October 2012

October 2012

Photokina 2012 Report – The World’s Fair of Photography

Photokina is huge!  The size, scope, and energy are tremendous.  What you may think is the biggest photo trade show you ever attended, including WPPI and PPA Imaging, they are actually a peanut compared with Photokina.  Even though Photokina is considerably smaller than what it once was, it is still huge by any standards.  Anyone who is anyone in photography exhibits at Photokina.  Way over 100,000 attend from all parts of the world with surprising few Americans.  Many companies use Photokina as a launch platform for new products.

Photokina is a great place to not only see new products that often are not even available in the US, it also gives one a glimpse of the future of photography.  While there were no major door-buster product unveilings, Photokina did show that professional photography is making a comeback.  The new generation of photographers is obviously out looking for new ways to stand out and their enthusiasm for Virtual Backgrounds certainly showed it.

Watch the time lapse video of the Virtual Backgrounds booth at Photokina!

The Worst May Be Over

The worst may well be over for photographers who offer something really special that the public cannot get on their own or anywhere else.   However, for those who don’t have a studio, who just go out and do location photojournalism, times will continue to be tough.  As more amateurs get better and better and more and more of them turn professional, times will get worse.  If you think you have a lot of competition now, just wait.  The only hope for a real profitable career in professional photography is to rise above, far above the growing crowd.

More New Super Cameras for Amateurs and Professionals

Photokina was again a wash with new cameras for both the professional and amateur.  There were no dramatic new breakthroughs but many amateur cameras are now coming with interchangeable lens.  They are also using mirror-free technology to eliminate the need for a mirror that pops up and back down.  Instead they replace the mirror with essentially the same kind of glass we use in our VB projectors.

Rick Avalos Presents Marketing Program at SWPPA


You can’t sell them if you don’t get them in front of a camera.  Pueblo Colorado photographer, Rich Avalos, presented a wide variety of unique and inexpensive marketing methods that he uses to keep his professional studio going strong.  These include mall displays, working in conjunction with other retailers ranging from banks to pet stores and even exercise facilities.  The whole idea is to get people in front of his camera.

Rick was accompanied by his Jack, who started their studio business years ago.  Learn more about Rick Avalos at www.rickavalos.com

What We Learned from Exhibiting at Photokina

Photokina attracts photographers and manufacturers from around the world.   It gives us a chance to get a current perspective.  Even though professional photography is way down all over the world, overall, the things are looking up!  Pro photography is coming back – especially for those photographers who are doing something special, something others cannot do.  This is exactly what is making Virtual Backgrounds so important – it is an exclusive tool for the professional.

New Dates for Last VB 2012 Workshop

The November workshop has been moved to December 3-5, 2012. Formula 1 races are coming to Austin and rooms in San Marcos are at least $300 a night if you can find one. Typicallyt, our regular special priced rooms are only $45!

If you are looking for ways to dramatically bring change to your studio – to be different from all others – this is your last opportunity in 2012 to attend the How To Turn Backgrounds Into Dollars VB workshop. The workshop is taught by master photographer, Mark Barnett from North Carolina. While Virtual Backgrounds is the prime topic, the workshop covers a wide range of topics because Virtual Backgrounds is a concept that must be woven in to the total studio experience.

Lunch is included each day. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Come learn what Virtual Backgrounds can do for you.

For further information and to make reservations, contact Virtual Backgrounds.

Our Customers Tell Their Stories

Our VB owners are our best assets and one of your best sources of real information about Virtual Backgrounds.  In many issues of The Backgrounder we feature a photographer who is making extensive use of their Virtual Backgrounds system in their day to day operation.  Virtual Backgrounds is such an extensive, dynamic tool that no two people use it exactly the same way.  Coupled with each individual photographer’s creativity, it is the key to being distinctively different from everyone else and especially from the do-it-yourself folks.   VB is the way to not only survive but also thrive in these difficult times.

Take a few minutes to read the stories of four different photographers to discover how Virtual Backgrounds can become a major contributor to your success as a professional photographer.

Read more about VB Featured Photographers on our website:  http://www.virtualbackgrounds.net/wpvirtual/featuredphotographers/

Discover what Virtual Backgrounds can do for you!

LED Lights are Coming on Strong! 

At Photokina, the writing was clearly on the wall.  The next major movement in professional photography will be a switch to LED light panels.  While there were still many major studio flash manufacturers showing their flash units like Hensel, Broncolor, Einchrome, and Bowens, there were many smaller companies showing LED light panels, some with 1,000 to 2,000 LEDs.   Many LED panels are dimmable.

The newest feature for LED lights is variable color temperature LED panels.  LEDs are naturally very high in color temperature but if the photographer wants to warm up the light, they can easily and instantly dial up a bank of more yellow LEDs.  This can be a very interesting concept for Virtual Backgrounds users enabling them to exactly match the color temperature of the subject with the color temperature of the background.

The next feature we expect to see soon will be LED light panels that also flash.  That will be the best of both worlds.

VB, ordered several LED panels so we can start testing them with Virtual Backgrounds.  We don’t want to be left behind.  Currently, the two new Virtual Backgrounds projectors, the VB Express and the VB Optima both use LED modeling lights.

SWPPA – An Opportunity and a Disappointment

SWPPA staged an excellent convention and trade show in Arlington, Texas.  The only thing missing was the photographers!   Everything looked great at the start with 1,200 pre-registrants, but when the convention opened, a surprisingly high percentage of the pre-registrants never showed up!  Many of those who did show up never came to the trade show.

Convention management and suppliers both wonder how individual professional photographers can learn about the latest developments in technology, methods, and profits if they don’t attend convention programs and carefully visit every exhibitor at the trade show.  A convention and trade show present a fantastic learning opportunity.

SWPPA is not alone.  Conventions and trade shows across the country are struggling with low attendance even though the number of individuals who call themselves professional has skyrocketed.  Everyone loses when professional photographers don’t take advantage of the opportunities that are present at a photographic convention and trade show.

Your Look Exhibits At Photokina

The German based company, yourlook, exhibited at Photokina this year. yourlook is establishing a worldwide soft franchise association of photographic studios working together under a common brand. A soft franchise, is a special arrangement under which participating studios do not give up their individual identity and do not have to operate under tightly controlled rules. Instead, individual studios are licensed to use the yourlook trademark brand and share in a variety of benefits, primarily involving marketing and education. yourlook studios now operate in 10 countries. For more information on yourlook, go to www.yourlook-international.com or read through the franchise brochure.



8 Responses to October 2012

  • Sharon

    Any chance of a workshop in the North Carolina area?? I’m in Ohio.

    • thuff

      Hi Sharon! Sorry for the late reply… We were acutally having tech issues, but seem to have them resolved, now… To answer your question, yes, we had a demostration in North Carolina about two months ago and might be having one again soon.. Please look for our email blasts that will have info on anything like this. Thank you!!

  • ange Bourda

    interest in yours creatives projects, and dates of Workshop . I’m a Professional photographer and editor too. from France living in Central America.

    • thuff

      Hello Ange!

      Please view our workshop calendar for dates on our upcoming tradeshow schedule and workshop dates for 2013. This calendar is updated often has dates become available.

  • Joe Sullivan

    Can you give me more information on the presentation in Austin in December. I tried to look at the video and all it did for five minutes is act like it is loading but never does. Thank you Joe Sullivan

    • thuff

      Sorry for the late rely, Joe… I also appolgize for the trouble you were having with videos… The videos seem to be working fine on our end… Have you tried to re-load them? You can also search us on YouTube and watch all of our videos there! Hope this helps!

  • George Smith

    I am now back inteh US Texas to be exact if i was to be in your area doyou allow folks to stop by ask questions and check out the systems. I am a photograppher a littel more than average have viewed your site several times and have wondered more about it. Our daughter lives just north of ya nd we visit her I would love to be aboe to see teh system first hand

    • thuff

      We sure do! Please give a call to make sure someone is available.. 512-805-4844.

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