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Meet Burbank Photographer: Josh Patterson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Patterson.

Josh, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It began with an iPhone and its camera that woke old memories of shooting film when I was a child in Pennsylvania. I bought a Canon Rebel shortly afterward, scoured the internet for resources and taught myself how to shoot. Lots of setbacks, plenty of failed attempts, but that’s learning. People began asking me to photograph their families, headshots, events – and it evolved into a business for me. I’ve since done product photography for Hautelook as well as had my work published in the LA Times. Five years on, it’s now my full-time gig.

Has it been a smooth road?
No. Plenty of failures. I fell off a porch when I was photographing one of my first models. I’ve lost gigs, I’ve had people disappointed in my work even though I considered it solid, I’ve been under incredible pressure to produce on short time spans. If you don’t take the long view with regard to your craft, it’s very easy to get discouraged.

One crucial lesson I learned was to stop comparing myself to other photographers. That road leads to despair – everyone is at a different point in their progression.

What are your plans for the future?
To continue to build and expand my clientele. I am also committed to using the skills I’ve acquired to give back to nonprofits, particularly with animal welfare/rescues.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
The hardest time in my career was pretty early on. I’d been laid off from my full-time job of 6 years and decided that that was the opportunity to strike out on my own. And then the immediate reality check. What now? How do I let prospective clients know I exist? Who ARE my clients? In theory, it’s awesome to be in business for yourself. The reality is it is an incredible undertaking.

The greatest lesson I learned was to not get discouraged by short-term disappointments or dry periods. It is very important to take a long-term view. Some weeks or months will be sparse. If you allow yourself to despair, you risk giving up entirely and you never know what’s around the corner. I found myself warring constantly with my own insecurities. It was very easy to compare myself to other photographers – which is never constructive.

What about “Wow-moments” – any moments that stick out? Any moments when you felt like you had made it?
Definitely, one moment was getting hired by Hautelook. I’m entirely self-taught so going into a high volume studio environment and being able to hold my own was a huge boost of confidence.

Another, admittedly not as sexy, but more important was getting referrals from clients I’d worked with in the past. Because that meant there were conversations regarding photography and mine was the name that had come up.

Contact Info:

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