iA


Articles

Finn O’Hara on Representation
We had the pleasure of sitting down with photographer / director Finn O’Hara several months ago to talk about representation. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get to editing the interview until recently but the wait is over! Finn is an established photographer with a lot of experience and great clients, so we turned to him to tell [...] Read more – ‘Finn O’Hara on Representation’.
Big News For Canadian Photographers
Some excellent news for photographers in the last few days; Canadian photographers finally own copyright of their images. As the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators states, “In Canada, all other artists have already owned the copyrights to their work and thanks to this new law, Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, [...] Read more – ‘Big News For Canadian Photographers’.
A Guide to Art Residencies
A few weeks ago I decided to get serious about applying for residencies and met with artist Samantha Mogelonsky to get some advice. For those not familiar with the concept, an artist residency is when you go to a location (a mix of housing and art studios) for a period of time to focus exclusively [...] Read more – ‘A Guide to Art Residencies’.
Found: Ramit Will Teach You To Raise Your Rates
Is money always on your mind? (It’s not a bad thing, I’m just asking.) As freelancers, it can be hard to position yourself in a place that both gets clients and makes money. One of the hardest things can be raising your rates. You don’t want to risk losing the clients you have, but there’s [...] Read more – ‘Found: Ramit Will Teach You To Raise Your Rates’.
Exploring New Ground
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about exploring new ground. I’m just beginning to work on several fine-art projects and in the process trying to come up with ways to help me think differently, try new methodologies, new techniques, etc. The last few projects I have done have followed roughly the same formula, sure there [...] Read more – ‘Exploring New Ground’.
You’re Not The Boss, So Stop Being Bossy! (Some Basic Rules For Collaboration)
Terms like “on the ball” and “organized” can serve as euphemisms for “control freak” and “bossypants.” I like to think of myself as the former, but know I can be the latter. Which is why I often have a hard time working on group projects. I have strong ideas, and I like to see them [...] Read more – ‘You’re Not The Boss, So Stop Being Bossy! (Some Basic Rules For Collaboration)’.
The Creative Process
Last week I watched 6 Days to Air – a documentary about the making of an episode of South Park. Unlike most animated TV show, which have weeks or months to make a single episode, South Park does it, from initial concept to writing to animating, all in six days. My favourite aspect was getting a [...] Read more – ‘The Creative Process’.
Junction Design Crawl
Everyone in the city seems to think that their neighbourhood is the greatest, but I think extra props go to The Junction. A little removed from “the real downtown”, the Junction seems like the little neighbourhood that could. They have a great sense of community, and that community throws great events! This Friday is the [...] Read more – ‘Junction Design Crawl’.
Spotlight: Janela Da Alma (Film)
I want to share a fascinating film called Janela Da Alma. It’s a Brazilian documentary that looks at blindness, using it to talk about vision and our perception of the world. What was particularly interesting to me is that most of the interviews are with artists – a blind photographer, a musician, an actress, and [...] Read more – ‘Spotlight: Janela Da Alma (Film)’.
Purging
I think sometimes that as artists, we hold on to things. Because many of us create objects, objects themselves become precious to us. There are lots of things that deserve to be honoured, and kept, and celebrated. But there are also things that are just that. Things. So when do you let stuff go? Read more – ‘Purging’.
The Art of the Follow Up
I don’t think we’ve ever written about it, but the name Knock Twice originates from a sign that used to hang in the school Erika and I went to. On either side of the double doors leading in and out of the B&W darkrooms, there hung a sign that read “Knock twice before entering!” The [...] Read more – ‘The Art of the Follow Up’.
Is It Worth It?
A couple of weeks ago I had coffee with a friend of mine who wants to become a fashion photographer. She has quite an extensive (and very good) portfolio, but is just starting to fully break ground into working professionally in the industry. As our conversation progressed, she casually asked, “what do you think, is [...] Read more – ‘Is It Worth It?’.
Luminance 2012
You may have already picked up on the fact that we’re big fans of lifelong learning here at Knock Twice. Knowing what you don’t know, or fleshing out what you do know are both really valuable to help you grow as an artist, a business owner, and a person in general. Which is why we’re [...] Read more – ‘Luminance 2012’.
Identifying Potential Clients
The most important part of any freelance business is your clients, without them you can’t make any money. A lot of my energy (perhaps most of it) goes into finding new clients and trying to get my work in front of them. Finding clients is easier said than done, there’s no website (if there is [...] Read more – ‘Identifying Potential Clients’.
Just Tell Me What You Do!
I’ve been looking into hiring a contractor to do some work on our basement. I’ve never hired a contractor before; I know I need to look for someone with insurance and certain accreditations, but beyond that I’m a little clueless. There’s a site that lists about 100 qualified contractors in my area; so I came [...] Read more – ‘Just Tell Me What You Do!’.
Spotlight: Visual Acoustics
As you may know both Erika and I work extensively in architectural photography (her as a studio manager and I as a shooter), so it was particularly interesting when on a recent flight I watched the documentary Visual Acoustics. The film, directed by Eric Bricker, looks at the life of Julius Shulman – “the world’s [...] Read more – ‘Spotlight: Visual Acoustics’.
Why Where You Work Matters
I was helping a friend of mine move yesterday who is also a freelance photographer and we got to talking about setting up a workspace. For many people this is a simple matter of design or convenience, but for freelancers who work from home, this can have a big effect on productivity. A few weeks [...] Read more – ‘Why Where You Work Matters’.
Dealing with Burnout
I’ve been feeling a little burnt-out lately. I think this happens to everyone regardless of your working situation but I find it’s more common with those of us who freelance. From one perspective the work never stops – there is always something to do and someone to email. On the other hand you’re not obliged to do [...] Read more – ‘Dealing with Burnout’.
Second Shooting
A lot of photographers seem to think that they’ll get into wedding shooting “on the side” without a lot of understanding of what that entails. The other problem with starting out is that horribly vicious cycle; nobody will hire you without experience, but you can’t get experience if nobody hires you. This is where second [...] Read more – ‘Second Shooting’.
A Few Business Expenses You May Not Have Thought Of
Because I’m self-employed, I get to claim business expenses against the tax I pay. I dump all of my receipts in a folder next to my computer, and go through them once a month when it’s time for me to remit my HST payments. I determine which receipts are business expenses (that new stapler), and [...] Read more – ‘A Few Business Expenses You May Not Have Thought Of’.
Compete with Oneself
A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I took part in a mountain bike race. It was a 24 hour race where the goal was for your team to get as many laps as possible – like a relay race. There were four of us, but there were teams with both more and [...] Read more – ‘Compete with Oneself’.
Spotlight: Zipvan
In my personal work I make prints that are quite large, so large in fact that you can’t fit more than one or two of them into a regular car, SUV, or van. This leads to all sorts of annoying adventures with large taxi vans or multiple trips to get prints to a show or [...] Read more – ‘Spotlight: Zipvan’.
Because We’re Professionally Nosy
Remember our roundup of blogs we think you should be following? Well, the blog for Westside Studio was one of them. The blog is entertaining, updated regularly, and full of pretty pictures. What more could you want from a photo blog? How about a fabulous new feature they’ve started called “How Much Did That Photo [...] Read more – ‘Because We’re Professionally Nosy’.
How Do You Show Off?
I know there has been a lot of talk around the interweb about the best way to show your work. Ipad? Book? Website? Box of prints? This isn’t going to be advice, but more of a poll. I’m really interested to know what you do (are you an illustrator? director? graphic designer?) and how you [...] Read more – ‘How Do You Show Off?’.
Are You Approaching the Right People?
The more time I spend perusing new clients, the more I realize the variety of gatekeepers out there. For example, the clearest path to an editorial job is through the photo editor of the magazine you wish to shoot for. However, there are often other ways of getting magazine work. Corporate magazines might be produced [...] Read more – ‘Are You Approaching the Right People?’.
Become A Font Snob: Free Online Fonts
I’m a typography nerd-in-training. I love they way words look, or, at least, they way they can look – don’t get me started on Curlz, or anything that’s supposed to look like it’s been written by a child! I’m loyal to my fonts of choice, (Century Gothic), and have warmed up to others (Impact). Every [...] Read more – ‘Become A Font Snob: Free Online Fonts’.
First Show (4/4): Promoting the Show
This will be the fourth and final part of our series The First Show. In the previous parts we looked at creating an outline and figuring out deadlines for your show. We then wrote an artist statement and edited down the project that you will be showing. And finally produced the physical work and hung [...] Read more – ‘First Show (4/4): Promoting the Show’.
That’s A Job! (Editorial Photographer/Photojournalist)
One of the most desired jobs these days seems to be editorial portrait photographer. What’s not to want? You get to spend time with celebrities, get paid, and have your photographs published by newspapers and magazines. Jennifer Roberts is a Toronto-based editorial photographer and photojournalist. She was part of the elite Eddie Adams workshop, and [...] Read more – ‘That’s A Job! (Editorial Photographer/Photojournalist)’.
Do It Now!
A while back I got a great poster from a convention I was at. I brought it home and set it to flatten for a few days with the intent of hanging it up. Later I had friends over so I moved the poster to my bed, going to sleep that night I moved it [...] Read more – ‘Do It Now!’.
Sponsored Editorial Photography?
There was a great post a few days ago on A Photo Editor titled “The Future of Editorial Photography is Sponsored” which I wanted to take a moment to weight in on. Rob Haggard interviews photographer / director David Clifford (how long will it take to come up with a word that means both these things) [...] Read more – ‘Sponsored Editorial Photography?’.
It’s Funny Because It’s True
Aaron Johnson is an animator and graphic artist. He is the creative mind behind What The Duck, a daily comic strip about the working lives of creative professional. Clicking through the strips can be like watching your professional life flash before your eyes. Oh, and your character is played by a sassy duck. Read more – ‘It’s Funny Because It’s True’.
Leave the Ball in Their Court
I’m currently in Boston, having come down for the Flash Forward Festival (more on this in another post). Whenever I’m going away for more than a day or two I like to make sure I leave the ball in the clients’ court. This means wrapping up any work on my end and passing it back [...] Read more – ‘Leave the Ball in Their Court’.
A Timeline For Success
Some of my first jobs were in photo labs. It was an ok job, but not a ‘forever’ job. I knew I could tough it out for a while, but remember telling someone that “if I’m still working here in two years I’ll shoot myself in the foot.” (Ahhhh, youthful arrogance.) In any case, the [...] Read more – ‘A Timeline For Success’.
On Contracts: Do You Have A Kill Fee?
A friend of mine books a client a few months before the job was to take place. He is moderately busy with work, but not booked solid. A second client approaches him about a shoot on the same day, and he had to turn it down, because of his commitment to Client One. Three weeks [...] Read more – ‘On Contracts: Do You Have A Kill Fee?’.
The First Show (3/4) – Production
For part three of our First Show series we will be looking at the actual production of the show. By production I mean everything that you have to actually make / do such as printing, framing, hanging, etc. The process for a this is fairly straight forward – in fact you’ll likely have someone else [...] Read more – ‘The First Show (3/4) – Production’.
The Buddy System
Back in the days of elementary school, we would often partner up in what was known as the buddy system. During field trips, projects, and other activities you would be assigned a buddy who would be responsible for you and you for him or her. Whether it was getting back to the bus on time [...] Read more – ‘The Buddy System’.
So You’re Headed To A Big Shoot?
I just finished the first day of a six-day shoot. We’re photographing at two different locations each day, and have a small crew and a fair bit of gear. Most jobs I’m on are me, and maybe an assistant, so it’s a nice change/challenge to work with a larger team on a bigger project like [...] Read more – ‘So You’re Headed To A Big Shoot?’.
Roundup: Inspirational Posters That Don’t Suck
We’ve all seen those posters on office walls. You know the ones; they have a black border, a guy climbing a mountain, and a word like ‘inspiration‘ drifting across the bottom. I don’t love them. But I do understand why they exist: sometimes you just need a little reminder to push yourself (or to go [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Inspirational Posters That Don’t Suck’.
Get That Job Via Email!
It’s the time of year when a large group of people with similar skill sets start looking for jobs. Whether you’re hoping to assist, or second shoot, or work in a studio, you’re going to need to stand out and make contact. I’ve sent and received my fair share of this kind of email, to [...] Read more – ‘Get That Job Via Email!’.
Good at Getting Good
Everyone I know is by a beach, on a boat, or in a park, and I myself am looking forward to a drink outside, so I’ll try to keep this short. I want to touch on something I’ve been turning over in my head for the last few months or perhaps even years. It’s become [...] Read more – ‘Good at Getting Good’.
The First Show (2/4): Editing
Earlier in the month we released the first part of four posts on putting up your first art show. In part one we talked about creating an outline so that you can juggle all of the elements of a show without anything important slipping through the cracks. With part two, we will dive into the [...] Read more – ‘The First Show (2/4): Editing’.
What Came First, the Medium or the Message?
I recently met with a documentary photographer and had a long discussion about a project she is developing. While trying to figure out how to convey a specific aspect through images, we started talking about what other media could better bring the ideas across. This is something I’ve been thinking about more and more in [...] Read more – ‘What Came First, the Medium or the Message?’.
Do You Deserve A Break After Graduation?
You’ve worked hard for a number of years, pulling all-nighters, and scrambling all over the city to get the pieces together for your final project, meeting deadline after deadline. Do you deserve a break after graduation? Sure you do. But I’ll give you a few reasons why you shouldn’t take an official break. Read more – ‘Do You Deserve A Break After Graduation?’.
Students to Watch: Image Arts, Ryerson
One of the exciting things about this time of year, is getting to visit various schools’ end of the year shows. It can be a bit overwhelming seeing so much new work in such a short period of time, but there are definitely many gems to be found. Today we’ve got a selection of some [...] Read more – ‘Students to Watch: Image Arts, Ryerson’.
The First Show (1/4): Create an Outline
Starting today we’re launching a four part feature on putting on your first show. I’ll be writing this from the perspective of a photography show, but nearly everything applies to any type of art show. I’m going to assume you already have a body of work and a gallery that you’ll be showing at, and [...] Read more – ‘The First Show (1/4): Create an Outline’.
Making Pictures Pretty: The Camera Awesome App
For  long, long time I held to the belief that a camera is a camera and a phone is a phone. Then, late last summer, I got an iPhone. I was able to justify it by telling myself that I’m a busy entrepreneur, out and about and needing constant contact with my computer. (All true). [...] Read more – ‘Making Pictures Pretty: The Camera Awesome App’.
Free CONTACT Walking Guides 2012!
Last year we received a lot of great feedback on our CONTACT Walking Guides so we’ve brought them back for this year’s festival! CONTACT is an amazing opportunity to see good photography, but can be overwhelming with so many good shows. There are two guides – one for around Queen & Spadina and the other [...] Read more – ‘Free CONTACT Walking Guides 2012!’.
Try It: Life Drawing
Until very recently, the thought of Life Drawing conjured images of beret-clad artistes sitting around a classically plump woman, painting canvasses with hand-held palettes. One of the things we feel strongly about at Knock Twice is life long learning, so last week Eugen and I attended the bi-monthly life drawing session at ARTiculations, and there [...] Read more – ‘Try It: Life Drawing’.
On Traveling for Work
Later this week I’m heading off to New York and Atlanta for a couple of shoots, so I thought it would be apt to do a post on traveling for work. I’ve been lucky to travel quite a bit the last few years, even a trip to photograph a private villa in the Turks and [...] Read more – ‘On Traveling for Work’.
Flightpath Artist Talk: Goh Iromoto
Today we’ve got a new Flightpath Artist Talk for you featuring Goh Iromoto. From swimming with whale sharks to working on The Cove, shooting cowboys to snowshoeing in the north, Goh is a self taught photographer and director that has been on some amazing assignments. In his talk he goes into depth about how to run a [...] Read more – ‘Flightpath Artist Talk: Goh Iromoto’.
Ignore the Outliers
Last week it was announced that Facebook bought Instagram for around a billion dollars. Not a moment later, I started seeing articles along the lines of “how to become the next Instagram”. All of us doing creative work, by that I mean creating new things, be it developers or painters, entrepreneurs or designers, have heroes [...] Read more – ‘Ignore the Outliers’.
Film Festivals and Grants
Remember producer Dan Montgomery from this post a few weeks ago? Well, Montgomery and his business partner, director Kazik Radwanski, have had great success screening their films at prestigious festivals. Their 2008 short film, Princess Margaret Blvd., has generated numerous awards and accolades including the Best International Short Film Award at the 2009 Edinburgh International [...] Read more – ‘Film Festivals and Grants’.
Steal Like an Artist (Book)
It’s our 200th post! So first off, thank you to all of you for reading Knock Twice, commenting, sharing posts, and attending our events. You’re awesome! One of the things we want to do more of on the blog is share great, inspiring books, and give them away! Both Erika and I are big readers [...] Read more – ‘Steal Like an Artist (Book)’.
Leila Ashtari on Photographing for TV
We’re excited to share a new video with you featuring Leila Ashtari. Last year she worked as a photographer on CBC’s cooking show In the Kitchen, shooting all of the show’s food stills. Leila sat down with us to share her experience, how she got the job, the challenges of working on a TV set, and more! Please [...] Read more – ‘Leila Ashtari on Photographing for TV’.
Awesome Art Online
I am all about affordable art. (I am also all about somewhat unaffordable art, but it’s nice to have some good things within reach….) I recently attended a talk at RyersonUniversitythat coincided with a group exhibition of student work. Let’s just say that I went in for the lecture and came out having purchased an [...] Read more – ‘Awesome Art Online’.
Hot Docs is Coming!
April is here, and that means that Hot Docs is quickly approaching! For those who’ve never been, Hot Docs is Canada’s International Documentary Film Festival which takes place in Toronto and runs from April 26th to May 6th. It is a great place to see new documentary films from around the world, many of which [...] Read more – ‘Hot Docs is Coming!’.
That’s A Job! (Independent Film Producer)
Thanks to everyone who came out to last night’s Flightpath Artist Talks. We love that so many of you are interested what we’re doing, and the industry in general. It is our pleasure to feature MDFF‘s Dan Montgomery in today’s post, providing a little insight into his job as an independent film producer. Read more – ‘That’s A Job! (Independent Film Producer)’.
Beyond the Art in Art School
One of the things that is often left out of discussions around the value of going to art school is all the classes that are in no way related to art. This is probably truer for university programs than colleges (correct me if I’m wrong), but I had to take around two courses per semester [...] Read more – ‘Beyond the Art in Art School’.
Flightpath Artist Talk: Amanda McCavour
Today we’re excited to share our second Flightpath Artist Talk with you. Amanda McCavour is a Toronto based textile artist, who creates installations by sewing into water soluble material. She covers a variety of topics such as how she came to her working process, her experience at various residencies, and how she develops projects. Read more – ‘Flightpath Artist Talk: Amanda McCavour’.
Spring Clean Your Business
Though we’ve kind of been having spring for months here in Toronto, yesterday it became official. And while things like gardening and beer on patios come to mind, I also love to throw open the windows and shake the dust out. This goes for my business as well as my home. Here are some ideas [...] Read more – ‘Spring Clean Your Business’.
Will iPhoto Steal Your Job?
Last week, with the release of the new iPad, also came the announcement of iPhoto for the iPhone / iPad. Different from iMovie, which is only capable of basic editing, iPhoto is closer to a full photo editing suite similar to early versions of Lightroom. There are brushes for dodging and burning, automatic horizon correction, [...] Read more – ‘Will iPhoto Steal Your Job?’.
“A Man Without Land Is Nothing” – Web 101 (and a 50% Clamorate Deal)
A friend of mine is new to business, and to the business-side of the internet. She knows she needs a website (because everyone needs a website), but is a little stuck on anything past that. I ran into a great visual analogy over on ProPhoto that I found helpful for breaking down the different parts [...] Read more – ‘“A Man Without Land Is Nothing” – Web 101 (and a 50% Clamorate Deal)’.
Win A Free Clamorate Membership!
We’re friendly, charming, and sometimes even funny; want to be our friend? We use the Knock Twice facebook page to spread the word about job opportunities, internships, workshops, and exhibition openings. We’re also working on posting more photos of the things we’re seeing when we go out and about. We want you to ‘like’ us [...] Read more – ‘Win A Free Clamorate Membership!’.
Pintrested in Copyright?
Pinterest has been receiving a lot of buzz recently and I’ve had several people raise concerns about copyright infringement of their work on the site. After poring over countless articles, it’s clear that the majority of discussions revolve about various technicalities in copyright law and interpretations of fair use. Rather than adding to the noise, [...] Read more – ‘Pintrested in Copyright?’.
That’s A Job! (Preparator)
I want to thank our readers for all the great feedback about our interview with food photographer Maya Visnyei. We’re excited to keep this feature going and help you discover more of the jobs that exists in and around art. Our second profile is Josh Morden, preparator at Stephen Bulger Gallery. Never heard of a preparator? [...] Read more – ‘That’s A Job! (Preparator)’.
How to Get the Most Out of Critiques
Whether you want to or not, eventually you will have to share your work with the world. It could be with your parents or partner, you class at school, or a potential client – at some point, someone will critique your work, there’s no way around it. Depending on the feedback critiques can leave you [...] Read more – ‘How to Get the Most Out of Critiques’.
Laid Bare on Curation (VIDEO)
We’ve received several emails from readers who are frustrated with approaching galleries and getting their proposals for shows stonewalled. It can be tough to get a show when you don’t have an exhibition history and your work is fairly unknown. Something young artist don’t often consider is finding an event space and curating their own [...] Read more – ‘Laid Bare on Curation (VIDEO)’.
This Wild Idea
We love to be able to shed light on interesting projects. There are a lot of photographers in the world, so sometimes it’s nice to be able to focus in for a moment on one little project at a time. I came across Theron Humphrey’s ‘This Wild Idea’ recently, and I love it. If it’s [...] Read more – ‘This Wild Idea’.
Making Them Pay
It takes a long time to start doing freelance professionally – there are many stages you have to go through before you can even consider doing client work. At first you have to become proficient on the technical end. This can take a few years but it’s fun, you’re learning new skills – illustration, design, [...] Read more – ‘Making Them Pay’.
That’s A Job! (Food Photographer)
As we’ve been talking to emerging creative professionals, it’s become apparent that there are a lot of jobs out that may not get the recognition they deserve. I know when I was in art school, everyone assumed that they would be “an Artist”, largely because we didn’t know how many jobs there are around art [...] Read more – ‘That’s A Job! (Food Photographer)’.
A Wealth of Jobs
For both Erika and I, a big surprise upon graduating was the wealth of jobs available to fine arts majors. There is an idea that if you go to art school you should become a capital ‘A’ Artist and be a professional photographer, painter, illustrator or what ever else you majored in. In reality, most [...] Read more – ‘A Wealth of Jobs’.
Diane Arbus: A Chronology (book)
Ok, I promise this is the last post about Diane Arbus for a while. But I received the book Diane Arbus: A Chronology as a Christmas gift and have enjoyed it so much it seemed selfish not to share. I knew as soon as I saw the beautifully-typefaced cover that this book could be great, [...] Read more – ‘Diane Arbus: A Chronology (book)’.
The Artist Vs. The Viewer
The more openings and artist talks I attend, the more I’ve come to realize that there are two distinct approaches to presenting one’s work to viewers. On one side, there are artists that talk at length about the meaning of their work and why they made it. On the other, are artists that hold back [...] Read more – ‘The Artist Vs. The Viewer’.
You Should Know…..Diane Arbus
Most well known for her awkward photographs of people on the fringes of society, Diane Arbus is an example of someone who worked hard at her craft, pursuing commercial jobs alongside her personal work. You may recall that we mentioned her last week, with regards to getting permission and support. She photographed some of New [...] Read more – ‘You Should Know…..Diane Arbus’.
How to Start a Mailing List
Can you get in touch with the people who are interested in you and your work? Eugen and I have been meeting with a number of people for some upcoming projects (stay tuned!), and we’ve been gleaning all kinds of ideas from them. Our talk with Alice Zilberberg included a conversation about mailing lists, and [...] Read more – ‘How to Start a Mailing List’.
Does Size Matter?
I was recently talking to a friend, who is also a fine-art photographer, about print sizes. His prints are quite small (in the 5 x 7in range) and he expressed his annoyance at how the market value of photographic prints, paintings as well I’m sure, is so closely tied to their size (larger works cost [...] Read more – ‘Does Size Matter?’.
Show The Work You Want To Do
It’s not good enough to approach a photo editor and tell them to trust you, that you’re sure you’ll do a great job if they’ll give you an assignment. Good work begets more good work, and you need to be able to show people that you can do the job. Read more – ‘Show The Work You Want To Do’.
Jonathan Taggart on the Boreal Collective
You’ve probably heard of photographer collectives or at least seen them pop up online. In a new video post (we’re trying to do a lot more this year), we talk to photographer Jonathan Taggart – a founding member of the Boreal Collective, about what a collective is, why he is a part of one, and [...] Read more – ‘Jonathan Taggart on the Boreal Collective’.
A Permission Letter For Diane Arbus
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about effective networking and asking people for help. I pride myself on my independence and ability to ‘just get stuff done’, but I also think about something I read a while ago. The idea was that people want to help you when you’re in your twenties – you can [...] Read more – ‘A Permission Letter For Diane Arbus’.
Understanding Insurance – Part Two
Most freelancers I know view health insurance as a luxury, rather than a necessity. You would  insure your gear, why not your body? I understand that money doesn’t grow on trees, and insurance is something your don’t need until you do. But think about the situations when you’d need health insurance, and consider whether you [...] Read more – ‘Understanding Insurance – Part Two’.
Saving Time in the Future
As the deadline to submit my HST starts to loom, I find myself dreading the day when I have to spend several hours sorting through and making sense of all my expense receipts. There are many tasks, usually quite small on their own, that we tend to always push to a later date. The problem [...] Read more – ‘Saving Time in the Future’.
Don’t Feed Soda to the Bean Plant (or “The Scientific Way to Get Feedback”)
In my grade eight science class we were charged with designing and executing an experiment. My partner and I decided to test the effects of different beverages on bean plants; one would get tap water, one would get bottled water, and one would get green tea. So, for example, all the plants were kept on [...] Read more – ‘Don’t Feed Soda to the Bean Plant (or “The Scientific Way to Get Feedback”)’.
Consuming Valuable Content
I am constantly consuming content. Whether it’s reading blogs on my Google Reader, listening to podcasts on my iPhone, or reading books on my Kindle, it seems no matter where I am or what I’m doing I will find a way to take in new material. However, once in a while I come across something [...] Read more – ‘Consuming Valuable Content’.
Understanding Insurance – Part One
It’s the new year; a time to ride the feel-good momentum to do the things you should be doing. So let’s talk about insurance. You may have health insurance ( if not, there’s a post on that too). But today is about insuring your business. If you have any type of work, gear, or space [...] Read more – ‘Understanding Insurance – Part One’.
Biz Ladies: A Resource by Design*Sponge
If you’re the kind of person who trolls the internet looking at other people’s homes (and I certainly am that kind of person), you may be familiar with Design*Sponge. Founded by Brooklyn-based writer Grace Bonney, the site features house tours, DIY projects, interviews, before + afters, great decor finds…you get the idea. If you’re thinking [...] Read more – ‘Biz Ladies: A Resource by Design*Sponge’.
The Year in Review / The Year Ahead
Thank you very much to everyone who has ever read Knock Twice and told others about it! It’s been a really exciting year for us, getting into the flow of things, launching projects, and holding giveaways. As we move into 2012 we have a lot of great things planned. Here is a look at some [...] Read more – ‘The Year in Review / The Year Ahead’.
Thinking About Changes for the New Year
As we draw closer to the beginning of a new year, I hope everyone has had some time to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect on the current year. I feel like now is the time to start thinking about what changes one would make for the new year, not just in terms of personal growth (won’t [...] Read more – ‘Thinking About Changes for the New Year’.
Where Does the Money Come From?
As the end of the year approaches it’s a good idea to look over various aspects of your business and do a sort of annual report. When you’re working day to day it’s hard to see the big picture so it’s important to step back once a year and make any necessary changes to how [...] Read more – ‘Where Does the Money Come From?’.
A Holiday Question for Artists…
Today’s post is really more of a question, or poll. I know it’s holiday crunch time, but if you can spare a minute, I’d love to hear what you have to say.  A few years ago, I gave one of my friends a photograph for Ghristmas. As he was unwrapping it, another friend piped up [...] Read more – ‘A Holiday Question for Artists…’.
HMAb: The Fundraiser
There has been some sad news in the photo community lately. Heather Morton, an art buyer and a constant inspiration for young photographers here in Toronto (and worldwide I’m sure) through her blog, has developed a tumour – Fibromatosis to be specific. As a result she will be undergoing chemo treatment for two years! Read more – ‘HMAb: The Fundraiser’.
Never Say No
My father worked in retail for years. He is an excellent salesman. He says that one of the secrets to being successful is never saying ‘no’. When a customer asks “do you have this in blue?” the answer is never “no,” rather “we have it in this great shade of red.” I don’t know if [...] Read more – ‘Never Say No’.
Keeping Side-Projects Painless(ish)
A couple of weeks ago I talked about why you should consider starting a side project over the winter break. While side projects are a lot of fun, they can quickly take a turn for the worse if you don’t keep them in check. I want to address a few things that will make the [...] Read more – ‘Keeping Side-Projects Painless(ish)’.
How Reality TV Schooled Me
One of my guilty pleasures is reality tv. I’m not a huge fan of the “follow people around while they lead their lives” type of show (with the exception of Teen Mom; it’s like a car crash and I just can’t look away!) I prefer the “set up challenges and watch people learn” kind of [...] Read more – ‘How Reality TV Schooled Me’.
Art & Fear (Book)
There is a book store called TYPE near me that always has awesome window displays. Over the course of a couple of weeks one book kept catching my eye, it was called Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making. Something about the title resonated with me and after passing it [...] Read more – ‘Art & Fear (Book)’.
Roundup: Five Photo Blogs to Follow
With the holidays approaching, you may have some time to rest up and refresh. You might even have some time to do a little reading. Though there are many photo blogs worth reading, we’ve rounded up five we think you should know about (if you don’t already). But if you have any suggestions to share, [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Five Photo Blogs to Follow’.
Five Tips for Holiday Cards
If you’re someone who starts thinking about holiday cards as soon as the calendar flips to December, you may have already started a list of people you’re planning on mailing out to; your nana, your aunts, your best friends, your buddy overseas. But what about your clients? A holiday card can be a good way [...] Read more – ‘Five Tips for Holiday Cards’.
Why You Should Start a Personal Project
I’m a huge fan of personal projects. I’m not talking about personal fine-art work (though I like that too), I mean projects you start on your own or with friends – that you do, not for payment, but because your passionate and find it interesting. It can be a blog (Knock Twice!), organize a weekly [...] Read more – ‘Why You Should Start a Personal Project’.
ARTiculations is coming to The Junction!
Hey, Toronto West-Enders, great news; we’re getting our own art supply centre! Opening December 1st in the Junction, ARTiculations is part art supply store, part workshop, part gallery, and part artist resource centre. I got a sneak peak of the renovated space this week, and, let me tell you, it’s going to be good. In [...] Read more – ‘ARTiculations is coming to The Junction!’.
This Post is Not Made for You!
I often hear the same complaint from students and others that often consume educational content. It goes along the lines of “that lecture wasn’t that useful” or “I only learned a few things at that workshop, I really wish they covered…” Sure, sometimes the speaker, workshop, conference, book, whatever, really is bad, but most of [...] Read more – ‘This Post is Not Made for You!’.
How Many Paintings Equal an Oil Change? – Bartering Your Services
I recently brought a new piece of art into my home. It’s a piece I love, by an artist I respect. And the best part? I didn’t pay any money for it! I did some web-work for the artist, in exchange for the painting. Bartering can be a great way to get products or services [...] Read more – ‘How Many Paintings Equal an Oil Change? – Bartering Your Services’.
Magenta’s Flash Forward
Both Erika and I recently received honorable mentions in Magenta’s Flash Forward 2011 photography competition and book. I’m a big fan of entering competitions that have multi faceted prizes, such as an award, show, and publication. They let you add several lines to your CV and get your work out to a larger audience than [...] Read more – ‘Magenta’s Flash Forward’.
You Should Know… Juergen Teller
Contemporary photographer Juergen Teller is an example of blurred boundaries between the worlds of fine-art and commercial photography. His unusual style crosses back and forth, shooting advertising campaigns for major fashion houses, as well as exhibiting work as a gallery-represented artist. Read more – ‘You Should Know… Juergen Teller’.
Canadian Art Prize Pack Giveaway
Knock Twice isn’t quite a year old yet, but we’re getting there. And we want to make sure that we’re growing in the direction that you want. We have a short survey so you can give us your feedback. And, in exchange, we have a Canadian Art prize pack to give away to one lucky [...] Read more – ‘Canadian Art Prize Pack Giveaway’.
How Do You Compete?
In saturated markets such as photography, you have to pick what you are going to compete on. What is it that makes you different? Why would a client want to hire you over the hundreds (thousands?) of other photographers out there. There seem to be three main ways with which a freelance can compete – [...] Read more – ‘How Do You Compete?’.
Fraction Magazine
When I stumbled on Fraction Magazine, David Bram and Joshua Spees’s online publication dedicated to contemporary photography, I was reminded of what it’s like to look at portfolios of images. While blogs and the likes are great for one-off imagery, there’s something exceptional about viewing a crafted body of work, in it’s entirety, in context, and [...] Read more – ‘Fraction Magazine’.
The Artist & The Gallery
There seems to be a lot of confusions surrounding gallery representation and what it means to be a gallery represented artist. How involved is the gallery? Do they have any say in your work? What are your responsibilities? What are theirs? Who would benefit from having a gallery rep? Who should avoid it? The artist [...] Read more – ‘The Artist & The Gallery’.
Do You Do, or Do You Ask?
I believe in manners, following the rules, and that there is some kind of ultimate fairness in the world that means cheaters don’t prosper (even if I can’t see it…). So I can be a bit of a wimp sometimes. But have you heard the saying “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission?” It [...] Read more – ‘Do You Do, or Do You Ask?’.
Creating Opportunities
It often seems that there are certain people that get all the opportunities. One thing after another comes their way without any seemingly direct effort from them. They win awards, get shows, and are interviewed on popular blogs and in magazines. Why is that? It might seem like luck or some elusive talent, but most [...] Read more – ‘Creating Opportunities’.
A Simple Rule: The Big Three
Today’s post is short; a little meditation. I recently worked with a photographer who gave me some really good advice, not just for photographers, but for any freelancer in a creative field. It’s a simple rule to help you decide weather to take on a job. We dubbed it “the big three”. Read more – ‘A Simple Rule: The Big Three’.
Forget About Money, Lets Party!
I recently had to choose between potentially losing a fairly lucrative job and attending a party. During initial talks with the client we had agreed on a set of dates for the shoot, but in the week leading up to it, they asked to move the shoot earlier into the week. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, [...] Read more – ‘Forget About Money, Lets Party!’.
Traveling for Business
I spent this past weekend photographing on location in Washington, DC. The job was somewhat last-minute, and it was my first time travelling that far for business on my own. Luckily, I’m pretty organized, things went smoothly, and Washington is a beautiful city. But as I watched the baggage handler chuck my bag roughly onto [...] Read more – ‘Traveling for Business’.
Handling New Clients
I recently met with a new client and it got me thinking about how to best handle first time clients. There are a lot of elements at play and a good first impression goes a long way to turning them into repeat customers (the ideal). I wrote a bit about this in a post about [...] Read more – ‘Handling New Clients’.
Help Me Hire You
Applying for jobs online can be really disappointing. Hiring from a posting online can be equally bleak. This past week, I’ve had the opportunity to look through submissions from about 50 job applicants, all for the same position. There were some great applicants, there were also a ton of very poor submissions; such is the [...] Read more – ‘Help Me Hire You’.
Events: October 2011
Of course Toronto’s big event this month is Nuit Blanche, the all-night arts festival. But there are lots of other great things going on as well. If you’re a photo nerd (or just someone who’s always wanted to own a daguerreotype), I highly recommend the Photo Historical Society’s fall fair. I found this guy last [...] Read more – ‘Events: October 2011’.
Need A Ride?
As much as I complain about the TTC system being unreliable, I should really count my blessings. At least we have a somewhat comprehensive transit system. I grew up in the suburbs where the buses were few and far between, so everyone drives everywhere. Living in the city, I am able to get around relatively [...] Read more – ‘Need A Ride?’.
The Importance of Writing
There is a strange concept among visual artists – many seem to think they don’t need to write well. The idea is that their work should speak for itself, after all, had they wanted to write, they would have become writers. I’m sorry, but that is bullshit. Writing is one of the most important skills [...] Read more – ‘The Importance of Writing’.
The KTB Media Empire (*ahem*)
We at Knock Twice really want to be helpful, and useful, and inspiring. We have great readers, and love getting feedback, comments, mail, and updates about what you’re working on. As a back-to-school check-in of sorts, I thought it might be helpful to give a tour of our media empire…..rather, the different ways we’re trying [...] Read more – ‘The KTB Media Empire (*ahem*)’.
Hanging Art, A Guide
Everyone will eventually find themselves needing to hang art. It’s a must have skill for artists, but it is often the cause of hours confusion and frustration. I’m not sure how many pieces of art I’ve put up for critiques, shows, and in my own home, but it’s probably well over a hundred. Over the last few [...] Read more – ‘Hanging Art, A Guide’.
You Should Know…Gregory Crewdson
American photographer Gregory Crewdson is best known for his elaborately staged and lit photographs. Referencing cinema, the vignettes seems as if there were taken right out of a film, depicting twilight moments that often feel supernatural. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at MOMA and The Guggenheim. [Bonus: His Sanctuary project is [...] Read more – ‘You Should Know…Gregory Crewdson’.
Get Some Help
It’s great to be busy. At least, it’s good for business. And we’re all about maximizing profits, but at a certain point, you can’t invent more hours in the day. And when you’ve reached the limit of what you can handle, and then taken on a few more things, it might be time to find [...] Read more – ‘Get Some Help’.
The Science of Sleep
Sleep is a scarce resource for freelancers. Because of last minute jobs, inconsistent hours, and clients in other time zones, we often cut our sleep time without giving it a second thought. It’s only after pulling several late nights and early mornings in a row, that our body takes over, we crash, and after 14 [...] Read more – ‘The Science of Sleep’.
Calendarize It
I love words, and came across a new one recently. To CALENDERIZE something is to put it into your schedule for a future date. It makes sense, I’d just never heard it before. With this being a back-to-routines kind of time for people, it seems appropriate to talk about calenderizing, planning ahead, and flipping back [...] Read more – ‘Calendarize It’.
Drawing the Line
Erika and I recently met with an artist who mentioned trying to distance her art work from her commercial work. This is something that I often think about in my own life. Should I have a separate website for my art work? Is my commercial work having a negative impact on my personal work? Will [...] Read more – ‘Drawing the Line’.
Events: September 2011
This is it, folks: September. Along with muggy rainstorms comes the desire to turn over a new leaf, start new projects, and get serious. I often see September as a mini-new year, and so resolutions abound. How about “try to see more art, and get to more exhibition openings”? Sounds good, eh? Here are some [...] Read more – ‘Events: September 2011’.
On Monotasking
A little while ago I read an article on mono-tasking. As you may have guessed, it’s the opposite of multi-tasking. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of taking more than one thing on at a time, it just means you choose not to. The article suggests that by focusing your energy fully on one [...] Read more – ‘On Monotasking’.
Questions to Ask Your Client
Congratulations you’ve been commissioned your first job! Now before you hang up the phone or close your email to revel in celebratory bliss, there are a few things you should ask your client that will help the shoot run smooth and give them the final product they need. Because there is often a shortage of [...] Read more – ‘Questions to Ask Your Client’.
Why You Need a Website
My mom has a website. She understands that by now, there’s no excuse not to. Facebook and Flickr should not be your only web presence. If you’re serious about what you do, you need a website. (Did I mention that we’re giving one away, with free hosting, for life?) As author Mordecai Richler writes in [...] Read more – ‘Why You Need a Website’.
Roundup: Sheridan College Creatives
As Ryerson Alumni, Eugen and I often feel somewhat biased towards their student work.  To be fair, Ryerson fosters some talented photographers (you can see some here), but so do other institutions. Sheridan College has it’s own share of creative talent (and illustrators, and painters…..), and their student magazine, Travis, is amazing! It’s well written, [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Sheridan College Creatives’.
Book Review: Negotiating with the Dead – A Writer on Writing
I’m not going to lie, even though she’s a national treasure, I’m not fond of Margaret Atwood’s fiction. I am, however, a fan of the woman herself (she is very, very bright – do you follow her on twitter?) and I’m a fan of her non-fiction, lecture-style writing. I came to Negotiating With the Dead: [...] Read more – ‘Book Review: Negotiating with the Dead – A Writer on Writing’.
Is Your Power Safe?
Protecting your data is key when you work in a digital environment. So you back up your data regularly and think everything is safe, right? Wrong. You can also run into serious issues during a power outage if you don’t have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). Let’s take a look at what can go wrong [...] Read more – ‘Is Your Power Safe?’.
Documenting Your Work
Whether you’re a commercial photographer, fine artists, or writer, anytime you produce something, the ultimate goal is usually for your work to leave the nest and go out into the world. Maybe you’ve shot an ad campaign, maybe your thesis project is going to be part of a group exhibition…. Whatever the case, you should [...] Read more – ‘Documenting Your Work’.
Contract Basics: What’s Inside
Last week we went over when you need a contract, how detailed it should be, and who creates it. This week I want to take a look at specific things a contract should cover. It’s important to remember that I’m talking about contracts for commissioned jobs – editorial work, product photography, etc. While each contract [...] Read more – ‘Contract Basics: What’s Inside’.
Roundup: Student Discounts
Education is obviously one of the best benefits of being a student, but one of the bonuses is the student discount. Often taken for granted by those to whom it is available, the student discount can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars. If you’re a student, you should get in the habit of [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Student Discounts’.
Some Things For Your Wedding Kit Bag
It’s summer time, and you’re the friend with a camera. You’re the buddy who’s “into” photography. It’s likely that you have, or will be, asked to photograph a wedding. When I was in school pursuing my artistic passion (*ahem*), I scoffed at wedding photography. My thinking was, “if I can’t get a real job, maybe [...] Read more – ‘Some Things For Your Wedding Kit Bag’.
Contract Basics: Thinking About Contracts
Every professional will have to deal with contracts sooner or later. Today let’s look at when and why you might need a contract and next week we’ll take a look at the things a contract should include. I’m going to focus on contracts for commissioned work (not gallery representation or anything else), although there is [...] Read more – ‘Contract Basics: Thinking About Contracts’.
Interview With A Lawyer: Jordan Nahmias
We believe that when you start a business, there is a tool-box of people you should have available to you. (Ok, some people just call them consultants.) A lawyer is a key member of the consultant-team you should build for yourself, and you shouldn’t just wait until you’re in the middle of a legal bind to [...] Read more – ‘Interview With A Lawyer: Jordan Nahmias’.
Don’t Wait for Clients to Call
When you’re just starting out, it’s difficult to get the exact type of work you want. People often end up taking whatever they can get, but are left wishing they could do a specific style of shooting. To get that work, you need to build a targeted portfolio that reflects the work you want. The [...] Read more – ‘Don’t Wait for Clients to Call’.
You Should Know…..Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Husband and wife team Christo and Jeanne-Claude are sculptors of a kind. They have wrapped the German parliament building in aluminium fabric, installed a white nylon fence in California, and covered a Swiss forest in polyester. Through wrapping, some of the most basic features and proportions of the object are revealed, by concealing the actual [...] Read more – ‘You Should Know…..Christo and Jeanne-Claude’.
Starbucks to Studios: Establishing a Workspace
Following on the heels of Eugen’s post last week about co-working, I wanted to talk to someone who’s worked through it all. Jessica Blaine Smith is a Toronto-based portrait and wedding photographer. Originally, Jessica met with clients in coffee shops. She graduated to a shared studio space in 2005; using a common area for meetings, [...] Read more – ‘Starbucks to Studios: Establishing a Workspace’.
How Many Selects to Send Clients?
After a photo shoot, it is common practice to send the client a set of image to choose the final image(s) from. The initial set are called “selects” and the final images are called “final selects”. Several things affect the number of selects you send in and there can be competing interests at play. A [...] Read more – ‘How Many Selects to Send Clients?’.
Camera Formats 101
Camera formats varied according to the needs of film photographers, but have continued on through the digital revolution. Camera-phones aside, we’ve put together a primer on three of the main formats. You may already know this, but if this is the first time you’re seeing these terms, hopefully you find them helpful. Read more – ‘Camera Formats 101’.
Book Review: Rework
Many business books claim to have the secret new formula for running a successful company. Most end up regurgitating the same advice we’ve read for years. Written either by a “business guru” that’s never run a business or by an ancient CEO that sounds so drab you wonder who actually wrote the book. Rework is [...] Read more – ‘Book Review: Rework’.
You Should Know… Gerhard Richter
Today we feature the work of our first non-photographer. However, the work of German artist Gerhard Richter is so technically perfect, one could often mistake his paintings for photographs. Richter’s paintings are based on photographs, and the detail is blurred through his painting technique. Read more – ‘You Should Know… Gerhard Richter’.
Is Old School Ok?
I took an advanced studio lighting class in university. The professor gave us a list of things we should have in a studio kit, and explained a lot of tips and tricks I would have never thought of. For example, would you have thought to polish fruit with car wax for a photographic shine? (Or, [...] Read more – ‘Is Old School Ok?’.
Making Mistakes Sucks – A Case Study
Making mistakes sucks. That’s the truth and no number of motivational posters is going to change it. What’s worse than making a mistake, is making it twice. Today I want to talk about how I screwed up recently and the steps I’m taking to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you live in Canada, you [...] Read more – ‘Making Mistakes Sucks – A Case Study’.
Do You Journal?
It seems that many people just type notes into their phones these days, but there’s something different, and dare I say, better, about keeping a journal (or notepad, or sketchbook, or whatever you want to call it.) I believe that taking the time to write something down makes it more important. I think it fuels [...] Read more – ‘Do You Journal?’.
So You Want to be an Artist?
So you want to be an artist? Spend your days creating work, live by your own schedule, painting when inspiration hits, and take in life the rest of the time? The plan is to go to art school – where you’ll spend four years in creative bliss? Get a studio when you’re done and then [...] Read more – ‘So You Want to be an Artist?’.
Creep Yourself Out
It’s no question that with the current state of the internet, “to creep” is a commonly recognized verb, usually meaning to search out online. But have you creeped yourself recently? It can be an important tool in your own marketing research. Read more – ‘Creep Yourself Out’.
Photographing Babies and Weddings is the ONLY Way to Make Money
Recently, a friend’s mother told me that the ONLY way to make money as a photographer is to photograph weddings or babies. While I have heard some stupid takes on the photo industry, the matter-of-fact nature with which she delivered this sentiment made it quickly rise to the top of the bullshit list. However, this [...] Read more – ‘Photographing Babies and Weddings is the ONLY Way to Make Money’.
Get An Art: Starting Your Collection
If you have the opportunity, invest in art. especially in these formative years when you are working to network with other emerging creative professionals. Buy, barter, and trade. Art is not just an inspiring thing to have around your home, it can be a serious investment. Read more – ‘Get An Art: Starting Your Collection’.
Watch Yourself
I want to talk about taking care of one’s health from the perspective of a freelancer. Erika has addressed the subject of burnout and the importance of time off in an earlier post, but I want to look at health on a day-to-day basis. When work gets busy, it’s very easy to get caught up [...] Read more – ‘Watch Yourself’.
Roundup: Photo Competitions
As an emerging photographer, entering competitions can be a great way to get your name out there. Even if you don’t win, competitions give you a chance to get your work in front of people you might not have access to otherwise. Many juried competitions have entry fees, but what’s a mere $35 compared to [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Photo Competitions’.
Knowing What You Need to Know
We’re in the process of switching over to using Capture One (software for tethered shooting) at the studio where I work. I’ve used Capture One a couple of times in the past, but have never really dived in deep, so it’s all very new to me. To fix my lack of knowledge I’ve started doing [...] Read more – ‘Knowing What You Need to Know’.
Book Review: Image Makers, Image Takers
Interviews are tricky. To be pulled off successfully, the interviewer needs the right balance of knowledge on the subject, connections to get access to the interviewees, and a knack for posing the right questions in a way that elicits deep and honest responses. In her book Image Takers, Image Makers, Anne-Celine Jaeger interviews “leading curators, [...] Read more – ‘Book Review: Image Makers, Image Takers’.
Sometimes You Need to Kill Your (Metaphorical) Babies
We’ve all got work that we love, but sometimes that one image doesn’t fit in with the rest.  Every image you bring into the world is going to be your baby, but just because you shot it doesn’t mean it’s worthy of inclusion, and just because you like it doesn’t mean it’s good. When everyone [...] Read more – ‘Sometimes You Need to Kill Your (Metaphorical) Babies’.
How to Win Clients Over
There are a lot of factors that go into converting a first time client into one that gives you repeat work. Beyond the obvious – do good work – there is one strategy that gets thrown around a lot in the business world – under promise, over deliver. It makes perfect sense, if a client [...] Read more – ‘How to Win Clients Over’.
Traipsing Through The Minefield: The Online Job Hunt
If you’ve ever looked for a job on Craigslist, you know that most of them try to sell you on the idea that you need them as much as they need you. Phrases like “will be great experience”, “gain exposure”, or “will be awesome for your portfolio” didn’t used to bug me as much as [...] Read more – ‘Traipsing Through The Minefield: The Online Job Hunt’.
The Time Between Needing and Getting
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to deal with growth lately. As things pick up in various aspects of my work – editorial, architecture, and fine art – there are certain things I think I need that would make shooting and day-to-day life much easier. Things such as a set of PocketWizards, storage space [...] Read more – ‘The Time Between Needing and Getting’.
Please Stop Crying In Meetings, You’re Making Me Look Bad
I’m not sure if I agree with the saying “No man is an island”. I work very well with myself; I’m reliable, I’m always available to brainstorm with, and I make a mean cup of coffee. But there are definite benefits to working with another person. For example, earlier this week when I was having [...] Read more – ‘Please Stop Crying In Meetings, You’re Making Me Look Bad’.
Anatomy of an Invoice
Eventually, if you want to get paid, you will have to write an invoice. As I mentioned in a previous post, I use FreshBooks for invoicing. But regardless of how you do it, all invoices are made up of the same basic elements. I’ve created an imaginary invoice to use as a reference when going [...] Read more – ‘Anatomy of an Invoice’.
How to Backup Your Data!
In a previous post we talked about a few online backup options. Those are a great first step, however, there are many problems – long upload / download times, similar services have been known to close down, ease of retrieval, etc. If you’re working professionally, loosing images has real consequences beyond your own disappointment. It’s [...] Read more – ‘How to Backup Your Data!’.
Trip Print Press
I believe in well-printed promos; something that tells me the person who made it cares about presentation. After all, we are visual people. Business cards, postcards, books, exhibition catalogues, I’m a total sucker for print. Which means I was thrilled when Nicholas Kennedy gave me a tour of his Toronto-based letterpress studio, Trip Print Press. Read more – ‘Trip Print Press’.
Thoughts on Graduation
Having gone to Ryerson’s photo grad show – Maximum Exposure – last week, I was reminded that it has only been a year since I graduated. The past year has been an amazing learning experience and has made me realize the main benefits of school weren’t the technical skills or all the history and theory. [...] Read more – ‘Thoughts on Graduation’.
Downloadable CONTACT Walking Guides!
Having gone to the Contact Photography Festival for several years, we know firsthand how tricky it can be navigating the largest photographic event in the world. With over 200 venues involved it’s impossible to see everything, so where do you start? Read more – ‘Downloadable CONTACT Walking Guides!’.
CONTACT is coming!
If you live in Toronto, the month of May means the CONTACT Photography Festival. This annual event transforms the city into a gigantic showcase of contemporary images. We’re counting down the days until the festival launch, but in the meantime, we feel a brief introduction is in order. Read more – ‘CONTACT is coming!’.
Don’t Have Your Girlfriend Call Me
It’s always internship season somewhere; either it’s a class requirement, or continuing education project, or a summer of figuring out what you want to do. In any case, applying for an internship should be approached like applying for a job, and being an intern should be taken seriously. First impressions matter and when the mentor [...] Read more – ‘Don’t Have Your Girlfriend Call Me’.
Video: Brett Gundlock on Crowdfunding
We’re excited to share our first Knock Twice Video with you today. We interviewed National Post photographer Brett Gundlock about his most recent personal project Prisoners, in particular, how he used crowdfunding to finance the exhibition. The idea behind crowdfunding is that you pitch an idea and how much money you need to complete it. [...] Read more – ‘Video: Brett Gundlock on Crowdfunding’.
Roundup: Online Backup Services
There was always someone in my class whose laptop gave up just before a major assignment was due. The computer would have to go in for repair, and they would be left with nothing. (Those people became the first kids on the block to run out and buy external backup drives). Think about it: right [...] Read more – ‘Roundup: Online Backup Services’.
Tax Talk – Part 2: How our HST Works
As mentioned last week, HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax. In Ontario, it is a 13% tax that applies to all goods and services. As a vendor, you may be required to charge HST to your customers and then pass the money* on to the government. Let’s continue that talk, but with a few more [...] Read more – ‘Tax Talk – Part 2: How our HST Works’.
Building Your Most Valuable Resource
Regardless of your industry, level of experience, money, or goals, there is single resource that stands out as the most important tool you need to succeed – the people you know. Simply put, no one does it alone, no one. The best advantage you can give yourself is to start building up a network of [...] Read more – ‘Building Your Most Valuable Resource’.
Let’s Talk About Taxes: Part One
If you live in Canada, your taxes are due at the end of this month. If you’re getting money back, this can be a great time of year. If you’re going to owe money, it’s a time to remember how lucky we are to have government-funded health insurance. The topic of taxes can be huge, [...] Read more – ‘Let’s Talk About Taxes: Part One’.
Making the Most Out of Your Internship
Every year as school winds down, internship season kicks in. For many students this will be the first time they are working professionally in their fields and can be an invaluable experience. At best, internships can lead to great jobs and at worse – you will become the resident barista. More often than not, your [...] Read more – ‘Making the Most Out of Your Internship’.
Kick It Up A Notch
It can be hard to produce new work, especially if you have tight deadlines and it’s not a project you love. But at the end of the day, the work you make is the work you will have to show. If you rush through a shoot just to get it done, you might miss out [...] Read more – ‘Kick It Up A Notch’.
Detective Skills for the Digital Age
In a perfect world, every photo editor, art director, gallery owner, and media person would make their personal contact info public. Alas, we do not live in such a world, so several times a week I find myself trying to track down the email of someone I wish to reach out to. Over time I [...] Read more – ‘Detective Skills for the Digital Age’.
Little Luxuries
Exhaustion and burnout are real and serious. It’s especially easy to let them sneak up on you if you’re a student or an entrepreneur (or both!). I’ve lived the student life, and I’m still about as thrifty as they come, but I believe there are ways to incorporate little luxuries into your life that have [...] Read more – ‘Little Luxuries’.
How to Finish Projects and Set Them Free
A problem I struggled with everyday (and still do) is following through and finishing projects. I have hundreds of ideas for business and marketing strategies, art projects, companies – I get excited, start working on them, and then promptly relegate them to another day (that never comes). While this makes me feel busy and productive, [...] Read more – ‘How to Finish Projects and Set Them Free’.
Dedpxl – OneLight Field Guide (Book)
American music and portrait photographer Zack Arias is pretty funny. He’s really honest. And he’s incredibly generous with what he knows. The OneLight Field Guide is the first issue of Arias’ independent photography magazine, Dedpxl, that focuses on how to use off-camera lighting. Imagine sitting down with a coffee and having a pro explain flat-out [...] Read more – ‘Dedpxl – OneLight Field Guide (Book)’.
Active Achievement
Last week I wrote about the importance of a CV and how to put one together. However, it’s likely that your first CV looks like mine did – sparse. Over the last few years I have been building up my CV one section at a time using a strategy I call active achievement. This can [...] Read more – ‘Active Achievement’.
Map-Making for Beginners
It’s naive to think that people will beat down your door with job offers as soon as you begin life as a creative professional. In a market saturated with so many photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, etc, you will likely have to make or find a job for yourself. Having a degree or a certificate does [...] Read more – ‘Map-Making for Beginners’.
The Anatomy of a CV
If you’re interested in being an artist you will be asked for a CV over and over again. A CV (or curriculum vitae) is similar to a resume, but more detailed and is as much about your achievements as your experience. It’s best to start your CV early on because as time passes you might [...] Read more – ‘The Anatomy of a CV’.
You Should Know…The Bechers
The German husband and wife team are known for their systematic photography of disappearing industrial structures. If you’ve ever shot a project based on typology, or presented in a grid format, you should be aware of their work. (Everyone else knows them, you should too). Read more – ‘You Should Know…The Bechers’.
Good Things In One Place: Akimbo
In recent years I have become a big fan of having things delivered to me. Office supplies, groceries, daily doses of imagery, you name it. I’m pretty sure it has to do with me finally realizing that my time is a commodity, and identifying my priorities. So in the spirit of having things brought to [...] Read more – ‘Good Things In One Place: Akimbo’.
The Idea Machine
The biggest problem people have when trying to do personal or fine art work, is focusing in on an idea for their project. This makes sense because when you are without restrictions, it is easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed with choice. This post will elaborate on some of the points discussed in the Who [...] Read more – ‘The Idea Machine’.
Portfolio Reviews: The Basics
Last May I participated in my first official photography portfolio review. I prepared my work, arrived at the event, and waited nervously for my first session. By the end of the weekend I had met with six very different reviewers, had a notebook full of (sometimes conflicting) feedback, and was excited to move forward with [...] Read more – ‘Portfolio Reviews: The Basics’.
Book Review: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be
I’m quite certain that most creative freelancers don’t read business books, especially when they’re just starting out. It’s strange, photographers read books on lighting, designers read books on type, and everyone has a stack of old Adobe guide books. However, when it comes to our key activity – running a business, it seems that no [...] Read more – ‘Book Review: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’.
Savouring Sundays Off
Working from home can have a lot of advantages (case in point: I’m wearing slippers as I write this.) However, one of the greatest disadvantages can be burnout. When you work from home, you never really get to leave the office. There’s always one more email, a few more files, a client to call back [...] Read more – ‘Savouring Sundays Off’.
Getting Your Work Featured Online
I’m currently in the middle of sending my work to various blogs in preparation of my first solo show next month. I thought it would be good to share the process I use to approach bloggers in hopes of having them feature my work. Getting your work out there is great for many reasons. Your [...] Read more – ‘Getting Your Work Featured Online’.
Do You Have a Card?
I’ve had a post about business cards in mind since before we started this site. One of the goals of Knock Twice is to educate about professional practice, so I think this is a basic but important topic to discuss. Having a business card immediately makes you more credible than the guy who scribbled his [...] Read more – ‘Do You Have a Card?’.
Let it Ring: a Guide to Decision Making
As a freelancer, you have to wear every hat in your company. The result is that the worker you, has to live with the decisions the CEO you has made. For a long time, I had a chronic problem of agreeing to take on every opportunity that came my way. The CEO me thought, “Great [...] Read more – ‘Let it Ring: a Guide to Decision Making’.
Writing a Professional Bio
Having a bio on your site, or blog, or in your submission package, is important because, obviously, not everyone knows you. It can be difficult to write about yourself, but your bio is the only way some people will ever “meet” you, so you want to make sure it leaves a good impression. These are [...] Read more – ‘Writing a Professional Bio’.
The Qualities of a Good Assistant
Being an assistant is one of the main ways those interested in working as photographers (and many other professions) get started. We will have several posts on the topic, beginning today with taking a look at what qualities a potential assistant should have. This list shouldn’t be taken as hard rules since everyone has their [...] Read more – ‘The Qualities of a Good Assistant’.
Etiquette for Using Your Connections
Though the saying goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” I disagree. Kind of.  I believe it is often a combination of both what and who you know that help you succeed. Jobs don’t always go to the most qualified candidate; sometimes they go to the person who was in the right place [...] Read more – ‘Etiquette for Using Your Connections’.
The “No Free Time” Myth
One of most frequent complaints I hear from people is that they have no free time. Let’s be honest, you have free time. In fact you have a lot of free time. Very few people are so busy that all their time is taken up – new parents, the president, etc. I know this for [...] Read more – ‘The “No Free Time” Myth’.
Flak Photo: Daily Inspiration On The Go
It’s important to stay refreshed. There are some exceptions, but most of us don’t create in a vacuum, and I’m a firm believer that you have to see good work to make good work. I’ve had days where everything I see is an inspiration, but I’ve also been burned out and idea-dry. Luckily, the internet [...] Read more – ‘Flak Photo: Daily Inspiration On The Go’.
Rules for Life
In my note app on my phone I keep a list of Rules for Life. These are small ideas that help me in work and life in general. Sometimes I come up with a rule after making a big mistake, perhaps I read it in a book, and every so often one comes to me [...] Read more – ‘Rules for Life’.
Money Out in the Open
Because I was a poor student at the time, and of the “any-money-is-better-than-no-money” mentality, I took the job for $100. That’s how I ended up in a park, two hours away, shooting an anniversary portrait for the parents of a friend. It wasn’t until I was processing the film (yes, film) that I did the [...] Read more – ‘Money Out in the Open’.
Making Dreams Come True
We love to dream about the future. Every year towards the end of December people sit down and write out their resolutions for the next twelve months. Then comes January first, they promptly forget about them and move on with their lives. Dreams on their own are worthless, you need to have a strategy to [...] Read more – ‘Making Dreams Come True’.
Who Needs Grades?
There is a problem – from kindergarten up, our success in school is measured through grades. Achieving high marks often results in both emotional and physical benefits furthering the illusion that grades are a useful metric. However, the skills that chasing grades teaches couldn’t be farther from what is needed to truly succeed in today’s [...] Read more – ‘Who Needs Grades?’.