The Blog of Travis Parsons

About Vinland Photography

Hey! This is the *OLD* blog of Travis Parsons/Vinland Photography. This website will remain online as an archive of our old posts. Our new blog can be found at

Archive: ‘Announcements’

Evolution of Portraiture

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

We put our studio up for sale this past summer.  Since that time we have had many people ask us if we are giving up portraits, buying a new studio, building a new studio, moving away, etc…  Well, neither of those is the reason!  We are selling our studio because we just don’t use it very much!

Now, when I say we don’t use it very much, I don’t mean we don’t do very many portraits.  In fact, we do as many portraits as we ever did!  The difference is, we are evolving.


The Beginning

When I started to do photography professionally in 2007, it was back in a time where there were only about 3 or 4 people doing it on the entire Burin Peninsula.  I quickly noticed that nobody was really shooting seamless paper, or ‘simple’ portraits.  This is something I was into, and was something that didn’t exist in this area of the province.

Like all new ventures, the initial reception was amazing!  I had read enough books about business, entrepreneurship, and even books on the ‘business of photography’ to know that the initial interest and bookings was a spike that I shouldn’t expect to last.  In 2007 I did a TON of portraits.  I was the new kid on the block doing the new thing and all of these people decided they wanted to jump on board and have their photos taken.  I obliged, and continued to build my business and prepare myself for the drop off that would occur.



Once I was established, the initial influx of interest went down, and I found out what my ‘true’ numbers would likely be.  This was still very good, and I went and bought commercial property and started renovating like a mad man, and ultimately started to work out of this building.  I saw opportunities in minor hockey pictures, figure skating pictures, easter sessions, halloween, Christmas…you name it, I did it!  The only problem is…once a child gets his hockey pictures done one year, the likelyhood that they will continue to get the same photos done each year is quite low.  Most people don’t even have their family photos done on a yearly basis, let alone novelty photos.  Therefore my plan of action was to always keep changing things up.  I stopped doing the novelty shoots, and focused more on ‘regular’ portraits and christmas (higher likelyhood of repeat business).  This actually worked out quite well, that is until photography began to boom in this area in around 2010!



As I have already indicated, I started in this field as something ‘different’.  I have always wanted to do things differently, and have always tried to be a leader whenever I could.  Once my ‘boom’ happened in late 2007 early 2008, it became evident that other local photographers from around the peninsula started to catch on that clients were coming my direction.  Being businessmen and women themselves, they began offering very similar deals and setups as I was.  The statement of “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” is perhaps true, and I don’t blame any of them one bit.  I came on the scene and really shook things up.  I’m not professing that I ‘created’ a certain style of photography, but I did start doing a certain style in this geographic area..

With others begining to do what I was doing, how am I now any different?  What makes Vinland Photography stand out from the crowd?  In some cases you could argue quality (whether lighting, focus, composition etc…), but a lot of the time the average client doesn’t really notice that sort of thing like we crazy photographers do.  In other cases some really good photographers started to creep up and do the same sort of thing, and do it very well I might add!  I depend on my business to keep a roof over my head.  I stopped doing this for a hobby years ago, and if we don’t book a certain number of sessions/weddings, we are in trouble.  That is why it is important to pay attention to the business side of photography as well as the artistic side.  I have to aggressively market myself, evolve, and try to stand out.  If I don’t do that, then I lose more than some extra spending money…I could lose a vehicle… or worse.

So as you can see, this became a bit of a conundrum for me.  I got ‘popular’ doing a certain type of photography.  But that was in 2007-2008, and  it was now 2011.  I always used the analogy of photography being much like being a hairdresser.  If you became popular because you cut one of the first mullets in the area in 1985, you can’t expect to cut the same mullet in 2005 and expect to have a successful business.  I felt the same way about my photography.  I was growing tired of doing the ‘same old same old’, and decided to radically change my portrait processes.


Moving Forward

We decided to put the studio up for sale!  I have always found the studio to be too constricting (especially for kids aged 2-6), and often unnatural.  I found that kids especially feel more comfortable in their own homes, or outside playing.  So we decided to focus more on those type of photos.  We can do something different more often, we can make use of great environments and the comforts of a client’s own home.  Now, we still do SOME studio work.  Sometimes it works very well for maternity and newborn shoots, as well as proms and headshots.  We even do them on a semi-regular basis for people who really really want them (we will be renting space every few months_.  However, we don’t promote it like we used to.

In a way we’ll be sad to see our studio go, but selling the building and seeing it put to great use would be great for sure.

So basically there you have it.  The selling of our studio isn’t a downgrade, but an evolutionary process in what is becoming a more crowded and exciting profession!  Also, I should add that some clients will still prefer studio setups.  This is totally a personal choice!  Just because we don’t do it very much anymore doesn’t mean we won’t do it from time to time, and what is even better for those who prefer studio settings…there are a number of really good photographers around here doing that sort of thing!  There is nothing wrong with photographers filling their own fact, it is better for the consumer that way as well!

See below some examples of the kind of photos that we have been doing instead of the more static studio setups!









New Blog!

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Well here it is!  After months of trying to figure out how I wanted my website/blog to look and operate, I have decided (for now at least) to go with the format you see now.  I plan on updating this blog very often  with all of our news, weddings, and other random things I feel worthy to blog about.  Sooo..keep checking back here on a regular basis.


All Images Copyright Vinland Photography | Blog Theme Created by LJP & SLR Lounge