Awarded with the AAFT’s Hall of Fame Next Generation Award

Last week I was awarded with the American Advertising Federation Tucson’s Hall of Fame Next Generation Award.

The Next Generation Award, founded in 2014, recognizes those outstanding advertising individuals, age 40 or younger, who are making a significant impact on the industry through their leadership, career achievement, community contributions and inspiration to others to excel.

I want to thank the individuals who have helped shape my career path to the direction it has taken over the last fourteen years including my college professor who pushed me into photography, my great mentors at my marketing career, my colleagues and friends who continued to motivate and inspire me as well as to my clients who helped make all this possible. If not for you all, this could not have happened.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

FORD/Robert Black Agency at FITposium 2016

Matt Englehart, the On-Camera and Commercial Print Director of the FORD/Robert Black Agency will be at FITposium 2016 to discuss the intricacies of the commercial modeling industry.

Matt is a former actor who also worked as a digital animator at Fox Animation Studios, including working on the feature film Anastasia. At FORD/RBA he has handled actors and models for TV, film, commercials, voice-overs and commercial print campaigns for the last 19 years.

Registration is open at

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

The Missing Link for Models

After reading my friend Steve Kamb’s book Nerd Fitness, I was reminded that there exists an episode of South Park about a group of gnomes that steals underpants. I went back to watch the episode which showcases this tribe of gnomes stealing the towns underpants every night. When asked why they were stealing underpants they simply responded, that is Phase 1 of our master plan.

The follow up inquiry obviously is, what is Phase 2? Their response was, Phase 3 is profit! And around and around it went. They believed Phase 1 was collecting underpants and somehow that would get them to Phase 3 which is profit without any idea of what was involved in the middle. Ignorantly they moved forward.

What do we do? What do the people reading this blog do on a regular basis? They want to be published. They want to be on a magazine cover. Then they want to be on another magazine cover. They want a handful of magazine features. That is Phase 1. Get published. Phase 3 is still profit. Yet most models have no idea how to turn Phase 1 into Phase 3.

The missing link is Phase 2. The missing link is the work it takes to turn all this leverage built into something that sustains a profit.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

The FITpreneur of the Year Award

At FITposium 2016, we will be honoring a previous attendee of the conference (a FITposium PRO) with a new award called the FITpreneur of the Year. This will go out to the person who has created the most change in their own business, their own lives and the lives of others from the lessons they learned at the conference last year.

To apply or to nominate someone for this recognition, please e-mail with the reasons why you believe he or she or you should be selected.

The winner will receive a prize package that includes, among other things, a full expenses paid photo shoot with James Patrick Photography with hair and makeup by Amanda Nicole Bland.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

The Paths We Take

I recently had to type up a bio about myself and how I got into photography. It is a story I’ve told and retold numerous times; about how I was a journalist in college covering a story one night when we were all out of staff photographers and how my editor made me photograph some images to go along with my article – thus sparking and igniting my passion and interest in photography.

The reader’s digest version feels so clean. The reality however was a much bumpier road.

The first job I can remember doing where I was handed money at the end, was helping my father with his work for his own business. Shortly after that I was applying at Safeway grocery store where I went from a bagger, to the head courtesy clerk (a fake title the manager and I made up to make me feel more important) to a cashier. Three years after that I quit due to a disagreement over scheduling with my new manager.

I applied at Radio Shack, but they decided not to hire me. I guess I was not good enough for them.

Eventually I picked up what I thought would be a quick summer job at a crappy mall record store. But I fell in love with it, become a manager, and spent even my free time at the record store hanging out, listening to music, talking about music and sometimes selling music. The Internet killed that business and we had to close up shop.

Around the holidays I got a job, under the table, selling candy apples at a mall kiosk. After six hours, eating two apples and selling none, they handed me some cash and fired me – which is a misnomer since I was never legally hired to begin with,

This was around the time I was picking up small writing jobs as a journalist and when I actually first started taking photos. Yet it was not even on the top ten of possible career considerations. Also at this time I was doing a bevy of side gigs including running a small promotion company that would send models out to events, bars and night clubs to hand out sample products or drinks.

I even hosted a few shoot out events collecting together models and photographers, charging everyone a small admission fee to come together, meet and work together. I still did not even consider taking photos as I was more interested in being in the images. I modeled a tad doing nothing worth mentioned except maybe appearing in some ads for a dodgy student apartment complex.

Around this time I was in debt to my father, so I picked up some extra work on a farm, moving heavy bails of hay for nine hours in the Arizona sun. I walked away with around 80 bucks, which was 20 less than I thought I was getting paid. The farm owner’s justification was that she bought me a bologna sandwich for lunch so that took 20% off the top of my paycheck.

Needing more money, I got a job at Office Max where I lasted a few months bouncing around from selling printers to working the copy center to once again being a cashier. One weekend morning I had a bad interaction with a customer who yelled at me and demanded my manager fire me because I told him to have a good day instead of specifically thanking him for his purchase (which if memory serves, was under ten dollars). My manager apologized to the customer and as soon as the jerk left the store, turned to me and told me not to worry about him. However it left such a bad taste in my mouth that my manager would apologize to someone over something so ridiculous and especially over such a low dollar purchase that I had to leave.

I managed to float myself along hosting shoot out events, doing the promotions company, still freelance writing and even picking up a few small portrait gigs as a photographer (done more for money than an interest in the art) a bit before I needed a paycheck again. Thus I picked up a job selling low quality diamond rings and overpriced jewelry at a mall store. It didn’t take long to realize that I neither had an interest in jewelry nor in ripping people off. After a few conversations with my manager about how I needed to sell more, I elected to focus on school instead. Or at least that is what I told them when I turned in my notice.

I managed to sustain myself for quite sometime after that. Moving back in with my family helped of course. I did promotions from time to time, started an online magazine, closed it, started a production company, closed it, started another online magazine, closed it. However I did start to pick up a few extra photo and writing gigs for some small paychecks here and there.

Then I met a professor who apparently saw something in me that I did not see in myself. He demanded that I push harder into photography. He made me a staff photographer of a newspaper he managed. Eventually he moved me up to photo editor. He helped me pick up a second photo editor position as a new startup magazine, which I remained at for two years. He arranged me to get my final upper division credits I needed to graduate by teaching his classes. After college I even continued to teach his classes, only this time for a paycheck.

However I am slightly getting ahead of myself. He also came across an opportunity for me to work in marketing. With no speak-able experience, I picked up this marketing job based off his good word where I worked at for seven years. During this time I was promoted to lead the marketing for the office and was even made into one of the company’s regional photographers.

I still freelance wrote and shot for a bevy of publications and commercial clients – but I was happy and comfortable in my marketing career. It challenged me and I had the opportunity to meet two new mentors. One who taught me the importance of being seen, being heard and being read as well as the need to pursue better work, not just more work. The other taught me the value of networking and how to be an invaluable asset, even in a shrinking economy. After seven years there, I was finally ready to chart off on my own.

I had built up my business enough and had that burning fire inside my heart telling me what I had to do moving forward.

As you can see, my path (much like yours) has not been a straight arrow, but filled with roadblocks, detours and distractions. It took me far more than a decade to find my true calling – but I did finally find it.

Sometimes you just have to take a longer road to get there.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Ten Reasons to Attend FITposium 2016

1) Network with industry professionals and likeminded individuals


2) Build your brand


3) Learn the how to’s and invaluable information from prominent individuals in the industry


4) Share ideas with your community


5) Lean that modeling alone is not the key to success


6) Meet some of your idols


7) Have a chance to win dream prizes and be cast for real projects


8) Understand what it takes to be a fitness model and entrepreneur


9) Get better focus on your business


10) Laugh a lot and have fun


Register now at

What Does Inspire Mean?

I am increasingly becoming obsessed with this latest phenomenon of individuals stating that their intent is to be an inspiration to others. My follow up question is always, inspire others to do what?

When did we as a society become consumed with the desire to be inspirational? It is a new pandemic.

There wouldn’t be a problem with this highly infectious epidemic if most people actually wanted to be inspiring.

What we are seeing is that most people just want to appear as if they are inspirational, as opposed to actually doing the work to inspire others.

Inspiring others means you are willing to go out into the community. It means you have to connect directly to others. It means you have to do the work required to create change in the life of others. That is inspiration. That is worth noticing. That is worth following.

It is not posting yet another photo on yet another social media platform and sitting back waiting to cash in on likes and comments.

If you want to inspire – actually inspire – get ready to do the work required to grind it out, to actually connect with people, to actually challenge the status quo.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Casting Call Updates

At FITposium 2016 we will be casting for a bevy of magazine projects and commercial awards including the cover of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine, an interior feature with Fitness Magazine, a workout circuit with Inside Fitness Women Magazine as well as a prize package from Affitnity Clothing.

We recently also partnered up with Iron Man AU, Natural Muscle Magazine, Fitness RX for Women and more!

The auditions are limited to only attendees of the FITposium conference so be sure to sign up soon at

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

You’re Being Used

A brand new supplement company starts up and has the “dream come true” opportunity to sign you and you immediately become ecstatic with excitement despite having never heard of this company before. They say all the right things like “grow together” and “mutually beneficial” and “exposure potential.” Finally, you can see some checks start coming in the mail.

However, as you soon learn, they are not willing to pay you. You may get free products from them – but they are expecting you to market and advertise for them. In return they compensate you with the exposure of being one of their signed talents. Yet your brand does not grow, your business does not grow, your career does not grow.

A photographer reaches out to you and is willing to photograph you at no charge. You are extremely flattered having never really seeing this person’s work before and not noticing any resume of credentials. But you will get the chance to get some free images for your brand and career.

However, during the photo shoot they keep pushing you to show more skin or shoot sexier images. You go along with what they suggest as you assume they know what they are doing or are too afraid to protest. In the end you are branded with images that hurt your career rather than support it.

The company looking to sponsor you is looking to use you. The amateur photographer offering free photos is looking to use you. The social media accounts asking for photos to share are using you. The crappy web magazine is using you. The talent manager who is not even licensed is using you.

We are congested with users. You need to develop the personal strength and foresights to not only see beyond these attempts, but to work past them.

James Patrick

IG @jpatrickphoto