Is Attending a VB Workshop Worth the Time, Cost, and Travel?
All you have to do is ask someone who has been there. If you are looking for new ways to grow your photography business, ways to be different from everyone else, and ways to be far more creative, then this workshop is for you. If you are curious about the VB process and want to get first hand experience, this workshop is for you. If you are looking for a learning experience unlike any other, this workshop is for you.
The VB workshop has brought photographers to San Marcos, Texas from all parts of the world. San Marcos is a Texas jewel. It is just 30 miles from the Austin airport and 45 miles from the San Antonio airport. It’s a university town with 36,000 students and one of the nations largest outlet malls. There are many natural attractions including a completely spring fed river originating less than a mile from VB. Many attendees allow a few extra days to enjoy the area.
Attend a workshop that has transformed so many photographers’ careers.
Rick Avalos Gets Another Loan Collection Print Created with his VB System
Colorado Master Photographer, Rick Avalos, has achieved another PPA Loan Collection print with a VB background. The image is of one of the principals of the local symphony. He is doing a project with the symphony to photograph all the members and board members. Rick has been a passionate user of VB for years as a means of enhancing his creativity and sales. Rick will present a program at the SWPPA convention on September 29 on how to make serious money in portrait photography.
VB Backgrounds for TV
Virtual Backgrounds can be used very effectively with video by turning your DSLR camera to video mode and projecting a background like you would if you were capturing a still image. August workshop attendee, Steve Brack of Houston performed a quick preacher-like Virtual Backgrounds ad, just for fun, for the class with a VB projected stained glass window background. He’s given us permission to share it in The Backgrounder.
VB + 3D = Exciting Results
Hollywood has brought a lot of attention to 3D. There are a variety of 3D cameras now available, and the situation becomes even more interesting when the 3D camera is used on a VB system resulting in prints created with the lenticular coating. The resulting prints can be pretty amazing.
Unfortunately, we cannot show the results. You have to view an actual print with the lenticular coating or view them on a 3D TV. We will be bringing samples of 3D prints to various trade shows including SWPPA, PPA’s Imaging USA, and WPPI. While some professionals are not terribly impressed, we all have to view the new 3D product through the eyes of our customers. Customers liking 3D and buying your portraits is the ultimate result.
YourLook, the international portrait studio franchise system based in Germany, has seen a great deal of interest in 3D. 3D TV is far more popular in Europe than in the US. 3D prints should create even more interest.
It is critical that the professional photographer provide the public with the latest technology. 3D prints and 3D images shown on 3D TV, with complementing VB backgrounds, brings a lot of new interest in professional photography. It’s yet another way to bring clients back to the professional photographer. Amateurs simply cannot create their own 3D images!
On Demand: Sunrise on the Beach
Why would a professional photographer living at the beach and specializing in beach photography ever want a Virtual Backgrounds system? The answer is simple: Expand what they already can do and create images no amateur can do on their own. After all, any amateur can shoot on the public beach.
This sunrise was captured very early in the morning, and very few sunrises are this beautiful. The perfect sunrise only lasts a few minutes. It can be tricky to get the effect you want with this kind of a background. With VB, you can capture the best of the best sunrises and use them as part of a beach session. Better yet, if the weather and time of day won’t cooperate, the entire beach session can be conducted in your studio.
Many clients don’t want to get up at 5 or 6 in the morning to get a sunrise portrait but with VB, the sun will rise and set anytime you want it to, right in your studio where you control everything. Pretty cool!
New Book Coming Soon
How to Make Serious Money with Virtual Backgrounds and Have Fun Doing It
This new book will be available for free in October. It was written not only for VB system owners but for any photographer looking for more ways to increase their sales and profits by clearly distinguishing themselves from all of the do-it-yourself people.
Contact us to sign up to be one of the very first to get this book which is packed with new ideas to help you grow your business.
Next Month: Report from Photokina
Photokina, the world’s fair of photography was a great success. It provided all attendees with a great deal of information about current conditions in photography and prospects for the future. Watch for an important summary article which will appear in the October edition of The Backgrounder. Other magazines usually do not even mention this important worldwide event. Photokina occurrs every two years in Cologne Germany. Get the information you need to know in The Backgrounder!
Featured Photographer Ann Nester Loves her VB System
Ann Nester is a relative newcomer to professional photography. She enjoyed a career as a speech and language pathologist in Ravenwood, West Virginia. Her first experience in photography was in her father’s darkroom, but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she started her professional work. Initially Ann was doing only location shoots, but she soon realized that she could do so much more if she had a real studio.
Ann followed the work of other professionals, especially the work of relative neighbor Lora Yeater and realized that she really needed a Virtual Backgrounds system to more fully express her creativity. Four years ago, Ann was able to acquire a very old used Scene Machine and a screen. That was a distinct turning point in her career. Ann states, “The person who sold me her VB system had no idea what she was giving up, but it was great for me.”
“Getting my first VB system was so important to me that I dreamed about it, and when I actually had it in my living room, I cried, because I couldn’t believe it. I was just overwhelmed thinking of all the creative things I was going to be able to do. I wanted to be different from all other photographers and this is what Virtual Backgrounds was going to help me do. I also had very limited space, so I had no storage room for regular backgrounds.”
“I immediately got busy working with it. With my husband’s help and through Christian at VB, I was able to get missing parts replaced. I now have three VB machines and three screens, the largest being a 10 x 12.”
Today, 99.9% of Ann’s studio work is done with her VB system. “Studio work would be so boring if I didn’t have my VB system. I would be so limited. I am a creator. If I visualize or imagine something in my head, I come up with ways to do it. I lay in bed at night figuring things out; it is a passion of mine. I absolutely love what I do.”
Ann is extremely customer orientated. She states, “I tell my seniors they can have as many clothing changes as they want, and that I will have many different backgrounds to harmonize with their outfits. They don’t believe it because so many studios limit them. I just don’t understand photographers who want to limit outfit changes and backgrounds.”
Ann has done all kinds of photography with her VB system from studio work to location work for proms and dance schools. She is about to venture into fundraising through fantasy photography following the lead of Daniel Gutier and Oscar Matlock. Ann is almost completely self-taught. She has yet to attend a VB workshop in Texas although she hopes to attend soon. She has, however, gotten technical support from VB.
Her clients are shocked when they actually see how VB works. “I try to explain it to them on the phone, but it isn’t until they walk in the door and see the samples and then see their own image on the monitor that they really begin to understand. I have hundreds and hundreds of backgrounds and sometimes my customers even help to come up with unique ideas. They love being involved.”
She offers her clients a wide variety of looks in order to please everyone, including the parents and the grandparents. She often starts with traditional old masters, then moves into room scene backgrounds, then outdoor backgrounds, and also a variety of colors, even funky colors.
“I am so enthusiastic about Virtual Backgrounds. It is something you can never get tired of. There are infinite possibilities. Too many photographers today just work outside using natural light. I didn’t find the VB system to be difficult to learn to use. I just don’t understand why every professional photographer isn’t working with a Virtual Backgrounds system.”
Ann’s enthusiasm for VB is contagious. We look forward to her attending a workshop. We’re sure she will teach us a thing or two!
Samples from the August VB Workshop
Next Workshop: October 17-19
These images were captured during the August VB workshop. During our workshops, attendees are able to capture many, many images using the VB system.
The very best way to learn all about VB and how it can help grow your studio business and profits is to attend a Learn and Earn VB Workshop held regularly in San Marcos, Texas. The workshop presents three solid days of instruction, discussion, and hands-on experience using models. There is no substitute for this experience.
The October VB workshop will be taught by Master Photographer, Mark Barnett of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mark has been a long time user of Virtual Backgrounds during his studio career and has also worked as a VB consultant.
If you have a question about the workshop and what it will involve, Mark invites prospective attendees to call him directly at 336-382-6345. While the main point of the workshop is Virtual Backgrounds, we also cover many other components of business success including lighting, posing, and marketing. Mark strongly believes in learning by doing which means there will be a lot of hands-on experience.
The workshop comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If you do not feel the workshop was valuable to you, you can receive a full registration refund. The workshop is co-sponsored by Pounds Labs. Registration, which includes three meals, is just $295.
For more information and to register, contact Virtual Backgrounds.
Kodak’s Crash and Burn
Most new professional photographers know of Kodak only as a name from the past while those in the business for 10 years or more once depended on Kodak. The fall of Kodak from being one of the most prominent companies in the world continues to make news.
Earlier this year, Kodak released 2,500 employees. Recently, they announced the release of another 1,000 employees. Not that many are left! The company continues to spiral down as it tries to get out of bankruptcy. Many people are doubtful if will happen.
Kodak’s New Plan Met With Doubt
By: Mike Hedee
This week’s announcement that Eastman Kodak is laying out its next steps to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy is being met with doubts by some who follow the company closely. One Kodak watcher believes the company is on the verge of non-existence. Kodak’s announcement that it will focus on commercial packaging, functioning printing solutions, and enterprise services has some skeptics questioning the plan.
Kodak’s new direction means it will sell its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses and focus on Entertainment Imaging, Commercial and Specialty Film along with owning and operating Consumer Inkjet.
“All of this printing business that they thought about is now on computers. People get their ads, they get their mail, and they get everything else on computers. So this idea of printing, is this really a false consideration that they’re thinking that it’s going to be like it was? I don’t think so,” said John Larish.
Larish, who’s new book Out of Focus: The story of how Kodak lost its direction, says selling off its Personalized Imaging business means the Kodak name will disappear from more than 100,000 kiosks, traditional photographic paper and still camera film products. Larish continues, “Their brand name had been lost several years ago already, the value that was in the Kodak brand. Kodak brand, at one time, was the top ten of brands. Now you no longer even see them on a list identifying value of brands. They just don’t have value for their brand. How do you do something so drastically? It took a lot of effort to kill that company, but they sure have done it.”
Larish says he’s surprised Kodak still exists and believes it will be difficult for the company to get out of bankruptcy.
“I saw the end coming for Kodak four years ago. I say right now if Eastman Kodak Company exists other than the name that somebody buys the word Kodak, I’ll be very surprised if 24 months from now we see any semblance of Eastman Kodak Company.”