I received a text message yesterday from a photographer I have never heard of. In the message was a photo he did at the recent Arnold Sports Festival inquiring if I wanted to buy or use the photo.

I responded, confused, asking who he was and why he was texting me.

He assumed I was the editor of Iron Man Magazine and was wanting me to publish the photo in the magazine – not sure how he got that assumption.

Now, putting aside how insane it seems to text a complete stranger a photo and ask if they want to buy it – I was stunned at his lack of research. I asked how he got my number and assumed I was the editor of the magazine.

His response was “On Internet.”

I let him know that I was not the editor of the magazine and that I was a photographer. I can only assume he saw work I did for the publication and never looked closer to see who I was and what I did. Just pulled my phone number off my website and texted away.

Then he took it a step further. He asked if I knew the editor – wanting me to connect him. At this point I was overwhelmed with awe.

What an amazing concept! If only I had grown my business by going around and just asking complete strangers to introduce me to the clients I wanted to work with. No need spending countless hours research and learning about clients, developing relationships and earning the right to get work. No – all I needed to do this whole time was text complete strangers and ask them to introduce me to get me in.

My response was simply “Seriously I encourage you to do your research before you go texting people. You’ll have to contact [editor’s name] yourself.”

Do the research. Do the work.

James Patrick
intsagram @jpatrickphoto