Missed Opportunity

A colleague of mine was looking for a student photographer to photograph an event they were hosting. They posted the casting call up on a job board and had about 50 applicants which both surprised and overwhelmed them. As a result they asked me to collate through the applications to help choose the best photographer for the job. 

I ended up finding one who had the experience and portfolio that matched what she needed for her project. The student photographer was offered the paid gig and accepted.

The day of the event, I decided to drop by to see how everything was going and had a chance to meet the student photographer. He thanked me for being the person “responsible for him getting hired.”

I gave him my card and asked him to get in touch with me so we could chat more about future opportunities.

It has been about three weeks since the event and I’ve had two potential projects for this person. Yet I’ve not received an e-mal from them.

Once you get a business card – send a message that day, the next day at the very latest. Do not allow a connection to fade away before it could even establish its roots.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Worst Projects I’ve Ever Had

Imagine having to walk off set because the client won’t stop insulting you. That is a position I was in about 15 or so years ago.

I often will get asked by clients on what was the worst project or projects I’ve ever had. I’m fairly fortunate in that I’ve managed to forget most of them – however a few were egregious enough to never leave my memory.

The one that comes to mind first is what I started this blog about. I was hired by the marketing manager of a residential homebuilder to photograph their model homes for upcoming advertisements.

However when I showed up to do the photo shoot, the on-site realtor had different opinions. Even though the marketing manager was also there and tried to remind the realtor that this shoot was already approved and ready to go – that didn’t stop the realtor from digging into me.

They immediately demanded to see my portfolio and were unsatisfied by what they say. They then walked me through the properties and told me all the things that would make this project challenging and why they didn’t think I could handle the shoot.

Then they said, and I quote, “I have nothing to judge you by except how you look and you look far too young to be good at taking photos.”

At that point I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do to make this client happy. Even if these were the best real estate images ever created, I knew in full confidence that this realtor would have complained and made my life miserable.

I politely told her she was right, I was not the photographer she needed for her project and I left. The marketing manager followed me out the door apologizing over and over again for how the realtor acted and treated me.

However I know I made the right decision and saved myself hours upon hours of anger dealing with that client in the future. The marketing manager kindly paid me a kill fee for my time going out to the site and I went home.

Lesson learned – you always have the power to say no. And sometimes it is just better to walk than to put up with a bad client.

One of the main reasons I no longer travel around to fitness shows and competitions is because of this experience I had a number of years ago while shooting in Las Vegas during Olympia Weekend.

The model showed up about 30 minutes late to her scheduled photo shoot. The first words out of her mouth was that she hadn’t slept in several days and how she spent a lot of time at a pool party drinking and partying.

She took her time getting into her first outfit and showed us her awful dry and cracked tan from her competition a few days prior that she never cleaned off. Her inquiry was simply “you can just edit my skin, right?”

She then added in that she only had about 45 minutes to do the entire photo shoot because she had to rush off to another shoot she booked right after.

To boot – she complained about how she looked in the final images. What we should have done is turned her away and charged her a kill fee for the time, but not take a single image.

Finally, we had a project a handful of years ago. There was countless e-mails and phone calls back and forth to schedule the photo shoot because of how “critically important” these images were to the client and their brand.

When the day of the shoot came, the client showed up nearly an hour late. We then spent another 45 minutes going over (again) how critically important the photo shoot was. Then we learned that the client had forgotten to bring half of their attire for the photo shoot.

Eventually we got through the shoot and would you be surprised to learn that they complained about how the editing looked in their photos?

These are just a few fun stories that I am now amused at in hindsight. I’m fortunate in that these are a vast minority compared to all the great projects I’ve been able to undertake.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Improve Your Magazine Submissions and Pitches

Patrick Creative Media and James Patrick Photography also offers media kit design for our clients.

A media kit is an attractively designed PDF you can use to send off to magazine editors that encapsulates your background, experience and samples of your work.

We have successfully designed multiple media kits for our clients and are able to offer the same service to individuals like yourself, who are interested.

“After purchasing a media kit from James Patrick Photography, it has aided in streamlining my branding and pitching efforts, helping me become published more than I could ever imagine. It is a piece that catches editor’s attion. I would highly recommend investing in getting a media kit done with James Patrick Photography to help make you stand out amongst the rest. ” – Leah Ward

When pitching to magazines, your goal is to stand out. Sending a media kit in addition to your images helps differentiate you from your competition.

Contact us to start yours today!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Blown Opportunity

The James Patrick Photography team ran an Instagram contest giving away a free photo shoot. In order to qualify for the photo shoot prize all one had to do was post a 1 minute or less video on Instagram stating either why we should select them for the photo shoot or a unique idea they had. We made sure not to include any other hard requirements or details on the size of the photo shoot.

After the first 24 hours – only 1 person had entered the contest. That is it – just one single person. We have anywhere between half a dozen to a dozen people contact us every single week wanting to book a photo shoot and we have numerous talents state that they cannot afford our rates.

In this instance – all we were requesting was an investment of 60 seconds in exchange for what will be a $500 to $1200 prize package.

After keeping the contest active for about a week we did end up with around 20 really good entries. However I could not help but be surprised at the hundreds who contact us annually and the percentage who are unable to afford us normally.

They could not be bothered, could not be troubled to invest 60 seconds to receive something for free.

The contest was more than just a social outreach. Per usual there was an ulterior motive behind what we do. The contest served as a social experiment to gauge our audience’s willingness to not invest a paycheck into receiving something – but instead a single minute.

To show our appreciation for those who did enter, I made the decision to select not one, but two, entrants to receive free photo shoot. Essentially I will be giving away $2000 worth of services for a combined investment of 2 minutes.

Special thanks to those who took the moments they did to share their stories and ideas. I am excited to work with the winners and hope to see the entries into our next contest in the spring.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Radical Pitch Idea

Question; how many model pitches to magazines start out with something like the following:

I am so and so or I have done this and that or my blah or my blah blah.

Would it be safe to assume that 99.9% of model pitches focus solely on the person sending it and thus are just “me me me”?

What if, instead, your pitch wasn’t about you at all?

What if it were just on a topic of importance you could write about?

Something interesting, something newsworthy, something entertaining. That is tremendously more valuable to a magazine editor or writer than requested a feature selfishly just about you.

Just a thought on something different to try. Might be a great way to start a relationship with a magazine that could lead to something else down the road. Give it some thought.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Meet the New Team

As we get rolling in 2017, the James Patrick Photography, LLC, FITposium, and Patrick Creative Media team has brought on a handful of new faces. We wanted to take a moment to introduce you to all our current and new team members that you will have the opportunity to meet and work with this year!

James Patrick, ACS, ALS – Owner
James Patrick founded James Patrick Photography, LLC; FITposium and Patrick Creative Media. He has nearly 15 years of photography experience specializing in fitness, sports and beauty portraiture as well as general commercial work. James is also a public speaker who was presented coast-to-coast in the United States. Receiving his BA in Journalism from the University of Arizona, he has and continues to write for a variety of publications.

Amber Blom – James Patrick Photography Production Manager & FITposium Chair
Amber Blom joined the James Patrick Photography team in late 2014 providing production management services including logistical coordination and on-site project management on editorial and commercial photo shoots. In 2015 she co-hosted the first annual FITposium conference and was promoted to the program chair for the 2016 conference.

Samantha Kozuch – Editor in Chief, FITposium
Samantha Kozuch was hired in 2016 as the Editor in Chief of TheProExposure, which is now becoming part of the FITposium online network. In her role with FITposium, she will be curating and creating content for the launch of the new educational multi-media platform.

Kristina Patrick – Co-Founder & Graphic Designer, Patrick Creative Media (NEW)
Kristina Patrick is a graphic designer and illustrator who has taken ever opportunity she can to broaden her skillsets as an artist. She joins the team as the co-founder of Patrick Creative Media; a full-service creative firm providing photography, video and graphic design services to commercial clients. She is also the lead print designer for the FITposium conference and network.

Carly Gieszl – Event Specialist, FITposium (NEW)
Carly Geiszl is a special event planner with experience including hosting orientations, commencement ceremonies and other special events. In her new role with FITposium, Carly will be helping to coordinate and orchestrate the 2017 FITposium conference and additional company programs.

Brooke Goldstein – Social Media & Communications Intern (NEW)
Brooke Goldstein is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona School of Journalism and will be assisting the James Patrick Photography, Patrick Creative Media and FITposium teams with social media campaigns as well as content creation and collection for the upcoming FITposium online network.

Audra Oden – Commercial Photographer & Assistant Creative Director, Patrick Creative Media (NEW)
Audra Oden is a Houston-based professional photographer best known for her fitness and portrait work. Additionally, she is experienced in product, still life, fashion, glamour and lifestyle projects. Audra has provided creative direction and imagery for websites, stores, look books and social media content. She will be an integral member of the Patrick Creative Media team providing commercial photography services as well as assisting in the directive direction of many of the company’s projects.

Kelly Spartonos – Special Projects Manager, FITposium
Kelly Spartonos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a variety of experience in program coordination, team management, mindfulness based stress reduction and motivational interviewing. She is a certified Life Coach and co-owns Bestiefied, a wellness coaching and consulting company. As part of the team, Kelly will be helping to manage the coordination and brand direction of the annual FITposium conference as well as collaborating with fellow team members on specialized marketing and business development campaigns for both James Patrick Photography and Patrick Creative Media.

Please join me in welcoming all the new faces to the James Patrick team!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Big Announcement for James Patrick Photography

With the New Year now upon us I am pleased to take the time to announce and unveil the new venture of the James Patrick Photography team.

Patrick Creative Media is a one-stop collaborative firm providing photography, videography and graphic design services to clients.

We are in the process of launching a new website for PCM in the near future; but in the interim you can follow us on Instagram @patrickcreativemedia

Some of the services we will be offering include:
– General commercial photography
– Product photography
– Logo / branding design
– Brochure / business card design
– Media kit design
– Photo editing / post production
– HD commercial video and editing

Joining the team for this new venture includes:
– Kristina Patrick – Graphic designer and co-founder of Patrick Creative Media.
– Audra Oden: Commercial photographer and creative director support.

What does this mean for James Patrick Photography? The current business will continue on providing personal, editorial and specific commercial photography services to current and new clients.

However, overtime, we will shift some commercial photography projects to the team at Patrick Creative Media while James Patrick Photography focuses on personal and editorial projects.

The entire team and myself could not be more excited for this new chapter!

Please contact us for your photo, video and graphic design needs
james at jamespatrick dot com

Thank you sincerely!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

How to Deal with Self Doubt

James Patrick presentingPeople don’t really like to discuss their self-doubts with others. It leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable. Acknowledging self-doubts is akin to admitting failure.

I’ve been having these visceral dreams lately, almost on a nightly basis, where I am carrying this backpack. In the dreams I am consumed with an unquenchable desire to protect this backpack.

In one dream I am walking down the street in a suburban neighborhood when a gritty, old homeless person tries to take it from me. In another I am playing baseball and the contents of my bag are lost and I cannot take the field until I find them. In yet another I am working in a hospital and I left my bag and all of its contents in a conference room only to return to find it missing.

In analyzing the dream I had to ask myself what the bag meant. It meant security. It meant comfort. It meant a reliance on my past and how I have always done things. In my dreams I would guard it so intensely that it would prevent me from doing anything else – such as going out onto the field to play the game. Hard to get more literal than that.

The protection of this bag in another dream led me down a pitch-black alley where I was attacked by others. In another I couldn’t carry on my work until I was able to locate it.

The dreams have surfaced at a time where I am examining my brand and everything it represents. They appear as I look into a massive paradigm shift in how all the facets of my work are orchestrated and presented. They arrive when I am planning a new big launch that could change the future of my businesses.

The dreams are self-doubt. It is the fear I’m battling on a daily and nightly basis.

There are a few things I’ve found that help me persist through the self-doubt. The first is words of affirmation. Writing down a list of the reasons I’ve made it this far already. When things feel dark, I whip out that list and read it to myself outloud.

Second is an understanding that I didn’t make it to where I am by playing it safe. Safe is the enemy of greatness. Thus by taking risks and chances I can move forward.

Lastly, it is asking what is the worst thing that could possibly happen? I just end up back where I am right now. So why not try to push past the self-doubt and see what miraculous thing could happen next?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Unworthy of Radio Shack

unworthyI get an uneasy feeling when I’m told how lucky I am that I found and am able to do a career that I’m passionate about. I have to wonder if I was unlucky before that?

When I was playing baseball and my batting average dropped to .061, was that bad luck? (For those who don’t understand baseball, that is a batting average worse than the worst hitters in the league).

When I tried to be an illustrator and even my high school newspaper wouldn’t publish my work, was that bad luck?

When I finally got a starting position on the football team, only to immediately fumble the ball the second I touched it, was that bad luck?

When the record store I managed went out of business because the music industry was turned upside down by the internet, was that bad luck?

When I tried dating two girls at the same time in college, only to soon discover that they were roommates, was that bad luck?

If I go down the list of all the things I failed at; like selling candy apples at a mall kiosk, or selling diamond rings at a crappy outlet store or selling prints at Office Max, or losing an editor position at a newspaper before I even was able to start my first day – or that Radio Shack didn’t see enough potential in me to give me a starting position selling headphones and portable CD players. Were all these incidents bad luck?

What about the mishaps I’ve had as a photographer? Probably too many to list in this blog post.

I don’t believe in luck. If I believed in luck I would have to believe I was the most unlucky person on the planet.

I do, however, believe in failure. I believe in facing failure enough times to eventually overcome obstacles. I believe in failure because without failure – we never open ourselves up to the possibility of success.

James Patrick

Attempting to Leverage Crisis for Gain

crisisA message was sent recently in which an aspiring fitness talent wanted a discount on a photo shoot from a pair of photographers. The page long message went into very specific details on this person’s life, tragedies and most recent crisis they have been facing.

When I say specific details, I mean sharing information that I would personally be uncomfortable sharing with a close friend. Yet they were sending this to complete strangers.

What was their ultimate goal with the message of intimate detail? The answer, to get a discounted photo shoot.

What does that say about this person? I’m actually curious.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto