How to Rev Up Your Portrait Sales Revenue
Keep Clients Smiling—and Buying—With a Behind-the-Scenes Boost
TEXT BY SUSAN SCHECK • IMAGES BY DEAN MCDONALD
The Scene Machine, which generates "virtual backgrounds" with a precision optical flash projector, has the power to increase background options—and sales—exponentially. Invented by Dr. Henry J. Oles, now chairman of the board of Pixel Magic Imaging, San Marcos, Texas, and manufactured by Virtual Backgrounds, in San Marcos, the Scene Machine projects background images on an ultra-reflective screen positioned behind the subject.
"You insert a slide or other 'light modifier' into the machine," Dr. Oles explains, "then the device captures the background on film or digital at the exact moment the client is photographed."
In addition to eliminating the need for conventional backdrops, the Scene Machine can rev up your revenue in other ways, with a minimum of effort:
• Gardens, corporate board rooms, woodlands—any image you can put on a slide can be used in the Scene Machine, making possible a potentially limitless supply of backgrounds.
• No need to change the studio equipment you've been using, since the Scene Machine works with almost every camera on the market.
• Having the capability to vary the background gives clients a variety not available elsewhere. "Being the only user locally has given me an edge over my competitors," McDonald says. "Financially, it has been my best investment."
• The standard Scene Machine is portable. Many shooters bring it along to special events, proms, or remote-location studios. Virtual Backgrounds sells a model made expressly for portability. For this unit—which can be assembled or disassembled in 10 minutes—the projection screen is housed in its own self-contained storage tube.
• The Scene Machine can be used with a digital camera, and works in a digital event system, a totally portable digital studio that produces finished prints in minutes. "I went totally digital two years ago, and it is permanently set up this way," McDonald says. "The Machine has made a difference to my clients because they can see the portraits during their session, so they can be more choosy about backgrounds and sets."
For more information on the Scene Machine, call (800) 831-0474.
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