Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes at the So Scottsdale Magazine Fashion Shoot

It is Monday morning and for the first time in a long time I am not feeling like I am frantically working to meet a deadline or trying to check off completed tasks from an ongoing list. Instead, this morning, I am relaxing with a cup of coffee and an excited anticipation for the holidays where I get to enjoy quality time with family and loved ones.

About this time every year I perform an annual review of what went well this year and what could have gone better. I did this prior to setting my goals for the new year so I have some frame of reference for a starting point.

I will say up front, that I encourage you (after reading through this of course) to share your comments on how you felt your 2011 went in relation to your personal and professional goals.

By sharing these, it keeps us accountable for what we strive to achieve. It can prevent us from becoming too dismayed and encourage us to push harder! So here it is:

HOW I DID IN 2011 (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

In Photography my goals including obtaining multiple national and international clients, developing an enhanced marketing and press kit, as well as having the opportunity to work on multiple publication covers and spreads.

I’m pleased to announce that in 2011 I had 29 magazine covers published. I had work appear internationally in South Africa, the UAE, New Zealand and Canada. I increased the number of national publications I had work appear in to include Oxygen Magazine and Iron Man Magazine. In Arizona, I strengthen my relationships and level of work with local publications for a bevy of strong features. I had the opportunity to work with NBA Star Channing Frye, pole vaulter April Steiner Bennett, US fencer Natalie Vie, Miss Arizona Rachelle McCray and author Brenda Warner. With fitness talent Kim Dolan Leto, I had three magazine covers (including the South Africa Fitness Magazine cover). I also had three covers with registered dietician and fitness talent Tiffani Bachus. My work also was published as far as New Zealand appearing in their Fitness Magazine. Some of the exciting projects I got to work on included my first fashion spread (and cover) in several years as well as a water themed photo shoot (in which I learned what happens when you mix together water and electric powered photo equipment). Other positives including winning two ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation Tucson Chapter, as well as booking my largest commercial project to date. I was also able to increase the size of my company from one to three employees. For math nerds like me; that is a 300% growth! I also had a lot of significant updates to my website, adding a lot of behind the scenes videos and soon to launch testimonial pages.

On the downside, I did not get into video production as much as I wanted to. One of my goals was to begin to film a documentary series which I’ve had to put on the backburner now for too many years. Also I had a few too many last minute cancellations or no-shows from bookings; teaching me (yet again) the importance of having down payments in my work.

In Public Speaking, my biggest goal was to speak at a national conference as well as obtain my Advanced Communicator Silver and Advanced Communicator Gold awards from Toastmasters International.

In June I did speak at the SDA National Conference in Charleston. I also spoke at FMI Los Angeles and FMI Arizona in 2011. Another booking including speaking to SAAEMA in November. I had a demo reel filmed for my presentations which is now on my website. I did obtain my ACS award but have not yet obtained my ACG award from Toastmasters.

I also set goals for Health as well as Family and Friends.

With health, I’ve drastically improved my diet and physique from this time last year, losing somewhere around 25 pounds of excess fat. I’ve cut out most unnecessary foods and focused on cleaner eating. I’ve also begun the process of training to do a men’s physique competition in March 2012. With my family and friends, I’ve opened up a lot more time to spend with both (where I am not distracted by work). I have a weekly dinner with my family and now a weekly get together with a group of friends. Doing this allows my mind to refresh itself before I go back into a work frenzy. One of my goals was to take more personal trips, which unfortunately I did not do.


I had another category of goals for learning, growth and development. These included reading 30 books, studying lighting and composition as well as posing techniques as well as additional post production techniques.

Perhaps 30 books was far too ambitious. I managed 20 but did learn a lot of new ideas when it came to photography lighting as well as posing and post production.


Another goal category was in writing in which I was going to write at least 12 articles for various blogs or publications.

I am happy to say that I about doubled that requirement writing for multiple blogs and magazines on topics such as marketing, personal branding and development. I also have maintained my own blog (which is now hosted on my website) with a new article every Monday.


My last category of goals related to my position as President of Ad2 Tucson (in which my one-year term ended in July of this year).

By the end of my term, the board of directors and I had grown the organization larger than it had ever been in the 5-year history as well as closing out our terms with the largest hosted event we have ever done (with nearly 130 attendees). It was one of my favorite projects to be a part of this past year.


In other areas, I am so happy to be a part of the new podcast TheProExposure in which I get to work with my good friends and colleagues Jason Black and Kimberly Miller.

I also noticed I was suffering from far too much fatigue this year. Thus in the new year it will be a stronger focus on the balance between my personal and professional life.

I can say it was one of my hardest but most accomplished years. I learned a lot about:

…The importance of taking risks

…Breaking large goals into smaller chunks

…Of launching whatever I set out to do

…The important of marketing personalities in a creative industry

…The value of collaboration and great colleagues

…The irreplaceable support of family

…And to never compromise on your vision


Please comment on what you thought went well or what could have been improved in 2011.

Thank you!

James Patrick