Level Up Your Fitness Career Now

The FITposium 2018 International Conference + Expo, which will be happening October 5-7 in Phoenix, AZ.

Conference passes are available now exclusively at FITposium.com. Space is extremely limited and we have sold out EVERY SINGLE FITposium conference.

This three-day event will feature:

  • Industry leading speakers
  • Magazine editors
  • Casting calls
  • Portfolio reviews
  • Vendor expo
  • Fashion show
  • Networking mixer
  • And so much more!!!

The mission of FITposium is to provide you with all the information, resources, connections and opportunities to get your fit brand in shape! Launch your career in fitness. Get more clients in your business. Make more money in your trade. Get yourself published in your favorite magazines. Learn all of this and more at FITposium 2018.

If you have not yet, get your tickets now at www.FITposium.com – you can save $100 before prices increase!

We truly expect the 2018 event to sell out faster than our last three conferences!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

 

Why We Delay Launching Our Products and How to Fix It

I am in the midst of writing my third book and I am struggling right now – but not where you might think. You might assume I have writer’s block and am not sure where to take it or what to do next. Actually it is quite the contrary.

I have the entire structure complete and each time I set down to write I can easily churn out page after page of what I consider to be great and worthy content to include.

But every time I open up my manuscript I see another vein I need to add in that will require another 40-80 hours of writing and add in another 50-100 pages of content. This could quite literally go on forever and constantly be delaying my book from being finished and going out to the public.

I’m assuming that perhaps you’ve dealt with something similar. You are looking to launch something. Perhaps it is a book, or a training course, or a program you have been scripting. But you delay launching it. You keep toiling over it, changing it, fixing it, improving it, adding to it, revising it, then adding more to it. The cycle goes on and on as long as you will allow it to.

Thinking back, I actually did this with my first book as well. And I allowed that cycle to go on for several years. That was several years of me delaying my own book release!

My second book however, I started it, wrote it, edited it, completed it and shipped it out for publication all within my time frame I set for myself.

So what was different between my first book with my second book? The difference was I made the commitment, a hard deadline of when I was going to launch my second book. At the very start I wrote out everything that needed to be included in the book and detailed the entire framework. I came up with every objection, alteration and revision I could think of right at the start – before I even started writing.

Then when I started writing, I kept to the script, I wrote the book, I edited it, hit my deadline and hit publish to release it.

Seth Godin has written about this in his book Linchpin. He calls it Thrashing. When we set out to do something as entrepreneurs we thrash. We thrash by coming up with every iteration, revision or medication we can to try to make it perfect before we launch

What we must realize is that there is no perfection. We have to commit to launching. We have to commit to releasing it and then realize that we can later revise it.

But it is impossible for us to know what we even need to revise until our product is in the marketplace and we are getting feedback on it.

You want to release a podcast but want it to be perfect before you start recording and publishing? I say start publishing right now and get better as you go.

You want to release a blog but want it to be perfect because you start writing and publishing I say start posting articles right now and get better as you go.

You want to release a guide to sell online but keep editing it so it is perfect? I say set a hard deadline, get it done and post it. Get feedback on how it sells and in a year release a revised version of it.

The only way to break the cycle of delaying your launch is to commit to a date, get the thrashing done early and understand that you may just end up revising it at a later date.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Which Would You Prefer, Success or Vanity?

Serious question… when did we start trading out legitimacy for vanity?

Our social media is engulfed with individuals who are more concerned with appearing successful rather than doing the work it takes to become successful.

I am not going to spend the time or investment to develop a real portfolio – instead I am going to work with anyone willing to give me money to take my clothes off pretending I am building a portfolio. 

I am not going to take the risk of pitching to real magazines and clients – instead I am going to overly celebrate the fake success of being featured on an “online” magazine that no one has ever heard of.

Why do we concern ourselves with the validation of celebrating a success we know has no merit?

One of my favorite photographers here in Arizona, Tom Spitz, has literally no website and no social media presence. Yet he stays fully employed and booked as a photographer because his clients are obsessed with him, his work and his energy. His work has won countless awards, yet he personally has probably never submitted anything and certainly never attended the ceremonies. Instead he stays focused on the craft and making it as close to perfect as he can. That is what I hope to aspire to in my own photography career and why I interned and assisted him early in my journey. His approach to his work is what leads to his success.

Lindsey Schwartz is a best-selling author and now is coordinating her own series of motivational events. Amongst all that I’m honored that she is a dear friend of mine. When she was writing her book, Powerhouse Woman, she was genuinely writing to help others. When she gathers together a group of people, she is genuinely striving to improve their lives. In an industry that is often overrun with posturing and self-boasting, she is one who shines with authenticity and an honest mission. That is what leads to her success.

I’ve known and worked with Dave Dreas for close to a decade and our work together has been published in numerous magazines both as interior features as well as covers. Yet Dave remains one of the most ego-less people I’ve ever met. What does Dave focus his energy on? His brands. Growing his gym, growing his online businesses and providing better value and service to those who choose to purchase from him. He spends time thinking about solutions for his client’s biggest problems. That is what leads to his success.

I first met Karey Northington right before she was doing an NPC competition and we did a quick photo shoot together. Since then she has exponentially exploded her brand not just as a fitness talent, but as a trainer, as a coach, as a business guide and now even a restaurant owner. She is a serial-entrepreneur concerned about making great content and providing the best service possible to her clients. That is what leads to her success.

As you personally chart off on your course, pay attention to the decisions you make, to the actions to take and to the plans you set. Focus on your intentions and your goals. Where is it that you want your ship headed? The effortless path to the land of vanity? Or the uncharted course to your success?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

What Your Brands Needs to Accelerate Your Growth Right Now

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of a highly awesome moonlight hike during a full moon. After a brisk hike right after sunset, a group of about 30 of us sat down for a meditation session led by Danna Salhani where we got to then release mental and emotional barriers that were holding us back by literally writing them on a piece of paper and burning them. Don’t worry, they were safely burned in a metal container and we had copious amounts of water nearby. By the time the meditation was over we then hiked down off the mountain under the light of the full moon.

Sounds pretty amazing right? Would it surprise you to know the entire event was a commercial endeavor?

My best friend of more than a decade, Jason Black, launched his own clothing line last year called Agstract Apparel. The idea was actually quite ingenious. Jason loves photographing rocks, gemstones and precious minerals up close to show the intricacies and patterns of colors. He would then print his beautiful images on canvas that people could purchase and hang up as artwork in their house.

The idea to turn his prints into a clothing line was his “a ha” moment stroke of inspiration. What better way to celebrate and share his love for the beauty the earth creates then to create a series of yoga and athletic leggings using those same patterns? After all, who loves Mother Earth more than yogis?

Flash forward a few months and Jason now has his online store set up and ready to do business. He posts about his work on social media and a few sales are trickling in – but something is missing.

Community.

The essence of a community is a group of people, a tribe, connected under a unified idea, or concept or vision. In the case of Agstract Apparel it was the love for both being active and an affinity for the Earth itself.

Jason began hosting monthly get-togethers for people to connect and share in an experience as a community.

The first was a yoga class, the second was the moonlight hike and meditation. The third, which tickets are on sale now, is a rock-climbing event. He is also arranging a group clean up to get together to help restore Mother Earth a little bit.

At the events, there are no hard sales pitches for his clothing line – yet people are so excited to get their own leggings because it becomes more than just an apparel company. It is a community. It becomes a movement.

That is what would accelerate your own brand right now. Build a community around it.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

FITposium 2018 Tickets Now on Sale!

The FITposium team is going into the fourth year of our annual conference now called the FITposium 2018 International Conference + Expo, which will be happening October 5-7 in Phoenix, AZ.

Conference passed are now available exclusively at www.FITposium.com. Space is extremely limited and we have sold out EVERY SINGLE FITposium conference.

This three-day event will feature:

  • Industry leading speakers
  • Magazine editors
  • Casting calls
  • Portfolio reviews
  • Vendor expo
  • Fashion show
  • Networking mixer
  • And so much more!!!

The mission of FITposium is to provide you with all the information, resources, connections and opportunities to get your fit brand in shape! Launch your career in fitness. Get more clients in your business. Make more money in your trade. Get yourself published in your favorite magazines. Learn all of this and more at FITposium 2018.

We truly expect the 2018 event to sell out faster than our last three conferences! Do not wait to get your fit brand in shape!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!

 

Behind the Scenes with Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Oliver Ekman-LarssonRecently had the opportunity to meet and work with Arizona Coyotes’ star defenseman and NHL All-star Oliver Ekman-Larsson for a cover and spread in a recent issue of Scottsdale Health Magazine.

The creative direction of the shoot was originally scripted to be a blending of men’s fashion with an athletic setting. Before the photo shoot – the publications Art Director and I chatted about various concepts, ideas and themes we wanted to explore during the photo shoot.

We centered on having Ekman-Larsson wearing a suit while on the ice with his stick skating around. The creative approach also included the use of colored gel lighting to further push the visual styling of the shoot.

Myself, my assistant and production manager arrived on set to meet the Art Director about an hour before shoot time. This would give us the opportunity to stage and set up all of our shots long before Ekman-Larsson arrived on set.

We began by staging two sets of lights. The first set was for our cover shoot, which was being done in an auxiliary locker room just off the ice.

Oliver Ekman-LarssonThe second was a series of lights we planned to take out onto the ice for the interior spread portion of the photo shoot.

However, after we got everything set up, including the studio and all the gear we were about to take out on the ice – we found out that the ice was no longer available due to a scheduling conflict.

As this was the main angle of our creative approach, the Art Director and myself were forced to think quickly to revise our shot list.

I came up with the concept of using some dramatic lighting while we had Ekman-Larsson in the suit. I varied the shots to include some low-lit portraits and some moody three-quarter length and full body length fashion images.

From there we shifted the lighting to a high key lighting set up using a single hard light source throwing a high contrast shadow against the backdrop. We had Ekman-Larsson switch to a move casual outfit and shifted around the posing to a more relaxed and casual stance versus the more sophisticated and serious poses we did in the formal look.

The shoot ended up being a success, despite losing the main ingredient to our creative approach!

Oliver Ekman-LarssonThat is the benefit of hiring our team for projects. After 15 years of photography we have come across it all and can think quickly, adapt and make changes quickly to make sure even through obstacles that our projects end in a success!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!

The Happiness Paradox

If you are reading this then chances are you suffer from the same issue that affected me throughout most of my career. It is an affliction known as conditional happiness.

What is conditional happiness? It is the process of constantly setting conditions on your happiness – and entrepreneurs are some of the worst offenders.

Have you ever said out loud or thought one of the following things?
Once I get that magazine feature, I will be happy.
Once I get that client, I will be happy.
Once I reach that certain financial milestone, I will be happy.
Once I get that particular car, I will be happy.
Once I have 100,000 followers on Instagram, I will be happy.
Once I live in that one city, I will be happy.

The irony behind setting conditions for happiness is once we achieve the milestone we set for ourselves, we move it before we take the time to enjoy it. Now that one magazine feature turns into 20. That one client turns into a dozen more. That financial milestone expands to be four times what we once set it as.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with setting goals, achieving those goals and setting stronger goals.

But we should never place our happiness as the reward or payment for those goals, because we will continue to delay satisfaction and gratification forever.

Happiness cannot be set upon conditional measures. Happiness is a choice. I want to work towards those 20 clients. But I am choosing to be happy as I move in that direction. I want to make this much money. But I am choosing to be happy right now as I work to grow my finances.

If this is something you personally suffer from – let me know! Comment below or even share this article. Talk to your community about the conditions you’ve put on your own happiness and the steps you took to correct it.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!

Two Important Things I’ve Learned from the LAUNCH Program

Myself and Kelly Spartonos just put the bow on our second round of the LAUNCH program. Since it’s inception in 2017 we have worked with more than a dozen entrepreneurs to guide them through taking their idea and launching it into a reality.

We have watched our LAUNCH participants create their own online platforms, programs, apparel companies, blogs and more including a podcast, a makeup artistry business and more!

Over the course of the two programs I learned two very important lessons that face every entrepreneur who wants to take an idea and turn it into a reality.

The first is how difficult it is to move from the known to the unknown. The known is what we have around us. It is the place we are unsatisfied with. It is all we know but it is not all we want. What we want is the area of the unknown. But what makes the unknown terrifying is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know what steps to take to get to the unknown. What the unknown will look like. Where to go once we are in the unknown? How we will be able to handle the unknown? What happens during this is we become paralyzed. Some respond by not doing anything at all. Others just end up focusing only on the known thus preventing them from taking the time or energy to pursue the unknown. This is a mistake I made for years in my career. Instead of taking the risk to pursue bigger level clients, I continued to waste time pursuing work below my means. Taking the step into the unknown is the most empowering thing an entrepreneur can do.

The second is that oftentimes it is even more difficult to take that step into the unknown alone. This is why it helps to have someone there to keep you accountable. When I did my first (and only) fitness competition, I might not have gone through with it had I not publicly posted that I was going to do it on social media – thus engaging an entire audience of people to keep me accountable and on track.

In the LAUNCH program, the members of the program keep one another accountable. They push each other. They motivate each other. It is much easier to walk into a dark room when you have a team of people standing right next to you.

Kelly and myself are retooling the LAUNCH program to make it even more beneficial and helpful to help you take your idea and make it into something that is tangible and real. But you are not required to join LAUNCH to ship your idea out the door. Be willing to step into the unknown and if you get scared, find others to help keep you accountable.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!

 

11 ADDY® Awards in One Night

The entire James Patrick Photography team is thrilled to announce the winning of 10 ADDY® AWARDS plus the 2018 JUDGE’S CHOICE AWARD this past weekend at the 37th Annual AAFT Advertising Awards. The various awards include photography
work both in color and in black and white for clients as well as several self-
promotional pieces.

On behalf of everyone at James Patrick Photography, I personally want to extend my
sincerest thanks to all the editors, art directors, creative leads and subjects we were
able to work with who made 2017 such a creative year!

The James Patrick Photography team looks forward to the opportunity to connect
with you on your upcoming photography needs to help make images that work!

ADDY® AWARD WINNING WORK
BRONZE ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: #KillingIt
Client: Max Sports  &  Fitness Magazine
Client Lead: LaRue Gillespie, Editor & Creative Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Amanda Bland, Makeup Artist

 

 

 

BRONZE ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: Mountaintop Yoga
Client: Max Sports & Fitness Magazine
Client Lead: LaRue Gillespie, Editor & Creative Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Amanda Bland, Makeup Artist

 

 

 

BRONZE ADDY®
Category: Advertising Industry Self Promotion Collateral
Project: JP The Magazine
Client: Self Promotion
Team: James Patrick, Photographer, Designer, Copywriter; Gaby Fleming, Designer;
Amber Blom, Editor; Carly Gieszl, Editor; Kelly Spartonos, Editor

 

 

 

SILVER ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: US Navy Veteran Gerard Ah-Fook
Client: Max Sports & Fitness Magazine
Client Lead: LaRue Gillespie, Editor & Creative Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer

 

SILVER ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: Oakland A’s Daulton Jefferies
Client: Max Sports & Fitness Magazine
Client Lead: LaRue Gillespie, Editor & Creative Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Amber Blom, Assistant

 

 

 

SILVER ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: Arizona Coyotes’ Shane Doan
Client: Scottsdale Health Magazine
Client Lead: Anthony Cox, Creative Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Brandon Tigrett, Assistant

 

 

 

SILVER ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: MMA Champion Ryan Bader
Client: Scottsdale Health Magazine
Client Contact: Anthony Cox, Art Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer

 

 

 

GOLD ADDY®
Category: Photography, Color
Project: Arizona Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu
Client: Scottsdale Health Magazine
Client Contact: Anthony Cox, Art Director
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Amber Blom,
Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLD ADDY®
Category: Photography Campaign, Black & White
Project: Korean War Veterans
Client: Self Promotion
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Kelly Spartonos, Assistant

GOLD ADDY® & 2018 JUDGES CHOICE AWARD
Category: Photography, Color
Project: Stalking the Shot
Client: Golf Magazine
Client Contact: Jesse Reiter, Photo Editor
Team: James Patrick, Photographer; Amanda Bland, Makeup Artist; Nicole Matthews, Stylist, Amber Blom, Production Manager

 

Special thanks to everyone who made these projects a success!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

3 Things to Know When You Should Say No to a Project

I received an Instagram DM from someone who was working with a new start up fitness apparel line. They wanted to present their line to a major gym franchise to get their clothing featured in the gym locations – but they felt their images were not professional enough and wanted to bring me in because my work was “more professional looking” than the photographer they had used previously.

We discussed my background in photographing apparel lines from small independent designers to large international retailers and what my approach could be for their project. Then came the red flag. They used the wording “a photographer to willing to work with us.” This was the second time they used it. The first time I noticed it but continued on – the second time made me probe a bit more.

I immediately inquired to see if they had a budget range they were hoping the campaign would stay within.

Their response – they wanted a free photo shoot.

My answer – simply “no thank you.” But perhaps that was 2 words too many. The word “no” itself can be a complete sentence.

No.

Go ahead, say it to yourself, it actually feels quite liberating. No.

I did not need to go onto a half hour tangent about why I would not work for free, what the value of my work is, how they are making a mistake, how they will never find a professional to work for free and how my work looked more professional than their other free photographer because it was just that… professional.

It was simply “No thank you” followed by a quite note to say if they ever got the budget I would be happy to discuss the project again.

Then I moved on to focus on something that I was being paid for.

Saying “No” to something actually means you are saying “Yes” to something else. Maybe you say “No” to a bad or low paid project so you can say “Yes” to a client who pays you the rate you ask. Or you are saying “Yes” to a free evening to spend with your family. Maybe the “Yes” is just so you can focus your energy on marketing that dream client you have wanted for so long.

Saying “Yes” to bad work means saying “No” to all of your good clients. It means saying “No” to your friends, family and even yourself. It means saying “No” to ever have the time to chase your big dream clients.

I’ve developed three meters that gauge if I say “Yes” or “No” to a potential project. All three never need to be equal, but I look into all three for each time I have a project in front of me.

  1. ECONOMICS: How much, if any budget is involved? My scale for this starts at zero (yes there are times I do things for zero – will get to that later) and goes up to infinity. So I ask myself, what is the economic value of taking this project. In the case of the clothing company, their value was zero. Ironically they wanted to use my photos commercially so they could make money. Thus they get the photos, they make money, I make zero. Doesn’t seem fair to me.
  2. FUN FACTOR: Use this meter however you choose. For me fun is about creativity in a project. When a client says that I have full creative control to do whatever the heck I want, I get excited. One example of this is magazine projects. Magazines don’t pay the best, however they give me lots of creative control to test and try things. That is an amazing trade off so I take that balance into account. The flip side of that is commercial projects which pay a lot (unless you are a start up apparel company that asked for free photos – okay sorry, last time I jab at them) but oftentimes will not give a lot of creative control. So I look at that balance to determine if it fits into what I want to do financially or creatively.
  3. OPPORTUNITY: What is the opportunity I would have in my career if I said “yes” to this project? I had a shoot offer a few years ago where I was to shoot a first round NFL draft pick for a magazine cover and spread. The budget was really bad for the project, so bad I would actually lose money after expenses. However they gave me full creative control on the shoot. Then I got to think about the opportunity. I had the opportunity to photograph a first round NFL draft pick for a few hours and I could do basically whatever I wanted. That was a huge opportunity that I said “yes” to. I did the shoot and as predicted I lost money on the project. But then I took those photos, continued to market them, actually licensed one for a nice payment putting me far in the black for my time and was able to use those photos to leverage more shoots with professional athletes. It was a great opportunity.

The catch about opportunity is that no one can tell you it is a good opportunity but yourself. And my bet is that if they are trying to get you to lower your price because it is a good opportunity, then it is far from.

Hopefully these three measuring sticks will help you in your future decisions on which projects to say yes or no to. Let me know what other metrics you use to make similar choices in your career.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!