Just a Minute with Mark Kozlowski, Director of Photography with QuadPhoto, a division of Quad/Graphics Inc.

Company address: N63 W23075 Highway 74, Sussex, WI 53089

Company Website: www.quadphoto.com

Industry: Commercial photography division of world-class printer.

Number of employees: 30 (and growing)

Education: Bachelor of fine arts degree in photographic illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Family: Wife of 29 years, Holly; and sons Owen and Andrew.

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“Move ahead by looking back. In 2007, we celebrated our 20th year in the commercial photography business by talking about and celebrating our history. We proved that longevity is something to be admired and respected in photography.”

What’s new at your company?

“We have added two new studios in Miami, Fla., and on-site/in-house at L.L. Bean in Maine.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Yes, absolutely. QuadPhoto is on a constant growth and expansion track. We are involved in many new and exciting pitches and looking for our next marketplace-driven expansion for our across-the-country ‘one studio – but in many locations’ business plan.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“The major challenge impacting our business will be the effect of inflation and recession on the commercial photography business – advertising, editorial, catalog and web photography. We like to view this as an opportunity. When others pull up, can’t compete, don’t stay ahead of technology, can’t invest in equipment, we look back on our 20-year history and realize our success has been in being and staying first in the game.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“It’s a twist on the old real estate adage of location, location, location. We see it as on location, on location, on location. Digital photography has really come 100 percent of age, and the industry trend is to be able to do everything digitally, remotely, wirelessly and over the web.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Sure do. Our division tag line is, ‘Your vision, our focus – for over 20 years,’ and we totally believe it. Working closely with creative individuals and groups to create ideas, brands and execute concepts. Through Quad’s history of being No. 1 in customer service, we have married that to the creative business of image creation.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“Ted Turner. I photographed him several years ago for a cover of Newsweek magazine. On his desk, I noticed a small sign that said, ‘Either lead, follow or get out of the way.’ He lives that motto everyday in his vision and his actions. Admirable.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“When I lived and worked in Manhattan, my 80-plus year old local butcher once took me aside when I was shopping with my wife and said, ‘I’m going to give you the most valuable piece of advice you’ll ever receive.’ Then he told me, ‘Whenever you argue with your wife – you must always have the last words!’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said that the last words must be, ‘Yes, dear.’ He was completely correct.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Free time, what’s that? Seriously, I like to travel. My wife and I are trying to see the world – all of it. I think we have just enough time.”

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