My interest in photography began when I was very young. Sometime in the early '80s I borrowed my grandfather's (Richard Savage) 8mm movie camera, built an elaborate set with white sheets and StarWars action figures, then filmed an action-packed battle complete with exploding piles of flour and burning plastic vehicles.
I purchased my first 35mm film camera, a Canon T-90, while attending junior high school and shot for school events. My interest continued as a hobby through high school and for some years beyond.
When my T-90 camera finally broke down I stopped taking pictures for some time.
In early college, I aspired to become a cinematographer, but the tides of life took me in other directions.
Some years later, I began working with film again as a projectionist for Edwards Theaters in Brea, CA. There I build movies by splicing trailers and film reels together to create giant lengths of film which I would then thread through the projectors for each individual showing. I spent more than ten years as a projectionist during which time I probably threaded in the neighborhood of 30,000 movies! That projection booth is forever burned into my memory. The pay was terrible, but I absolutely loved the job and the experience was invaluable.
Fast-forward to 2012 when my interest in photography began to surface again and an opportunity presented itself (for which I am grateful) to acquire a solid base of professional DSLR camera gear. I immersed myself in the study of digital photography and created my own company, IWork Photography LLC.
To my delight, the world of digital photography offers quality, flexibility, and creativity which was entirely foreign to the world of film. Everything from image capture through processing and on to the print could now be done in house to maintain professional quality results. I was hooked, and now I spend my time making beautiful prints and images for all to enjoy.
Along with my wife and two very active little boys, my life is beautiful.
-Richard Phillips, photographer
While I am still somewhat general and flexible in my style when shooting people, I usually prefer tighter shots of a subject with sharply focused eyes that reveal something much larger within - determination, happiness, pain, love, awe. A successful image will capture this.
As a lifestyle photographer I tend to shy away from more traditional portrait posing which usually seems too forced and rigid in my opinion. I aim to capture the life and light we carry inside.
You probably know your personal favorite looks and I'm willing to stretch for the untraditional angles, lighting, and composition that might be necessary to capture them. I strive to create a shooting environment where you and I are perfectly comfortable and open with each other.
I also enjoy the art of landscape, macro, and product photography.
A Bit of History
C.R. Savage (1832-1909) was a famous and celebrated photography of the old American West. His landscapes and portraits are some of the finest of his era.
He also happens to be my maternal great, great, great grandfather! I like to think that skilled photography runs in my blood.
I've always shot with Canon gear dating all the way back to my film days. Many of my friends shoot with Nikon and we all get along just fine - no need to defend my brand choice here.
Today I shoot with Canon's 2012 Eos 1D-x and a 5Diii camera bodies. Both have full frame sensors and perform with amazing results. These professional camera bodies have earned my perfect confidence.
To complement the cameras, I shoot with Canon L series professional lenses. Currently I use a 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM, a 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM, a 100mm f2.8 L Macro IS USM, and an 85mm f1.2 L II USM. They are all amazing lenses and give me super sharp images with the ability to create pleasing background blurs. The 70-200mm is my absolute favorite - a piece of engineering perfection in my opinion.
I currently utilize three 600EX-RT Speedlite flashes which are super versatile when using them in radio-trigger mode in conjunction with my ST-E3-RT transmitter and softboxes. Off camera flash to light my subjects from the angles I desire has never been so accessible.
I don't have a dog, but my Gitzo GT3532LS carbon fiber tripod more than fills the void in my life.
Finally, and as important as any of the gear listed above is my Adobe Lightroom software. I can not imagine doing this kind of work without it. If you are interested in digital photography, Adobe Lightroom should be your first purchase - even before a camera. That's right, use your phone as your camera if you have to, but don't even think about getting involved in digital photography without Lightroom.
My mouse has been traded in for a Wacom Intuos 5 pen tablet. A handheld pen gives me much more control and precision when doing fine tuned edits in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Going back to a mouse will never make sense again.
I've also recently added the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2 color management system into my workflow, giving me the ability to match color perfectly from image capture to final print.
I print with a Canon Pro-10 printer which houses ten different Lucia ink tanks for color printing perfection.