VB Renames Monthly Workshops:
Imagine the Possibilities
VB’s three-day workshop has a new name that better reflects what is covered in the class. The VB workshop is far more than just learning how to operate a Virtual Backgrounds system. It also covers lighting, posing, and most important, total system integration, enabling the professional photographer to produce extremely impressive results that the public cannot get from anyone else. It also covers marketing, and special promotions like marketing through non-profits or charities.
Imagine the Possibilities Workshops have the power to change your career in professional photography. And, unlike most workshops, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Learn more about Imagine the Possibilities VB Workshops
Registration is Now Open for June
Imagine the Possibilities VB Workshop
April 2013, VB Workshop taken with projected Virtual Backgrounds
Registration is now open for the June 10-12, 2013: Imagine the Possibilities. There is no other workshop anywhere in the world that is like this workshop. And, the workshop comes with a unique 100% money back guarantee.
If you do not feel that it was one of the most important workshops that you had ever attended, you can request an on the spot refund of your registration fee. This workshop has attracted professional photographers from every part of the world. Contact a friendly VB consultant to learn more.
Must you Own a VB System to be Successful?
No, but it sure does help. There are many really financially successful professional photographers today who have not yet adopted Virtual Backgrounds but, a common factor among all of them is that they are all really special in a variety of ways. They are special not only in their creativity and product but also in their facility, in their marketing, in their customer relations. If they are not seen as being special, they don’t get much business.
Being special is the key factor and certainly the implementation of Virtual Backgrounds helps to make a studio recognized as being special. Amateurs and many professional studios don’t have VB. The mass market retail studios have certainly learned this lesson. The independent professionals are learning it now.
Good News in the Bad News:
You Don’t have to be as Good to be Great
The bad news is that the advent of the digital revolution has enabled just about anyone to be a professional photographer and capture their own photos. However, with everyone now taking their own pictures, the typical level of quality has fallen dramatically. Therefore, the work of a true professional is even more distinctively different than ever.
VB can help you, the professional, provide even greater creative variety. Here’s the great news: Many professional photographers are reporting that the public is starting to recognize that working with the true professional does indeed make a clear difference.
School Photography is Still Hot!
Register to Learn How to Ramp Up this Segment of the Professional Photography Market
School photography is still a profitable area and is projected to continue to be strong. It’s not, however, something that you just decide to start doing without proper training. It is an entirely separate business enterprise and as you might expect, there are many tricks of the trade. The best way to get going and be successful is to start by taking Chris Wunder’s School Photography Boot Camp (sponsored by Marathon Press).
Registration is now open for the Boot Camp in Nashville, Tennessee on July 8-12, 2013.
Get the details and consider adding this skill to your professional photography toolbox!
Introducing Private Installation, Training, and Consulting Services from VB
You’re interested in purchasing a VB system but can’t get away to attend training? With our new consultation services, an experienced Master Photographer can come to your location to install and train you on how to use and implement your new Virtual Backgrounds system. In addition to set up, learn the tricks of the trade on lighting, posing and general studio operation right in your own studio. Contact us to learn more.
Try Before You Buy: Rent a VB System Today!
Have you recently attended a VB workshop or would like to take advantage of having a VB consultant train you in your studio, but you don’t own a VB system yet? You’re in luck, with VB’s new Try Before You Buy Rental Program, after receiving proper training or in conjunction with our consultation services, you can rent a VB system for just $50 per day (plus shipping).
Another option is for a photographer who is interested learning more about Virtual Backgrounds but not ready to make an outright purchase is for them to attend an Imagine The Possibilities workshop and then rent the system for trial in their own studio to prove to themselves that it truly is the powerful tool that they need to enhance their business.
A Photographer’s Answer to a Prayer
For decades, many professional photographers prayed for the demise of the department store studios like Walmart’s Picture Me. They felt that they did bad quality work, sold their product too cheap, and generally gave photography a bad rap. Now that some of the biggest players are gone, some professionals, instead of being happy are fearing for their own careers. After all, if Walmart couldn’t make it, how can little old me make it?
The fact is, times do change but there is still the need for professional quality photography. These mega operations did not change with the times and had operating costs that could not support the business. The enterprising entrepreneurial professional has a wide variety of profitable opportunities available to them. You just have to find the right combination that unlocks the key to success.
Next Imagine the Possibilities Workshop
June 10-12, 2013
Sign of the Times
Perfect Storm Destroys Sears,
Wal-Mart, and Olan Mills Studios
This is one of the biggest news blasts ever for the photo industry. Those in the know have been expecting it for the past several years. Portrait studios in Sears and Walmart across the US are closing. The parent company, CPI Corp. of St. Louis is bust. Their business has been falling for years. In addition, Olan Mills studios were sold to Lifetouch more than a year ago but now Lifetouch has decided to close their acquisition. Many Olan Mills studios were in K-Mart. Altogether, several thousand studios are now closed.
CPI Corp. bet the farm on going 100% digital and thought that going digital alone would save them. It just wasn’t enough. They needed to fundamentally change their style of photography, but instead, they seemed to go backwards. Virtual Backgrounds personnel did an onsite demonstration for CPI Corp. years ago at their St. Louis headquarters, but even though the younger employees were super enthusiastic, the old guard had no interest. They would not even send a representative to attend a VB workshop to learn more. They were sure they had everything under control.
Olan Mills had been failing for years. First they sold off their school photography to Lifetouch, then they sold off their church directory business to Lifetouch. Then a little over a year ago, they sold their portrait studios to Lifetouch. Lifetouch, unfortunately, found the load too heavy to carry so they started shutting operations down a few months ago.
- Read the news story about the fall of CPI Corp.
- Download (free of charge) a copy of The Professional Photographers Perfect Storm by Henry Oles.
What can the Independent
Learn from the Fall of
CPI Corp. and Olan Mills?
The fall of the major retail studios should serve as a stern warning to all professional photographers. If you don’t produce a product that is both contemporary and clearly different from what any amateur can do, your days are numbered. The digital revolution has made it too easy for the public to shoot their own pictures on location.
The only key to success is for the photographer to concentrate on producing highly desirable results that the public cannot begin to do themselves. The process and work has to be clearly different. No one thing produces a winning formula today. It is not just having a studio, it is not just having super low prices, and it’s not just creativity. And it’s not just having a tool like VB.
The only answer is in a conglomeration of features and services that catch the public’s attention and causes them to buy and come back again and again. This is not the end of the line for professional portrait photography. There are plenty of examples we can point to of highly successful studio operations.
VB is all Over the Place:
NC, WPPI, PPA, Wisconsin,
Virginia, Kentucky, New York,
New Jersey, Texas School
So far in 2013, Virtual Backgrounds has exhibited at a wide variety of trade shows across the country demonstrating the many advantages of the concept to photographers. In many cases, we operated a live demonstration studio showing that an area as small as 8 x 10 feet can be enough space for creating a wide variety of unique images. At these events, many professional photographers learned how powerful the Virtual Backgrounds process can be to enhance their creativity and profits. They have seen it, and they believe it! We encourage you to see it as well! Visit with us at an upcoming show, schedule some time to visit with us on our main campus in San Marcos, Texas, or attend a workshop! Seeing is believing!
Cindy Cofer and Richard Sturdevant
Show VB at Kentucky Regional Show
Live models were used at the Kentucky Regional show to demonstrate how a Virtual Backgrounds system can be effectively used in a very small space with minimal lighting. Kentucky photographer, Cindy Cofer, and Texas photographer, Richard Sturdevant were on hand to talk about how they incorporate Virtual Backgrounds in their studios. Both have used VB extensively in the work and have seen great financial success and recognition by their peers!
New Video Training Program
by Trevon Baker
Montana master photographer and longtime VB guru, Trevon Baker, has created a training video that covers all aspects of successfully using Virtual Backgrounds. It even includes information on how to make your own backgrounds. This video is automatically included with the purchase of all new systems, but you can see it now if you would like to learn more about Virtual Backgrounds. This 90 minute video is available for $25 plus shipping. Contact us to learn more.