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Hear It!
An Interview with Phil Date

When east meets west, one can expect a fusion of both worlds. True to his alias "EastWest", Phil Date who is currently based in Singapore merges Asian and Western elements to create a diverse portfolio that's just amazing. We learn more about this talented photographer in this edition of Hear It!

Photographer: EastWest / Phil Date
Country of Origin: Singapore

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
I shoot with a Nikon D2X using 28-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 12-24mm f4, SB800 and in the studio, Elinchrom lighting equipment.


2. What do you think of photography these days?
Photography is now accessible to everyone and this has meant that "imaging" is much more on everyone's mind.


3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was very young I wanted to be a motorcycle policeman. Then after that, I thought I wanted to work in finance but after studying for years and finally getting the dream job, I found it all rather dull. I went into teaching which I enjoyed for ten years but now I am really glad I made the leap into starting my own photographic business.


4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I bought my first SLR in 2000 and have been hooked ever since.


5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
To be successful in the microstock industry takes a lot of time and hard work, with some creative vision thrown in.


6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Not knowing anything about stock photography.


7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
I don't have to answer to anyone and can work the hours I choose. It's great not having to set the alarm every morning!


8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I have a partner who arranges the models and props so before the shoot, we plan our ideas and the type of shots we will get.


9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
I shoot people of all types doing all sorts of things.


10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
I very much shoot instinctively from the heart - I am not one for over-planning.


11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
I love to shoot people and get an enormous amount of satisfaction from doing so. I love to shoot people's kids and get a real buzz when the parents love the shots.


12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Big dogs!


13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
I am always looking for the beauty within and the perfect shot.


14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
Nature inspires me. Anne Geddes for obvious reasons - she sees the light and has immense creativity. Dave Black also inspires me - his works are stunning!


15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I will go for a run, do some yoga or maybe go for a rollerblade by the ocean.


16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
Go out and shoot!


17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
That I am quite resourceful as well as creative. I am a risk-taker but quite a calculating one!


18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
Yuri (Editor: I'm sure we all know who this is) has set himself apart from the rest as being an amazing stock photographer. I admire the lengths he goes to to get the shots he does.


19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Work hard and be true to yourself.

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