Can We Just Be Honest?

Quite often I get this feeling that school photo companies come off as being like a used car lot. Who has the best deal? What can you give me? Can you buff out that dent? Im sure you know what I mean. (Insert cheesy salesman now…)

I have owned my own business for a number of years. When you own your own business, you are similar to a salesman in that if you are not out there making sales, nobody is going to do it for you. So over the past 20+ years I have become a custom to what it is like representing our brand and I have learned a lot.

Two of the most important things I have learned are…

  • Be Honest no matter what
  • Just be yourself. Dont pretend to be someone you are not.

I remember very well being on the phone with another photographer who was big into senior photos and what telling me if I wanted to book more seniors, I needed to look and act cool. I was supposed to wear designer jeans and shirts that would supposedly make me align better with that genre of a client. So while I was on the phone I drove to Kmart and purchased some kind of a rock band tshirt and cheap designer jeans. So I did wear them, Kmart brand or not! But eventually it just didnt feel right. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t and I didn’t like it.

For starters I was not being honest with even myself or my clients. I was being fake and my clients did not see the “real” Chad. That experience almost 20 years ago has really helped me to build the business we have now.

When we took over Photography By Mark Inc. in 2017, everyone in my family ownership agreed on both of those two items. Yes I know we need to be professional but lets also be ourselves. No one is perfect, not even a suited salesman. We are family owned and I am proud of it. Why would we want to shed a different image?

We also agreed that no matter what, we must be truthful in all that we do. That starts with each one of us, our team and to all of our schools and clients.

So why this long story? Even though it is up to me to “sell” our business, I do not pretend to be a corporate salesman. I am a blue jeans kind of guy, not a suit and tie. We do not over promise. We do not lie to our clients. We do not trash our competition. We honestly try our best at everything we do. Sure we make mistakes. But you know what? When we do, we will own up to it and get it taken care of. If we don’t, you call us.

If you ever have a question about our services, what others may have said or just want to chat, please call us.

Humbly yours,


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The Switch Is On!


My name is Chad Phillips and I am CEO of Photography by Mark Inc and now… SCHOOL TIME PHOTOS!. That lovely lady trying her best is my bride of almost 39 years! Becky has been by my side since I started the venture over 20 years ago. We have ran a successful commercial photography business all these years. In 2017 we purchased Photography by Mark Inc (A school photo business). More on that great story later. Over the past six years we have continued to run our school photography business under Photography by Mark as planned. Buy our family has decided the time has come to rename and rebrand our school photo business. The name and brand really needs to reflect who we are and what we do. So I am please to officially announce as of May 1st, 2024 we will be running our business under the names of School Time Photos & (drum roll please!) SCHOOL TIME YEARBOOKS! Not only are we solidifying ourselves as the leaders in school day portraits in our area, but we are also expanding our yearbook work into its own entity. School Time Yearbooks will be marketing to our existing schools and even schools we currently dont photograph. More on that later. So much more coming over the next few month here on this blog page

I am personally grateful for ALL of the schools that have trusted in us over the years. Some schools have been with us a very long time. I personally take great pride in all of the relationships that we have built over the years. I enjoy visiting all of or schools.It is the best job in the world. I get to walk into a school and interact with the kids. It always makes my day and makes me smile. I wish I would have kept a journal of all of the stories have been told by 5 year olds.

Changing our name to School Time Photos took a long time to make that decision. Our family had to sit down and really pray and think about it. Photography by Mark has such a great reputation in this area. Changing the name can have consequences. But we feel it is the best thing for our family and what we do. I am really excited about it and I hope you are too.

Because I know the big box companies are watching us, let me just spit out the truth…

  1. I AM NOT RETIRING!!!. Far from it.
  2. I AM NOT SELLING OUT. That has been a big rumor
  3. Yes we have all of the admin services any school may need.
  4. Oh and there is “They (meaning us) cant do that!… OH YES WE CAN!

The list goes on and I will probably address that some day in a later blog. In the mean time if you have any questions about our business, its future, its legacy or even better… how we can make your school day experience better. Please call our office and ask for me. I would love to chat.

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