iA


Business

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’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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!’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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’.
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?’.
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 (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’.
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’.
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’.
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)’.
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?’.
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)’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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?’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.