The Privilege of Work

FITPOSIUM UPDATE: We now have confirmed Michelle Glicksman, Editor in Chief of Scottsdale Health Magazine as a new presenter for FITposium 2015 where she will share with talents what they need to know when pitching to magazines. Register now at for the event on June 6 in Mesa!

Those in our profession are honored to do the work we do. It is a privilege, not a right, to work professionally as a photographer, a model or a makeup artist. We have careers in which we can invest ourselves constantly improving and bettering our abilities and our craft.

Potential success is measured against our efforts, our approach and our vision and as a result the market determines our position.

Laziness, lethargy, apathy and lack of originality will yield a lower tier in the marketplace. By contrast, creativity, passion, development, effort, energy and persistence demands a much higher plateau.

To compound all of this – we chose this profession. None of us are required to be in this field. If we all are given the opportunity to go the mile in this business, which we are, why would we minimize it and only work for a few feet?

This is an insult to the privilege we have to do the work we do.

James Patrick
@jpatrickphoto on IG

FITposium Speaker Line Up

I am excited to share with you the official line up of speakers for FITposium 2015!

More speakers will be announced shortly but below is who we’ve confirmed thus far.


WHEN: June 6, 2015
WHERE: Holiday Inn Mesa, 1600 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, AZ
PRICE: $99

FITposium 2015FITposium in an Arizona-based educational and inspirational seminar focused on success in the fitness talent and modeling industry. The day-long workshop will feature a variety of sessions to prepare talents with what they need to know to enter the marketplace.

Attendees will learn:
– How to brand themselves
– How to market their brand
– How to pitch to magazines
– How to profit from their brand

Registration is now open at (just click the FITposium button)!

Kim Dolan Leto is a published author, inspirational speaker, creator of the F.I.T. DVD series, and the Director of Family Health and Wellness for the ISSA. She is a 4-time Oxygen cover model with her work published in Muscle & Fitness hers, Fitness, Success and 100s of other magazines. Kim is an ESPN Fitness America Champion and the recipient of the ISSA’s Famous Alumni Award with television appearances on CBN, TBN, FOX Sports, ESPN and ABC. At FITposium Kim will teach about the management of your brand, relationship building with clients (i.e. the media), the importance of authenticity, and growing your platform through your unique message.

James Patrick is an internationally published sports and fitness photographer with work appearing in Max Sports & Fitness Magazine, Scottsdale Health Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, Fitness Magazine (SA) and many more! James will be speaking on the development of your brand using story structure and form to enhance resonance with your target audience.

Dave Dreas is a Fitness Model, Gym Owner and Online Fitness Coach. He’s co owner of Arizona Training Lab, a personal training and group fitness studio, and creator of his online platform, Modestly In addition to his coaching platforms, Dave has two modeling agencies, Ford/Robert Black in Scottsdale, AZ and Sports and Lifestyle Unlimited in Los Angeles. Throughout his modeling career he’s landed multiple covers both Nationally and Internationally, worked with ESPN The Magazine and filmed two in store Reebok Commercials (Reebok SmoothFlex – Tech Video and Reebok ZigLite Technology Video). He’s recently appeared in Men’s Health Next Top Trainer and earned ISSA’s prestigious Famous Alumni Award. Dave has also been a contributing writer for Men’s Fitness Online, a blogger for Ironman and a sponsored Reebok Athlete. During Dave’s presentation you will learn the ins and outs of monetizing your business and develop a better understanding of the opportunities available to fitness entrepreneurs. You are the CEO of your business. You’ll grow as your business grows.

Nicole Matthews is the co-founder of Imprint, a personal trainer, stage coach, nationally placed fitness competitor, published cover model, makeup artist and inspirational speaker. Nicole, along with Heather Vines-Bright from Imprint, will be covering a segment on self motivation and following your dreams in the fitness industry. They will also talk about preparing for a fitness shoot. What to wear, proper hair and makeup, what to expect and tips on hiring a photographer. Also, they will touch on the different fitness federations, how they differ from one another and help guide those looking to compete to enter a show that best suits them.

Heather Vines-Bright is an international fitness cover model and nationally placed fitness competitor. She is a former NFL Pro-Bowl Cheerleader and has appeared in several publications modeling and writing for Max Sports and Fitness, Ultra Fit Magazine, Fitness Magazine and Shutterbug Magazine. Heather is the co-founder of Imprint and Editor in Chief for TheProExposure.  At FITposium, Heather will be presenting on the various competition federations and the importance of picking the best show for you, preparing for a branding photo shoot, exposure on social media and enjoying the journey.

Scott White is the owner of Personal Power Training one of the premier training facility in North Scottsdale. He has been sought out by celebrities, models, pro-athetes, and olympians for his expertise in the fitness and nutrition industry. He’s an international speaker and an author of over 12 books and counting. He’s been published in most every major magazine. An inventor, Creator, and Internet Marketing Consultant. He truly believes we all have what it takes to achieve our goals and loves inspiring and leading others who want to achieve a greater life.

More to be announced soon – get your registration in as space is limited!

James Patrick
IG @Jpatrickphoto

Falling Out

FITPOSIUM 2015 UPDATE: We now have an official location for our seminar on success in the fitness talent industry! Fitposium 2015 will be hosted on June 6, 2015 at the Holiday Inn in Mesa, Arizona. You can register now at to learn from industry experts on how to establish your brand as a modeling talent, how to market that brand, how to get published as well as how to profit from your brand. Official line up of speakers will be announced very soon!

I was talking to a friend earlier this week about how we both used to be heavily involved in various professional trade organizations and groups. At one point I was on the board of about seven organizations simultaneously. Now that sounds a bit congested – but the benefit was that I was always able to meet new people, build strong relationships and extend my brand and business constantly.

Flash forward several years and I am not nearly as active or involved in professional trade organizations. Now when I attend a meeting or a mixer, I don’t see too many people I know, not too many people know me and I’ve completed fallen out of contact and context.

The result is that I have not been able to meet new people, establish relationships and extend my brand.

Being involved, being active in the industry you are a part of compounds exponential results. As a modeling talent or photographer – what are avenues you have to connect with other industry professionals? Going beyond just being a member, what opportunities are there to truly get involved?

This is why I am currently recommitting myself to getting involved again. It has been too long!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Official Announcement & Save the Date

I am tremendously excited to share with you all some preliminary details for two upcoming events I’ve been heavily involved in.

Date: September 12, 2015
FITMANIA Arizona Natural ChampionshipsIn partnership with Scott White (owner of Personal Power Training) and Nicole Matthews and Heather Vines-Bright (owners of Imprint Fitness), we have received the promoter’s license to host the next Fitness America show in Arizona called the FITMANIA Arizona Natural Championships on September 12, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.

The fitness event will host competitions in categories for men and women including model, physique, bodybuilding, bikini, fitness and figure.

Interested parties can already sign up to participate at – the site is still under development but it gives you the ability to register today.

Also we are looking for sponsors to help ensure this show is an even bigger success!

If you are interested in being affiliated with this show – please contact me and we can discuss details.

Date: June 6, 2015
FITPOSIUM 2015 Save the DateIn addition, as well as in preparation for FITMANIA, we are also hosting an educational workshop called FITPOSIUM 2015.

At this event on June 5, 2015 we will cover everything talents need to know about the upcoming competition such as explanations of the divisions, judging criteria, wardrobe and more.

However, it will also feature sessions on how you as a fitness modeling talent can establish your brand, market your brand and profit from your brand.

We will soon be announcing some very exciting presenters for this event – but you can register now at We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you so much – these are two events I am very excited about being involved in and hope you can join in!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Cultivating a Reputation

A decade or more ago I learned the hard way on the results of a negative reputation. I was in my early 20s and not only was I throwing myself into the deep end of the pool as it related to my business aspirations – I truly felt invincible.

This was unfortunately compounded with a bevy of bad decisions. Being young and naive, I was foolish in how I conducted myself, my business, my clients and my colleagues and friends. Perhaps you may dismiss it as we were all young and stupid at one point. However, as a result we all must live with the consequences of the decisions we made.

Someone much smarter than me said something that resonated when they said that your brand is what people say about you, not to your face, but after you leave the room.

It can be a bit jarring to consider that; what are your friends, colleagues, competitors or clients saying about you after you leave? It does not take long from those sentiments to spread. You reputation creates biases in people’s minds before you would even have the opportunity to meet them. With the number of bridges I torched in my youth; it was not long before I had a reputation that preceded me – which was a very sobering rock bottom. I had to make a conscious commitment to rebuild it and have spent more than a decade doing so. In that time I’ve continued to make mistakes or have lapses in good judgement but the purposeful intention of striving to cultivate a good reputation has been there.

Over the last dozen years, I’ve learned the following:

ONE: Your brand and subsequent reputation must come from a place of being authentic and genuine. A wolf cannot truly pass as a sheep – much like  a sheep cannot feign being a wolf over time.

TWO: Everything is achieved by earning it, not by demanding it. Whether it is good or bad, we earn our reputation, respect or demise. Thus our energy and attention should be focussed on earning without so much as even asking.

THREE: Everything is leased not owned. A good brand or reputation will not hold up overtime unless it is constantly re-earned. We rent it, we rent success, we rent favorable reviews. We must strive for the privilege of renewing the lease.

As you can tell, this is not a short game – but a long haul. It is about making the right choices and decisions on what will define and represent you. Mistakes will be made. I’m confident in accepting that I will make more myself. Yet our visions must remain focussed on what we hope to earn. It matters little what we say about ourselves. It is about what others say about us.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Result of Bribery

I very recently received a message from a modeling talent offering me $500 for every magazine cover I put them on or helped them get in the next 90 days. My response was to simply delete the text message and then to make a note to be certain not to pitch any images we did for the next three months. The following week I received another message from the same talent, this time extending the deadline to four months. I made another note to be sure not to pitch their images for that additional period of time.

Now, there is a reason I reacted in the manner of which I did.

Firstly; I am a photographer not a publicist. My goal and job is to make the best images I can that work for my client’s needs and goals. There are times those images will get picked up by publications for interior and cover features. However, I make it very clear to my clients that I cannot promise I will ever pitch their images. I’ve even gone as far as telling someone not to hire me because I  would not promise media features as a result of working together.

When I create work I am proud of and see a fit for my publishing clients – I happily do what I can to make that connection to try to get those images published. My background is in journalism and publishing and I love to see my work in print. But I will not use it as a false promise to attempt to get more work or money. A publicist is paid to market you. A photographer is paid to get you the materials to market with.

Secondly; the offer made me feel cheap and used. I work very hard to make a living for myself. Being offered a handful of hundred dollar bills to do something that I perceive as a conflict of interest felt very insulting. That, sadly, is how this talent perceives me and that my motivation comes solely from financial gain.

Thirdly; I wouldn’t risk my relationships with publishing clients giving them the impression that the only work and images I show them were the ones from the highest bidder.

Now, I’m certain other photographers were given the same bribe and perhaps others are willing to take it. However I felt it was important to be open with my readers as to why I did not and will not in the future.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Eye Blink Attention Span

Book CoverTwo weeks ago I announced the release of my new book “I Don’t Suck & Neither Should You” on both Facebook and Instagram. The date of the release was April 1.

Yes, it was an April Fool’s Day Joke. I hope I would never write a book titled “I Don’t Suck” – even though I like to think that I don’t.

As if the title and the awfully cheesy photo were not hint enough that this was a joke – I added in a list of other hints and jabs that this was for satire only.

There was the “Self-Acclaimed Bestselling Author” in the cover as well as the “No Money Back Guarantee” in the copy of the post.

However, over the past two weeks I’ve had numerous e-mails, texts and even phone calls congratulating me on the release of my new book and how proud they were. Now I am not trying to criticize anyone in this post who thought this was a real book.

The reality is that we live in a society where the attention span of our audience is no more than an eye blink. Whether it was Facebook or Instagram – people saw this post which was a book cover, and briefly looked at the text, blinked and moved on.

Why this happens is because we are far too overwhelmed with a constant stream of content (posts, news, blogs, videos, tweets, status updates and so on). It would be impossible for us to absorb it all so we simply ignore most or only gloss over most.

This makes it incredibly hard to stand out. If you are reading this you are a modeling talent or a photographer perhaps and you are surrounded in a sea of noise fighting for people’s attention.

How does one combat this? The first thing is to focus on putting out the very best content possible. If all you are doing is adding noise to a very noisy medium – you won’t even receive an eye blink’s worth of attention. The second thing to do is find the right audience to share your content with. Finally, it is to deliver the content they want to see. That is how you earn attention with your social media channels (beyond likes – actual engagement), you blog and whatever venture you choose to invest your time into.

James Patrick
IG @Jpatrickphoto

A Terrible Pitch

I received a random message on Facebook last week from a stranger I was not connected with. They indicated that they were relocating to my town and were not sure what I did for a living but had a great business opportunity for me.

I’m not sure how I didn’t jump out of my seat immediately at this “opportunity.”

What were the mistakes?

First they gave me no indication that the message was personalized to me. Why specifically are they reaching out to me? Second, it showed they knew nothing about me or even what I did which led me to question the final inquiry of requesting that I listen to their business opportunity. How could they possible know I’d be good for whatever it is?

Overall, I don’t think anyone would disagree that this was a terrible pitch.

Now, how could this be remedied?

First – clearly articulate who you are and the specific reason for the contact. Second, show that you’ve done your homework and that you know who the person you are contacting is and what they are about. Lastly, you make it very clear what you’re asking for. The days of bait ’em and bring ’em in are dead. We’ve become far too good at ignoring these bad pitches.

Relate this to pitching yourself to a magazine editor. You introduce yourself, you show you’ve done your homework, you tailor and personalize the message and you make it clear what you’re asking for or pitching about.

That is how you stand apart from a sea of terrible pitches.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

My Regrets

My recent article posed the question “are you ever really ready?” It asks if you are ever really ready for the next big opportunity or challenge.

My stance is that you may never feel truly ready when those chances to take a huge leap forward arrive. However, by taking that leap it makes you ready.

I’ve taken a number of leaps in the post dozen or so years and in that time I’ve missed the mark countless times.

I was a part of, not one but, two startup magazines that crashed. I was awful in an audition in my brief attempt to be an actor. I sunk a promo company I started. The list goes on.

However, I never regret taking the leap and failing.

My regrets are the times I didn’t leap – but instead, stayed put.

James Patrick
IG @Jpatrickphoto

Are you ever really ready?

Are you ever really ready for that next level, the next opportunity, promotion, adventure, challenge?

Those of you who know me know that I’ve grown to love public speaking – however that was not always the case. I just had to keep doing it.

I was at a Toastmasters meeting last week when someone confessed they were nervous about speaking because everyone else seemed to have more charisma, more leadership and more natural ability than they did.

My response was that you did not need any of those things to stand up in front of a group and share your thoughts – but by doing it, you would develop and become all of those things.

I wasn’t ready to lead when I stepped in as president of Ad2. I wasn’t ready to manage a commercial production when I got my first opportunity to do so. Most of our careers we accelerate slowly. But then occasionally we have the opportunity to leap forward.

No doubt we won’t feel ready when that chance arrives. But taking that chance, regardless of the outcome, is what makes us ready.

James Patrick
IG @Jpatrickphoto