Imagine the Possibilities
June 10-12, 2013
The next highly acclaimed Imagine the Possibilities three-day workshop is scheduled for June 10-12, 2013 in San Marcos, Texas. Our workshops concentrate on how the serious professional photographer can produce product that wows the public. The main concentration is on the successful use of Virtual Backgrounds, but the workshop also covers lighting, posing, and unique marketing ideas.
Our workshop offers a comprehensive experience like no other. We even guarantee your total satisfaction or a full workshop registration refund will be returned to you. This workshop brings photographers from all parts of the world to learn how they can be more creative, distinctively different, and more profitable. It’s a no-fluff, hands-on, three-day learning experience that will benefit all areas of your photography business! Can’t make it in June? No worries, we’ve got another workshop scheduled August 5 - 7 as well!
Check out the VB Workshop Workbook
Want to learn more about what is covered in the VB Imagine the Possibilities Workshop? Take a look at the workbook that is a take home part of every workshop. The workbook clearly shows the material that is covered in the workshop. Download a copy and take a look!
VB Sales on
the Rise Too!
The Perfect Storm affected just about everyone in professional photography, including Virtual Backgrounds. When the Storm hit, everyone hunkered down as they tried to figure out what to do to deal with the Storm. While the main component of the Perfect Storm, the digital revolution, is here to stay, other components of the Storm such as the bad economy, are starting to get better. And, the public is learning that there is more to photography than do it yourself snapshots. People still want to look their best in serious photographs.
At Virtual Backgrounds, we have noticed a decided increase in both interest and sales. The level of enthusiasm among our customers is up. Virtual Backgrounds is the only significant tool that is still exclusive to the professional photographer, enabling them to produce results they cannot do on their own, results that many other professionals can’t do.
We are looking forward to a great 2013!
Monostands: A Better,
More Professional Way
to Support Your Camera
There really is a better way to support your camera. It’s called the monostand which not only frees up the photographer from hand holding the camera, it enables them to get the camera up high and down very low in seconds. With a monostand, there is no more need to worry about what to do with the camera when the photographer has to make adjustments of any kind. It’s a professional tool that works exceptionally well for photographer’s using projected backgrounds.
VB offers two models, the lightweight and portable Monostand Junior and the deluxe Monostand Senior which even has a storage tray and a separate tray for a lap top or monitor.
The Best Studio
Softbox on the
Light modifiers come in many sizes and shapes and prices but which one is the best? Much of that judgment is based on what the photographer needs to accomplish but there is a particular softbox that is flexible enough to be considered universal. It is the Studio Pro Asymmetric Strip Softbox. It is perfect for general use and especially appropriate with a projected background system.
The Asymmetric Strip Softbox can be used in both horizontal and vertical positions. The asymmetric design allows subtle natural light fall off. It works well for full length as well as for up close work. The recessed diffusion panel is perfect for use with projected backgrounds because it automatically controls light spread.
How to Make Money with VB
The projected background process fascinates nearly any photographer who first hears of it but they immediately ask…”How do I pay for this expensive tool?” This free e book clearly tells you how to make projected backgrounds technology not only quickly pay for itself but go on making significant new profits. In fact, projected backgrounds becomes a cornerstone of a photography business by enabling the photographer to be more creative and clearly differentiate themselves by producing work others cannot do. Anyone can take pictures in the park. Projected backgrounds enable the professional to do so much more - infinitely more, right in the studio. It is a Hollywood type of special effects that clearly enhances what the photographer can offer.
Catch Up with What’s
Happening in VB’s World
The Backgrounder e newsletter is published every month for professional photographers. If you missed out on information filled previous issues, you can still read them by simply clicking here
Sales are Looking Up!
We’re hearing from many professional photographers that their sales are showing substantial gains. There is more enthusiasm among professional photographers for the future than what we have seen in years.
The recent demise of the massive CPI department store studios is seen by many professionals as a plus factor for the independent professional. CPI ran the Wal-Mart, Sears, K Mart, and Olan Mills studios. The closing eliminated thousands of studios across the country which many independents saw as direct competition. Now if the public wants something other than their own snapshots, they will be more likely to turn to the local professional.
However, the independent professional must consider why CPI failed. It wasn’t that they charged too much. It wasn’t that they were not conveniently located. The primary reason for failure was that these studios were stagnant in what they offered the public and the public is now able to fulfill their own needs with their digital cameras. The only road to success for the independent professional is to offer the public product and service that they cannot do themselves. The most successful professionals are concentrating on “wowing” the public with unique images.
Enchanted photography of children is a prime example of a specialty that is doing great. The public loves the results but they don’t have the tools and know how to do it themselves. They don’t have the lighting, the props, the costumes, the backgrounds, or the talent. To get it, the product, the public has to go to a professional specialist.
We predict that professionals will give more attention to timeless classic portraiture such as has been taught by Montreal photographers, Joseph and Louise Simone. Amateurs and even many professionals can’t do it. The public sees classic portraiture as photographic artistry - not just snap pictures. Those who offer quality beyond anything others can create will grow.
The key to success in every area of professional photography is being clearly different - offering the public product they cannot do on their own and cannot get anywhere else. Virtual Backgrounds is the key tool that helps the photographer produce unique, clearly differentiating results.
Eagle Scouts Form Strong
Foundation for Bill Hodge’s
Rites of Passage
California photographer, Bill Hodge, kept busy, even during the difficult times. His specialty is rites of passage photography with his primary subject being Eagle Scout photography. Becoming an eagle scout is a special accomplishment and an excellent opportunity for professional portraits, especially if the images clearly represent scouting that is done with the implementation of distinctive scouting backgrounds.
Bill Hodge will present a two-day workshop, August 8-9, 2013 in San Marcos, Texas to teach how he has built his entire business around Rites of Passage photography. Bill’s workshop immediately follows the regular three day VB Imagine the Possibilities workshop making it possible for photographers to attend both workshops on one trip. Tuition for the workshop is only $150 including two lunches.
with his VB System
Kansas professional photographer, Waldo Berry, CPP, Photographic Craftsman and Master Photographer received his Scene Machine projected background system last August. He had attended a class taught by Joseph and Louise Simone and learned that much of their phenomenal work was done with their Virtual Backgrounds system and from that moment on, he knew he had to have a system in his own facility. ”Their use of projected backgrounds totally captivated me because I loved their results and I knew that using projected backgrounds would clearly differentiate me from all others.” Waldo didn’t waste any time in getting started. He attended the VB Imagine the Possibilities workshop in San Marcos, Texas and has gone on from there producing quality images.
Waldo developed a fundamental interest in photography from his grandfather who did nature photography and his own lab work. ”I loved the boom like explosion of the flash bulbs and the darkroom processes but it was a good while before he got really serious about photography. He did a ten year stint in the army before the photography bug bit him again, during which time he earned a master’s degree in IT which led to a full time job in the IT department at Kansas State University where he has worked for 16 years. He began doing professional photography and converted the basement of his home into a complete studio facility. He also became active in the associations, worked up the chairs, was president, became a CPP, and earned both the masters and craftsman degrees. ”With my IT job and my photography in the evenings and weekends, I had my cake and could eat it too.”
“I was looking for a way to revitalize my business, especially since the wedding market dried up and I wanted to be more competitive. I saw projected backgrounds as my answer. I wanted to build my seniors and portrait business and I knew I had to be special to be really successful. My main specialty has been doing military balls since 1997. I do 18 to 20 of them a year since I am right next to Ft. Riley. I knew that projected backgrounds would be really helpful to increase sales and differentiate myself from those who would bid against me.”
“Before I had VB projected backgrounds, I had only one background for the military balls but soon started bringing 4 different backgrounds to help me fight the competitors but the logistics of all that was a nightmare. VB projected backgrounds simplified my life and made me so much more efficient. Believe it or not, I give the couples at the ball a selection of 30 to 40 backgrounds and they are allowed to pick their favorite three. I do two full length shots with each of the three backgrounds so they have six images to choose from. It usually takes them less than a minute to choose their three backgrounds and just another minute or so for me to shoot the 6 shots. My base price is 25.00 but my high end is $75 or more. My average sale is in the 50.00 range so a ball can be a really profitable event - way better than weddings.”
“I usually have 3 or 4 photographers bid against me but none of them have projected backgrounds. I show them samples and explain the unique process I have. I send them to my web site and I suggest they compare pricing, although my prices are usually not the lowest. They fall in love with what I offer and we get the bid. They clearly recognize that what we offer is special. They are sold in nothing flat. Sometimes they don’t even ask me about pricing. They just wanted the quality images and the choices I offer.”
Waldo went right in to doing full length although some advised him not to do it because it was too hard. ”It really isn’t that hard. One thing I do special is that I photograph the flooring, usually carpet that I will use under the subjects and then I Photoshop that same floor in to the file that will be the slide for projection. That way, the projected carpet in the background clearly matches the carpet under the subjects and in front of the subjects. My military ball season starts in June and runs through December. I already picked up two balls primarily because I have the Virtual Backgrounds system.”
“My big push now is to develop my senior business. Seniors want something clearly different and contemporary and that is what I offer. I’ve developed a new way to do my seniors. I use to charge them for outfits and backgrounds. Now I charge them strictly by my time. With Virtual Backgrounds, I can offer them so many different outfit changes and different backgrounds in a very short period of time. Most choose to pay for one hour of studio time. I use to do only 3 background changes and 3 clothing changes and that took nearly 2 hours. Now, with VB, I can do as many as 6 clothing changes and 12 different backgrounds in just an hour. So, I can work faster and produce more. Recently one of my seniors came back for an additional 30 minute session because he wanted even more backgrounds. We had done some outdoor location shots with him but he decided he liked the projected backgrounds much better.”
“VB projected backgrounds is certainly making a big difference in my business. I am more excited about projected backgrounds than I was when I started using digital and using VB has been not nearly as difficult as learning digital. Photographers must remember that just buying a VB system is not enough. Buying the latest camera doesn’t make you a better photographer. You have to invest the time and skill or you will just frustrate yourself. I love my VB projected background system.”
Waldo Berry’s words tell his story. At Virtual Backgrounds, we love to hear from our customers who take our product and run with it to enhance their creativity and their bottom line profits.