April 2012

April 2012

Introducing yourlookA Unique New Photo Studio Franchise System

Does it make sense for an independent studio photographer to become associated with a franchise? The answer can definitely be yes if the relationship can result in the growth of the business.  Attendees at both PPA Imaging and WPPI had an opportunity to get their first look at the German based company, yourlook. The shows were the first time yourlook presented their franchise plan in North America. Originating in Germany, yourlook now has become truly international in scope with associate studios in other parts of Europe, Africa, and now in the US.

Yourlook is what is known as a soft franchise system. It does not take over the business and dictate extensive rules. Instead, it is more like a partnership that enables the local studio to share the yourlook brand. For example, John Smith Photography can take on the subtitle, A yourlook Studio.

There is much more to being associated with yourlook than just being able to display the yourlook brand.  Yourlook involves a growing list of benefits including special marketing tools, training, a voucher system, special group discounts for select products including photographic lab services. The costs associated with joining yourlook are very moderate. The benefits will grow as the yourlook brand becomes better known across the country and around the world.

Special emphasis is placed on making a yourlook studio as different as possible from all others, which is so important to success in today’s environment. For example, Virtual Backgrounds is a key component in most yourlook studios to enable the studio to produce a much wider range of products.

View the yourlook website or call (406) 534-9340.

See VB and Meet Master Photographer Mark Barnett at Canadian Imaging in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Another Great New Idea for VB

The creativity that is possible with using Virtual Backgrounds never seems to run out. Here is a new concept being developed by VB Consultant, Mark Barnett, a whole new way to create specialized customized background slides using equipment you probably already own:  Your inkjet printer. Simply take a digital file of anything appropriate and even customize it such as adding text, perhaps the subject’s name. Print the image out on clear media and it becomes your background at almost zero cost. The possibilities are unlimited!

While this method does not produce backgrounds that match the high resolution quality of photographic slides, it is a great way to produce more abstract backgrounds that can be personalized and really excite the client. Most importantly, these backgrounds are exclusively yours! No one else has them because you created them.

In the next issue of The Backgrounder, we will present more new ideas for using this method to grow your profits.

Learn How to Get into School Photography Attend Chris Wunder’s Boot Camp in Las Vegas

There is no better way to get started in school photography than by attending a Chris Wunder boot camp that covers all the basics you need to know to get going and to grow the business. School photography is one area that has not suffered as a result of the perfect storm that has ravaged so many photographers. While school photography has been dominated by Lifetouch and several other large regional and national companies, it can be a profitable opportunity for local independent photographers. Warning:  Don’t try to get started on your own without learning the basics.

The School Photo Boot Camp is scheduled for June 25 – 29, 2012, at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas. Record attendance is expected since this is the only school photo booth camp to be offered this year. It is the #1 place for comprehensive School Photography education that’s in depth and hands on. It is attended by both established school photographers and newbies.

To learn more and register, visit the Boot Camp website.

Also, plan to visit Cindy Cofer who will be present representing VB and conducting product demonstrations.

What We Can Learn from WPPI

There is much to learn from attending a major show like WPPI and just observing the people who make up the photography profession today. Things have really changed. The majority of them are women 20 – 40 years old and completely new to photography. Most do not have studios of any kind. They have a digital SLR with a big lens and they will shoot exclusively on location, posting their results online. They are the competition, along with every man, woman and child that owns a digital camera including a cell phone camera.

What is quite clear is that individual photographers, both newcomers and old timers, cannot successfully complete with the new mass of photographers if they just work on a basic level.  Even if you are a better photographer, it is difficult for you to show your higher quality if you cannot present a new and innovative product.

In order to truly stand out, you need to be different.  This is where having a professional studio with professional lighting, professional posing, and Virtual Backgrounds is so important.

While many long established professionals are seeing a significant decline in business, there is a growing number of newcomers to the profession who are moving to the next level and turning a part time hobby into a going business by simply following a very basic rule.

If nearly everyone is offering on location shooting in the park, then the smartest thing to do is offer something distinctively different in addition to also doing the location work.

Just having a studio facility with pro lighting and a canvas or muslin backgrounds is not enough. Virtual Backgrounds produces the magic that creates WOW-results in customers’ eyes.  This is what clients pay for. This is how you can get business and prices that the others all miss.

Learn More about Daniel Gutier’s Charitable Marketing Program for Photographers

The Art of Giving is a marketing program that teaches the professional photographer how to grow their photography business and raise money to support the causes they believe in. It is a cooperative program that is a win win-win. It is an illustrated step-by-step guide, complete with all the forms, documents, and templates that are needed to run a successful charity marketing campaign.

Contact VB for more information on this program that is sure to become one of the most important profit making guides ever for professional photographers. It is sold with a guarantee of satisfaction.

April 2012 Workshop Participants 

Pictured above is the VB April 2012 workshop group.  You could be in the May VB workshop class photo and start bringing more WOW! to your studio. Call 512-805-4844 or check out the training section of our website.

 Images Captured at a Recent VB Workshop

What Happens at a VB Workshop?

Question:  Why should a professional photographer travel to Texas to take another workshop?

Answer:  This isn’t just another workshop. It’s a workshop that can change your career in photography. It is a workshop like no other anywhere. It is a workshop that focuses on ways to help you offer clearly innovative and different photographic services to your market that can help you successfully fight the storm.

You have more competition than ever before and a public that is becoming complacent with good enough. It is important for the professional photographer to rise so far above all others that you’ll be clearly recognized for being a photographic artist.

The workshop, presented by Montana Master Photographic Craftsman, CPP, Trevon Baker, not only puts emphasis on implementation of Virtual Backgrounds but also on how to integrate all the components of professional photography together. It also emphasizes how to market your unique products and services. It’s not all lecture. There is plenty of hands-on time for the participants to work with models in a studio setting.  The workshop covers professional lighting, posing, backgrounds, marketing, workflow, and more in three intensive days. Lunch is provided in a very unique environment each day and participants meet for dinner each evening to further discuss the opportunities.

The VB workshop has always been presented with a 100% money back guarantee. In fact, VB offers the 100% money back guarantee on any workshop conducted as part of the VB Learn and Earn program.

The VB workshop has attracted photographers from every part of the world:  Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Africa, Indonesia, Europe, and South America to name a few.

The tuition for the workshop is just $295 including lunches and take home materials. The next VB workshop is May 21-23, 2012. Contact a VB representative for more information.

Is the VB Workshop Guarantee of Satisfaction Real?

The Facts of Life for Photographers: 

A Four-Part Series Beginning in May

It would be difficult to dispute the facts of life. It is estimated that as many as one million people now classify themselves as professional photographers. That is a huge increase over just a few years ago. Even worse is the fact that just about everyone and anyone can now take good enough pictures with their digital cameras, including even their cell phone cameras.  Why hire a professional if you can do it yourself and have fun!

It is more critical than ever for serious professional photographers to maximally modify their business to be unique in every respect which can lead to renewed success. It is not enough to just be a little better than good enough, you must be exponentially better!  Keep an eye out for The Facts of Life series beginning in next month’s issue of The Backgrounder.

P is for Professional:

Is this Video for Real?

(turn up your volume)

At another time, of course this video would be looked at as a total spoof. However, in today’s world, one cannot be 100% sure. Nearly everyone loves photography and when they get some pretty good photographs and someone complements them, they start thinking about how much fun and how much profit they could have if they started to charge for their work and be a professional.

In reality, just about every professional photographer began this way. However, it isn’t all fun and those who really want to be serious soon learn that there is so much more to photography than snapping shots. There is more to equipment than just buying a camera, no matter how expensive it is. Furthermore, while anyone can buy equipment, just like anyone can go out and buy a piano, there is a whole lot of learning and experience that is required in order to make that equipment perform.

Everyone who is serious about the business of photography, old timer and serious newcomer has to be concerned about elevating the public’s perception of professional photography.

This video is just one in a series presented by Missy. They are, of course, a spoof, but a spoof that every professional photographer needs to watch because, sadly, what Missy talks about is true for so many in today’s world.

Bill Champion’s Spring Background Collection for School Photographers

More and more independent portrait and wedding photographers are finding that there are great opportunities available in the school photography segment of the market.

To make it easier to get started, school photographer Bill Champion has teamed up with Marathon Press and Chris Wunder to offer photographers with Virtual Backgrounds equipment a set of spring school backgrounds that are coupled with preprinted promotional material from Marathon Press. Also available from VB is a series of fall backgrounds for projection from Denny Manufacturing.  Background projection is an excellent money saving tool for school photography that offers many advantages over green screen.

Contact Virtual Backgrounds for more information!

Want to be Different?  Look at the New Simone Background Collections

Montreal master photographers, Joseph and Louise Simone have created four new sets of unique classic backgrounds - a total of 40 backgrounds!  The Simone Collections are available for professional photographers with Virtual Backgrounds systems. At a time when many photographers are taking candids in the park or on the railroad tracks, these new backgrounds can place you in a class by yourself!  You can create images that your competition cannot duplicate!

Amateurs with their new digital cameras have gotten real good at capturing candids in the countryside.  They can’t, however, produce studio quality timeless portraits and they don’t have Virtual Backgrounds!

Click here to see the new Simone Collections.  They will tickle your imagination and grow your bank account all at the same time!

Start Planning Now for

Next Year’s Easter Promotions

Images by Jim Richard

Parents can’t get precious images like these, except from a professional photographer with creative ideas. Now is the time to start planning for Christmas promotions and even Easter 2013.

Trevon Baker Offers Semi-Private Portrait Class in Montana

Master Photographer, Trevon Baker, will once again offer his special four-day workshop at this studio in Sommers, Montana June 25 – 28. The class will be limited to just 8 participants . The fourth day includes a photo safari into nearby Glacier National Park. For further information, call 406-857-2109.

Who’s Coming to Our VB Workshops?

The May workshop only has two seats left. June and July are filling now. What we always find interesting is how far photographers will travel to learn about how they can use Virtual Backgrounds to enhance their studio.

The May class is slated to include photographers from, Washington, Colorado, California, Missouri, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Ecuador, and New Zealand. We strive to do everything possible to ensure that everyone’s experience at our workshop is one of their best educational decisions they have ever made!

Now Taking Registrations for June and July VB Workshops

JUNE 11-13, 2012

JULY 16-18, 2012 

Discover how VB can help you grow through artistic creativity and powerful marketing!

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