Photoflex bought by Promark

photoflex

photoflex

Lighting manufacturer Photoflex reports it’s been acquired by Promark International.

Photoflex had all-but gone out of business earlier this year. (See previous coverage here.)

“Together, Promark and Photoflex will focus on delivering high quality, industry-defining lighting solutions for photographers of all skill levels,” the two companies announced.

Photoflex says “business will go on as usual” now, as it develops photographic lighting tools.

 

Printicular prints instantly in German retail

printicular

printicular

Mobile photo printing service Printicular launched in Germany, saying customers can now send photos from phones to kiosks in 1,600 stores.

The company says it’s working as part of the Kodak Photo Service program to broaden its distribution.

Printicular adds that it’s already printed more than six million photos in the United States at thousands of retail locations.

Here’s more information.

Canadian retail chain Blacks closing

blacks

blacks

All 59 of the Blacks Photo chain’s stores will close, Bloomberg reported.

The Canadian photography stores were owned by Telus, the country’s second largest wireless carrier, ironically, which commented that “Technological innovations have changed the way Canadians take and share photographs, with fewer of us using retail photo outlets.” In other words: smart phones with cameras.

The 485 employees may seek work in other Telus business areas. Telus has 220 of its own stores and more than 500 partner locations.

Speakers signing on for Fall’s Mobile Photo Connect

Mobile Photo Connect

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This year the annual Mobile Photo Connect will “take a deep dive into the driving forces behind today’s unprecedented surge in mobile imaging and visual communication, says organizer Suite 48 Analytics.

The conference moves to a larger venue, the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s Presidio Park.

“Mobile Photo Connect brings together entrepreneurs, investors and senior executives active in the global mobile photo and video ecosystem,” the company says, and will feature panel discussions on tomorrow’s use cases, monetizing photo engagement, disrupting through hardware innovation, and taking mobile photo startups through successful exits.

Initial speakers include:

  • Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Head of Product, Flickr
  • Joe Rago, Director Mobile Innovation Program, Walgreens
  • James Joaquin, Co-founder and Managing Director, Obvious Ventures
  • Eric Cheng, Director of Aerial Imaging, DJI
  • Vijay Vachani, Director, Partner Ecosystem, Adobe
  • Oren Boiman, CEO, co-founder, Magisto
  • Jackie Dove, Creativity Editor, The Next Web
  • Jan Senderek, Product Manager, Dropbox
  • Don Strickland, President and CEO, Strickland & Associates
  • Yi Li, CEO, Orbeus

There will also be three show & tell sessions in which 30 app developers will demo their wares.

Mobile Photo Connect is September 29, 2015. PMA is a media sponsor.

audience_and_panel2

 

On the PMA Podcast: Getting your best customers to Print More

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haim ariav

What are the secrets to increasing your print revenues?
In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Haim Ariav, the founder and business manager of Glossy Finish by Lifetouch, explains how key tactics — such as targeting the best customers, providing complete products, and making the sale at the event where emotions are running high — have made his business more profitable.

You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

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

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GM-09-CA2_0136

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:

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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

CEO, PMA

PMA’s new National Photo Month site offers free promotional materials, photo contest and much more

NationalPhotoMonth_FINAL-04

NationalPhotoMonth_FINAL-04We have some exciting news to share. We have launched a compelling new website to promote May, which is, of course, National Photo Month!

At this site, natlphotomonth.org, you will find a constantly-growing supply of free tools, marketing tips, and downloadable marketing content for you to use to promote your business all throughout the month. They include National Photo Month logos, customizable posters and signs, and ready-to-use photo tweets and social media posts. (While this is a US-based campaign, there are  also tools here that can be used to inspire photo consumers worldwide, and to promote photography year-round.)

In addition, the site offers a wealth of information for your customers, and a photo contest with very valuable prize packages – people can enter at either the professional or hobbyist level.

There are many prize packages, including the Grand Prize in the professional category: an Apple iPhone 6 Plus, a Fujifilm X-T1 Mirrorless ILC, and a Focus Pyramid Autofocus Lens Calibration Tool. The Grand Prize in the consumer category includes: an Apple MacBook Pro 13″ – Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD; a Canon Rebel T6i DSLR; a Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro lens; and a 20×30 Canvas Certificate from MailPix.com.

There are many, many other impressive prizes, too. We’d like to offer a big thank you to our wonderful contributors, who have donated very generously to support the contest and the website. The growing list includes:

  • Collages.net
  • Creative Live
  • Design Frames
  • Fujifilm
  • Fullerton Photo
  • GoPro
  • H&H Color Lab
  • Cristina Photography Tools
  • LumiQuest
  • Macphun
  • MailPix
  • Nationwide Studios
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic
  • Precision Camera
  • Sony
  • Sunpak
  • SYNC
  • Tamron
  • Teddy Bear Portraits
  • ToCAD
  • WinkFlash

We encourage you to join with us, and all of our sponsors, in promoting photography, your business, and National Photo Month! Be sure to come back to the site often, and encourage your customers to do so too, because new resources are being added all the time. Also, be sure to visit and like our new Celebrate Photos Facebook page.

Hashtags:

#celebratephotos

#nationalphotomonth

No signs of Selfies slowing

hans selfie

hans selfie

They’re not splashed all over the media as much anymore — but everyday people are still snappin’ plenty of selfies.

In fact, “selfies continue to gain popularity among all age groups and have become an ingrained use case for how today’s smartphone photographers retain and share their visual memories,” Suite 48 Analytics reports.

The research firm surveyed 1,021 North American smartphone photographers to determine their selfie taking, enhancing and sharing habits on handheld smartphones, smartphones attached to selfie-sticks, action cams, drones, and digital cameras.

The study found that taking selfies is a widespread phenomenon among all age groups: 84% of the respondents took at least one selfie with their smartphone in the last 30 days. Tellingly, taking selfies was similarly broad across age groups: 88% among respondents under 25, 83% among 25+ respondents, and 80% among 35+ respondents.

However, age was found to have a significant impact on how frequently smartphone photographers take selfies. Those under 25 take more than twice as many selfies with their smartphone as do those who are 25 or older.

Most tellingly: the study’s respondents report they’re actually taking more of them than they did as recently as six months ago. This increase is most prominent among the younger respondents.

The full report, “The Selfies – A Maturing Use Case study” is available here.

selfies study

Black & white case: Motorola to pay Fujifilm $10 million

fujifilm_logo

fujifilm_logoMotorola Mobility was ordered to pay $10.2 million in damages for using Fujifilm’s technology, Reuters reports.

Motorola proved three disputed patents were invalid, but lost on a patent related to converting color images to monochrome.

Here is the full story.

 

On the PMA Podcast: Bright future for retail

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lucinda daltonWhen new people enter a field, they don’t always know what can’t be done — so they charge forward proving the establishment wrong. That’s been the history of Digital Camera Warehouse, now with four Australian super store locations. While many are retracting their retail footprint in favor of e-commerce Digital Camera Warehouse is doubling down on their physical store locations.

On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Bill McCurry asks Lucinda Dalton how and why she sees a bright future for retail and specifically for Digital Camera Warehouse as it expands its footprint and offerings in Australia. With a common sense approach, Lucinda and her team are finding commitment pays off.
You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.