Networking 101!?

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Doesn’t matter hold old you are or how long you have been in business. Knowing how to communicate well and how to present yourself matters. Today we attended a Networking 101 class put on by the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Great hour long class. Some good points were made of how to better communicate and get to know others. it is always interesting to see others reactions when they find out what we do and how we do it. If you are not involved in your local Chamber I highly recommend it. Great place to meet others and seek advice from new entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners.

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Night Time Photography

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As our business has grown substantially over the last few years, I have not taken as much time for personal projects as I once did. I miss it. Yea I know people tell “take time, just put it on your calendar and go”. Well it is not quite that easy. I love what we do. I thrive on being being busy. I am a workaholic! However this year I am hoping to spend more time in central South Dakota along the banks of the Missouri River photographing the stars and landscapes lit by nothing more than moonlight.

Needing some inspiration I went back through my archives to find a few of my and Becky’s favorite images. So without further delay here they are…

Brookside School

This image is of the one room Brookside school house. I believe it was on a 4th of July around midnight. You can see the movement of the stars and a meteorite through the top of the frame. The school house and foreground were light painted.

Harvesting the Stars

This was one of my first (and still a favorite) night time photographs. It was moonless night and so dark you couldn’t see the front of the tractor with the naked eye. The green streaks floating through the frame are very slight clouds that were difficult to see. There is something pretty spiritual laying in the middle of a hay field at night. Where it is so quiet I swear you could hear the clouds ahead float on by.

Missouri Shores

This image is from a workshop that I was teaching in 2016. The object of the workshop was photographing landscapes at night by nothing more than moonlight. Look closely at this image. You can see the stars above and the river rocks almost look like they were in daylight. To me it is images like this that really make a person stop and look at the details. There are so many things going on here that are not quite normal. Yet combined they make a great image.

Campfire under the stars

This image supports the theory that it doesn’t have to be perfect to make an impact. We were standing on a ledge overlooking the river. Couldn’t see the ground in front of you. down below a group was having a bonfire. The image is not perfect yet it reflects some of the things important in our lives, campfires, Missouri River and beautiful skies.

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Site, YouTube and LinkedIn updates coming soon…

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Although you may see a hint here and there, we are busy working on updates to the website in the background. New photos being posted in the different galleries, and changing content to keep google happy. We are also creating an all new YouTube channel from the ground up. For the past few years I have been wanting to create a channel effectively with 0 subscribers and see how we can build it. Stay tuned my friends…

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Never Stop Learning…

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Over the past few years we have seen our photography business not only continue to grow but change directions as well. Our Sioux Falls studio works with many professionals, creating new headshot and personal branding marketing photographs. That is why it is so important for us to continue our education, keep a pulse on our market and just see what’s new in the photography world.

So last week we attended a couple different conferences. One of them being ImagingUSA. It is a large conference and expo put on by the Professional Photographers of America. One of the highlites for me was meeting Peter Hurley. Not only did I get to meet him but was able to actually sit down and visit with Peter. As our headshot business keeps growing, I want to find ways that I can continue to be the best at what I do. Peter has had such an influence in my headshot work to the point of some of the techniques he teaches are implemented in my day to day work. He is as genuine in person as he is on camera. I am so grateful for the time he spent with me and look forward to improving my craft.

With that said, we are busy working on Headshots 2.0 for our studio! New gear has been ordered. New techniques and posing are being tested this month and the education continues. We can’t wait to share with you Headshots 2.0 very soon!

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Leadercast Sioux Falls Event Photography

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Last year I was hired to cover the Leadercast Live event in Sioux Falls. Leadercast is an event that is designed to help reignite a persons fire for business, people, leadership and entrepreneurship. The event is held live at a larger venue in the US and broadcast to satellite locations throughout the country and the world. It really is pretty inspiring and great way to interface with other business leaders in the community. A lot is going on. You have speakers nationally being piped in and coordinated with local speakers and emcees. There are business owners, managers, sales people and entrepreneur minded folks interacting and exchanging ideas. What people don’t see is what happens in the back ground. All the technology that has to be up 100% of the time. There is a crew that in most events like this go unnoticed by the those attending. They are the experts who really make the event happen.

 When I get to spend time back stage I am amazed at the web of cables, multiple screens and and cases of gear stacked to put on a show. Andrew Simmons and crew are behind the curtain making sure the live streams stay up, mics are working and the everyone is happy. We were happy to see AV Technology magazine pickup the story of Andrew Simmons and our photographs. It never gets old seeing our images in use, wherever it may be.

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More Than Just a Pretty Picture…

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We quite often receive inquiries from commercial clients that say something like “We are looking for marketing photos” or “Our company needs a video”. Then… (key the sound of chirping crickets). They know they need new photos or maybe a video, but they are not sure why. Once the product is delivered they may not know what to do with it. Worst case they receive the product and never implement it.

(Sheila Anderson – Image Power Play)

That is where we pick up the conversation. Sure we produce the photographs or video project that really showcases their businesses service and/or product. However it doesn’t end there. I like to tell our clients that “We invest in your business”. We are not a one off photography studio. In our initial conversations it is important to us to find out what our clients end goals are? Why do you need new photos or video? Where will you use them? In the past that is where we as an industry have failed to fill in the gaps. Maybe I should say we didn’t need to, nor were expected to.

Today’s marketing world has changed that. No longer is print or television the primary outlet for marketing. Social Media is the new platform. That platform is changing daily. Because of that, a couple years ago we noticed that we need to change…

Today our photography has grown beyond a pretty picture. Gone are the days that we just snap the photos and hand them off. More and more we are getting involved with our clients marketing projects. Offering input, creative production and distribution.

Photography and video are the tools with which we work with. The real addiction is helping our clients and watching their business grow. No longer do we run our own business as a “photographer”. We run it as an entrepreneur, as a business. Passing that passion on to our own clients. It’s more than and well beyond a pretty picture…


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I Hate To Lose – How to make your business succeed.

  |   Branding, Corporate, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Hockey   |   No comment

When my oldest son as 12 years old, I coached his soccer team. I had never played soccer growing up. In fact I really didn’t understand the sport of soccer till our boys started playing.

When I volunteered to take over the coaching role, I had to quickly learn the sport and rules of soccer. Then the first day of practice came. All of the boys started to trickle on to the field. Looking around I thought “oh boy, what a motley crew”. The first thought in my mind was how are we going to win a game? We had boys who were un-athletic, timid, overweight and a few who had some skills.

Yet as we continued our weekly practices I could see where the team was gelling together. Each kid was able to overcome their obstacle and contribute to the team. As the season started we won our first game, then second, then third and all of a sudden we had won every regular season game.

During our last game of the season we were hammering on the other team. I had to pull my key players either off the field or tell them NOT to score. Then I told the team NOT to cross the center line! We even pulled kids off the field to try and let the other team catch up a bit. Sadly after that game the other coach came over and said “I have never seen a coach run up the score as bad as you just did today. You humiliated my kids”. We won 8-0 that day. Unfortunately I will never forget his comments. They hurt.

However the truth is I hate to lose. With the skill set we had, we should not have won a game. Yet working with the skills and kids we had, we found a way to not only win but build a team spirit centered around a bunch of misfits. We built a team of kids who now knew no matter what, they could win and do things they didn’t think possible. I constantly preached to my team “We are WINNERS, no losers here”.

(Stefanos Lekkas – Sioux Falls Stampede Goalie)

That same mentality passes over into our business… I hate losing. Losing bids, losing clients, losing relationships. In business there are no participation trophies. There is no second place. You play to win… or you lose. When we lose a project proposal, we look at why. Why did the client choose someone else? Was it the presentation? Cost? We analyze that and make changes to win the next project.

That attitude has helped to fuel our business and our clients success. The most important thing is our clients success. We design projects to help our clients get the attention and leads they want and need. The next time you want to promote your company. Have a game plan. Recruit the most effective players. Play to win…

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Website Video – Madison South Dakota Video Production

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Few months ago we were hired by Greteman Group to create new video and photographs for the Global Polymer Company. The goal was to create different media pieces that not only represented their brand, but would show the world what they did and how they could help their clients. Global Polymer is a plastics company headquartered in a small South Dakota town of Madison. They are a great example of how a small rural town in the middle of the United States can have such an impact and service clients worldwide.

We are extremely pleased and impressed by the work of the Greteman Group and how they incorporated our photography and video to create a world class multimedia website. Working with companies like them is what helps to drive us and their expectations push us creatively.

Take a look at our work by visiting the Global Polymer website.

Global Polymer

Do you own a South Dakota manufacturing company? Looking to boost your company’s brand? Our video production and photography services are based in Sioux Falls, but we love to travel with our gear. More than just a pretty video or photo we work with our clients to create a new look that helps to elevate their brand identity in today’s social media and marketing world. We work directly with our clients, their marketing companies (Such as Greteman Group) or our social media partner, CyberClimb Online Marketing. When you are ready to make a move, let us know. More than anything we would like to hear your ideas and how our video and photography work may fit into your marketing plans.


Chad Phillips Photography is a commercial photography and video production company based in South Dakota. Chad is an award winning photographer with more than 15 years of experience. His photography and video services are available worldwide.

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Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer Having Fun

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Yes that is me jumping into the pool with the wedding party! In an earlier post I mentioned how each couple, engagement and wedding are creatively unique. Cody and Tonee’s wedding was no exception. We they told me their wedding was at the Ramada Inn in Sioux Falls, I immediately got the idea of “Hey lets jump in the pool”. Of course most brides wouldn’t consider it, but Tonee is wasn’t your typical bride. I arranged it with the hotel, Cody checked with the Tux people and Tonee? “Im only planning on wearing the dress once, lets do it!” I geeked out over the whole thought and planted gopro cameras in the pool and ended up making a video of it all. It ended up being one of the highlites of their day. Something no one in the wedding party (or me!) will ever forget.

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2017 Sioux Falls Wedding Photography Packages

  |   Sioux Falls, South Dakota, weddings   |   No comment

It is hard to believe that 2017 is just now 12 hours away! How are your plans for your wedding day coming along? I thought I would take a moment to share with you our updated wedding day packages. One of the cool features is we have brought back our Four Hour Wedding package for 2017. All of our wedding packages are the same in that you get will get the most creative photographs, best service and experience. All you have to do is choose how many hours you would like photography coverage on your wedding day. Before you make that decision I would suggest that you call us. We invite you to come into our Sioux Falls studio. Let us hear your ideas for your wedding day.

Our Wedding Day packages now start at only $1,890. Browse over to our Wedding Photography page and check out all of our options.

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