August 2012

August 2012

Learn What VB Can Do For You

Attend the VB Workshop

The very best way to learn what Virtual Backgrounds can do for you is to register for a three day VB workshop held at the VB Learn and Earn education facility in San Marcos, Texas.    The VB workshops draw photographers from many parts of the country and around the world.  They come  to learn how Virtual Backgrounds can help lift their business to new levels of success. 

The price for the workshop is only $295 including three meals and a ton of learning. The workshops are taught either by Montana master photographer, Trevon Baker, or North Carolina master photographer, Mark Barnett.  The workshops are co-sponsored by Virtual Backgrounds and Pounds Labs.  VB workshops come with a guarantee of satisfaction.  The next workshop is October 15-17, 2012. Join us for some workshop fun! 

Solutions are Coming Soon

Common Sense Solutions For Photographers, a new book by Henry Oles, Cr. Photog., author of The Professional Photographer’s Perfect Storm and Background Power! will be available this fall.  Its primary theme is to present a wide variety of solutions to help photographers fight the perfectsStorm which has decimated so many and held so many newcomers back.  Watch For It! 

VB Exhibiting at Photokina with yourlook

Virtual Backgrounds will once again be exhibiting at the world’s fair of photography, Photokina in Cologne Germany.    Our products with be shown at the yourlook stand in the professional hall.  This event brings well over 100,000 people to the show.  Unlike photography shows in many parts of the world that are fading, Photokina continues to go strong.  Just about anyone who is anyone in photography exhibits at Photokina which happens every two years.

Daniel Gutier and Oscar Matlock Do It Again!

Imagine, getting 295 sittings for fantasy photography by partnering with a charity.  That’s what Daniel and Oscar just finished as they move toward the final stages of their latest charity marketing program.   They are already working on their next event.

The sittings bring Oscar and Daniel very substantial average orders while helping the charity raise funds.  Their last function generated over $19,000 for the charity.  That’s not peanuts!

Daniel and Oscar have prepared an in depth how-to CD for other professional photographers who are looking to grow their business even in these tough times.  They provide extensive details on their methods = everything you need to get started in charity marketing.  The CD is available at an introductory half price of $199 and is even guaranteed.  If the purchaser isn’t satisfied, they can simply return it for a full refund.  The CD is available from Virtual Backgrounds.  Contact a VB consultant to order your copy today!

Video Virtual Backgrounds

Yes, the professional photographer can very easily create videos with Virtual Backgrounds.  Now that video is part of most DSLR cameras, it is so simple to switch over to video as part of a sitting and have infinite background variety.    It’s a whole new opportunity for the professional to offer a new service in addition to their regular portraits.  The possibilities are unlimited!

Watch for more news on video VB. 

3D Images with Virtual Backgrounds

If you have a VB system, try using it with a 3D camera.  You can get some very interesting results that will provide you with an additional product to market to your customers.  While 3D will not be a mainstay of your studio business, it can provide you with one more concept to catch the attention of the public and generate new customers for you.  People today want to be amazed with new concepts.  Give 3D and VB a try! 

Coming Soon:  Senior 2013 Slides

We’re busy working on a new slide set!  The Senior 2013 set will soon be ready and available for purchase!  Keep an eye out in the September issue of The Backgrounder for images and more information!

Got a Great Idea?

Please Share It with Us!


Virtual Backgrounds is not only a highly creative tool but it is also the only tool left for the professional photographer that the amateurs and most other photographers do not have.  A Houston area VB owner said it best, “What I like the most about VB is that my customers don’t understand it.  They just love the results.”

VB is the ultimate tool:  Infinite background variety at almost zero cost.  Instead of spending thousands for traditional backgrounds and even background sets or avoiding studio work all together, VB provides infinite options.  Each photographer with VB can create their own special backgrounds that are exclusive to them.  No one else has it.  The possibilities are unlimited.

VB is more important today than ever because there is so much competition from other photographers and especially from the Do-It-Yourself public.  The professional’s only hope for success is to produce results others cannot do.  That’s the key. 

Isn’t it time that you investigated the opportunities?  Read some testimonials.  Watch the videos, Best of all, come to a VB workshop and really learn the fundamentals and get hands on experience.  Everyone who comes to a workshop goes home saying, “I had no idea just how powerful the VB process really is.”  We even guarantee attendees satisfaction with the workshop

VB is a hidden treasure.   If you know of a tool more powerful than Virtual Backgrounds to help you easily produce new products, amaze your clients, and help your photography business grow, please share it with us.

The Magic Formula

Is it possible?  Could there be a magic formula to help photographers who continue to struggle as a result of the perfect storm? Today, the public thinks they do great photography on their own (or at least good enough). The million or so who charge for their photography think that they do good work.  The public, however, finds it hard to recognize the difference since so much of it is photojournalistic. Is there a magic formula that can help a serious professional photographer be much more successful?  Here are three ingredients to a magic formula to success!

  • Creativity, Talent, and Experience: Photography is still an art form and, therefore, some do distinctively better work depending on their creativity, talent, training, experience and the equipment they use. Exceptional work still makes a difference and always will.  Producing clearly exceptional work must be emphasized, celebrated, promoted and marketed.
  • Having a Studio: Amateurs do not have studios. Most professionals today don’t have studios. They all depend primarily on shooting on location in a photojournalistic fashion. Having a well-equipped studio clearly helps to distinguish one from all the others by providing a distinctly professional environment and creating greater variety in images.
  • Virtual Backgrounds: In the past, pro photographers offered a lot of magic. They did things that mystified the public and the public paid for the results. Today, there is only one piece of equipment left that is still exclusive to the professional and that is Virtual Backgrounds. Virtual Backgrounds enables the professional to infinitely expand what the variety they can produce in the studio. Virtual Backgrounds still mystifies the public and they love the results and will pay to get them.

The photographer who makes maximum use of the magic formula coupled with effective promotion is still doing well even as the perfect storm decimates so many others. Success and failures are both optional. 

Fall is Coming and so is Football 

Are You Ready? 


 Image by Jenny Eisenhauer

Images by Thomas Cooke

A new school year and fall sports is an exciting time.  It’s also a great time to be a professional photographer if you are able to produce unique products no one else can.  If you didn’t do it last fall, the next few weeks is the time to capture your special sports backgrounds to open new profit producers. 

It’s easy to do!  Just imagine that you had the power to stop the total event so you could photograph individual football players or members of the band or drill team or the cheerleaders in any spot in and around the stadium while the total scene was held in suspended animation.  These are images that no parent, no other professional photographer could do.  Capture those backgrounds and then use them with your Virtual Backgrounds system in your studio with quality lighting, proper posing:  All the elements that make great timeless images.  You’ll be showing images no parent can capture.  You’ll be showing what other photographers can’t do.  This is the key to success.

Image by Melanie Hall

Image by Thomas Cooke

Images by Mark McCall (left) and Ann Nester

Image by Ann Nester

What the Heck Happened to Kodak?

Read the New Book, Out of Focus

Not long ago, the word Kodak was synonymous with photography.  Today, the name Kodak is rapidly becoming insignificant.  If you want to learn about what happened to Kodak, there is a new book by John Larish that covers the story from the beginning to what might be near the end.  It is titled Out of Focus.  Of course, the digital revolution played a major role in the fall of Kodak.  Kodak, however, was also the leader in digital, at least in the beginning, and could have prospered as a result.

Out of Focus …The Rapid Disappearance of Kodak

Respected Photo Industry Writer Chronicles

The Rapid Death Spiral of a Global Icon

Your parents and your grandparents captured all of the important events and activities of their lives and yours on Kodak film but your children have probably never put film in a camera.

How could a household name of more than 120 years slip so quickly into oblivion?

John Larish, a photo industry writer who followed Kodak for more than three decades, gives you an inside and highly documented look at how Kodak stumbled its way through a half dozen chief executive officers into the depths of darkness.  Self-published and available at books, Out of Focus, The story of how Kodak lost its direction, gives you an unprecedented view of how any large corporation can be so blinded by its own views of the world around it so that people feel it is too big, too strong to fail.

Today it’s easy to see that the company’s revolving door of senior executives missed all of the signals of an industry that changed so rapidly that consumers simply left the firm, its technologies and its products behind them.  In the fast-paced, easy-to-read 119-page book, John helps you visit some of the ghosts who took a moment-capturing idea and put it in everyone’s hands. 

If you’re a history buff, student of business management or simply someone who enjoyed taking pictures and waiting for them to be processed and returned, you’ll enjoy how Mr. Larish makes the company’s highlights and blunders come to life.  John gets your attention with the opening chapter by showing you what life must have been like in the early years, what life in Rochester, NY was like with a company that provided lifetime employment, annual bonuses and amenities now offered by today’s social media companies. 

Larish had an unfair advantage in putting together the easy-reading, well-documented insider book because he spent his career in the photo industry and obviously there wouldn’t have been an industry without Kodak.  His career included working as a competitor, partner and employee of the company-he has written a company history that is humorous and tragic, exciting and depressing.

It’s surprising that as you read Out of Focus you catch yourself thinking about established and new companies and comparing the problems, issues and challenges they are having with very similar mistakes and oversights that so many Kodak executives made at the time.  In almost every chapter John makes you ask how could someone so smart and so well paid make such stupid mistakes and what lies ahead for a company that doesn’t have a rich 120 year history?

Like many recent business executive biographies, John discusses Kodak like a living, breathing individual complete with all of its strengths, weaknesses, brilliance and humor.  Now a mere skeleton of its former self, Kodak is kept alive on its rich treasure trove of patents and intellectual property.  He doesn’t foretell the death of Kodak but instead John reemphasizes that the company has to return to its roots with a greater focus on employees who are still there, customers who must be listened to and stockholders who must help the firm regain its health.

Will Kodak survive?  It is doubtful, which is probably why you’ll want to get a copy of Out of Focus at ( for only $14.95.  The Story of How Kodak Lost Its Direction is a fun, easy-to-read, helpful book to read and a highly informative guide on what to do to avoid disasters.

Click here to order a copy of Out of Focus from Amazon.  It is an excellent read not only for people in the photographic industry but also for anyone in business.

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