The fact that this article just so happens to fall onto the week of Thanksgiving is one of those happy coincidences in life.

Years ago I was working as an assistant to another photographer on a day-long photo shoot. It was one of those long, intense, outdoor shoots with non-stop movement and a pretty hefty list of shots that had to be made.

Throughout the day I don’t remember stopping from setting up equipment, breaking it down and then setting it up again on the next shot. I was even having to climb on things and hold lights as if I was the light stand. Basically all the things I put my team through on a regular basis which I am absolutely certain they adore me for.

After the shoot was over I was packing up all the gear and ready for a cold beer and a couch to lay on – the client came up to the photographer and thanked him for all his hard work during the shoot and how he made the shoot such a success.

He replied with gratitude for the opportunity and then commented that the shoot went so well because of the great help he had and how thankful he was that I was on set – as he motioned to me.

Although I was intensely fatigued from the day – there could not have been a more uplifting way to end it.

Flash forward a few years and my assistant Jason and I were working on a project. Once again – I’m certain I was putting Jason through the standard gauntlet of duties. At the end of the shoot the client actually went over and thanked him for all his efforts during the shoot. That gratitude and appreciation went a long way.

Recognition (whether it is from a client, a boss or even a colleague) can enhance motivation and drive. Also the value of being thankful can help build trust and rapport. Take, for example, these two statements. Which resonates to you more as someone you would like to work with?

OPTION A: All of my hard work and dedication has paid off, as I am now on the cover of this magazine. Check it out!

OPTION B: I just made it onto the cover of this magazine. Thank you so much to the editor who chose me and to the photographer and his team for the shoot!

In our work – we’ve seen both options happen. Not that it is a prerequisite or a requirement that everyone responsible receives thanks on a project; but they do notice when they don’t.

That is exactly why in in first published book, and the new one I have coming out soon, I made sure to list out as many people as I could who have helped me along the way. From my team who do an amazing job at making my projects run smoothly and push me to do even better work, to the series of fantastic mentors I’ve had, to the support I’ve had from both my family and friends. I’ve even gone so far as to thank people who I don’t necessarily care for as they have motivated me in ways I could not have anticipated.

Who has assisted you in the pursuit and achievement of your goals? And are they aware of the impact they have had in your progress and journey?

James Patrick
Instagram @jpatrickphoto
Twitter @jpphotography