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JAMES HAMILTON PHILLIPS' photographs have appeared in numerous books, magazines, posters, and calendars, including Audubon Guides, World Publications "Florida's Fabulous" pictorial book series, Photographer's Forum Magazine, Dive Training Magazine, and Outdoor Photographer Magazine's Scenic Calendar.
Phillips began his professional career in the 1970s, with the Hillsborough County Department of Museums in Tampa. During this period he received specialized training at the Smithsonian, and the Florida State Museum in Gainesville. In the 1980s he designed and built exhibits for Tampa's Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), while learning photography in his spare time.
In 1982 he won Grand Prize in the first major contest he entered, the 32nd Annual Suncoast Photography Competition. In 1988 he began a new career as a freelance photojournalist, specializing in Florida's environment.