Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

The New Industry


I entered this industry at the forefront of a pivotal and crucial shift in how the roles of both photographers and models were and would be defined.

To be a photographer with the older formula required a significant financial investment, lengthy training and the prerequisite of working up through the system to slowly carve out a client base.

Alternatively to be a model one had to spend the significant resources to build a highly reputable and marketable portfolio, get picked up by an agent who was willing to champion their work and spend a great deal of their time going to auditions to earn the right to get projects.

As a result there used to be a very finite and limited number of professional photographers and models. It was an exclusive and somewhat elite career path with a high barrier for entry.

Today that all has changed. To be a photographer all you really are required to do is have a camera (a cheap one will suffice) and a computer. To be a model you can simply post a profile online with a mix of selfies and photos a friend took of you in a park. All either side has to do is check the box to indicate they have lots of experience and they can be off to the running in attempts to get work.

The cost to create has essentially become zero. Anyone can be a model, anyone can be a photographer, anyone can be a publisher.

The overly abundant influx of participants in the industry has diluted the work on both sides. With so many posing as professionals willing to work for far less than going rates – it has dried up a lot of revenue sources. For example, publications pay far less (if any) than they previously used to. It has also made it a great deal harder to stand out. With so many in the marketplace claiming to do the same thing it creates a great deal of noise that must me filtered out.

Although it is easier than ever to claim to be a photographer or a model – the truth is that it is harder than ever to work professionally as one.

However – all this industry congestion and technology changes has led to a tremendous upside. I truly believe that there has never been a better time to be a part of this industry. The crowded market has meant that a lot of professionals have had to dig deep to truly come up with innovative and ingenious ways to grow, market and define their business. It has allowed true visionaries to rise above and thrive in an industry they would have been excluded from previously.

We all now have the ability to go behind the common definition of what constitutes a professional model or photographer. This is our opportunity to direct the industry to new and exciting places.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto

FITposium Returns

Save_The_Date_IG_1017I am so very excited to announce that FITposium 2015 is happening on October 17, 2015. The location will be the Holiday Inn in Mesa, Arizona.

Be sure to put the date in your calendars now!

The full day conference will feature a variety of speakers (to be announced soon) teaching you:
– How to establish your brand as a fitness model
– How to market your brand as a fitness model
– How to pitch to magazines
– How to profit as a fitness entrepreneur!

More details as well as registration is coming soon as well as our new website.

Thanks so much!

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