Coming soon: The new PMA Podcast


PMAlogo_CMYK_smallI’m excited to announce that we will be launching the new PMA Podcast in September!MIME Logo PMAN

The PMA Podcast is the podcast for anyone whose business revolves around imaging and pictures. We’ll cover topics like increasing sales, new imaging technology, the latest in picture framing, business management tips, advances in photo output, high volume photography, and much more. Designed for members of PMA and its international community of imaging associations — AIE, DIMA, NAPET, PPFA, PSPA, and SPAA — the PMA Podcast is your weekly source of information to help you grow your business.

If you’re a fan of the DIMAcast or the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, you’ll find all the great content you’re used to — including our friend Bill McCurry‘s monthly McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange podcast and transcripts — and lots more, now all in one place, on the PMA Podcast.

Look for the first episode on September 8, followed by a great new interview every week.

Eyefi names most socially influential photographers



A new study “identifies the photographers that are influencing the vast online community of both amateur and professional photographers,” says camera connectivity pioneer Eyefi, which worked with market analysts at EvolvesInc.

The result: the top 30 most socially influential photographers with the greatest online impact and engagement. “These influential photographers are encouraging people to explore photography in new ways, take great photos and share them with the world,” the company says. “New communities are developing as more people discover a passion for taking pictures.”

The top 30 photographers were identified using a broad range of influencer discovery and engagement tools, including Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and a collection of top photographer lists identified by insiders, Eyefi adds. “Candidates were carefully vetted for their topical expertise and scored based on measures such as social footprint, popularity among citizens by industry insiders, retweet frequency and other related social factors.”

The full list is here.


The July/August issue of PMA magazine is now available


Magazine_issue072014_700x454The July/August issue of PMA Magazine – Connecting the Imaging Communities is live and online.

In this issue, discover the excitement of The Big Photo Show LA 2014! Read about all the opportunities this event, held in May, brought to photo enthusiasts and imaging businesses; check out interviews with attendees; and read (and even watch) interviews with exhibitors.

In addition, this issue revisits retailers we interviewed a year ago about getting consumers to make prints and photo products from mobile images. Discover what a huge difference a year has made in technology, ease of use, and big profits.

Also in this issue:

  • Hans Hartman of Suite 48 Analytics reveals trends in mobile photography and output
  • LifePics is betting on 3D printing
  • The 2014 AIE Future Imaging Summit panel on output explains current trends
  • Panasonic’s Darin Pepple explains how 4K and hybrid photography are changing the game
  • How the Tran family escaped terrors in Cambodia – then built one of the most successful imaging businesses in Australia
  • In the U.K., The Photography Show picks up where Focus on Imaging left off

Camera bags and more: Gura Gear acquires Tamrac


tamrac-logoUtah-based Gura Gear acquired camera bag maker Tamrac, which had been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since January.

GuraGear announced last week it “agreed to acquire the brand and assets of Tamrac,” and noted that company’s “37 year history of developing affordable carrying solutions for photographers.”

Gura Gear says it will now “build upon a brand with a legacy of designing solutions for photographers and a dedicated customer following while leveraging worldwide distribution.”

Gura Gear began in 2008; Tamrac in 1977.

By the way, the company has very interesting articles and photos on its blog here.


Photography is Killing You


pew news photographerWell, that’s the rather alarmist headline at Popular Photography (that we could not resist posting here as well). But the site serves up many  “Health Tips For Photographers” as well.

“Slipped discs, muscle spasms, rotator cuff syndrome, tendinitis and carpal tunnel are just a few of the occupational hazards that can come from lugging around a heavy bag of gear and turning yourself into a human tripod for a living,” the report says. It counters these problems with suggestions for better using carts, bags, and more.

Here is the full article.


PSPA President Bill Freeman honored by IPC

IPC Award Chiarman Andy Marcus (left) with Bill Freeman (center) and IPC President James Chung. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.
IPC Award Chiarman Andy Marcus (left) with Bill Freeman (center) and IPC President James Chung. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.

IPC Award Chairman Andy Marcus (left) with Bill Freeman (center) and IPC President James Chung. Photo by Diane Berkenfeld.

Congratulations to PSPA President Bill Freeman of Freeman Photography Group, Houston, Texas, who was honored with the 2014 IPC Professional Photographer Leadership Award from the International Photographic Council (IPC), an NGO of the United Nations. He received the award at the 16th Annual IPC Pro Award Luncheon at the United Nations in New York, N.Y., on May 15.

Freeman was nominated for the award by the Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA), one of the member organizations of the IPC.  PSPA is one of nine photographic organizations from around the world that nominate professional photographers to be honored.

Freeman started Freeman Photography in the early 1980s. Self-taught, he began working in sports photography on nights and weekends, learning the industry through books, classes, tapes and seminars, while maintaining his full-time job in commercial construction during the week. By 1989, Bill and his wife turned photography into their livelihood. Today, they focus on undergraduate school yearbook photos, high school senior portraits, family portraits, corporate portraits and commercial events. In addition to his work with PSPA, Freeman serves as Chairman of the Speaker Selection Sub-Committee for School Sports & Events and has collaborated with the Yearbook Guidelines Committee to help school photographers and publishers. He is a Certified Professional Photographer and a Master Photographer.

Insuring photographers



Knowing how to cover your equipment and your business can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start, notes online imaging service PhotoShelter. “But no fear!” the company adds, as it’s worked with experts to provide a new free guide, “What Photographers Should Know About Insurance.”

Insurance can be a complicated beast, PhotoShelter says, but knowing how to cover yourself and your equipment is a must-do for your business. “In this guide, we review the types of insurance you should consider as a working photographer, plus offer up tips from insurance experts and additional resources to help you make the smartest decisions for your business.”

The Guide covers:
Basic insurance lingo you should know
Insurance coverage to consider as a working photographer
Tips from insurance experts to help you navigate your options
Examples of when to file a claim
Additional resources to help you make smart decisions for your business
Get the guide here.


Reactions to Amazon’s “photography patent”



…Okay, not all photography — only a tactic for taking studio shots. Still, the patent granted to the online reseller boggles the brain of anyone working in imaging, as it covers a very standard technique: shooting pictures against a white backdrop, with multiple light sources.

The action is so boggling that even TV satirist Stephen Colbert chimed in on how outrageous it is — and took it one step further, but filing a patent on the process of filing for a patent!

“It’s always a pleasure when anything patent-related enters the mainstream,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation commented. “In this case, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report lampoons Amazon’s new patent on a method of photography in front of a white background. The patent, like many patents issued today, uses seemingly complex language to describe a fairly simple idea… How did these patents pass the system’s obviousness or novelty standards? Your guess is as good as ours.”

EFF logo

Colbert also references how trolls can make money off lawsuits alone: “Best of all, even if your invention never makes a penny, accusing someone of stealing it can. Because in 2011 alone, unused patents alone generated $29 billion in lawsuits, legal fees, and settlements worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. So if you have an idea, and you work hard, someday you can get sued by someone who had a similar idea.”

A more serious response comes from Mark Cuban, who has been leading a charge against such ludicrous patent applications, and the patent officers who ignorantly grant them.

Cuban is now best known as a basketball team owner and as one of the hosts on the TV investment show Shark Tank — but he first made his money selling an early online video service.

This week, Salon reports that Cuban and other advocates of patent reform “believe the U.S. patent system is completely out-of-whack… Studio photographers have been taking pictures against white backgrounds for ages. The notion that such a thing could be patented strikes many people as inexplicable and bizarre.”

Cuban donated $250,000 in 2012 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to pursue patent reform.

Amazon 1263 patents, including the lucrative one for one-click buying.

Salon concludes, “the patent seems utterly unenforceable, absent an army of inspectors who barge into photography studios across the world patrolling for infringing setups. And it still seems utterly ridiculous: how does Amazon know that photographers haven’t already stumbled upon the exact same setup. And how, in any rational sense, is this the kind of thing that patent law was originally designed to protect?”


On the DIMAcast: Ricoh lowers the cost of medium-format photography



Low-cost is a relative term when it comes to medium-format photography and the larger sensors it requires, but Ricoh Imaging’s newest SLR will be “only” $8,500 — a category-low, the company says.

The Pentax 645Z SLR features a 51-megapixel sensor, with a 43.8mm x 32.8mm imaging area that is approximately 1.7 times larger than that of a 35mm full-size sensor. It captures three frames per second.

In this episode of the DIMAcast, Ricoh Imaging executive vice president Jim Malcolm tells us how the company was able to bring a more affordable model to market, and what it means for pro shooters in particular.

You can download or subscribe to our podcast here, or listen in now through the player embedded below.

What not to miss at The Big Photo Show LA


TheBigPhotoShow_dates_250x223 The Big Photo Show is almost here! Wondering what will be happening at this incredible event for everyone who loves photography? Check out this announcement we’re sending out today, which offers an overview of all the happenings this coming weekend at The Big Photo Show, at the Los Angeles Convention Center:

If you love taking pictures – whether it’s your job, your hobby, your art, or your method of preserving memories – there is nowhere else to be May 17-18 than The Big Photo Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in West Hall A.

This event has so much to offer, and you won’t want to miss a thing. Be sure to bring your camera, and take part in all these exciting opportunities:


You’ve seen their work on TV, in the newspaper, and on the covers of some of the best-known magazines in the world – now you can learn from them in person. The Big Photo Show is bringing many of the most renowned professional photographers in the world together, to teach you the tricks of their trade. Presenting more than 40 education sessions, for people at all levels of ability and experience, is an incredible slate of highly accomplished pro photographers, including former White House photographer and chief photographer for The Washington Times, and photographer for The Discovery Channel and Mark Burnett Productions, Kevin Gilbert; Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller, who has also shot for Time, Life, People, Money, Playboy, Runners World, Newsweek, USA Weekend and The New York TimesJefferson Graham of USA TodayErin Manning, host of the DIY Network’s The Whole Picture, who has also appeared on NBC’s TODAY, CBS’ The Early Show, That Morning Show on E!; and many others.

All events and all beginner/intermediate education sessions are included in the $25 ticket price. Specialized and advanced level classes are available for $49 per session; $149 for a full day (4 sessions); or $199 for two full days (8 sessions).


The Big Photo Show presents exhibits from many top photography manufacturers and dealers. This is your chance to see, touch and try the latest innovations in imaging – while speaking face-to-face with the people who produce them. When you find that perfect item you just can’t live without, you can step down the aisle to any of several exhibits from the best stores and photo labs from throughout Southern California, who will be offering great Big Photo Show deals. Come and meet companies and dealers like Sony, Panasonic, Sigma, Fujifilm, Tamron, Bay Photo, Calagaz Photo, Diversified Imaging Supply, Forever, Fullerton Photographics, Hoodman, Macphun Software, Nations Photo Lab, Powell Camera, Athentech, ToCAD, Woodland Hills Camera, Samy’s Camera, Paul’s Photo, Tuttle’s Camera, Silvio’s Photoworks, and Fromex Photo & Digital, among many others. Several exhibitors will have exciting events going on in their booths, such as product and technique demonstrations, book signings, well-known pros you can meet, raffles, and other special attractions. Check out what’s happening on the exhibitor page.

Shoot live models with the pros

At The Big Photo Show, you will have the chance to photograph live models in The Photo Shooting Zone, side-by-side with leading professional photographers, who will be sharing tips and tricks on posing, lighting, and other strategies to help attendees get the perfect shot. Hone your skills in different photography styles, with models portraying scenes including Film Noir, “American Idol,” Burlesque and Tokyo Fashion.

Discover breathtaking ways to display photos

See the possibilities in the Creative Photo Product Zone. Here you will find everything you never knew was possible to do with your images. Whether you want to make photo gifts, decorate your home with your images, or make compelling products to sell, you will surely be inspired in The Big Photo Show’s Creative Photo Product Zone.

In the Take It To The Wall Zone, you will find the most beautiful and innovative framing and design techniques. Professional framers – all members of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) – will show you how to display your photos with dazzling framing designs from contemporary to traditional. They will also provide mat-cutting demonstrations to show you the difference mat boards make when highlighting and preserving photos.

Photography basics and troubleshooting

Are you a beginner? Then don’t miss The Learning Centers, which allow you to explore the building blocks of photography. The principals of aperture and shutter speed come into clear focus with simple exercises. Learn how to use f-stop and shutter speed effectively.

If you’re having a specific problem with your photography or your equipment, you need a visit to the Photo Doctor Zone. There, the “doctor” will diagnose your problem and show you how to take full advantage of everything your camera can do.

So much more

Among many additional show highlights are:

  • The Popular Photography and American Photo Magazine booth, where Nikon pro David Tejada will share his lighting techniques using the Speedlight system. He will also speak about his travel photos taken on the Mentor Series.
  • Love cars? Check out Fireball Tim’s Hollywood Car Showcase, sponsored by Sony and provided by LA’s premiere build house, Picture Car Warehouse. Fireball Tim has designed some of the most recognizable vehicles in the world, creating cars and motorcycles for companies like Disneyland and Universal Studios. You have seen his vehicles in Avengers, Priest, Knight Rider, Batman, Son of the Mask, Pitch Black, Jurassic Park, X-Men, Gone in 60 Seconds and more than 400 other movies and TV programs. Fireball will teach a Car Photography Seminar each day of The Big Photo Show at 11:30 a.m.
  • Portraits of Love – a project developed by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) and the USO, will have volunteer professional photographers on site at The Big Photo Show to take free portraits of the families and loved ones of U.S. military members. Through a partnership with Shutterfly, the portraits will be printed and delivered to members of the U.S. military all over the world, all at no cost.
  • In addition, Popular Technology RadioPopular Science Radio and Working Mother Radio, as well as several favorite LA stations, will be broadcasting live, onsite from The Big Photo Show. You can also see some of the most compelling images ever captured, in the United Nations Photo Exhibition, presented by the International Photographic Council (IPC), as well as the photos that won The Big Photo Show Seriously Fun Photography Photo Challenge. And, if you’ve got cameras and accessories to sell, bring them. There will be used equipment dealers at The Big Photo Show looking to buy items you no longer need.

There is so much to this great event – check out to see it all, and to buy tickets for only $25. Tickets are available here: