November 2012

November 2012

Last 2012 VB Workshop – December 3-5

Come on Over and Learn What VB Can do for You

The last Virtual Backgrounds workshop for the year in scheduled for December 3 – 5 at the VB Learn and Earn Center in San Marcos, Texas.  Join us for three days of solid instruction, hands-on experience, and a whole lot of fun as you learn about Virtual Backgrounds and so much more.

This workshop is taught by Mark Barnett of Charlotte, N.C.  Mark was awarded the PPA Master of Photography degree and is a long time user of Virtual Backgrounds before he joined our staff as both an instructor and consultant.

Thousands of photographers from every part of the world have attended Virtual Backgrounds workshops and discovered how the process both enhances their creativity and their bottom line profits.  We’ve oven called this workshop, How to Turn Backgrounds into Dollars.  VB is actually the most powerful tool that a professional photographer has that is still exclusive to the pro.  It helps the pro be clearly different.

Contact us for registration information.

Still Trying to Decide Whether or Not to Attend a VB Workshop?

Go Ahead, Ask the Instructor

It’s a big decision to decide to take a workshop, especially a multi-day workshop that one has to fly to or drive a long distance.  It takes days out of your busy life and there is always the fear that it will be a waste of time.  Reality is, many workshops are a waste of time but once you commit, you are stuck.

If you have questions about the upcoming VB workshop, you can talk with the instructor yourself. Before you sign up get the scoop.  Call Mark Barnett at 336-382-6345.

We also offer a host of testimonials about our workshops from past participants.  Plus, our VB workshops are guaranteed!  If anyone is dissatisfied they can get a complete registration refund on the spot.

Going to Production Soon:  How to Make Money with Virtual Backgrounds

A new book by Henry Oles, author of BACKGROUND POWER! and The Professional Photographer’s Perfect Storm, will be ready for distribution in just a few weeks.  The online version will be available free to any professional photographer.  A printed version will be available directly from Amazon.

The purpose of the book is to present a wide variety of unique ways to use Virtual Backgrounds to generate significant income, even in these difficult times.  Success is out there.  It is just a matter of learning how to use VB as a tool to make it happen for you.

Got Questions?  We’ve Got Answers!

Ask any question about VB and how it can work for you.   Better yet, come to VB and participate in a workshop that can change your career.   The very best way to learn about Virtual Backgrounds is to attend a VB workshop.  If you are looking for ways to grow your business, plan to attend a VB workshop soon.

Seven Piece Poser – Versatile and Perfect for Groups

There is no better way to photograph groups other than with the Studio Pro 7 Piece Poser.  Never again look unprofessional as you scrounge around for anything and everything for a family to stand or sit on so you can get a really good group portrait.  We’ve photographed as many as 14 people with the 7 piece poser and could have done more.  Pieces can be arranged in so many different ways to accommodate various situations.  The 7 piece poser is available for from VB.  Don’t be wishing you had it the next time you photograph a family.  No professional photographer should be without a group poser.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

Why is this the worst possible advice?

Amateurs today are infinitely better able to take good photographs on their own even with just a camera phone.  They are constantly improving their results.  Because amateurs seem to be so successful, many frustrated professional photographers think that they need to alter their methods and actually be more amateur like.  Does this make any sense?

Absolutely not!   It makes no sense!  Many established photographers are closing their studio and working entirely on location.  They are selling their lighting equipment and just capturing the “natural look” which means no special lighting, no posing, no nothing other than what the amateur already does quite well.  So, how could they possibly think that this is an answer?

The only answer is to be as different from the amateur as possible, both in terms of equipment, product, and experience.  It is critical to have a studio, even if it is a home studio. It is critical to have quality lighting and know how to use it.  It is critical to have special tools like Virtual Backgrounds.  Amateurs don’t have VB.  It enables the photographer to do so much more than what any amateur could begin to do.

Before you jump all the way out of the pan and into the fire, consider how important it is for your continued existence to set yourself up far and above all others.  Virtual Backgrounds can certainly play an important role because no amateurs have it.

New Concept for the Professional

What if you could bring together highly creative professional portrait photography and professional video photography,  complemented with Virtual Backgrounds?  Your work can be turned into video and  become part of the family album.  Your clients can post the video on their Facebook accounts.  You get happy customers and free advertising!  This is a new concept that we have been experimenting with at Virtual Backgrounds.

It has never ever been more important for the professional photographer to come out with new unique products that have high public appeal but are something the public cannot do on their own as well as something other professionals cannot do.  This is where new profits can be found.

While it has always been possible to use VB to create backgrounds for video, the new DSLR cameras with video mode make it so easy.   We came up with the idea of combining the two mediums when Trevon Baker was showing a VB workshop group how to do video with VB using a HS senior model who was also a professional musician.  Cindy Cofer combined the video and the portraits to produce a video using Animoto.

Is this a product that can produce new dollars for the professional photographer?  We think it could become a hot new product, but its success depends on whether or not aggressive professionals embrace it, learn to use the tools, and successfully promote it to the public.  What do you think?

Take a Look.  After viewing the samples created by Cindy Cofer and Trevon Baker then let your imagination go.  Think up all sorts of profitable applications in your work.   The possibilities here are huge!  Be sure to tell us what you think and show us how you use video in your photography!

Conventions and Trade Shows – Phenomenal Learning Opportunities

There is a wealth of information and ideas that are available to those who attend a professional convention.  However, the numbers of attendees at many conventions has been declining and many of those who do attend do not get the benefits of being there.

It is typical for a program to be attended by perhaps a few dozen photographers when in fact hundreds are in attendance at the convention.  Most convention programs provide a wealth of information.  In the same way, a trade show offers a world of opportunities to learn about products that can help a studio grow.  Ideally, a serious photographer should make it a point to visit every booth, even booths that they may think they have no interest in, and check out the products closely and ask themselves, what is here that I might be able to use in my operation?  Unfortunately many photographers attending a convention don’t even attend the trade show and many of those who do go to the trade show just breeze past the exhibits without taking even a moment to seriously look at what is there for them.   There is a wealth of opportunity at a trade show.

Suppliers spend thousands of dollars for even the smallest booths.  They are anxious to show how their products can help the photographer be different and grow.  Are you taking full advantage of convention and trade show opportunities?  The 2013 season is about to begin.

Let Uncle Sam Help You Purchase a VB System!

Uncle Sam can help you buy new products for your business and lower your taxes. As 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to think about how you can use IRS Rule 179 to acquire new equipment and lower your taxes.  IRS allows you to purchase new equipment today, up to $100,000 worth, and write the total amount off this year, even if you are going to be making payments on the equipment throughout 2013 and beyond.  It is possible that you could get more money back from the IRS than what you put in as a down payment.  IRS 170 is a use it or lose it tax advantage designed to encourage businesses to make purchases now.

There is still time to take advantage of this tax opportunity.  Talk with your accountant before it is too late.  Virtual Backgrounds equipment certainly qualifies for the tax advantage.

The Passing of a Friend, Lynn Jones

April 15, 1931 - October 28, 2012

The photography industry and Virtual Backgrounds lost a special person in October.  Lynn Jones did just about everything in photography but was best known for his teaching and his devotion to his thousands of students at Austin Community College.  Each year he would bring 20 or so of his students to the TPPA Kerrville Summer Round Up and many of them entered print competition and won awards.  Lynn was always there for his students, literally 24/7.

Lynn was an ardent supporter of Virtual Backgrounds from the very beginning.  He was an incredibly enthusiastic individual, always looking at the positive side of anything.  He will be missed by everyone he touched but especially by thousands of students that he brought into the industry.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Lynn’s name can be made to the ACC Foundation to establish the H. Lynn Jones Scholarship. You may contribute online at by mail to the ACC Foundation at 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752.


4 Responses to November 2012

  • Kim Roberts

    I would like to schedule a demonstration for our photography club. I can be reached at the email above or 480-233-6767.

  • Kim Roberts

    I would like to schedule a demonstration for our photography club. I can be reached at the email above.

  • Jimmy Chiarella

    your latest newsletter is great, very informative and I had wondered about using the VB for video.
    Thanks, Jimmy

  • itedeenue

    I was extremely pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this marvelous read!! I certainly enjoying each and every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to have a look at new stuff you blog post.

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