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photojack’s Marketing Makeover: Life Happens

What it Feels Like to Lose Your Work

I don’t care how many years you have been in the photography business. How confident you are in your marketing skills or how organized you are or even how anal-retentive you are about planning and preparation. The reality is, for all photographers … life happens.

Let me back up a step or two. A lot of you are following my marketing makeover with Agency Access. The first conversation started right here: photojack’s Marketing Makeover: Let the Journey Begin. The next conversation followed me midway point through my portfolio edit: photojack’s Marketing Makeover: Out With the Old….

Then … life happened.

You’re Kidding Me, Right?

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Shortly after going through over 10,000 of my high-res portfolio images, my G4 tower that housed my photographs crashed. Of course, like most prudent photographers, I had back up of the files. But sadly, those files are scattered around on literally hundreds of different studio drives.

So rather than giving you my next conversational installment in branding, I thought it might be appropriate to briefly pause. And tell you about what I’m feeling at the moment.

Taking a Moment to Breathe

First of all, let me say right up front, that the good folks at Agency Access have been patient, supportive and caringly sympathetic through the process of this setback. Exactly the sort of professionalism you would expect from a retained marketing partner. Agency Access, just like me, and just like you, understands all too well that life happens – and this couldn’t be truer when you’re talking about a marketing makeover for a commercial photographer.

Pushing Forward With My Marketing

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One of the key lessons I’ve learned here, through this horrific ordeal, is that a photographer’s marketing plan, no matter how grand it is on paper, still requires incredible finesse, subtlety, delicacy and elasticity. And you must maintain all of this while executing your plan.

Think of marketing more like a continuum: the extremes might be quite distinct, but the adjacent elements are not perceptively different from each other. Whether you’re doing your own marketing or you’ve partnered up with a pro like Agency Access, the goal is pretty much the same: get it all on paper. Put every detail in writing. Then, like any big project with moving parts, set some milestones for deliverables so you can judge your progress in route. Once you have your marketing plan masterpiece in place and you are emotionally vested in the process … go with the flow.

Some goals and objectives you’ll achieve with surprising success. Other milestones you’ll fail at miserably, but keep your head up. Stay focused on the plan and learn, going into all this, to be flexible, pliable and yielding. Always, always remember that life happens.

And when it does, you can either seize the day or be seized by it! It’s all a matter of choice, control and momentum.

Half of the Real Battle

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I learned many years ago that half of the real battle in photography marketing is managing the heart and mind game. Expect and even appreciate that you don’t really control life – life controls you. So when the unexpected or the unplanned or the unanticipated happens … count your blessings. There will be a brighter day tomorrow, I promise.

By the way, my G4 tower has just returned from repair. Of the 10,000 pre-edited portfolio shots that were on that drive, only 1000 could be saved.

Oh well … life happens. Back to editing.

So Where Am I Now?

For those of you following my makeover progress, amidst this “life happens” setback, you’ll be pleased to know that we are still making progress. Project lead, professional consultant Amanda Sosa Stone and I exchanged a few emails and phone calls refining my “elevator pitch.”

Here’s what we finally landed on:

I am Jack Hollingsworth and I am a World Photographer, specializing in advertising and Travel and Leisure Hospitality. My style consists of capturing imagery that allows the imagination to take off and encourages the viewer to travel to the locations I capture.


I am Jack Hollingsworth and I am a World Photographer, specializing in advertising and Travel and Leisure Hospitality. My style consists of colorful and soulful imagery that captures the energy and spirit of the location or person.

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I like it! This elevator speech will help guide both Amanda, myself and my marketing team in making sure my brand and vision is consistent across the board in both my editing, branding elements, website & portfolio and other promotional material.

In addition, we’re also taking a crack at a brand refresh and tweaking my studio logo a bit, which we’ll be showing you once finalized.

Slow and steady wins the race :)

About Jack

Jack Hollingsworth is easily one of photography’s most well known names in the world of Lifestyle, Travel, Portraiture and Stock. His three-decade commercial career boasts numerous awards, publication credits and satisfied customers. Jack Hollingsworth

Related Articles:

1. Part 1: photojack’s Marketing Makeover: Let the Journey Begin

2. Part 2: photojack’s Marketing Makeover: Out With the Old…

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