Lines of Sight

The business side of photography

Toronto Photographer: 416-540-5494

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law was introduced back in 2014 and it came with a three-year phase-in period. How times flies. That three-year period ends in a few days on July 1, 2017.

Do you use email, SMS, social media or instant messaging to send commercial or promotional information about your organization to reach customers, prospects and other important audiences?

– Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Up until now, a business could continue sending commercial electronic messages to potential and current customers as it was assumed that you may have had implied consent. But starting July 1, you need express consent.

If you market your photography business through e-mail, text messages or social media, pay attention.


Office With A View

One of the nice things about shooting editorial and news pictures for newspapers, magazines and even a company’s social media and public relations, is the variety of situations that come up.

A few days ago, this was the view from my “office”:

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Give Yourself a Hand

On January 1, 2019, Ontario’s minimum wage will rise 31.6%. During this same time period, how much of a raise are you going to hand yourself?

The average full-time, hourly-paid, Canadian employee makes $58,136/year, assuming a 40-hour week.

If you consider yourself average, then you should be earning the same $58,000 plus enough to cover all your overhead expenses. For example, if your annual overhead is $25,000, then you need to earn about $83,000 per year. Job expenses are not included in that sum.

Using the same example as above, if you do 100 jobs per year, then your average invoice should be at least $830 plus expenses. If you do 50 jobs per year, then your average invoice should be at least $1,660 plus job expenses. I said “at least” because (a) your fee should be based on the value of your work and not on time or a flat rate, and (b) employees get paid benefits and you don’t.
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Photoshop Plugins and Mac OS 10.11/10.12

I won’t upgrade to a newer Mac operating system unless I really have to. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? But I recently updated a Mac computer from OS 10.10 to 10.11, (yes, 1-1/2 years behind the times), because some new applications now require OS 10.11. After I updated, several popular Photoshop plugins – those from Topaz and Nik (Google) – started acting up.

The reason why these plugins were acting weirdly is because Mac’s newer operating systems, starting with OS 10.11, have Apple’s System Integrity Protection (SIP). This security feature does what its name says by not allowing non-Apple files in certain directories.

Topaz and Nik plugins had installed files into the hidden /usr/lib/ directory which is now blocked by SIP. When you update to OS 10.11, or newer, all non-Apple files will be removed from directories protected by SIP. Removed files are placed in Library > SystemMigration > History > Migration > QuarantineRoot.
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May The Photos Be With You

In Canada, the month of May is National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, National Vinegar Month and National Motorcycle Awareness Month. More than a dozen other causes also use May as their national awareness month.

Perhaps most important ;-) is that May is National Photography Month in Canada and several other countries, too. May is also Vision Health Month and National Smile Month (in the UK). Coincidence?

The purpose of National Photography Month is to encourage people to think about photography and how important it is to them. Can you imagine your life without photography?

There are a few things you can do to boost your photo awareness this month (and every other month, too):
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Splitting a Photographer

Splitting Time

Sometimes a photographer might be asked to split up a work day into non-consecutive hours. This can happen with weddings, business conferences and other full-day events where the customer wants the photographer to cover only certain parts of the event. The customer usually expects the photographer not to charge for any downtime.

For example:

• A bride might want the photographer to cover her afternoon wedding ceremony from 1:00pm to 2:30pm and the evening dinner from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. The photographer would have a 3-1/2 hour split in their day.

• A business conference organizer might want the photographer to cover the opening speeches from 9:00am to 10:30am, a keynote presentation from 1:00pm to 2:00pm and an evening reception from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. In this case, the photographer has two blocks of downtime.

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In the Twinkle of an Eye

They may be the tiniest details in a portrait but they’re possibly the most important. Yet many photographers don’t understand catchlights.

You may not need catchlights in every portrait. The most famous portrait, the Mona Lisa, doesn’t have catchlights:

The Mona Lisa. Many of Leonardo da Vinci’s other portraits have catchlights.

But catchlights are very important in a business portrait. Catchlights bring attention to the eyes which are the most important facial feature for conveying emotion.
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