New Studio Space

The James Patrick Photography team is opening our new photo studio! We have partnered up with Imprint to open up the new Imprint Studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.

For the past 15 years we have simply rented locations when we have photo shoots; but now are entering the realm of ownership!

This opens up nearly any date for your photo shoot project! Please contact us for your shoot needs and stay tuned for further details on the studio grand opening celebration!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Photo Shoot Openings

The James Patrick Photography team has photo shoot openings on the following dates in Arizona. Please contact us to schedule your session before they fill up!

March 19

March 22 (Afternoon Only)

April 14 (Afternoon Only)

April 15

May 20

Space is limited for ALL of these dates so do not wait to get your booking in!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

My First Big Mistake

Here is an interesting question to answer. In your current profession, what was the first BIG mistake you made and what did you learn from it?

Mine was one that most photographers and models fall prey to. It was in believing a prospective client when they said “if you help us out on pricing on this first project, there will be a lot of work coming down the road.”

Anytime someone says that, it is nearly guaranteed there will not be more work. And if there is, I learned to give better pricing later down the road, not on the first project.

So what was the first big mistake you made? Put it in the comment section blow.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Internalization vs. Externalization

Early in my marketing career I externalized all failures. When we chased a project and didn’t win I would find any excuse for how and why it went wrong outside of blaming myself. Perhaps I would blame our project manager for waiting too long to meet with the client, or I would blame one of the engineers for messing up the project approach, or blame one of the subconsultants for not having the right qualifications to assist us in winning the work.

What was the result of the externalization? I didn’t advance, I didn’t learn, I didn’t grow.

Eventually I learned that I needed to internalize failures, even when they were not completely my fault.

We lost a large project one time because one of our subconsultants formatted their proposal incorrectly. I could blame the subconsultant but I didn’t. I blamed myself for not doing a final quality check on the proposal before delivering it to the client. As a result, that mistake was never made again.

In my photography business I try to internalize everything I possibly can to see what can be learned from it to better my approach to my work.

It takes times and attention to do this; but one must to move closer towards their goals.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Important Question Models Must Answer

I had a model tell me they only wanted to pay a third of what my price was for a portfolio photo shoot because that is all they were used to paying other photographers.

So the question is – which option is better?

Option A: Hiring a low-priced amateur who will deliver images you cannot use and you’ll have to either hire them again or hire someone else to redo it.

Option B: Hire a professional (even if it is not me, just a real professional photographer) and get it done right the first time at a market rate.

There is no option C.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

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