I recently had the opportunity to review V Gallery’s Evolution Collection, also known as their “studio-in-a-box”. V Gallery is owned and operated by Jed & Vicki Taufer. Vicki is a well-known speaker on the wedding and portrait circuit and Jed works with her in their photography business and with WHCC. (Disclaimer – WHCC is a sponsor of Photofocus.) The V Gallery isn’t a product of WHCC.

My first impression of this set was that it looked incredible. Four DVDs, a printed booklet packaged in a limited-edition-style box and dozens of press-printed promotional pieces. Visually, it is a step above the average plastic-cased DVD package. Second, and most important, the quality and quantity (more than 14GB of information) of the content included on all 4 DVDs – called Create, Show, Do and Flo – is second to none. The names of each module can become a bit confusing, but once you get past that, you’re into some tremendously valuable stuff.

Create shows you how to use Photoshop for creative purposes just like V Gallery. It includes dozens of unique elements like hi-resolution backgrounds and textures in PSD format, Adobe Photoshop actions that enhance your imagery, vector-based illustrations for “decoration” and detailed how-to videos that instruct you how to use everything included on the disc.

Show tells you how to market like V Gallery, including examples of V Gallery’s pricing, sales techniques and marketing campaigns like Dog Days of Summer and Girls’ Night Out. Using the information provided in the Dog Days of Summer module, you can curate your own own Dog Days event and potentially pioneer a new market for pet photography in your area. This module alone is worth the price of the entire Collection.

Do includes lighting and posing techniques, in-house forms, and more how-to videos to accompany those on Create. What I liked most about Do was the 20-minute video called The Art of UnPosing. This video features Vicki demonstrating her approach to shooting, lighting and posing, showing examples of her in-studio lighting set-ups, props and more. It created a picture in my mind of exactly how Vicki photographs her subjects in a session.

Flo focuses on V Gallery’s workflow, including Proof Actions and action/template combos, Lightroom presets, a detailed flowchart and how-to videos showing a photographer how to improve their own workflow. If you compare V Gallery’s flowchart to your own, you may find several ways to improve your workflow just by viewing the chart.

Be is a booklet and printed examples of various pieces V Gallery has designed – including price lists, promotional materials and sample press-printed products. These pieces are excellent physical examples of what can be created using the resources included in Evolution. It was also neat to see several different paper types that I didn’t know where available. These resources will inspire your creative side with  ideas you can quickly implement in the marketing and promotional side of your business.

While each piece of this Collection is valuable, one major highlight I found was the time-saving Photoshop Artist Suggestion Action/Template Combo. Included is a two-sided PSD template and a Photoshop Action that work together to create a sales tool called the Artist Suggestion. This is a folded piece that includes the imagery you select for the client. Other actions, like V is for Vintage, give your imagery the trendy look you’ve been searching for in your Senior market.

The Evolution Collection is sold at http://vgalleryhaven.com for $499 and it is well worth the price. At the time of this writing it’s discounted to $299. I’ve recommended this Collection to a couple of my photographer friends already, but I would recommend it to any photographer looking for unique marketing techniques, a well-equipped toolbox of Adobe Photoshop resources, or a spark of inspiration.

Highly Recommended.
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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store