Tell us about your company or studio.
I have been doing business as Chad Phillips Photography for five years. We are located in Danbury, Connecticut and primarily serve the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT). Although my most recent AsukaBook was all still life, I prefer to focus on portraiture in my personal work. Our assignments include architectural, wedding, editorial, corporate, and even photo illustrating a series of children’s books.
I was lucky enough to be exposed to photography at a young age. Although my mother and grandfather are both incredible photographers, no one pushed me to pursue the medium. It seemed like a natural evolution and I was very much drawn to the combination of mechanical and creative possibilities that photography presented. It’s really the opportunity to be a visual storyteller that first inspired me and continues to do so. Not every assignment fulfills that desire, and we all need to make money, but I’ve found that it is so important to feed the side of ourself that made us interested in the first place.
A wise man once encouraged me to stop “taking pictures” and start “making pictures”. That stuck with me and reminds me to always be curious and proactive. Whether it is learning a new technique or talking to someone new, you never know where inspiration will strike. Once you have a command of the technical tools and a genuine curiosity for your subject is when the possibilities really open up.
Why do you use AsukaBook?
I’ve always had good experiences with the people and products. The colors are always right on and the presentation is flawless. On a couple occasions they were even kind enough to contact me before the books went to print because something about the layout was in question. That extra level of customer service goes a long way with me.
My current favorite book is the 15x10 Zen Layflat EXD. I love the fact that you can design and print on just about every surface. I love seeing every new collection of images come to life in a printed book.
Any selling tips for other photographers?
I’ve learned that it pays (literally) to be very inquisitive about your client. Learn about them. What do they want and what are their concerns? The quality of your images will speak for themselves but the fact that you are a fun, easygoing, and an overall decent human being will speak volumes. They’re already talking to you because they like your work, but they’ll hire you because you are fun to be with and have alleviated their fears. Don’t forget to be a clear communicator and deliver on time.
The best thing for selling an AsukaBook, I’ve found, is to simply have samples on hand. Show your clients what their images could look and feel like. People are constantly blown away by the quality and presentation.
What else should people know about you?
As an adolescent, the first time I got my own box of photo paper I was so excited that I couldn't wait to get into the darkroom, so I opened it up to see what was inside. Sure enough it was a stack of white, unexposed paper just like every other box of new paper. Unfortunately, I was next to a big window, on a sunny, Spring day. Several seconds past before I shoved the paper back in the dark bag and my new found excitement quickly melted away as I realized what I had done. Of course I still used the paper and realized that I had discovered a great way to give my darkroom prints a nice, dark vignette. I called it "experimental," but I don't think anyone bought it.