I woke up Wednesday morning and the internet at my house was running atrociously slow. I called my internet service provider twice to talk to two somewhat condescending tech supporters who at the end simply blamed it on my old modem, which although worked perfectly 8 hours ago, was now passed the end of its life. I asked both of them if there was any other service issues in my area which could explain this. They both assured me that was not the case and this was just my problem. Evidently I couldn’t possible be tech savvy enough to understand the complexities of their job.

So after agreeing to a new installation I went Christmas shopping and on my way home I saw a service truck from the internet provider driving through my neighborhood. Thinking that seemed peculiar I checked my modem when I got home and sure enough it was not receiving any signal at all.

I called my service provider a third time, only this time I got an automated message saying there were service issues in my area which was why people were experiences outages.

A few things to note.

First, my last name is pronounced Patrick, not Potreach, as one of them pronounced it.

Second, of course I was right. My intuition on situations is almost always right and just one time I would love to be wrong to somewhat justify how these tech support staff talked down to me.

So aside from the much needed vent, thank you for that, there are some takeaway lessons here. You, as a model are more than just a talent just like I am more than just a photographer. We are all in the business of solving problems.

People don’t just hire me because they need someone with a camera. They hire me because they need images that will help them as a model book work, or help their company sell their product or service, or help the magazine staff get their publication picked up off the self more than their competitors. These are the problems I help solve.

You as a model are in the business of solving your client’s problems and it is key to recognize what your clients actually need beyond their surface request.

Another way to look at it is using the analogy of medicine. You don’t just want to alleviate symptoms, you want it to cure and restore health.

Imagine if when you spoke to people you hired, they didn’t just try to reduce the symptoms – but to actually fix your problems. Sadly, I see that direction heading the wrong way. Let us all hope that is one thing I am wrong about.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto