowledgeable we can instead obsess over the wrong petty details. In this week’s Business Success column, consultant Leslie Unger advises on how to avoid OCD.

Be Observant . . . Not Obsessed

Leslie G Ungar

Recently an FBI agent was asked, “What makes someone an effective profiler?”
The answer was surprisingly simple:  to be an effective profiler is simply to be an observant person.

In business, as a leader or owner, the challenge I have found is to be observant — and not obsessed.

On the continuum of observance, there is obsessed with the details on one end, and clueless to details on the other. In your daily professional life, your goal is to be healthily observant.

In order to protect your value, it is incumbent upon you to be observant to what those around you do, and what those around you do not do when opportunity knocks. If you pay attention to the little messages, then a big message (such as whether you are hired or fired!) will not come as a surprise.

Two examples:
Paul was on senior staff on his way to a C-level position when Al was hired in a position slightly above him on the organizational chart. Al brought with him several members from his former company. Once a rising star, Paul wondered what this meant to his future at this company.
“Be observant but not obsessed,” I counseled him. In communication there is a saying that when what one says contradicts with what one does, go with what one does.  You have to observe what goes on around you so you have the pieces to construct the big picture. Then you need to hold up each piece as you do with a jigsaw puzzle, and see where it fits and what it means to whole scenario.

Tim is a school superintendent. He was waiting for a second contract to be offered by his school board when the Board president forgot their appointment. Was it simply a missed appointment? Or was there more to a second contract than the current superintendent was aware?
“Be observant but not obsessed,” I counseled him. As in other aspects of communication the answer is simple. Simple though not easy. As appealing as it may be to live in a bubble, none of us can afford the price of isolation. We need to be observant without becoming obsessive.

How to Observe

First, be observant of the verbal, vocal and visual signs of those around you — and be observant in the moment.

Second, embrace uncertainty.  You do not have to know why your observation is important or what it means to the big picture. You want to look at observations like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. By themselves, most pieces will not finish the puzzle. When you put the pieces together, at some point you have an ah-ha moment and see the bigger picture.

Third, be as non-judgmental as possible in collecting information. Observations are not good or bad. Observations are not quality or poor. It is not possible to know the value of most observations at the time you make the observation. The challenge is to make them and keep them — and not be obsessed with them!

The experts say that moderation is key . . . to chocolate, exercise and life. The same maxim is true of observations. To not read the tea leaves could be detrimental to your forward movement. To be obsessed with every observation will surely stall you and your forward progress. The answer to chocolate and life is to be observant without being obsessed.

Leslie G. Ungar of Electric Impulse Communications is a coach, speaker, and speechwriter. Her blog is; email is

On the PMA Podcast: Selling Cameras with Heino Hilbig

Heino Hilbig

Heino HilbigConventional wisdom can be wrong, says Heino Hilbig, managing director of Mayflower Concepts. Camera sales are declining, but not for the reasons you may think — and new thinking is what’s required to reverse the trend and save the industry.
Hilbig is the former digital camera marketing manager for Olympus, where he helped launch the first digital cameras in Europe in 1996.
He will present at the 2015 PMA conference, and we have a wide-ranging discussion with him in this podcast about some of the topics he will touch on next January.

You can download the podcast or subscribe here.

Or listen in now by clicking on the player:

Focus On: Judi Weber, Quality Plus Photo

Judi Weber, Quality Photo

Judi Weber, Quality Photo

In her three decades in the photo industry, Judi Weber has found that while some things have changed, much remains the same: “People love taking pictures to create memories,” she says. “Of course the methods have changed from film cameras to digital cameras, and now cell phone cameras are most popular. But the main thing I’ve seen change is what is done with those images: Physical photos are not as popular, but I do see people still wanting to do something with their images – sharing on social media, but also creating photo gifts and photo books.”

Judi and her husband Mike co-own Quality Plus Photo Design Center in the Greater Chicago area. Married for 35 years, they started their business more than 30 years ago. “My husband had the photographic interest, working in a camera store at the age of 15 as well as taking photo classes in high school. I owned a 126 camera and probably shot about two rolls per year,” she says. “We decided two years into marriage that we would open a photo lab in 1982. I quickly learned the biz, and to love every aspect of photo printing.”

Quality Photo Plus began bulk scanning 5 years ago, when Kodak introduced bulk photo scanners. The business now owns two Kodak i1220 scanners, as well as a Kodak flatbed for portable scanning jobs. Slide scans were done for 14 years with a DLab 2 Agfa photo printer. In 2013, Quality Photo added a bulk slide scanner – the Slide Snap Pro – in anticipation of increasing and streamlining its slide scanning business. They offer prepaid bulk photo scanning boxes as a method of savings for customers.

The store also transfers VHS, Beta, Pal and all camcorder tapes to DVD, as well as cassette or LP Audio tapes to CD; and transfers 8mm movies to DVD or external hard drives.

The most popular services today are VHS and camcorder tapes transferred to DVD, photos and slides scanned and presented in slideshows, and gallery wrapped canvasses. “We feature hundreds of photo gifts,” she says, “from mouse pads, mugs and metal ornaments to hand-stretched gallery wrapped canvas, and create most items in house with the dye sublimation process.”

• Quality Photo Plus has been a member of PMA for about 30 years. Weber finds particular benefit in online resources provided by PMA, and has also found the annual PMA shows to be a boon. “The shows are great for viewing all the offerings of the many different vendors,” she says. “It’s especially beneficial when searching for new and the latest equipment.”

The store has also been an IPI member for 18 years, and of APPO for four years. Weber became a Certified Personal Photo Organizer through APPO, and the store joined the “Save Your Photos Alliance.”

• A native of the South Suburbs of Chicago, Weber still lives in the area, close to her six brothers and one sister. She and Mike are parents to Michael, 26, and Tracey, 31; Tracey and her husband Bill have presented the Webers with a granddaughter, Sedona, with another grandchild on the way next June.

Weber serves as a Eucharistic Minister on Sundays at her church, where she and Mike sing in the church choir.

In her leisure time, her hobbies are mostly photo related. “I speak at libraries about DIY photo organizing and getting your images back into your life,” she says. “I also display at vendor shows, networking Quality Plus Photo on weekends.”

In the store, Judi enjoys reminiscing with her customers about photo memories. “I also love to make them smile, and make them cry with happiness,” she says.



Welcome, new members of PMA and PPFA!


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallJoin us in extending a warm welcome to these great companies, and all our new members! PPFA_RGB_150

Adam’s Art and Supply, Lawrenceburg, Ind.

admago GmbH, Weimar, Germany

Art Co., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Art Framing & Awards dba Carlitos Photo & Framing, Cabo Rojo, PR

BWC Printmakers, Richardson, Texas

Creative Archiving Shop, NSW, Australia

Digital Storage Solutions Inc., Del Mar, Calif.

F/22 Consulting Inc., Eagle, Idaho

Hanley Gallery, Folsom, Calif.

Image & Frame, Scottsdale, Ariz.

LeWinter Moulding, Pittsburgh, Pa.

LifeLens Imaging, Charlotte, N.C.

Lot Five Studios, Houston, Texas

Pendleton Art & Frame, Pendleton, Ore.

Photo Services Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand

PhotoCrazy Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Robin Swanson Photography, La Canada, Calif.

Society for New Approaches To Photography (SNAP), Royal Oak, Mich.

Specialty Photography, Gillette Wyo., Reston, Va.

Village Frame Gallery, Houston, Texas

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here


Magazine_issueQ4_2014_700x416I’m happy to announce the newest issue of PMA Magazine — Connecting the Imaging Communities, is now live! With this issue, we are beginning our new, quarterly publication schedule.

In it, you can read about the PMA 2015 Conferences and Digital Imaging/Photography Exhibits and Sessions, presented by PMA, at 2015 International CES. You will also learn about Mark Wallenfang, owner of Shooting Star, whose fascinating career spans photo retail, professional picture framing, teaching, and being the photographer for the Green Bay Packers.

In addition, read about the huge rent bill that drove Fotofast out of its Brisbane location – and right into a much more successful future. Be sure to check out the Fourth Quarter issue for these stories, and lots more.

  • Beating the camera sales challenge – PMA 2015 Conferences speaker Heino Hilbig says we’re all wrong about why camera sales have declined
  • Going mobile with retailers – Now spun off from troubled parent Lucidiom, Photo Finale helps photo retailers unlock mobile images
  • Stop, thief! – PMA 2015 Conferences speaker Jack Reznicki on how to keep people from stealing your images
  • Chuck’s back – With his new namesake photo design bar, Chuck Wolf is back in the business

On the PMA Podcast: The legacy of a leader at Bedford Camera


PMApodcast_icon_sqA business leader’s legacy is revealed in how the organization performs when that leader is no longer there. Stan Bedford will be remembered for his contribution to his community and our industry. His company is growing and progressing better than most retailers. The team Stan built has carried on since Stan’s passing last January: Bedford Camera and Video just opened their seventh location, a Tulsa, Okla., store formerly known as Camera Gallery. While many retailers are hesitant about commitment and concerned about the future, Bedford’s marches forward. On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Bill McCurry speaks to Bedford President Jeff Beauchamp, who shares an inspiring story with lessons for us all on how to grow, even in frustrating markets.

PMA honors Kirk Sidley with 2015 Hall of Fame Award

Kirk Sidley
Kirk Sidley

Kirk Sidley

Join with us in congratulating our friend Kirk Sidley, owner of Picture Perfect in Portland, Ore., who is the recipient of the 2015 PMA Hall of Fame Award, PMA’s highest honor. Kirk will be recognized at the PMA 2015 Conferences, January 5, 2015, at Bally’s Las Vegas.

The PMA Conferences will immediately precede the Digital Imaging/Photography Conference and Marketplace, presented by PMA, at 2015 International CES in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Kirk began his photo career in 1972 at King Size Photo Service in Everett, Wash., as a retail manager. During the next 12 years, King Size Photo grew to one of the largest photofinishers in the Pacific Northwest, with plants in Everett and Spokane, and Portland, Ore., where they operated more than 100 retail stores and a large wholesale network.

By 1980, Kirk was the Vice-President of Operations and COO. In 1983, King Size merged with Phototron Corp., which then became part of Qualex. Kirk, and his wife Shirley, started their own business, Picture Perfect, a one-hour photo chain, in Portland, Ore., in 1984. During that time Kirk also assisted John Haugen Sr., who had been his mentor at King Size, with the formation of Crown Photo Systems.

Kirk helped guide PMA as a board member for several years, taking the helm as president in 2004-2005. He has also served the industry in many other capacities throughout his career, most notably as Buck Rogers Chairman from 1998-1999, and as Chairman of the Board for Independent Photo Imagers (IPI) from 2007-2012.

Kirk and Shirley continue to operate Picture Perfect, which is a leader in providing digital photo services in the Portland area. Currently, he serves on his alma mater Portland State University’s Board, where he chairs the scholarship committee.

“We have chosen to honor Kirk Sidley with the 2015 PMA Hall of Fame Award for a career spent serving the imaging industry,” said PMA President Bill Eklund. “His many contributions to PMA and our members, as well as to other imaging industry organizations, have been truly invaluable. It is an honor to present this award to Kirk for his steadfast dedication to growing the imaging industry.”

Register for the PMA 2015 Official Business Session on Jan. 5, where Kirk will receive his award, as well as all the other exciting sessions and opportunities PMA has to offer in conjunction with CES this January, by visiting