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PMA: new fees ‘represent good value’

The following contribution from PMA CEO Georgia McCabe is in response to our coverage of the increase in PMA membership fees to US$295 ($425 Australian and $470 New Zealand):

GM-09-CA2_01361-200x300While delighted to see your recent keen interest in PMA over the last several months, we would like to clarify and place into context your story on the changes to the PMA membership rates.

The most important issues is that we have changed the structure of membership from individual members to corporate membership; this means that all employees within the photographic companies can receive the benefits of PMA membership such as insurance, logistics and many other services we will be launching in the coming months. This structural change has naturally led to a reasonable increase in membership fees, however, not in all membership categories. We feel this is more than matched by the increase in benefits.

A secondary contributing factor has been the unfortunate shift in exchange rates that has seen the Australian dollar depreciate by over 25 percent against the US dollar during the past year. Since many of the PMA’s costs are denominated in US dollars this is a factor that unfortunately has to be passed in membership fees.

InnovationNow-2015-300x154We hope that the Australian and New Zealand PMA members will appreciate these changes and understand the benefits that PMA membership brings and the good value it represents. In addition to the immediate benefits for members, we are also working on a number of global initiatives that we will be unveiling at the PMA’s InnovationNow Summit in San Francisco on September 27 and 28 – to which all Australian and New Zealand PMA members are warmly invited to attend in person. They will be able to have access to all of the recorded sessions on our website after the conference has concluded. We are happy to have Paul Atkins from Atkins Photo Lab presenting at the summit among other individuals from around the world. Including some important Silicon Valley stakeholders.

In addition PMA is partnering with (US camera gear website) DPreview for PIX2015 (, a new, live-streamed event that will be held in Seattle on October 6 – 7. We are featuring a unique ‘How It’s Made’ consumer pavilion. This pavilion will feature a Creative Lounge & Marketplace, and we are working with a professional designer to incorporate products created by our members in a beautifully designed space so that consumers can experience what it feels like to create and live with exciting new products.

Gaby Mullinax, PMA president and president of Fullerton Photographics Inc, will serve as the spokesperson for the marketplace. In addition, PMA is developing a ‘Photo App Bar’ at PIX2015 where attendees can experience some of the newest photo apps available. Our How it’s Made Creative Lounge & Marketplace as well as our event sponsors will be recorded and have continued visibility on Amazon Prime.

[Note: DPReview is owned by Amazon.]

I am looking forward to my trip to Australia in October for the Digital Show in Melbourne. I am hoping that I will have an opportunity to meet with many of the members from Australia and New Zealand.
– Georgia McCabe,


  1. PG PG September 10, 2015

    PMA: new fees ‘represent good value’

    I don’t think so…

    I now understand how the KIWI’s felt when there was talk, mainly from our side, of them joining PMA Oz rather than having their own identity. PMA was always US centric now it is a 100% US based, insurance and logistic benefits and more?

    OK so there’s going to be a new online forum, there are forums already. Most of the 60% of members left (after the framers went) of former members are either Camera House or IPI or maybe there’s still a KEX forum out there?

    I just can’t see the value, especially after nine months of nothingness, as Bill McCurry would say WIIFM? I just can’t see the WIIFM.

    And then there’s the Digital Show, to quote their website…

    “The Digital Show is one of the largest consumer technology events in the Southern Hemisphere and is held every two years. Whether you’re newly passionate about photography, a seasoned creative professional or simply looking to further unleash your creativity, there will be something for everyone — entertaining demonstrations, local and international experts, exclusive product launches and dozens of inspiring talks and lectures.”

    As a photo design centre where’s the WIIFM? If IDEA wanted us there they could have surely used their data base and sent us an invite. If Georgia wanted to see “us” maybe an email outlining just why she is coming down and what do we want out of a new PMA would be a good start.

  2. John Swainston John Swainston September 10, 2015

    I’m waiting for the October discussions. I am not assuming PMA cannot find its voice in a new way. But…
    As a past president of PICA, honoured also by PMA International with a Lifetime Achievement Award 10 years back, and now a writer and photographer to add to a business consulting practice, I am bemused that PMA has not been able to find me yet and reach out to directly sell me a membership to my one-person new company. I am delighted to see Gary Pageau re-involved in media communications but I genuinely am finding it hard to see the WIIFM answers from anyone else. It is relatively early days and perhaps as a group, we in Australia have not yet articulated those needs clearly enough so assessment can be made as to the viability of creating some kind of services that are of value.
    I am intensely conscious that photography and photographers, whether of the passionate, professional or occasional variety, or users of dedicated specialised gear or smartphones, are often very isolated in their practice. They are forced increasingly to source advice online rather than resorting to the advisers of old, the specialist camera shop. PMA as it once was strove to be the great educators, as did its dealer members. Today there are so many others who own that space and in some cases wonderfully well. That alone is no longer enough.
    The bit that’s really missing is an organization to help people run better, more inventive and more profitable imaging businesses, a service that helps structure them to serve a fast changing consumer. That consumer now spends more on services than products, very often. If what is now on offer from the new PMA can do that for ANZ retailers, all well and good and it will have my fullest support, semi-retirement or not. Thus far, though, I’d have to say the jury is out for a long session of debate on whether it will resonate with Antipodean prospects down under. – Cheers, John S

    • PG PG September 11, 2015

      “The bit that’s really missing is an organization to help people run better, more inventive and more profitable imaging businesses, a service that helps structure them to serve a fast changing consumer…”

      John I think IPI does that extremely well especially for the new “minilab” business model. Very few members of Camera House were members of PMA in recent times, so they perhaps are catered for as well.

      The big question is what can PMA bring to the table that is so different and a must have? The meeting in Melbourne must be more than a talk fest of what do you guys want, that can be done online. It must be a big launch, not like that of Apple’s yesterday, but a game changing launch like last year with the iPhone 6.

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