How Not To Get Screwed Over as a Freelancer

Zacharias Legal Document Collection - 1743 Power of Attorney

During my travels as a freelance creative (I do photography, graphic design and video work) there have been a few occasions where things have not worked out as I had hoped. Recently I learned some lessons and got lots of different perspectives on how to keep myself safe in client relationships.

Here are the tips I collected:

  1. Create a contract. This contract should have clear terms and conditions such as payment information, cost, delivery method, communication guidelines, copyright information and usage. This site, dontgetscrewedover.com has some great tips and links to http://www.docracy.com/ which provides free, open source legal documents for use.
  2. Someone recommended getting referrals to me before working with a new client. Most of my clients have been friends or friends of friends and with these people I have had few conflicts.
  3. Get 50% payment up front (deposit) and have the client pay the balance upon delivery of the finished product. This is especially important for substantial jobs.
  4. Watermark all drafts and content sent before payment is delivered.
  5. Include a creative brief (either in written or oral format) to explain why you made certain choices to the client. This can be helpful in ensuring clear communication.
  6. If someone does not pay you a substantial amount of money and they are a homeowner, it is possible to put a “lean” on their house, and they will need to pay you before they can sell their property.
  7. Get a new job! Freelance work is not for everyone and running your own business can be hard. A different job might be the best thing your your lifestyle and preferences.
  8. Small Claims Court (at least in BC) can help you with amounts over $1000 but will probably cost you more than it’s worth for smaller amounts.

Stay Safe! Thanks to Allison, Jeremy, Sam, Julian, Cedric, Amanda, Jacquie, Jay, Dari, and everyone else who contributed to this list and gave me their wisdom!

Vegan Prom YVR 2011

Photo booth at Vegan Prom YVR

Last weekend I attended the very first ever VEGAN PROM at this cool venue called Wise Hall near Commercial Drive (actually I was near there last night and there were two people dressed as TREES walking around… THAT PLACE IS SO COOL!). I was the photobooth photographer and my lovely veggie friend Kyla help me out with that. It was a great chance to play with “studio-esque” lighting (though the lights were super bright for the space… it was so dark i’m not sure of any possible solutions except having a separate room for photos or a better divider). It was also so nice to meet so many other vegan people. There were even some vegan parents there! Love!

The whole thing was absolutely lovely : )

It was also a really great opportunity to promote my freelance services CREATIVE for CHANGE and my Facebook Page : )

What is Positography?

So I have this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thec4c
And I recently made a website: http://www.thec4c.com/
Basically, I want to keep doing freelance photography/film/design and use it to make the world better, so half the profits go to charity. Also all services are by donation, you are provided for!

Positography is a new service I am developing at the moment. It was inspired by an overwhelming burst of joy-inspired creativity two weeks ago, the day I learned that Jason Mraz was coming to perform in Whistler (major day-maker for me).
First some background info… Basically, the reason I love doing photography is because I believe that everyone is beautiful, for beauty is a state of mind. I love looking for the sprinkles of inspiration and loveliness and finding them in everyone I meet. Pink has this awesome song out right now called “Fucking Perfect” and the chorus really speaks to me and what I believe in… “pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever think, that you’re less than, less than perfect” … there is major awakening happening with people around the world realizing how amazing they are right now and I want to be a part of that.
Positography combines endorphin releasing techniques like laughter yoga, physicality, sillyness, and affirmations with photography. I think that if people feel amazing and know how excellent they are that comes through in photos. So the idea is basically to bring out the best you, and capture that, to share it with the world : )

Interested? Let me know if you have any other questions, I’m still developing it and defining it : )

no time for cameras, we’ll use our eyes instead: a poem and a song

I was just discovering my friend Trini’s Lovely blog and I noticed the excellent quote at the top: no time for cameras, we’ll use our eyes instead. I’ve thought about this idea before, the way there are some things you can’t take a picture of (like climbing into a waterfall in Hawaii and seeing rainbows because there is  an abundance of water and sun). A nice reminder to live in the moment. Anyway I started writing a poem and then I realized it was a line from a song so before listening to it I finished my poem. Interesting the different results with the same prompt : ) Oh, and try to picture it sort of to the tune of  Green Day’s Time of your life…

 

for the things you cannot photograph, the ones that you must see

there is no apature or shutter speed to capture, what you mean to me

it isn’t so much looking, as learning how to be

to view the world through a loving lens, and it’s all yours for free

there is

no time for cameras, we’ll use our eyes instead

let’s fill our minds with memories, before we go to bed

take in each and every moment, ’cause it could be the last

be grateful for the things we see and grateful for the past

I don’t need a SLR to catch the sunlight dancing in your eyes

No point and shoot could convey the beauty of this sunrise

I may only have one moment to make that perfect shot

But I have a lifetime to appreciate all i’ve got

there is

no time for cameras, we’ll use our eyes instead

everything is wonderful and kept inside my head

take in each and every moment, ’cause it could be the last

be grateful for the things we see and grateful for the past

 

And now the actual song : )

 

Live LIVE. You are here. I love you.

Jenni

Said the Whale

“Mermaid sits on her rock and she prays
For the salmon in the sea, for the winged in the trees
For the old man on his knees
For the beauty in the park, and the cars at the heart
Her own sisters and her brothers
And ten thousand friends and lovers
A black day in December.”

A Black Day in December, Said the Whale

Today I went on an adventure to Stanley Park with pals Gracey, Trini and Logan to see Said The Whale play an acoustic set under the Hallow Tree in Stanley Park.

The show ended up being moved to Third Beach but the nice park rangers still let them play which was cool. I saw STW play during the Olympics but wasn’t very familiar with them. It was nice because I was able to sing along despite not knowing any of their music haha! Also they are a very local band. Lots of Vancouver references and what have you. Eat local, listen local! It’s nice : )

As local as the rivers they sing about, Said The Whale.

It was a really nice experience. Being surrounded by nature, under the rain… Even watching all the other people there was cool. All of us gathered around these trees… Beautiful day in a beautiful place with beautiful people : )

“You should never travel alone
and you know that one false step
and you might not make it home”

B.C. Orienteering, Said the Whale

You can see all the photos here on my flickr!

Vancouver is an abundance of good things : ) cave of wonders after cave of wonders.

Went to do a photo shoot in the Main Street area and discovered this magical little vintage furniture store with a really chill owner (who I told about SuperForest.org!), in addition to all the other wonders of that urban nook. Then went to the farmer’s market and met this awesome organic hippy farmer with a tie dye shirt and so much amazing kale (as well as other tasty things). Plus all of the beautiful people who you see in the city. Yayyyy!

Check my photostream yo!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jremps/

Love!

Jenni