Travis and Paula Gadsby own and operate Silverlake Photo Accessories. They focus a majority of their efforts on the creation and testing of new photo products, but have an extensive history in professional photography. Travis and Paula owned a full time, high volume, custom portrait studio for many years before launching Silverlake and while they photographed all types of subjects, they marketed heavily to the High School Senior market. In recent years, Travis has been teaching at workshops around the country with Sandy Puc and assisting in management of the Jeff Lubin Success Forum.
“The transition from Photographer to Photographic vendor was actually incredibly easy, since we still employ almost exactly the same business techniques that made our studio successful. Even though my wife and I were only in our early 20’s when we purchased an existing studio, we learned quickly the importance of excellent customer service, aggressive marketing, high quality products, the need to continually reinvent yourself, and honestly…the value of simply being likable. While we have worked hard over the years, we have also been granted some unbelievable opportunities with clients, competitors, and industry giants merely because they liked us as people.”
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer someone new to the After Dark Experience on how to prepare?
Spend some time researching the Mentors before you even arrive at the event. After Dark is like Disney Land for photographers and there is a great deal of activity. It is easy to get distracted and follow the largest group of people when one of the industries biggest rock stars is standing right next to you. Take pull back shots to remind yourself of the way the lights and or reflectors were positioned. Finally, on the trip home, make a list of the top 5 things that you will implement as soon as you return to your studio.
How did you get started in the business? Who helped/guided/mentored you?
While I did go to college for photography, that was only the beginning of my education. Networking with professionals and becoming involved in with PPA provided me with a much more practical skill set that pertained to the business of photography rather than just the mechanics of creating images. Many of the mentors at After Dark have challenged me to be a better photographer and always question the limitations that I place on myself. It has been an amazing experience to witness unbridled creativity take place under lighting conditions that would seem impossible, but yield beautiful results.