What We Should Earn

Many feel obligated to have a strong social media presence. I need a Facebook page because everyone else has one. I need to post progress photos because everyone else is, or updates on my workout plans, or documenting my meal prep or feign attempts to be relatable to an “audience” I think is paying attention.

Last week I ran an experiment. I posted my Tuesday blog a day late and I did not post my Friday blog at all. In sum I received two e-mails and a few text messages wondering what was happening. I ran the same experiment about two years ago with similar results.

You must ask yourself and answer honestly. If you didn’t tweet, post or share tomorrow – would anyone miss you? Honestly. Would they notice?

If the answer is yes, then you’ve earned the most valuable thing you can online – you’ve earned their attention. Treat it with the highest level of respect you can offer.

However, if the honest answer is that most people just accept you as part of their mindless stream of content they see online, occasionally clicking LIKE but never getting engaged, then you didn’t stand out. You would be forgotten.

So the goal is not to mass a stream of mindless likes or followers but instead to engage an audience who, if you didn’t show up, would miss you. This is accomplished by finding out what your audience wants to see from you and deliver it to them.

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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Resources for Models

I wanted to share with you all a few various resources for your review and consideration to assist you in your career journey.

First off, for subscribers of this blog – Thank you! I work hard to develop new content twice a week for your consumption. This has included free manifestos, exclusive interviews, industry news and regular marketing tips on how to build a successful talent career.

Secondly, if you have not yet, I truly hope you check out my new e-book at www.fitmodelguide.com You can learn everything you need to know on how to get published in the fitness industry within 48 hours. It includes interviews with various magazine editors, highly published fitness models, communication experts and more!

Thirdly, The Pro Exposure podcast is going strong with now 55 free episodes all about information and inspiration to success in the talent industry. Check it out as it includes interviews with magazine editors, photographers, fitness entrepreneurs, models and more! You can use the link above to check out the website – or you can go to iTunes and search “The Pro Exposure” to download and listen through there.

Thank you again for your continued support! There are more resources in the works!

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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The Best Defense

Twice in the past month I heard the following:

“I mentioned that I was going to do pictures with you and they didn’t want me to.”

It was in relation to a personal trainer who was encouraging their clients not to work with me. It was nothing slanderous – just simply that anyone they trained should not hire me.

If you are in business long enough – you will upset someone – especially as a modeling talent. It is bound to happen. Perhaps it is a fellow model who doesn’t care for your recent string of success. Maybe it is someone else who doesn’t appreciate your bold approach to your work. Either way – it will happen at some point. Here is how you can handle it by using the best defense you have – your work and your clients.

My response to this situation was pretty straight forward. It was not to get mad and fight back, trash talking the personal trainer – no one will ever benefit from that drama. Instead it was a to state the following.

It is unfortunate that they chose to tell their clients this – it is something I cannot change and I am sorry you had that happen to you. If you are interested in working with me – I would happily make it happen. However if you have any concerns about working together then I encourage you to simply contact anyone who has ever hired me before, anyone, and ask them about their experience.

I can say this because I am completely confident that you will hear about a positive experience – not a negative one.

My question to the personal trainer is this – would your previous clients say the same about you?

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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June 2014 Featured Talent Meaghan Terzis

I realize we are a few weeks behind on our monthly featured talent article – but I think you will forgive the delay with the great interview we have to share with you.

It was earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet and work with Meaghan Terzis who came out to Arizona from Canada to work with our team.

Over two days we created a wide variety of exciting and athletic imagery and recently got featured on the cover of Natural Muscle Magazine together.

Below, I discuss with Meaghan a bit about how she developed her brand, ways in which she markets herself to publications and her advice to other talents looking to take a similar path. Hope you enjoy!

James Patrick: How do you differentiate your brand from other fitness talents in the industry?
Meaghan Terzis: I feel that I differentiate myself from other fitness talents in this industry in many ways. One being that I always stay true to myself and the image I portray. I try not to pay too much attention to what everyone else is  doing. I do my own thing and do what’s right for me. Just by being me, I set myself apart from others. I am a mother of two and my biggest audience are my children. I want them to look at me as a role  model and be proud of me and all of my accomplishments. Therefore my image has always represented fun, fresh and healthy fitness. I practice what I preach, this is my lifestyle.  There is no off season or extreme dieting, just hard work and having  balance in all aspects of my life.

JP: What do you do to market yourself to publications?
MT: When it comes to marketing myself to publications I really have to take a chance and put myself out there. First I research the magazines and publications I want to work with.  I choose which ones represent my image and my brand. Once I know what publications I want to submit to and work with, I put together an email consisting of a well written bio of myself, photos of past published work ie: covers, adds, and workout features. I also send my most recent work or photos to show how my physique looks at the present time.

JP: You’ve earned a few media features so far in your career. How do you leverage previous print work you’ve gotten for further marketing of your brand.
MT: All of my published work I have done I am very proud of. From work out spreads to fitness features, to covers. I am always using social network to market myself and my brand by posting all of my work on my pages and sites. I feel that by posting my work and images I keep my audience engaged, it keeps my name out there and helps me to book future projects with photographers and magazines.

JP: Why is being in the media important to your brand development?
MT: Being in the media is very important to my brand development as I am my own agent. I have to keep my name and face out there. I have to be constantly keeping things fresh by posting new images and new work. It’s about keeping people and my audience interested and engaged and building my fan base and followers naturally. Being in the media helps me book new jobs and new projects. It helps me to build contacts and relationships with photographers, magazines and editors and in this industry.

JP: How do you go about selecting the right people to work with such as photographers?
MT: When it comes to selecting the right people to work with, especially photographers, I do a ton of research and ask myself these questions. Do they have a website? Have they been published with magazines and publications I want to work with? Do their images represent  my brand and image I portray? Once they have answered yes to all my questions, its a great time to shoot them an email or a phone call. I personally like to speak with photographers as I get a sense of who they are and vice versa. This helps to keep the communication lines open for both of us. It is almost like an interview to make sure that you are the right fit to work together.

JP: What are the ways in which you market yourself and your brand?
MT: I market myself through social networking, through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I am a sponsored athlete with Almax Nutrition and the face of flxyoga. Both of these companies promote me and market me as well through social networking, websites and advertisements. I stay involved in the community and have been featured in many local newspapers and magazines. I have also been very lucky to have worked with some amazing photographers that help market me and my brand to publications and help get my images and name out there in the industry.

JP: Biggest lessons you’ve learned thus far in the health and fitness industry?
MT: The biggest lessons I have learned thus far in this industry are taking risks and putting myself out there. I used to think things would just fall in my lap and that jobs would just come to me, but as we all know we don’t get anywhere in life by just sitting around. You have to take the bull by the horn and work hard to make things happen. With doing this I have learned to deal with rejection and criticism. Not everyone is going to like your image and in this industry people can be opinionated. I know you can’t please everyone and that’s ok. You need to just shake it off and move on. These lessons have made me stronger and the person I am today. I can thank these lessons for helping me get to where I am in my fitness modelling career.

JP: What advise can you give other fitness talents looking to navigate through the industry?
MT: The biggest advise that I can give to other fitness talents looking to navigate through the industry is to know the image you portray.  Always stay true to yourself and your image. Research your photographers. Don’t just shoot with anyone with a camera. Stay strong and be patient, things don’t happen overnight but with hard work and persistence you can make anything happen.

JP: Lastly, what comes next in your career?
MT: Well, this is a good question. The skies the limit. I have been very fortunate to have a very successful fitness modelling career thus far and as long as I am in shape, and keep living a balanced lifestyle I will continue to fitness model. Ultimately I would like to work with more publications all over the world and make more contacts within the industry. I am also looking in to taking some nutritional courses as this is something I am quite passionate about.    

Special thanks to Meaghan for being a part of this feature. You can connect with her through her Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram @meaghanterzis

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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Creativity Through Exhaustion

The past few weeks were exhausting (to put it mildly). I was traveling on photo shoots for five days, got to then go home for two days – which was enough time to wash clothes, play with the dog, post some galleries up for clients and then it was back on the road for another five days of shooting.

That week looked like the following… Sunday and Monday were 8 hour shoots, followed by a 15 hour shoot on Tuesday and a 9 hour shoot on Wednesday. When my eyes opened on Thursday I forgot where I was momentarily.

I slugged through the room I was staying in to get dressed and look presentable. I made my way to a store to pick up some coffee which I tried to get into my body as quick as I could. Then it was back on the road to do another day of shooting.

This final shoot was a 3-mile-long construction project in 100 degree weather. As you can imagine – not the number one place I would want to be at concluding two work trips.

So I had two options. I could slog through the project – make the pictures that I felt needed to be made and finally go home and sleep for the first time in about two weeks.

But how would that client feel? When they hired me – they didn’t request to get me after two weeks of traveling when I was burnt out and dead to the world. They hired me based off the best work they saw me do. Should I provide less than that service – it would be noticed.

The other option would be to give the project as much energy as I gave my best projects.

Any solopreneur (photographer, model, makeup artist, etc) will be faced with a similar situation. You’ve been working so much lately – when you get to yet another project you are so tired and worn out that you want and are tempted to half-effort your way through it.

However – every job you do is your interview for the next job. If I mailed in that construction photo shoot, I might never be hired again by that company. Then I need to do a lot of work to try to find a new client to replace them.

Imagine as a model that you gave a lazy effort on a shoot with a photographer and it turns out that photographer actually has an entire backlog of work they need to hire models for. Do you think they would call you back?

It is a balance we all must practice. How much work can be engage in before our energy level starts to dip? How can we ensure that we give the best effort on the first shoot of the week – as well as the last shoot? If you were to evaluate the time you put into the projects and how much energy each gets – is it equally distributed?

The solution could be taking on less work, or being more aware of how your brand is in play for every job you take on. But regardless – it is something to consider for each project you take on.

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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The Business of Appearances

The fitness industry, like many other talent industries, has been consumed with what I call the business of appearances. The primary focus of many is to grow and enhance their appearance of being popular, successful, sought-after and so on – as opposed to actually becoming these things.

The problem with this is that there is no real business in appearing to be popular, successful or sought-after. It is a facade, an artificial creation.

Many of you reading this are aware of an e-mail I received recently from a fitness talent wanting to do a photo shoot. The message said:

My money situation is very tight. Is there anyway we can work something out? I have 22k followers on my IG and 2k likes on my Facebook fan page. I am sponsored by a supplement company that will also be using the photos we shoot so you will be getting a lot of advertisement from my end if we ever shoot. Im looking for a permanent photographer that I shoot with regularly. I just can’t afford it at this moment. Just let me know if there is anything we can workout man.

My response was quick and simple: I hope this doesn’t come off rude – but I have to ask the obvious question. With such a strong following online – how is it not helping your business grow? And if your online following is not helping your business, how would it help mine? Not trying to be insulting – it is an honest question.

The talent never responded to my inquiry.

But let’s examine our addition to appearing popular on social media. Occasionally someone tries to leverage their large social media following in exchange for services. On Facebook it is even more interesting because you can see where the majority of their LIKES come from. One fitness model has 70K Likes, but I had never heard of them before. I go to their page and click the LIKE number and it reveals the location of where most their likes are based out of. The United Kingdom. Interesting as they are based in California. I see another with 2 Million Likes (not a typo) from a fitness talent who has never done a single project that I could find. I click theirs… main city… Cairo, Egypt. I find a photographer with over 200K Likes… their main city is Mexico City. Very interesting they have all these likes from areas they have never worked in.

NPR did a feature on offshore “Click Farms” where people can artificially inflate their social media numbers – you can listen to that episode here. For a few dollars one can add thousands, hundreds of thousands and into the millions of illegitimate followers.

Yet these Likes, Followers, Fans, etc are not adding any money to anyone’s pocketbook. They are not putting real business in front of them. I had an associate who hired and paid a Twitter “consultant” to sit with their account for hours at a time following people in hopes they would follow back and then unfollowing those who didn’t. What did the money they spent on this service yield them? More than 40K Twitter followers and not a single dollar of business revenue.

I don’t boast a large social media following. I have a decent, but earned, following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on my blog. I’m not going to break any records – but what I do have, that I cherish, is an legitimate and attentive audience. People who read my blog (thank you by the way), consume my products, hire my services and take action on my requests.

How are you going to build your following?

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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How to Treat Each Project

It was 12:22 the night before a photo shoot when a text message came through on my phone. Fortunately for all parties involved I ad left the phone in another room while I was sleeping, but the following morning I saw the text.

“I’m drunk. And prob will show up drunk lol my bad. Just FYI.”

This was from a model who had a booking with me the next day. I was stunned when I saw it the next morning and simply responded “Then do not come.”

I cannot imagine who would drink the night before the photo shoot knowing how drinks can affect the body as well as the ability to sleep. Imagine making good pictures of someone hung over with bags under their eyes and no energy.

The model tried to protest saying “I’m totally fine and ready to shoot. I had one shot and was joking with u last night.”

Whether or not that was true or a cover up – it was not the best joke and not something you text at 12:22 in the morning before you have a photo shoot.

This showed a couple things to me. Immaturity of the talent, lack of professionalism, lack of care – but most important, lack of respect for a professional’s time.

It doesn’t matter if you think the shoot is a value to you or not. Because what did this model achieve? First off they didn’t get their shoot. But secondly, they ruined any chance of future work with us and our clients. All of this could have been avoided by better decisions.

If you don’t want to take on a project or a shoot – simply don’t. Do not agree to it and then make a complete ass of yourself leading up to it. That can and will affect future work.

For example, we had someone pull out of a magazine interior shoot the day before the shoot leaving us with less than 24 hours to replace them. What they did not know was that they were slated to be on an upcoming cover. Pulling out of one shoot cancelled them out of the cover photo shoot.

Treat every project, every photo shoot, every meeting as if it were the most important thing you have going on – because it very well might be.

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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Photographer or Publicist

SPECIAL NOTE: If you have not yet seen, I just launched the new e-book Fit Model Guide which is available at www.fitmodelguide.com and covers all you need to now about getting published in the health and fitness industry. There is a section in there covering what models should know about booking photographers for their portfolio and for submissions. Truly hope you have the chance to check it out and enjoy it!

I recently received a message from a model saying “do you think you can get me in a magazine?” Honestly not an uncommon question.

My response to that is always about the same – I can never promise anything like that as it would be unethical (in my opinion) for a photographer to take payment from a model with the prerequisite of needing to get the images published or submitted.

If I create images I am proud of then I happily submit the work to magazines I collaborate with – but I can of course never guarantee the magazine will pick them up.

So I let the model know that I would love to work together to try and make some strong pictures, but that I just could not promise the images would get picked up anywhere. I asked if that means they no longer wanted to work together – there was no response.

There is this belief that photographers are the one and only gatekeeper to get a model published and that if we are paid enough we will push the photos onto the magazines. Essentially this makes us more of a publicist and not a photographer. Perhaps it is because dealing with a photographer is less intimidating than a model going directly to the magazine to deal with the editor. So maybe we are not the one and only gatekeeper – but the easiest to reach.

Although I cannot comment on how specific photographers choose to run their business or what they take money for – I will say that there feels to be too much grey area and conflict of interest.

For example; I’ve seen photographers that charge an additional fee for pitching images to magazines. So you as a model pay that fee – but there is no guarantee the photographer actually will submit the images anywhere or actually has a relationship with any of the places they are submitting. What if they just are sending an e-mail off to “submissions@whatevermagazine” which is something you as the model could have done just as easily? Is that worth charging for? Or better question, is that worth paying for?

The follow up question is that is – do you want to hire a photographer or are you wanting to hire a publicist? Someone to promote you and your brand to the media.

We work to be completely transparent in our approach to models and their goal of being published. Our primary goal is to create the best images we can. That is what we are hired for and that is what we strive to achieve.

If we succeed then we are happy to share those images with our publishing clients.

However the best person to promote a model’s brand is themselves. Yes, get the right images, but the proactive models are the ones getting the biggest pieces of the pie.

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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How to get published in the fitness industry

Fit Model GuideAfter two years in the making, internationally-published fitness photographer James Patrick reveals all in this new guide on what you need to know to develop and market your brand to magazines, build relationships with the media and get published in the fitness industry.

Learn about what magazines are looking for directly from the editors themselves, top advice from communication specialists and lessons learned from highly published fitness models in multiple exclusive interviews this guide features.


If you are like many other fitness models and talents, it is your dream to get featured within the pages or even on the cover of your favorite fitness magazine. But do you ever feel overwhelmed or frustrated because you are not sure where to start? Or perhaps you’ve sent out a few pitches and have not heard back and assumed you didn’t have what it takes? You are not alone!

Pitching yourself to magazines as a freelance model has never been easy. There are so many publications but so little direction on how to apply and how to get the attention of the decision makers to be noticed.

That is why I created Fit Model Guide. As a photographer who has worked trying to get magazines to pick up pitches I know how hard it can be to navigate through the publishing industry, fearing rejection and not hearing back.

There is a better approach to marketing yourself to magazines. I’ve taken my knowledge and experience as an internationally published fitness photographer and combined it with some of the best experts in the industry including editors of magazines, communication specialists and highly published fitness models to create this e-book on how to get published.


I have spent more than a decade photographing covers and spreads for various publications. His work has been featured within the pages of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, Iron Man Magazine, Physique Magazine, Fitness Magazine (SA), Australian Iron Man Magazine, New Zealand Fitness Magazine, MMA Uncaged Magazine, Oxygen Australia Magazine, American Health & Fitness Magazine, Scottsdale Health Magazine, ultra-FIT Magazine, Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, Shape Magazine (MY), So Scottsdale Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine Germany, Fitness Plus Magazine, Fit n Fast Magazine and many more!

From understanding the publishing industry, to researching and targeting your audience, to creating stronger submissions – this e-book gives you the information and tools to better pitch yourself to the magazines you want to work with.

This guide features interviews with multiple magazine editors, published fitness talents and marketing and communication specialists – all providing you with the insights you should know about piecing together your marketing efforts for magazine work. Inside we feature interviews with editors from Max Sports & Fitness Magazine, Inside Fitness Magazine, Fitness Magazine (South Africa), Iron Man Magazine and more!

By purchasing and reading this e-book you will learn:
- The best methods to promote yourself to publications
- Who the right contact people are
- How to leverage print work into additional work
- How to write your pitches
- Which images work best over others

You’ve worked hard as a fitness talent thus far. Now it is time to work smarter. Supplement your current efforts with this guide now.

All of this is available to you for only $29.99


Stop waiting to launch your fitness dreams. Every day that goes by is a day with more and more competitors entering the marketplace. The longer you wait to take action – the more competition you allow to enter the market before you.

I’ve had the privilege of working with literally hundreds of fitness talents helping them launch their publishing dreams throughout the US, Canada, South Africa, the UK, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and more. The practices contained within the guide are time tested and proven to help talents in their media marketing efforts.

Here is everything that this guide includes:
- Better understanding the media
- Writing and delivering your pitches
- Developing strong media relationships
- Working with photographers
- International pitching
- Local market pitching
- Online pitching and marketing
- The next step after you’ve been published!

For this e-book we have exclusive interviews with 6 magazine editors, 5 published fitness models, 2 communication experts and more!

Warning: In order for this guide to work and be of benefit to you, you must put the materials in it to use. You must be willing to do the work. This is not about quick fixes, short cuts or small solutions. It is about learning the true details of how to market yourself and putting forth the investment of time and energy to grow successful relationships with the media.


Being a talent in the fitness industry can be exciting and empowering. This guide will give you the information you need to accelerate your journey – however it requires modeling talents who are willing to do the work. If that is you and you are ready to start taking action now then purchase this e-book today.

I am very excited to see what this guide can do for you.

To your future success,
James Patrick

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The “Success” Hangover

Important Note: We are just a few days away from the launch of the new e-book I wrote. Stay tuned for details on how to purchase!

For some, the biggest goal they have is to win a fitness competition. If they do, the day after they are left with this confusing and sometimes empty feeling. Others have their biggest goal of being on a magazine cover. Then it happens and they are left with that same perplexed feeling.

They said it was their biggest, lifelong goal and dream – and now it has happened. It is done. Yet their life basically feels the exact same.

The overwhelming question of “well… now what?” sinks in. I call this the “Success” Hangover.

With the fitness competition – you are one of countless others who have achieved the same goal and there will be countless more who will do it after you. With the magazine cover – within 30 days you are off shelves and the publication is now featuring someone else.

Now I am not trying to minimize the effort it takes to compete or get published – but I do want to help you answer the question of “now what?”

I was talking to a highly published fitness talent and a friend of mine about this. He’s been on multiple covers internationally and nationally and has countless tear sheets from multiple magazines. He will also be the first to admit that if you looked at it directly – he has not made a single penny from all the magazine “work” he has had.

In fact, to create the images to pitch to magazines, he had to pay the photographer to create the photos. So what was the reason behind doing it?

It is not for self-achievement as that feeling is short lived resulting in the “now what?” question.

He does it because he figured out how the media features fit into his real goals in training and online sales of his fitness guide. Each media feature he gets allows him added leverage that he can convert into dollars. This required that he do the upfront work to strategize about his true goals and direction.

The magazine cover was not the goal. It was a means to and end to help him achieve what his goals actually were.

So what is it that you’re trying to do – long term and is what you’re doing now going to help move you in that direction?

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto

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