Category Archives: Photography

Celebrating Our Heroes Through Images

On Sunday April 7, 2019 the James Patrick Photography team participated in our annual SHARE THE LIGHT creative campaign through a partnership with the Jewish War Veterans of the United States Copper State Post 619.

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA is the oldest congressionally chartered national Veterans service organization in America. It was founded in more than 120 years ago in 1896 by a group of Jewish Civil War Veterans. Their mission is to service our needy US Veterans, support our service men and women on active duty, confront anti-Semitism, honor the memory of fallen comrades and promote patriotism.

I and the rest of the James Patrick Photography team created the SHARE THE LIGHT campaign to partner with a charity and/or non-profit organization and provide creative services to support the organization and expand the visual exposure of their mission. That is why we entitled the program SHARE THE LIGHT. This is critically important to me to help give my services and talents to organizations that can truly benefit form them.

During the 25th Year Anniversary Celebration Ceremony, I set up a photo studio on site and provided portraits for both veterans and volunteers at the organization to visually tell their stories. Each person had the opportunity to be in front of my camera for a few minutes of their time while I worked to make a portrait of them.

This project actually originated two years earlier when I had the pleasure of working with half a dozen Korean War Veterans (including my wife’s grandfather) – several being members of the JWV of the United States Copper State Post 619. Those original photos inspired this new opportunity.

On behalf of the entire James Patrick Photography team, I would like to thank all the volunteers and Veterans of the JWV of the United States – not only for their time they were able to spend with us – but for their truly invaluable service they have provided this country!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Two Events in Arizona You CAN’T MISS!

The James Patrick Photography team is hosting not one, but two events in Arizona THIS WEEKEND that you need to know about.

April 12, 5:30 PM
Scottsdale, AZ
Learn everything you need to grow your creative career
Click here to register

April 13, 4:00 PM
Scottsdale, AZ
Join us FOR FREE to watch the live recording of our 100th podcast episode! Will have special guests as well as a chance for audience to interact with show hosts!
Click here to RSVP

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

How Creative Professionals Can Grow Their Careers

Note: I understand that most of those who read this blog are not photographers, but this is something I truly hope you consider passing on to your favorite photographers!

On Friday, April 12 I am hosted a LIVE WORKSHOP for photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, web designers and videographers all about how to improve their marketing efforts!

We will discuss traditional marketing strategies that still convert, the latest digital marketing efforts that grow an audience and more.

This session is to help creative entrepreneurs get more clients, make more money and get seen more often!


Register here: 

It is time to make 2019 the year you level up your creative career.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

James Patrick Photography 2018 Magazine Covers

2018 Magazine Covers

James Patrick Photography 2018 Magazine CoversIn 2018 I had the pleasure of working on a wide variety of magazine covers for clients including:
• Golf Magazine
• Women’s Running Magazine
• Fitness Magazine
• Modern Fitness Magazine
• and more!

My team and I were fortunate to work with a variety of professional athletes, television stars, models, business owners, actors and even some still art to make these covers happen.

I want to send out my sincerest thanks to the entire James Patrick Photography team for making all these projects a success.

But, most importantly, I want to thank all of our amazing clients, art directors, photo editors and creative leads who gave us these unparalleled opportunities!

Thank you so much – happy New Years and let’s make 2019 even better!

PS… hope you check out my book Fit Business Guide: The Workout Plan for Your Brand available on amazon!

James Patrick

FREE Content to Level Up Your Brand

I consider it my responsibility to share as much information as I can to help my audience in leveling up their careers. Currently I am in the process of developing several new books that I will be releasing for sale, but in the interim I want to provide you all a list of content we have created that you can access entirely for FREE!

Located at:
Since you are receiving this e-mail, you are already signed up, but I have 10 years of articles covering a bevy of topics on personal development, marketing and business strategy online that you can access at anytime!

Located at: FITposium Podcasts as well as iTunes and Google Play Music Store
This weekly podcast covers everything fitness entrepreneurs need to know to get more clients, make more money, get published more often and change more lives. Subscribe and tune in to our weekly episodes.=

Located at FITposium Online Education Network
In addition to our weekly podcast, the FITposium network also has a multitude of video and article features to keep you informed and inspired on moving towards your goals!

Located at:
In this FREE e-book I cover everything you need to know to build successful and lasting relationships with your target clients. You can receive this by signing up for the newsletter at

Located at: How it was Lit Ebook
This is a FREE GUIDE I created for photographers looking to enhance and improve their lighting techniques. The guide covers a variety of lighting set ups, how I created the shots and what readers should know about trying to replicate the styles.

Here are a list of recent podcast features I am interviewed on where I share information on growing and marketing your brand.
Be That 1% Podcast:
Fitness Career Mastery Podcast:

I sincerely am looking forward to your success!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

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

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!

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




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




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




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


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




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




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




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








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

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

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.


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

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 Trick About Inspiration

James Patrick Photography WorkshopEarlier this month I conducted a lighting workshop for a handful of high school students looking to learn about shooting sports and fitness portraits. Over the course of two separate three-hour sessions I discussed as much as I could conjure up on lighting, composition, style, creativity and even marketing.

The thing continued to pop up throughout the day that it became a theme; inspiration. We talked a lot about inspiration, we dissected inspiration and we turned inspiration on every side to examine it in detail.

Many of the students admitted to struggling how to find inspiration and wanted input on where it was and how to mine it to build a career out of it.

I confessed to them that if I only took pictures when I felt inspired to take pictures, I would not have any photos in my portfolio. The trick about inspiration is that it is not found by waiting for it, it is only found when you are already doing the work.

Imagine you worked as an engineer and you only came into the office when you felt inspired to do calculations to develop a new bridge. We would still be waiting on that bridge.

Imagine you worked as a landscaper and you only would approach a customer’s yard design when you felt the inspiration to put all the pieces together. Your very first customer would still be waiting on that design.

I take out my camera a lot. I almost never feel inspired to take it out. But by taking pictures with it, I get inspired. When I start a client’s project I seek inspiration while doing the work. When I engage in a personal campaign, I hunt for inspiration while the work is already being created. Sometimes we cross paths, other times we don’t. But the work still gets done.

Amateurs will wait forever for inspiration. Meanwhile professionals will do the work and if they are lucky and diligent, then perhaps inspiration will strike them. It does not work the other way around.

You want to write a book but are waiting for inspiration? Start writing every single day and maybe you’ll find it.

You want to create a video series to connect people on YouTube but are waiting for inspiration to know what to film? Start filming and posting videos and maybe you’ll find it.

You want to release a training program for clients but are waiting for inspiration to know how to perfectly put it together? Get it together immediately and get it out the door and revise as you go and maybe you’ll find it.

Inspiration only comes to those who do the work.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Behind the Scenes Golf Magazine Style Issue Photo Shoot with Paige Spiranac

Golf Magazine Paige Spiranac Photographed by James PatrickOur team had the exciting opportunity to be a part of the inaugural Golf Magazine Style Issue when we were hired to photograph golfer and model Paige Spiranac. What follows is a detailed account on my approach for this project as well as why making a contingency ended up creating a photo for the magazine.

The shoot began, as many of our projects do, with a detailed discussion with the photo editor (Jesse Reiter) on the publication’s goals with the project and their editorial and creative direction they are hoping to take.

My next step was to compose the team I wanted for the project. This included hiring a stylist for the shoot (Shannon Campbell) who could start pulling clothes immediately for the upcoming project, as well as my in-house team of my production manager and assistant Amber Blom and my hair stylist Amanda Nicole Bland.

From there I arrange a scout to visit the location of the photo shoot, which was the Four Seasons in Scottsdale. Whenever I perform a scout I end up taking a few hundred photos of various areas that jump out at me, including angles and composition I might want to consider – meanwhile sketching out the layout and factoring in potential times and placement of the sun.

After the scout I review my notes and images I took to put together a rough estimate game plan on which areas I want to shoot in and, more specifically, the best times of day I can achieve the shots with where the sun would be in the sky.

I run my shoot concepts and timeline across the magazine photo editor for their input on what they like, dislike or changes they would like to see made. From there I finalize my approach, further sketch out what my plan is for lighting and add in a number of contingencies should anything change.

Day of the shoot we arrived early to unload gear and review our game. The stylist arrived around this time and we were able to go through the various outfits she had pulled for the photo shoot, matching up our favorite outfits with each of the locations we wanted to shoot in – confirming the plan with the on-set editor Jessica Marksbury.

Meanwhile Paige arrived to start hair and makeup and we then headed out to stage the first shot.

Golf Magazine Paige Spiranac Photographed by James PatrickWe began the shoot in the mid-morning on the course photographing Paige doing posed shots with her clubs as well as simulated action shots of her driving the ball from the tee box.

The creative goal with this set was to use the gorgeous landscape the surrounding environment offered us as a contrast from Paige and her bold red outfit.

We completed this portion of the photo shoot using 3 lights. Our main light was outfitted with a beauty dish and diffusion sock for specular but still somewhat soft light. Our two other lights were used as rim lights, each at a 45-degree angle behind Paige helping to separate her from the background.

Paige Spiranac Glamour photo by James PatrickFor the second shot of the day we actually went inside and set up a very moody lit scene in the one of the resort’s restaurant bars. The outfit for this shot was a dark maroon and black dress and the bar itself was finished with a variety of wood accents and unique light bulbs hanging from the ceiling giving it a vintage look.

To capture the mood in this scene, I added a grid to my main softbox on Paige and I placed another grid on a hair light behind her camera left. I did not want any other lights in the scene because I wanted the bar to fall dark and dramatic in the background. I had the idea from this lighting from a fashion shoot I did at a wine bar nearly a decade before – coincidentally the last time I had worked with this stylist, so it all came full circle!

In order to show the lights hanging from the ceiling, I actually had to drag the shutter a bit so they would have some time to burn into the image.

Having this set gave me a nice contrast from the first very bright and colorful set we did.

One of the gems I found when scouting the location was this ice cream cart that was retrofitted to fit this tricycle. I had this has something I really wanted to incorporate into a shot at some point. When I saw the turquoise dress with orange trim and matching heels that the stylist brought – I knew it would be the perfect match.

To light this set I used a big softbox without the grid to give big, soft and vibrant light to the scene. I then used two rim lights to help separate Paige from the background. The bright lights and sharp f-stop I used helped capture not only all the detail in the scene – but also allowed for all the colors to become rich and dominant in the image.

My focus here was on balancing all the colors so that nothing pulled away from Paige and her style in the shot. Thus I kept the shots composed tightly so she took up most of the frame.

Paige Spiranac Fashion photo by James PatrickJust past midday I wanted to shoot atop of this water feature. My goal for this shot was to minimize what was in the frame. I used a low angle to hide most of the desert scape in the horizon so that all the focus would be on this dominant foreground of the water feature, with Paige in the middle of the frame and this rich sky behind her with the sun flaring over her shoulder.

I wanted her to look almost statuesque in the frame as if she was part of the water feature. The silver outfit, with unique pattern, helped add to the vibe in the image.

To make this shot work it was important that her posing match the mood and feel of the overall image. Before each set I would discuss with Paige my vision for that set. This is how we could go from moody and sultry in set 2 to bright, cheerful and carefree in set 3, to stoic and sturdy in set 4. Once I communicated my vision I gave Paige the room to pose and move herself, giving direction to make small changes that I would see fit.

Paige Spiranac Portrait photo by James PatrickThe fourth shot was actually our intended conclusion for the photo shoot and the time when we were supposed to release Paige to the video crew to do her on-camera interview for the web portion of the feature. However, we were just a few minutes ahead of schedule, thanks to everyone who worked quickly and efficiently, and I saw something that I just absolutely had to capture.

Right behind me as I was doing the fourth shot was this semi-shaded walkway made from a pergola-esc configuration tree trunks. I had listed this as a potential contingency location in case one of the other shots did not pan out.

However there was something happening in that moment that I did not see when I did the scout. The sun was shining right through the pergola creating a series of beams of light.

I pleaded with the entire crew on set to allow me 5 quick minutes to make one last picture that they would not regret. I got the green light and moved quickly.

Paige was to wear a white tank top in her video interview. I asked her to grab the black leather jacket the stylist had brought and throw it on.

I positioned her so that the sunlight beam was right over her eyes. I used a beauty dish to fill in the shadows slightly and added in one right light camera right.

After just a few frames I had the shots I loved and set the camera down.

That very shot was one of the ones that made it prominently into the magazine spread.

My sincerest thanks goes out to everyone on set and off who helped make this a successful fashion campaign for the first ever Golf Magazine style issue. This shoot was everything I could hope for in a team effort as a creative.

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 24-70 f2.8 L Series Lens
Canon 70-200 f2.8 L Series Lens
Canon 17-40 f4.0 L Series Lens
Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 Strobes
Paul C. Buff Vagabond Battery Packs
Paul C. Buff Octabox & Beauty Dish
Elinchron Rotalux Deep Octa

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto