How I Got My Job As The Studio Owner Of THAT+ Toronto Studio
For our career series “How I Got My Job,” we’ll be talking to real people, working real jobs across a variety of industries. These people are pushing boundaries and have made their mark. They’ve found success on their own terms, and now we’re extracting their advice on how to carve out your own career path.
If you’re a creative in the city, you may have heard of our next spotlight for “How I Got My Job.”
Daniel Camer is the owner of THAT+ Toronto Studio, a photography rental studio in Toronto. The loft style space features all the bells and whistles; from hourly and daily rentals, to big windows that offer plenty of natural light, and a hair and makeup studio. And it’s through his own experience that Daniel was able to make his studio a haven for photographers, videographers, and other creatives.
Equipped with a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson, Daniel is a self-taught photographer that’s been able to combine his love for adventure, marketing, and photography into a successful entrepreneur story. With an eye for blending branding and art, his roster of clients includes household names like Loblaws, Airbnb, Universal Records, and Playboy to name a few.
We had the opportunity to chat with Daniel Camer about how he got started, his advice to budding entrepreneurs, and more. Take a look below.
What made you fall in love with photography? And how did that lead you to where you are now?
I fell in love with photography by accident. An ex-gf of mine wanted to do a photoshoot and I borrowed my uncle’s camera, and then BAM. That changed the course of my life and turned me into an entrepreneur. Arguably the single most defining moment in my career was that point because I was still in school, but shooting on my off time to pay for the nicer things in my life!
For those who don’t know, what is THAT+ Toronto Studio and what can someone expect when they book?
That Toronto Studio is a photography rental space which we rent out mainly to photographers, but also videographers and all other industry creatives looking for a cool spot to host an event or fulfill their artistic vision. The booking process is super easy, and you’ll get access to a wide range of services depending on your needs. Don’t need to rent lights because you have your own? We have a package for that. Wanna rent lights because you wanna try out studio lighting before you buy? We have a package for that, too. Almost anything you need, we have!
What lessons did you learn when first starting your career?
I learned how to get burned, a lot. I cannot count the amount of times I’ve been burned as a newbie in the business world. My suggestion is to get a mentor who can help you avoid basic mistakes. If you have any questions on how not to get burned in business or are seeking some advice with a client, I’m always happy to answer them so please feel welcome to reach out to me via the contact form on my website at www.thattorontostudio.ca.
What does a day in your life look like?
Wake up at 4:30 a.m., after a full 7.5-8 hours of sleep (yes, I go to bed early), and do my morning routine and exercises until 7:30 a.m., after which I’m hard at work until around 11 a.m or 12 p.m. Then a break, and the rest of my day is about 50% as efficient, with the rest of my day consisting of answering emails, calls, and general customer service. At around 6:30 or 7 p.m., I’m DONE work, and there’s not a single piece of work being looked at or thought about after 7 p.m. This is how I manage to go to bed at 8:30 or 9 p.m. Winding down time is key. Decompressing, self reflecting, allowing oneself the time to simmer on the day and how to improve the next.
You’ve had the opportunity to work with clients like OVO, BMW, Michael Kors, and Airbnb. What’s your advice to those looking to grow their own businesses?
Wake up early. All my best business has happened because I was available to take a booking before 8 a.m., which led to something big. It’s just, time moves slower in the morning, trust me. From 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., I’ve already gotten an entire eight hours worth of work into less than three hours. It’s magical. And the mindset and discipline of being up that early means you’re already done your workday shortly after most people have just arrived at work. Or most artists are just waking up — trust me I’ve been there, the 10 to 11 a.m. wake ups.
The creative industry is all about hustle. How do you keep motivated?
Until recently, I’ve been motivated by fear. Fear of going back to the basic hustle. The one where I scrape by for peanuts. But as of recent, I’ve got a new motivation. I’ve got a motivation to be the best self I can be and to take on challenges which make me uncomfortable and make me want to stretch my capabilities. This has really been a tremendous motivator to make me want to accomplish more than ever before. I feel completely different now than when I was just motivated by fear of being a failure. It’s incredible, and now that I’ve experienced this paradigm shift, I realize just how easy it is to change the way you feel about your life.
All images provided by Daniel Camer.
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