For our next edition of “How I Got My Job,” we speak to a photographer that was able to take his passion for taking photos into a career.
Daniel Camer is a Toronto-based photographer turned online marketed turned studio owner who has worked with clients like BMW, Airbnb, Loblaws, and more. And his studio, THAT+ Toronto Studio, is one of the most sought after spaces in the city.
We had the opportunity to talk to Daniel Camer about how he found his passion, the lessons he’s learned, and how he stays motivated to keep hustling. Take a peek 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-girlfriend of mine wanted to do a photo shoot 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 fulfil 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 to 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. to 12 p.m. Then a break — the rest of my day is about 50% as efficient, with most of the rest of my day consisting of answering emails, calls, and general customer service. 6:30 to 7 p.m. and I’m DONE work. 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, 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 to 10 a.m., I’ve already gotten an entire 8 hours worth of work into less than 3 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.
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