Judging a Book By its Cover

Our parents have tried to instill upon us that we are not to judge a book by its cover. Perhaps they meant this literally as we would go through a library or bookstore and want to grab the flashiest looking book. But they also meant it metaphorically by not judging others by how they appear.

But to the literally meaning I have to ask the question, if we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, then why do books have covers? Why did publishers hire cover designers? Why did they pay cover photographers? If we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover – why are the best books or magazines on the shelves placed with the cover facing out instead of the spine?

In my own career I’ve photographed literally hundreds of magazine covers. Why would I get hired to shoot as many covers as I have and be paid what I was paid if the cover did not matter?

The reality is, we do not live in a utopian society. We will by nature always judge a book by its cover. What that means is we will always judge people based upon what they show us.

Thus, how you present yourself is important. You showing up on time is important. You showing up often is important. You showing up as a professional is important. How you display yourself online is important. The things you say are important.

If most people never get past the cover you are showcasing – the question becomes are you showing a cover worth looking further into, or are you showing a cover that people will just pass up?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

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