Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

What Does TFP Mean to a Professional?

James Patrick Photography landscape photoIt doesn’t happen often, but every now and then a model will send me a message to inquire if I am willing to offer them a TFP photo shoot. Their responses vary slightly calling it “Trade for Print” or “Time for Print” or “Trade for Photos” but the gist is always the same – they are inquiring if I am willing to give them a photo shoot at no cost.

My response, albeit slightly snarky, is unwavering. “Okay, you get photos, what are you trading me?”

Typically a bit surprised or taken back they reply with “Well, you get the photos too.”

But I always get the photos. Regardless if I charge someone or not, I still get the photos. As a photographer I own copyright of anything I photograph as soon as my finger clicks the shutter button. So why, as a professionally, would I forgo making money in exchange for getting someone I would have already which is the rights to use the photos?

I get and understand that amateurs may be willing to hire professionals or trade with others to grow their portfolios. I did that when I started. But here is the key – they are getting images they are not presently being hired for.

When someone contacts me and asks for a trade, they are asking me to give images that thousands of others are already paying me for. Why would I offer that for free, ever? How does it ever benefit me?

Images I am willing to shoot without payment, more often than not, don’t really involve models at all. I started a personal campaign of photographing portraits of veterans. There is no exchange of finances – but I am doing work that satisfies the artistic side of me. When I go camping and make images of the scenic landscapes I find, once again there is no exchange of revenue. I am just making images I could not otherwise.

I am not saying I will never, or have never, given a free photo shoot to a model. But there has to be something in it for me to make it a trade. If the model is getting photos, what is the photographer getting? Offering what I get anyway is not the solution. It is like one kid asking to trade baseball cards with another but really just wants to get more cards and give none.

So what are you offering? Quick hint, it is not offering sexier images. That is a sure-fire way to get your e-mail deleted. If that works on a photographer – I’d encourage you to be worried at their motives.

Perhaps offer a style of photography they want to try but never have that you could provide for them. If that doesn’t work – consider just paying them for the images you personally want.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

Understanding the Value of Your Images

James Patrick PortfolioLast week I received an e-mail from an South Africa based music company who wanted the rights to use an image I did of a model for a 20-minute workout track they were releasing.

The e-mail noted that my “photographs are amazing” and that they would credit me for all posts on social media and would send me a mockup of the advertisement they were going to create with my work on it for approval.

What they did not know is that the model already had received and showed me the concept they created. What this told me is that they were already invested enough into my image to have their designer create the mockup. This provided me even more leverage in the negotiating process.

I responded to let them know I had already seen the mockup and loved the work they had already done on it and I would be please to sell them the rights to use the image. I then provided them two different pricing options. The first was a three-year release for them to use the image non-exclusively for online posts only. The second was also a three-year release for them to use the image non-exclusively, but for an upcharge they could use the image in both print as well as online.

Their response was slightly offended. They repeated the dollar value and exclaimed how high it seemed to use the image online. They then followed that with how they have photographers there willing to give them images at no cost.

My reply back was a single sentence, “then you should definitely use them.”

There are several very important things to consider in this exchange.

First, ironically, they originally were so confident that by simply tagging me or putting my credit on the photo that the “exposure” I would get from their using my image for free would be worth its weight in gold. Yet when I asked them to put their own skin in the game by paying for the image, they jumped back. Apparently they don’t believe in their own abilities to drive exposure anymore now that they have to pay for what they are using. In this scenario they wanted all the benefit without ever having to incur a cost.

Second, what did I lose by not letting the image go away for free? Nothing. I still own the image and the rights, if I want, to sell it elsewhere. Allowing someone to have that image and use it commercially (as they intended to do) devalues what anyone else might be willing to give for that image.

Third, did I miss out on any exposure opportunities? Highly doubtful. A lot of clients love to use the word exposure but what does that really mean? I don’t see much potential in their South African audience of music fans seeing the image, wanting to know who took the image, following me and then hiring me. Even if it got me a few extra followers on social media, they probably wouldn’t be followers that would hire me – so not very helpful.

Fourthly, even if I would get exposure from it, if I got paid for it then it is a double win. Why forgo a paycheck for the slim potential of exposure?

How does this relate to models, particularly in the fitness industry? There are so many commercial outlets that are beginning to use your images and so many models are willing to let the images go at no cost – only to see in hindsight that it never helped them, never assisted in growing their business, never aided in the development of their brand.

Every image you and a photographer have together has a dollar value that some clients are willing to pay for. Allowing it to go for free just so you can say you appeared in an advertisement that is about a product and service, not about you, does not equate to a sustainable business model.

Unlike an editorial feature, which would be about you and your brand, an advertisement is about what the company is selling – and what they are selling is not you.

Another scenario I had was about two years ago where a company, which released some herbal supplement wanted to use one of my images on their product label. I gave them a quote and they instead went with a photographer who was willing to give it to them for free.

The model was happy at the time, till now two years later she has never received a penny from the usage and her brand is exactly where it was back then. The photographer also got nothing from it except the illusion of exposure. The company however, they made profit by selling the newly labeled product.

There was a winner in that – but it was not the photographer, nor the model.

Your images have a value. The more a company wants to use them, the more impression they want to have with them, the more the images are worth.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

How to Strengthen Client Relationships

I hope you were not expecting a magic formula in this article because I would hate to disappoint you.

Developing successful client relationships comes down to four very straight forward principles.

  1. Know the client’s needs and wants
  2. Demonstrate your value to the client
  3. Deliver, and even over deliver to them
  4. Stay in touch

Thus the key to strengthening any relationship is the fourth one, saying in touch. Stay in touch with your clients. What is new with them? What else are they working on? What is going on in their lives.

I cannot count the number of projects I’ve received simply by sending a past client a message to see what is new with them.

Stay in touch.

James Patrick, ACG, ALB
IG @jpatrickphoto

The Seven Deadly Sins of Pitching

  1. Ego (also known as Pride)

When you pitch and you focus more on yourself instead of caring about what is important to the magazine, their staff and their readers. This occurs when your pitch is entirely self-focused as opposed to relating it to why it matters to the magazine and the readership.

  1. Shotgun Approach (also known as Greed)

This is when you take the same basic pitch and send it off to a handful of publications without ever customizing it and making it personal to a direct target. It is so transparent to publication editors when this is done and it is a great way to get your pitch ignored. Tailor what you are sending and whom you are sending it to. Have a narrow focus as opposed to attempting a wide spread in a small amount of time.

  1. Restricting the Pitch (also known as Lust)

It is dangerous to believe you are too good for a smaller feature. If your goal truly is to help a publication while getting yourself some exposure then you would welcome any opportunity that presented itself as opposed to expecting or demanding a cover, for example.

  1. Being a Hater (also known as Envy)

Don’t get upset when others get the feature you wanted. Realize that perhaps they had a better pitch, pitched earlier or have a stronger relationship with the magazine. Use it as a sign to set up your efforts even more to earn the features you get.

  1. Overpitching (also known as Gluttony)

Although greed and gluttony have similar characteristics, overpitching happens when you try to replicate the same story or content in various publications. All this does it make you look like a self-consumed glutton.

  1. Being Overly Aggressive (also known as Wrath)

It is completely acceptable to follow up on your pitches to magazine editors or to pitch new content on a regular basis, perhaps monthly. However you should not be contacting editors several times a week or being overly aggressive in calling and e-mailing. Be respectful of their time.

  1. Not pitching at all (also known as Sloth)

The one guarantee that your pitch won’t get picked up is if you never actually send it out! Put it together and click send.

James Patrick, ACG, ALB
IG @jpatrickphoto

The 10 Minute Photo Shoot

Sam FoxI recently had the opportunity to work with business owner and entrepreneur Sam Fox for an editorial spread in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine. For those outside of Arizona, Mr. Fox owns Fox Restaurant Concepts and is responsible for the launch of such fantastic eateries in Arizona such as North, Blanco, Zin Burger, True Food Kitchen and Olive and Ivy to name a few.

Often times when we are working with a business owner or a professional athlete we may not get a great deal of time to make a lot of pictures.

That is why we plan as much as we can before hand to make sure we maximize every minute we have on set with the subject.

For our shoot with Mr. Fox we were working at his test kitchen in Phoenix. Before the day of the photo shoot I already planned out how I wanted to light my subject using a small deep octa for a soft, rich light with a fast fall off and potentially a backlight with a warming gel on it.

I arrived to the location with my assistant early to scout the test kitchen. We found a large kitchen area with a stainless steel counter top. Behind that was a bookshelf made from white planks of wood. I thought that made a cute backdrop given his profession.

We set up the lights and I began to test the shoot from a few different angles. Originally I planned the shoot with the stove and ranges in the background. However because we had enough time to test I found another set up I really liked using the bookcase as a background slightly out of focus.

By the time Mr. Fox came down for the shoot we had all the lights set up for the two shots, metered and ready to go.

At that point it allowed me the opportunity to connect with the subject, something I like to do before I start snapping away photos. The goal is to help them feel comfortable on set so they can open up on camera.

Once I believed he was ready to go my assistant and I worked quickly shooting the two set ups we had planned out completing the entire project in a little less than 10 minutes and right before Mr. Fox had to head off to his next meeting.

The planning we did before hand as well as the set up and testing prior to him getting to set allowed us to achieve this.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

The Secret to Success

I’ve kept this topic chambered for many years fearing that my audience would be unable to handle the true secret to success. This method is applicable to the trajectory of your career as a model, photographer, stylist, or whatever it is you choose to spend your time doing. Consider this the revealing recipe for your potential proficiency.

Located deep within the thickest woods of the Appalachian Mountains there exists this cottage built of stone and wood. Inside this distressed adobe exists an elixir kept forever warm as it sits atop a small inextinguishable fire. One sip of this potion of prosperity will yield an abundant supply of success for the rest of your life.

When I speak to high school students I am asked what the secret of success is as if it were only a potion you could digest or a simple parlor trick you could perform.

The truth is much less glamorous and far less mystical.

You have to do the work everyday to get to where you want to go. Do you want to be a prominent photographer? Then you must put in the hours, do the work and maybe you will have the opportunity to have a small taste of success. Don’t count on luck or the generosity of someone simply handing it to you.

Do the work.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

45 Covers and Counting

1453458_1075657865797976_5069063720462182761_nA lot can happen in five years. Entire industries can evolve, change, shift, rotate, adapt. Myself personally I managed to buy a house, make friends, lose other friends, leave my corporate job, launch my own business, launch a few other businesses, close some businesses, write a few e-books, host a few events, the list goes on. Yet since the beginning of 2011 I have had the opportunity to work with Max Sports & Fitness Magazine on 45 of their cover assignments and nearly countless interior features.

As the magazine celebrates the publishing of their 200th issue, I could not help but to reflect on the quarter of their cover assignments I worked on for them.

My first cover with the magazine is still one of my favorites as it symbolizes the beginning of a great working relationship with the magazine but also the subject, Registered Dietician Tiffani Bachus. The shoot was done at her house where I set up a mobile studio to photograph the cover as well as the interior workout circuit. I recall being nervous as it was my first big assignment with the magazine and I wanted to make sure I covered every base I possibly could. I probably overshot by a few hundred frames – but I left the shoot feeling confident we achieved something strong. Since that issue came out in February of 2011 I have had the ability to collaborate with Tiffani on numerous editorial projects as well as co-emceeing an event together in 2015.

Several of the covers our team had the chance to work on even went on to win some awards including the cover shoot we did with NFL cornerback Jamell Fleming and dancer and personal trainer Michelle Leigh Mozek.

For the July 2012 issue I woke up at about 4 in the morning after working till midnight the day before to meet with Danielle Pascente to photograph the magazine’s runner’s issue at sunrise.

For the May of 2014 issue I had the privilege of working with professional golfer and model Blair O’Neal in which we got to work at one of the most beautiful country clubs in the state.

Later that year in 2014 we got to launch the first ever Max Sports & Fitness Magazine fitness swimsuit issue which we have continued doing annually since.

In the September 2013 issue we got to work with fitness talent Marcus Johnson on an MMA spread photographing in a gym that was so hot inside that our lights began to misfire towards the end of the shoot.

For the October 2014 cover I had the opportunity to work with military veteran and amputee Derek Weida.

In the July of 2013 we hung fitness talent Deborah Goodman upside down for a rock climber inspired photo shoot.

In February of 2014 issue I got to gather together several cover models I had worked with previously for a large group shoot. These included Michelle Leigh Mozek, Kasie Rae, Tiffani Bachus, Gyda Loveres, Shandi Hudson and Morgan Tran.

The list of memories and fun projects goes on an on. There were projects that went splendidly and projects that drove us crazy with anger and disappointment. We had talents who surprised us so much we put them on a cover as soon as we could. We had other talents who were so rude they were yanked from their features before they even know they had them. We got to have long lead times planning certain features and short turn around times to scramble and put something creative together.

But the most important element of my experience in working with Max was the relationships that were formed.

The truth is – having tenure of that length can be rare in the publishing industry. Art Directors or photo editors change jobs, the magazine decides to go a different direction, the publishers decide to spread the work around. However we’ve been truly fortunate to earn a relationship that yielded us all the projects we’ve received.

For all 45 covers and all the interiors features I had the opportunity to work with Editor in Chief and Creative Director LaRue Gillespie. I truly could not have been blessed with a better client. The type of client who believes in myself and my team, challenges us, pushes us, supports us and collaborates with us. My sincerest thanks goes out to LaRue. I am ready for the next 200 working with you in any capacity!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

FITposium is This Weekend

This is your final chance to register for the FITposium conference at the $99 rate. The walk in rate will be $129 at the event unless it is already sold out!

Saturday October 17
Mesa, AZ
Doors Open @ 7am
Conference Begins promptly at 8am

Get your registration in now at to hear speakers such as Lori Harder, Kim Dolan Leto, James Patrick, Dave Dreas, Sarah Lyons, Felicia Romero and more discuss what you need to know about turning an interest in the fitness industry into a career!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

FITposium Unofficial Registration Open

Fitposium2015-LOGOFITposium is being hosted on October 17, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona and will feature a variety of speakers discussing three pillars of how to be a successful fitness talent, fitness model and fitness entrepreneur.

1 – How to establish your brand

2 – How to market your brand (including pitching to magazines)

3 – How to profit from your brand

The website for FITposium will be live within a week as will online registration.

However you can pre-register now directly through me (respond to this e-mail) or e-mail me at james [at] jamespatrick [dot] com

Early bird registration is only $69 for the full day conference. Buy your seat now before the price jumps up!

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto