PMA/PPFA welcome new members


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallWe are happy to welcome all our new members, including: PPFA_RGB_150

Bush Mountain Stitchery & Framing, North Brookfield, Mass.

Colonial Custom Framing, Williamsburg, Va.

Double Diamond Technologies Inc., Ocean View, N.J.

Kevin Gillentine Gallery, New Orleans, La.

Night Owl Photo Cinematography, North Hollywood, Calif.

Paoli Fotobar, Paoli, Penn.

PhotoTek of Lake Charles, Lake Charles, La.

RKO Custom Framing, Charleston, S.C.

Welcome, new members of PMA and PPFA



Join us in extending a warm welcome to these and all our new members:PPFA_RGB_150

American Frame Corp., Maumee Ohio

American Moulding, Lake Ariel Pa.

Art House Reproductions and Inkjet Lab, Newstead Queensland,  Australia

Avant Printing LLC, Richmond, Calif. 94804

Cam Caddie, Glendale, Calif.

Crying Shame Frame Shop, Tappahannock, Va.

Framing Wholesalers, Fort Myers, Fla., Indianapolis, Ind.

Welcome, new members of PMA and PPFA


We are so glad to welcome all our new members, including:

PMAlogo_CMYK_smallJacksonThomas Studios, Anderson, S.C.PPFA_RGB_150

LGA Photography, Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Magdalene’s Custom Framing, Washington, D.C.

Peter’s Finishing Touch, Norwalk, Conn.

Professional Reprographics, Nashville, Tenn.

ProPrint Digital, Kansas City, Mo.

Westwind Frame & Gallery, The Dalles, Ore.

Wyman Frame, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Focus on: Sophie Brown, Sophie Brown Conservation Framing

Sophie Brown
Sophie Brown

Sophie Brown

Sophie Brown, proprietor of Sophie Brown Conservation Framing in Sydney, Australia, embodies competence, elegance and eloquence — so it isn’t surprising that she is one of Australia’s finest and most highly recognized conservation framers, with a passion and enthusiasm for delivering the ultimate product and service in conservation framing to her clients.

Moving from her birthplace in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, qualified as a nurse, Sophie immigrated to Australia 25 years ago, where she is now very much at home.

Inspired in part by a father who used to make his own frames, Sophie has always loved photography and art. At some point while nursing, she spotted an evening class on picture framing and set up a work room at home. Then, looking to expand her knowledge further, she found June Andersen’s Framing School. Sophie loved the course and registered her first business, Visual Edge, at which point June offered her a role. June and Sophie worked together for eight years. June mentored Sophie, sharing her experience at the Victorian & Albert Museum in London, among other places. Between them, they counted most of Sydney’s museums and galleries as their clients, working in collaboration with conservators, many of whom would go on to become friends over the years.

Sophie has been learning her highly-skilled craft for some twenty years. A PPFA-certified framer since 1999, she is a GCF Guild-commended framer from the Fine Art Trade Guild (London, 1997) and an Advanced GCF, specializing in conservation (2007) – the third person to achieve that distinction in the world. An official GCF examiner in Australia, she can use her studio as the testing venue for GCF-certification candidates.FRENCH_MATTING_HAND_POISED

Sophie has not looked back since deciding to branch out on her own ten years ago. The business she established in Stanmore has enjoyed the support of many colleagues in the conservation world as well as that of the local community and substantial organizations such as International Conservation Services (ICS), among others.

Sophie is affiliated with internationally-recognized framers and teachers in the framing industry. She works with many conservators to resolve framing and conservation challenges creatively and collaboratively. She has been involved with several high-profile national museums and art galleries, mounting, hinging and framing artworks for exhibitions.

Sophie is devoted to her work, which has expanded over time to include the care of private client collections. She enjoys what she does and feels lucky to have dealings with a wide range of art lovers, handling often rare and precious artworks in the process. Much of the joy in her work comes from the deep satisfaction she will often see in a client’s face at the sight of the completed piece – as it does from the recognition of the professional care and attention to detail evident in the finished product. Sophie works with the CPF-qualified Jonathan Dennis. A dedicated young framer who is also a GCF (2010), Jonathan, who hails originally from Manchester, has made a significant contribution to a growing business.

Sophie is a member of PPFA and PMA. She comments that “…any organization that supports an industry with education, with resources and with the opportunity to network with other framers is really important because many framers would otherwise find themselves quite isolated. The more you can share experience, the more you will learn.” She adds that “…seeing my EFTPOS fees reduced through my membership was also a great benefit.”

When Sophie is not framing, she likes to cycle most weekends. She has a kayak, loves cooking and enjoys the great outdoors. On her latest holiday, in the South Island of New Zealand, she had the thrill of using a friend’s vintage Hasselblad camera. She recently did a course with Gordon Undy, a Sydney-based photographer and gallery owner, to return to traditional black-and-white photography and the darkroom.

Drop in to Sophie’s Stanmore studio and not only will you hear fine classical music or jazz playing in the background, but you will also meet Ella, Sophie’s miniature black Schnauzer, whose responsibility it is to ‘meet-and-greet’ clients and provide ‘security services.’ Ella comes to work every day. Sophie suspects that she has become a key part of the attraction!

Wow! What a delightful person Sophie is! And with ten years’ loyal PPFA membership, she’s just about perfect…

– By Barbara Bryan

Focus on: John Barlowe, Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohn Barlowe blends framing and photo-related services in his business, Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts in Holland, Ohio – a second career after 30 years as a contractor specializing in custom kitchens, and 20 years as owner and president of Triangle Kitchen Centers Inc. in Toledo.

John’s cabinet making skills are showcased in the quality workmanship he brings to frame making, and his art and design skills find their creative outlet when helping clients select the best possible framing choice for artwork, family photos or heirlooms. A collector of art and having had many things framed throughout the years, becoming a custom picture framer seemed a natural step. “Having been self employed all of my life I was looking for a business opportunity I could transition into with the skill set I already had,” he explains.

Customers have brought a variety of treasures to his frame shop over the years, and he aims to make his shop a fun and creative place to visit. “The things I enjoy most are family pieces and memory boxes that have a personal story behind them,” he says.

John has offered photo restoration services for 10 years, something that continues to be very popular – and as a bonus it almost always results in a custom framing order.

A Kodak professional bulk photo scanner purchased several years ago has paid off over and over again. “We’re able to bulk scan to CD thousands of our customers’ photos for them to preserve and share,” he says. “Customers really like that it is done in-house and they don’t worry about their photos being lost in the mail if they were sending them out somewhere.”

After moving his frame shop to new digs last year, John has not only retained a majority of his old customers, he has also picked up many new customers, with a marked increase in male customers as well as a younger demographic, of 25- to 30-year-old home buyers.

Vice President of the Ohio Chapter of the Professional Picture Framers Association, John joined PPFA about 10 years ago, and enjoys networking with other members at Chapter meetings, or online, such as on the PPFA Framers Corner forum.

A frequent winner in PPFA framing competitions at both the Chapter and international levels, he reaps benefits by marketing those wins. “People do take notice – I’ve received local coverage in print, radio and TV,” he says.

John tries to view everything as a marketing opportunity. “When taking pictures of projects I turn them into adverts that I can display online as well as a slideshow in my shop and in prints. I find that when you tell a story with them, implant an idea, it helps the potential customer see what they can do with their items.”

A native of Zanesville, Ohio, John moved to Toledo at the age of 4 and has lived there ever since; and is a graduate of the University of Toledo. He and his wife Louise have been married 43 years, and have three daughters and a son, two grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and three spiritually adopted grandchildren.

In his leisure time, John pursues his lifelong hobby of keeping aquariums, and enjoys tending to his 1,000-gallon garden fishpond. He also enjoys playing guitar, and in his younger days used to make his living as guitarist in his own band as well as a private music instructor. “I recently bought a new guitar and I’m trying to find more time to play again,” he says.

–By Sheila Pursglove

PMA and PPFA welcome new members


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallWelcome to PMA and PPFA! PPFA_RGB_150

  • ArtWorks Custom Framing, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Borders Inc. Miami, Fla.
  • EPB Enterprises, Goodyear, Ariz.
  • Gkvale, Bangalore, India
  • IAB, New York N.Y.
  • Memoires, Keserwan, Lebanon
  • Vive Con S.A. De C.U. “Lavinias,” San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
  • Zylka Fine Framing, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Focus on: Mark Wallenfang

Mark Wallenfang
Mark Wallenfang

Mark Wallenfang

In his high school sophomore year, Mark Wallenfang learned how to make a photo print in a darkroom. “Seeing a photo magically appear in a tray of developer was the ‘Wow!’ moment that got me hooked on photography for life,” he says.

Owner of Shooting Star Photo & Custom Framing in his hometown of Appleton, Wis., for the past 32 years, Mark earned a B.A. in industrial scientific photography with a minor in color technology, from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calf. , and had the opportunity to do a photographic study on The Shroud of Turin.

About the time he graduated, the 1-hour photo industry was about to explode. Hired to run a photo lab in Colorado, he soon moved back to Wisconsin to open Shooting Star 1-Hour Photo, the first of its kind in Appleton.

“I wanted to offer professional services such as E6 and C41 large format processing along with the ability to print large photos at least 30 inches wide, plus many other photo services that would set my business apart from the other 1-hour labs that would eventually pop up in drug and grocery stores,” he says.

Mark began attending PMA conventions in 1984, finding information from marketing and buyer trends to handling employee issues, as well as services he could offer to stay ahead of the curve, such as computer graphics and Cibachrome print services.

When digital photography appeared, he attended DIMA conventions for information to get on the cutting edge; and invested in digital printing equipment. A 44-inch wide format printer led to mounting, lamination and then printing gallery wrap canvas prints. He now has two 60-inch printers to handle the workflow of prints and canvas, and has done many limited edition giclée prints and gallery wraps for artists and sports legends.

He decided to offer framing, to see photo projects through from beginning to end. “I learned quite a bit about woodworking from my father and felt custom framing was an extension of fine woodworking craftsmanship,” he says. He added a mat cutter, CMC, upgraded from a mechanical press to a vacuum press, and added a saw and v-nailer to cut and join his own frames. In the past year, he has upgraded or added new equipment to expand his abilities and services.

Mark has seen many young families grow over the years – and as each generation gets married and has families, they bring photos in for printing and framing.

He often gets high school students getting senior photos printed; when parents come to pick up the orders, they see the canvas gallery wraps and framing, which has sparked more business. “And as younger siblings reach graduation age, I see repeat orders for the same services,” he says.

Mark was a sports photographer for the Green Bay Packers’ weekly newspaper and for a couple of national image sources, working every home and road game including two Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls in 14 seasons. His photos have appeared in national and international sports publications including Sports Illustrated and ESPN the magazine; and he was the main photo contributor to the New York Times best seller, “FAVRE.”

He shares his passion by teaching evening photography classes for beginner and advanced photographers at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton; and will expand the advanced program as a class in the business program of the college. “Another new challenge!” he says.

–By Sheila Pursglove

Welcome, new members of PMA and PPFA!


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallWe are so happy to welcome all our new members, including these great companies!PPFA_RGB_150

Moore Art Studio, Oxnard, Calif.

Pegasus Gallery Framing, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

Peninsula Gallery, Lewes, Delaware

Personal Touch, Prescott, Ariz.

Photogra Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colo.

PRO Gear, Auckland, New Zealand

PTF Photo, Tallahassee, Fla.

Qanawat FZ LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates



Welcome, new members!


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallWelcome to PMA and PPFA! PPFA_RGB_150

Gwen’s Custom Frame Shoppe, Jacksonville, N.C.

Holliston, Olathe, Kan.,

John Stalowy Productions LLC, Bigfork, Mont.

Marie’s 1 Hour Photo & Gifts, Lamont, Calif.

Mat About You, Ellicott City, Md.

Mathews & Kent Inc., Madison, Wis.

Omer Bar Photography, Jerusalem, Israel

Pettit and Associates, Terre Haute Ind.

PMA and PPFA welcome new members


PMAlogo_CMYK_small To these and all our new members, welcome to the family! PPFA_RGB_150

Creedon Technologies, Hong Kong

Delta HK Mat & Moulding Inc., Sacramento, Calif.

Digital Express Photography, Norman, Okla.

FOSSATI Fotostudio, Albino, Italy

Fotware USA – SCS, Nazareth Pa.

Frame Time Inc., Maple Grove, Minn.

G Gallery Custom Framing, McDonough, Ga.

GE Capital, Kettering, Ohio