I like working with fitness talent Allen Elliott. I had the opportunity to work with him in Los Angeles last year, and then he flew out to Arizona and we shot the cover and three month’s worth of workout spreads for a publication. He is outstanding on camera and extremely prepared for the projects he takes on. But that is not the only reason I like working with him.

I like working with Danielle Pascente as well. She was one of the first fitness talents I ever had on camera and in several years we have racked up a long list of tear sheets and multiple covers. She is always in top shape, in great spirits and brings fantastic energy to set. But that is not the only reason I like working with her.

I like working with Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty. The owners of Fit Mom Diet are extremely professional and some of the hardest working people I know! They are motivating, inspiring and (of course) outstanding on camera. But that is not the only reason I like working with them.

The common reason I like working with Allen Elliott, Danielle Pascente, Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty is that they all share the nearly lost art of humbleness. They never make themselves out to be “too good” nor “too important” – even if they actually in fact might be. They show gratitude for where they are and for those that they have worked with along their journey.  There is no sign of false integrity or a facade of their true personality.

It is the reason I work repeatedly with these and many other talents that would take far too long to list in a blog post. I love to see great things happen to these people.

A personal reflection… I’ve worked with this one art director for many years. We are on a very casual basis and can be very laid back in our communication together or even how we act towards each other onset. That said, if I ever create something that is not up to their expectations of me and my work – they will not hesitate to let me know. And never for a moment do I ever forget what my responsibilities are to them and how I need to constantly work to continually earn their business. The key word being “earn.”

Thus, when a talent sends me a message essentially yelling at me because a magazine I work with has chosen against photographing them for an upcoming cover, I admit that I am nearly at a loss for words. The reason being that the talent was previously featured on a cover with this publication, and the editorial decision of the magazine was to try to seek out new faces as often as possible.

When situations like this arise, my initial feeling is that many of these false facades will eventually crack and true personas will show through. In the long run, it is the genuine individuals, the ones who earn their opportunities, the ones who are still humbled and the ones who truly deserve it, who will receive the best business.

James Patrick