After Merger, New Imaging Alliance Comes Into Focus

Two long-running associations in the photo-imaging space have become one, saying the merger responds to the industry's broader needs brought on by technological changes.

One association involved in a recent merger turned 88 this year; the other celebrated its 82nd anniversary.

Both organizations have stood the test of time, despite all the changes over the decades. But one look at the website of the new Imaging Alliance is like a glimpse into the future—full of fresh ideas and new energy around the concept of photo imaging.

The merger combines the Photo Marketing Association International (PMAI), founded in 1928, and the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA), launched in 1934. Jim Malcolm, who was PMDA’s president and now takes that role in the new association, noted that the goal of bringing the two groups together was to create a stronger voice as a whole, especially as shifts toward digital photography have forced significant changes on the industry.

“We formed the Imaging Alliance to best serve a stronger, bolder, and more diverse industry,” Malcolm told Twice. “We will be bringing together an incredibly broad spectrum of companies that offer products, services, and applications and will promote the growth and development of the imaging industry, at large.”

In comments to Dealerscope, Gaby Mullinax, who was PMAI’s president and will serve as an adviser to the Imaging Alliance, said that these shifts have created great growth in the photography industry in many ways, but that it “still needs a steward.”

“Someone needs to ask the question, ‘How do we keep photography relevant in the lives of consumers?’ Because that’s the bottom line; we need to keep photography relevant,” Mullinax said. “That’s what we’re hoping this accomplishes, steering this industry towards that one voice.”

The Imaging Alliance will keep popular offerings from the two predecessor organizations, such as PMAI’s Innovation Now, an annual meeting, and two PMDA programs that showcase charitable efforts on the part of the photography community: “Saluting Photographers Who Give Back” and “Portraits of Love.”

Current members of the two groups will be enrolled in the Imaging Alliance for the rest of this year.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!