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Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Lesson 16 of 29

Time with Karen Moskowitz

Ted Leonhardt

Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Ted Leonhardt

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Lesson Info

16. Time with Karen Moskowitz

Lesson Info

Time with Karen Moskowitz

So this afternoon, before we get into the time discussion, I have a special guest. Karen moskowitz is joining us and we're going tio have a little conversation about her experiences and her creative insights and where they all came from and what it's all about, right, karen all right, right, great to have you. Karen moskowitz is a seattle's photographer. I need to put up my power point here, see who is noted for shooting people who are well known or for their music or for their business accomplishments or for their writing or almost anything, right? Right. And often they are extremely difficult and demanding assignment with very little time to be devoted to the assignment. Yes, and you have become a master of managing these difficult circumstances. So I guess time is involved because times actually an issue quite often in your work. Yes, I am so a lot of my work. Um, I started out doing music. Um, really working for a local music magazine, I a lot of friends who are musicians. And, um,...

I really love doing portrait photography and my background was in fine arts. And so I never really learned about thie lighting side the business side in school of fine arts school, you learn any of that stuff it's all about ideas, concepts and execution, so I learned most of what I learned by assisting and then just kind of getting thrown in at the deep end and when you are working for like magazines and your shooting somebody some celebrity oftentimes they're on a publicity junket or they're on set doing something or they're in the middle of a tour what have you but often times you like you know it's like okay come in you have twenty minutes um you need to get a cover you need to get a feature and you need to get an opener and so your natural inclination is to say yes awesome let's do it you know, which is true um but um and that comes into when you're accepting a job in like when I'm you know, uh negotiating or not negotiating necessarily just about money I assume that that part has sort of been worked out and maybe you're not even negotiating about the actual time, but you kind of negotiating about, uh, being the captain of the ship and how it making sure that you were able to do what you need to do to get done. And um I was talking to him about how often times when you're starting out, you just you want to be the hero you just like you're just gonna make it happen and not only that you are so excited about the idea that you you're just like, oh, yeah, we could do this, we could do that? Yes, let's do it. Well, we don't have the money do that. Well, maybe could do this, and so you just want to make it happen, and, um, so that can cause problems for you over time. It could cause problems for you if you I don't have enough experience to actually know the amount of time you need, and you can consult with people when you're putting together a job. But oftentimes that person isn't you, even if they do the same thing as you, they mean it take us long, they may take more time, and that really comes through practice and knowing yourself. And I had this, um, you know, one situation where, um, this is a job, and it was basically we were three idea was to shoot the exterior of this house in the summertime and there these teenager, you know, his boy boyfriend, her boyfriend was climbing up to meet her, you know? And it was this kind of secret trist thing and supposed to be a night shot, and we were going to shoot now, late it's all we have that sounds cool, and we'll do like blue filters and you know and then I said yeah, why do we have twins? You know twins will be cool, you know, it's like sort of a single girl like twins, you know, so so mean, the art tricked you into it and normally I'm in charge of production in this situation the ad agency was in charge of production and they had two competing project's what have you they suddenly said, well, you know, we can't do this in a way it's gonna cost too much money would have to do it in seattle and my fee wasn't an issue but my time it was an issue because suddenly I turn around and figure this whole thing out in seattle and they said he's a little kimmy do in seattle and of course of course yes, we could do this you don't love this let's do it and then I'm like, okay it's february in seattle yeah, so so we found this house on capitol hill and we you know, we got got it set up where you don't feel like I got like the models flight from l a and, um, you know, I I work day and night to make this happen in seattle, so here I am I'm on the cherry picker shooting towards this house it's pouring down rain I mean, assistance with like strobes covered him plastic bags, tarps, rain pouring down models phrasing in their little t shirts out the window and I suddenly had this thought like, you know, maybe this wasn't such a great idea maybe I should have thought this through and um you know, we pulled it off and it was great, you know? And once again I was the hero but the consequences of that are one of one or all three things can happen which is you're the hero you pull it off um you make it happen for the budget that is the bottom line budget once you negotiate everything down with the time and um but once you're the hero then suddenly it's like, oh, she could do this that means next time around she could do this and we'll throw the same parameters that her the next time around because obviously it's doable they don't know what I went through to make that happen, right? Number two you end up feeling going to burn out like you've overextended yourself both emotionally and physically as well as we start end up feeling a little bit abused even though you did it yourself and resentful even though he did it to yourself and number three and this is a really interesting thing which I think is actually the most important, which is that once you agree to do a job even if the parameters are really tight, limited um let's say you don't have a stylist you have this crazy situation the rain or whatever you know what you went through to get their child art director does but in the end if you don't come out with an amazing shot nobody's gonna know that you were the hero to pull this out in ten minutes whatever it wass they're just gonna remember your name next to that shop so if you can't create a scenario where you can execute what you need to execute and you can't negotiate that space the client with a client thinks they can find somebody to do that is just and this is only something can learn with experience is just I've learned to see those jobs coming and you just have to know when for you it's a no you know and um so that should be the last thing but often times you know, we talk about negotiating process that happens before the job but a lot of times what happens this is that there's more negotiating goes on after you have a job which is suddenly stuff's thrown at you it's like okay, you know, I'm shooting this you know, some record covers somebody in new york and something oh well, you know my coat from her sake isn't ready you know we have to shoot in l a next week you know, so you know you need thio either have a team or producers you can call to make that happen um or you end up kind of at sea um or you do enough of that you know good in back to back fly up here you want to see this job in alaska? Yes. Can you get back to you know, san jose? That is the thing that yes, I can and you just do that and after a while I mean I did it to myself I went through a period where I just went like through a year where I just finally I just shut down I got completely burned out and, um so I'm just saying that you have to the only way you can learn about this creative space you need to carve out for your projects is through doing them and you're not even doing for money create those projects for yourself so that you understand what you need to create that space because what you need isn't necessarily what your other friend is a photographer needs or who that other guy needs, right it's what you need so negotiating for the space that you need so you can practice your creative craft yeah and in a way that is effective right? So you get what you need taken do the job in a way that feels right to you so you get that shot and you don't kill yourself in the process right now right so they do call you back and they're happy and you're happy because you've got a great shot and you're not only did you pay and you feel fine, right? Right? Because everybody wants that in product to be amazing, right? What has to be? Yes, there's, there's, no fall back? Yeah, and the client, oftentimes they have unrealistic expectations just because they don't they don't have the education information for no other reason you don't know, they don't know, they don't know. So you have to tell him. Yeah, uh, question for you, karen, if you don't mind, vivian v a says, how do you pre plan for situations where you feel abused or taking it advantage of do educate your clients on what you sacrifice for the job, so they know what you sacrifice or you just play it cool and take notes for next time? Well, you know, the only reason why you're abused on a job as a freelancer, at least, is from what you've agreed, I do, so I say that I've abused myself, okay? Nobody's abusing me because I've agreed to all of it. So, um, because of that it's always a learning experience and, um, this desire to say yes to everything, and sometimes, like I say, as a creative it's like I want to pull off the coolest shot you know it's like I want that idea to look great I have this opportunity so sometimes I have to say no to myself right? So uh I have to know when toe limit it so if you're in a situation like where I feel like they're not understanding what I need or where I really wanted to the job and I don't think I'm gonna get what I need you know I am as I like to say it's like I always try to put myself in their shoes and see what is it that they're trying to accomplish? What is it that they are trying to accomplish and um what air their parameters they have this much money but they space they need these eighteen shots whatever then it's my job to let them know or to kind of if I feel I'm being he's only my job to let them know what's gonna work and what isn't and um you know sometimes it may seem like they're just going to go to somebody else and if they do you know you have to be really clear about what you can do in this situation you know and that's why I answer that that's great and idea this girl kind of follows it up with do you put all that in agreement like if time resource is budgets up contracts, et cetera if anything changes what then happens do you put those contingencies in a contract? Yes definitely particularly in advertising where um you know, I uh you talk a lot about having in person meetings which is critical and getting things done but I I'm a person saying it's all about having all writing and and not just the description but like a lot of times um I do a lot of thinking in advance I often time will actually do test shots just a few examples of what I'm thinking about um and then I will have parameters around we'll do x number of shots there these locations there's this this this and this um when you're not in the advertising world though when you are in, um like I shoot musicians or for record labels or editorial it's it's a much greater area, you know, suddenly you're there and it's like, oh, can you give these two of the shots? And so there has to be some flexibility in there and you have to know, um like I say, when you have the kind of client you have just know what kind of client you have like when I'm negotiating its like like my words, I like to say, what country am I in? What language do they speak? So am I in the land of advertising or having the island of records or am I you know and because each of them have their own language each of them have their own budgets each of them have their own needs and uh and their timeline and um, you know, that's where you know, you're talking about getting all the information you need always negotiating to get the space that you need so that you can help the client achieve what they would like to achieve that's a constant negotiation, yes and yes and no, what I was going to say is that uh and you have to be ready for the unknown unknown right? Because it's inevitable because people always get inspired by what's going on or the opportunity or something that they think of now that they do don't think off last week or a month ago when you, when you put it all down in right, actually have some flexibility there and you kind of know that's the way people are and just like, you know that yourself, you have this automatic eagerness to leap in and that's one of the classic creative traits that we've been talking about over the last couple of days is that we we creative love jumping in on and starting something and where we fall completely in love with it, we throw ourselves head over heels into it, which is you just described beautifully and we've all experienced exactly what you're describing and then we get in uh sometimes especially when we're younger over our heads however, in the last few days I'm kind of feeling like I'm back to my young roots slightly over my head myself but but it's because I haven't experienced in this particular sort of thing before, you know? So when we're in an area where we've experienced before we begin toe learn and plan ahead and guard ourself a little bit more and not diminish our youthful enthusiasm it's still there bubbling along just fine we just have learned enough to kind of protect ourselves a little bit from it right now yeah, I think it's fascinating actually and that experiences and that's how everybody is different you know how at my process and um you know, we know he could negotiate when I first started out I didn't know what I was doing, you know? And uh I uh and I was doing some kind of work where you know, when I was assisting in seattle was a time when every well you have to do catalog work, you have to do advertising and I was kind of this oddball because I like doing this kind of, you know, musician, portraiture, music, business stuff and then, you know, magazine stuff and, you know, a lot of the stuff didn't really apply when I would go to find advertising target trained bit out figure out a job that was coming from a record label in l a they would give me this advice which should be like when I go back to the record label pull out some price you know and they'd be laughing at me you know and like of course I I feel like an idiot but I thought I had gotten the expert advice you know but I was talking to somebody in the wrong country you know, I needed to find somebody in the right country didn't apply yeah and that's um and I like to say, you know, photographers designers a lot of times were afraid to, um father somebody or um if you don't know something you know most the time other photographers, other designers they're happy to advise you and it's also in their best interests that um that people understand the nature of their business and how things sometimes go you know and uh when I was coming up the new now we've got like youtube and google and all that you have created live in all these places where you can gather a lot of information much more information which then it was just, you know call somebody you know, please working out you know, I was always afraid to ask to I mean, personally I was always afraid down because I was afraid that it would make me look less accomplished right, you know? And so I always pretended, like, I knew what I was doing, and I'm sure that people saw through it all the time. Now, now that, you know, a little bit more, I can usually spot that myself. That means everybody could see that in may as well, you know, you can't you can't be worried about I mean, you make a fool of yourself a few times, which I have done in negotiations and other situations, and I mean, that's kind of beauty of failure, it's, like you're once you do it, it's, kind of like it's kind of okay, so, you know, I'm I'm a photographer and director myself in kind of the commercial in advertising world, um, like getting into it like some of your some of your bigger jobs like these even like it editorial work. Do you have a team that you have built around you pretty solid? Or is that yourself? Then you hire out freelancers? Um, I generally hire out freelancers because I'm a freelancer as well, but finding a team, a group of people that you like to work with, um is really important. And, um, as a photographer, depending upon what you d'oh, you know, you khun blue around with that part of the issue is when you were often times when I was going to l a for a shoot I would have to pull together a team down there um and then you know, you're working with people which maybe you don't know all that well and yeah it's really important and, um one thing in particular for working photography jobs like this is that, um in the film world there's they kind of have division of labour worked out, they have producers who pulled together, then they have the direction this year's well, photographers we often are like one stop shop, right? And um I really think that particularly if you are at sea with a particular job coming up, if you find a producer even if they're not going to produce the job, if you could even get them to help you work out the estimate um just the production side of things or connect you with people and this is somebody who could use in the future toe work with or even just hired them for a section of the job to help you work it out. That is because what you do on your own point together you're cooler shots you did for your book when you're doing stuff you do to your friends or a little editorial shoot whether to call you up and just go do something that is night and day when you have an advertising budget on your shoulders and a deadline and they need all the releases signed all you know the dots crossed t's crossed and I's dotted you know so definitely so you need a team to help to be successful and you what you do is you develop a group of freelancers who you like working with you've had good experiences with I'm assuming and that you work with various members of that group from over and over again yeah and that that continues to morph and change you know over time um and and finding the right person for the right job is really important to you know do they understand it and they do they do they want to do it in fact we just talked about that earlier what there was actually a question from someone in the internet about what do we do if we have someone who doesn't want to do that particular job well you don't hire them exactly thinks that but it's funny how that does come up because I can remember thinking those things years ago myself it's like why can't I convinced them that they should like this of course I couldn't write that was great do you so let's talk a little bit about your beginning and when you when you started and how you first got inspired to be kind of when you were young and your earliest experiences my father was a research scientist uh he was a cancer researcher and professor and so uh he was also kind of a photo bug and I used to get sandy bank cameras but um his lab assistants he had a dark room there and I would go in there when I was like nine or ten and hang out while they're developing film and making prints of microbes and I was just to me it was like magic like the dark room was like oh my god this is so amazing and so I started taking photographs and um I would always work my school projects into somehow like history class I take architectural pictures of buildings you know I make it here it towards what I wanted to do and um and I think one of us maybe fourteen I saw a book of diane arvis is and um you know to me was like so moving her pictures and it just affected me so viscerally that it just she was one of my early inspirations um and from then on I um I went to a fine art school and university and I am so you photography um I was kind of quite young and um idealistic and I hate you mean people find amazing but I never even really thought about photography is a career it didn't cross my mind that actually make money at it I just did it because I loved it and um uh it was only after I uh got out of school and with traveling and uh you know, got tired of waiting tables had friends who were musicians who needed pictures and I always kind of poo poo commercial work it's like a second dad but but I found that by doing these I was also a big music fan I mean, I just club music and um when I was a teenager I used to sit around and stare it album covers was listening to music and um so to me it was just a revelation that I could go out you know, create a concept around a musician and create a feel that they might use this on either an album project or for the publicity and I got a lot of satisfaction of doing that and so that's kind of where it started for me and then you were with the magazine is the name of that magazine oh yes oh prior to the stranger there was a magazine called the rock it was like the very first rock'n'roll magazine started in the mid eighties and uh christine larson she was the art director there and she's moving to new york and she needed a talking takeover doing the covers and lead shots and she liked my work so you want to do this and I said yeah, sure, why not? And um so that's kind of how I started doing that work um and at the time I was still assisting and trying to make money so tarver but everybody's saying well, you have to do this kind of catalog kind of work and um you know, I was really frustrated for awhile there because, um I wasn't really the work I did I loved you know was making money at and um so it was until I really started like going to new york and l a and showing my book around realising that yes, there was a place for me in this world and the s o it was new york and l a that had the marketplace for the particular kind of photography that you did it really wasn't a marketplace here for that no and it was really the ugly duckling scenario because I was taking my book around teo design firms in ad agencies here and says oh yeah I love your work but this is what we do um I love your work and this and so I felt like, um you know, I was feeling a little bit like wow my just not gonna be able to you make this work and um when I started showing my book in new york and stuff in this like, you know, oh yeah, great yeah, we'll call you and it's like, ok, yeah, right, sure whatever they're like a thing then two weeks later I got a climate you know uh so um and you know I was kind of have to be willing to take risks and that's the one thing I learned one question for you is like when you went to new york and l a did you have like pre set meetings that you reach out ahead of time or did you kind of just walk in and be like, hey, I booked a show no I am I contacted people ahead of time and you know, things are very different now there's a lot more photographers out there two people trying to make it work and um there's uh online portfolios that people can look at um and um the protocol is a little different but in those days if you wrote a letter ahead of time or e mailed somebody um and set up a meeting and if it was an editor mainly magazines in new york they knew I was coming in from out of town um you know, you set up appointments and um it was part of beauty being out of town or they wouldn't make time for you and um you know, this was the heyday of the record business things have changed a lot now but when I go to l a the same sort of thing you know a lot of time seaver there drop off days for portfolios you just go and drop off your book in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon that was always really disheartening because there'll be some form letter stuck in there saying oh yes you have nice work signed someone someone of course it's all printed out um but oddly enough, a few of those situations like in l a at warner brothers and epic um I ended up getting called for jobs from them even though I had you know, I kept an eye you know, I did photo mailers to these people and and um kept in contact and but also you know, I'm going to a lot of it's personal contact like anything else personal ation ships and I have a funny story to tell about when I was in new york it was uh in alphabet city at three am at some party, you know, and just like everybody's just kind of sloppy drunk and being stupid and three guys and I were just talking to him whatever and it's like, oh yeah, they're illustrators and oh yeah, little straighter yeah, we're doing it and they go oh, well where's your proble card. I've got a party three o'clock morning thes three guys all three of them whipped out their american showcase page that they had with them they took everywhere with him in new york because you can't get with program I mean these days of course there's social media and there's twitter and but it just was that was my early lessons well big market they were used to work in the market they were working at night and day weren't there that's right but that's the those of the two cities los angeles in new york for that kind of work for celebrities, artists etcetera mean that's where that businesses yes it's not in seattle I mean it's it's more in seattle now I guess but but a lot of those projects need to be executed in cia right? Which is what really started out how I ended up getting a lot of work was that there would be somebody in seattle that need to be photographed and they needed to find somebody and so they you know who they know this good and um I would end up making the connection that way ok? And so it was that actually entertainment people that were here or was it was it ceo sort of both of you know, I started well a lot of my friends who are musicians end up in the grandeur of becoming quite famous and so, you know, knowing those people having in my book made a connection there um in addition to that I mean, all sorts of people live here that you wouldn't consider, you know, authors um actors in addition to that I um I started out being seattle thing than west coast like I would go to l a and to san francisco and to vancouver you know, fox network had a lot of productions and u p n in vancouver and so it kind of went from there um that way, right? But the way the marketing works is get your work in front of people who are the right subject for that work and then they call you they call you so that there's really than the negotiation the more delicate negotiation shin is actually over getting this creative space and the respect that you need so you can do the job right? So the fees and so on are not so much the issue it's the time and it's the it's the maneuvering room so you can do what needs to be done and that you know that has a value which should be monetary but it's not necessarily consider monetary but you have to think about it. I mean, if that works for you to think about that as monetary in your brain then attach dollars to those things and that makes you see it in a whole new light, you know? Right? Yeah, yeah, you can put a number on right? You want to tell that other story that we talked about ok, so I was telling ted the story out we were talking about you know, just the process of photography and stuff, and I was telling him how I had this weird thing where I am when I am in pain or him around people in pain, I kind of sort of going to shock, I think, all basil vega, what? My blood pressure drops and they start to pass out, you know, your basic kind of pass out person, it's, not when I see blood is specifically pain, and, um, but I didn't really know that it was about other people in pain I just knew is about me and a friend of mine was, um, having a baby, and she asked me to photograph her birth home birth. I went to the house, and as she started to go into labor and have contractions, I would go in, and she asked me to, like, you know, rubber back, and when the pain got bad, I would touch her, and I immediately start to, like, pass out, I said, well, this isn't good, I'm having to photograph this thing, and then it got to the point where she was the better when I would enter the room literally, I cross the threshold and I'd start to go, and so I said, okay, this this is not good, so I just started walking in there with my camera in front of my face and oddly enough, having my camera in front of my face and thinking visually, I didn't get sick, it just like completely short circuited this thing in my brain that made that connection and, um, anyhow, and you said the camera traditionally put you into the observer mode recording observer, the these professional functional activities, and so that part of your brain probably activates and the sensitive part of your brain that was activated by those physical reactions to her pain, it was then put away, right? So it's a really interesting example of creative person super sensitive to these feelings, which is this one of the traits that we've identified that we all share to greater or lesser degrees? And and this particular physical reaction to pain and you're, you're not blood. But I interviewed a designer who it's blood with sees blood and begins to have the shutdown because he feels it feels to him like he's, having the injury to himself and it's and again and that's a man. So, you know, and that's, the other thing that we talked about is that these men and women have morse immel, arat ease in the way they react to feelings when we have these creative traits so it's a really interesting example, but it shows that you, khun also get out of it by putting yourself back into this professional mode for photographer it's the camera for a musician it might be an instrument I don't know I'm just speculating for a designer it might just be thinking about the design and what needs to be accomplished or something like that but but kind of getting yourself back into your professional mode right but the clients hire us for those feelings I mean the work that we do all the work that we do is design two of oak of feeling and other people and were hired because we have those feelings so our girl made a comment saying it's just fascinating to hear karen's vulnerability to pain and how the camera helped protect her so the question is for people who might feel that pain around negotiation around the conflict that comes from exactly do you have a camera for us now seriously like do you have a camera forces there's something that you use I mean karen are you as you started working with more and more and bigger and bigger clients is there something any techniques that you used to like yourself up forward to get in the right mood for it initiating yeah yeah for for when you're ironing out those deals and making them value you and want to choose you to work with as opposed to other people well for me um I really go back to this thing of you know, the big picture of I put myself in their shoes and I think the more I really understand what it is they're trying to accomplish in the more when I go into negotiation I kind of it's sort of I'm myself, but I'm also kind of picturing myself is them like was this person need to get what were they trying to achieve what do they need from me? What can I bring to the table? Um um and um sometimes the hardest situations for me our when they're kind of low information clients where they don't want to show their hand so to speak you ask a lot of questions and they they're not giving you a lot um and um uh they just want to get you know, the bid from you and, um I don't know if there's something that you guys have covered if he talked about been shopping at all not not specifically so there's this thing that can happen with photographers and other people where an advertising agent client they need to get they need to present three bids to a client and, um hopefully you're the person that they want in which case they're going to choose you they're gonna find two of the people to bid for it we'll probably pick somebody they think is more expensive than you probably picked somebody they think it's gonna be cheaper than you because they need to present this to the client, and then they need to choose the right fit, and I hate to say it, but this is kind of what happened, so if I'm in a situation where I think I'm being bid, shopped, then and that's something, you learn over time and, you know, you talked earlier about having a client meeting and doing that sort of thing, but in this particular situation, um, the way I look at it is it's an opportunity, whether I get the job or not to create create relationship. Tio tio, let this person know about what I do and to, you know, and go through the process with them and, um, and also quickly identify whether it's something that I'm not the right fit for it, is it really? And then if then that's the situation situation have to protect yourself from being abused and just say, I'm sorry I'm booked or something like that, you know, just so you know, yeah, yeah, we don't bid shop, I don't bid shop, thank you very much. Good, but it's a common practice it's a common practice and, uh, you want to stay away from it because what you because it commoditize is you that's, the problem it's it takes away from the very thing that you have spent your entire life, your entire career developing the skills to do and all of a sudden they're putting you in a category with three other people that clearly are not you. The other two people may be perfectly fine, very successful, but they're different. You're you and that's the most important message of all. And so just saying no when you're in a situation where you're being bid, shopped is exactly the right thing to say unless you're desperate and you've gotto do the work and you're just starting out and then you know, then you change the rules. So there's that's one of the other factors I do want to make, there are no absolutes in this negotiating game other than protecting yourself so that you have the maneuvering room to do the job successfully and getting the respect you need from the client and return max actually had any like examples where you felt like your being bid shopped, you walked away from it, and they came back to you question? Well, um, you don't need to use exact names, obviously, you know, I am I've never been if I'd said no to something of being bid shopped pretty much I haven't throw my hat in the ring. So in other words, I just basically sidestep the entire thing, but there are times when I was a project I was interested in and um you know, bit shopping you know, sometimes they don't have a choice or client demands it they s so I I don't you know, disparage anybody who needs to do this because that may be are the parameters that being said there's a way to enter their project like I just asked a question how many people are beating this? Okay, you tell me who they are you know, I just out now to ask these questions and sometimes they tell me and sometimes they won't and so, um but I when I'm being bit shopped I kind of have the assumption that they want me and that their bid shopping around me and so when I have that attitude than it, um there's been some times when I felt like I was bid shopped on one end of the the section where the other and they never intended to give me the job and that was the learning experience for me that's when I felt like, okay, I don't want to waste my time again and some people will actually charge to do estimates but it's hard to do that um and it depends upon the scope of the estimate how much is involved as well that's fascinating because it goes back to what we've been talking about what we talked about yesterday, which is just asking questions and coming from a position of I have value and so it's not just a purely I'm trying to get you to love me it's more of a is this the right fit? And so when you are open to actually asking those questions directly of are you shopping other bids like a lot of people don't want to because they don't want to push the person away or offended them or scare them when you have the confidence to do that? It really puts you in a good place and I just got an interesting comment from l a curious who says my agency requires me to get bids from vendors and freelancers usually I already have one company a person in mind, then I just pick two other vendors I know the client won't like a cz much or um or expensive always end up getting the person I wanted. I don't like bid shopping either and that's the solution they've personally found work so it sounds like from both sides nobody likes it, but sometimes sometimes they're required it's required and say have to build a figure out a way to work around it like that thank you um possibly sometime this week I meet with you and pick your brain a very good I think uh karen, thank you so much for being here really appreciate your thoughts and that I think do you have any final questions were oh, I just wanted to comment while you're still here one of the things you said two or three times is you immediately start going and putting yourself in their shoes and wondering about what they need and thinking about what they need so so yes you do you khun step back and say no I don't want to be bid shopped and you know, you get the space you need but you're also really in your heart of hearts you really want to figure out how you could help figure out you can make it happen on dh and part of your kind of bristling is like, what is this about? I'm like trying to help you now you're treating me like this, you know? And I I completely agree with you all right? So and, uh and then experience, you know, see what experience does is you can kind of sense these things so you need to be kind of looking for them yourselves and thinking about these and kind of sniffing around and thinking is this what karen was describing in my experiencing that kind of thing? How do I feel about it? Is it okay with me that I'm one of three right now but maybe not later in other words think about it be conscious of of these sorts of realities and all right watch practice and preparation right? Those are the two things like you know, sometimes I go into the shoot and I only have a twenty minutes with this person and I will have already you know, worked out the lighting pre lit either on location in my studio down entire test shoot ahead of time so I know exactly what I'm doing because when I'm in there the last thing that I want to be thinking about is a technical issue I need to create a report with that person and I have just about time to bring out that feeling or that you know, expression and all the other stuff has to be in the background, right? Yes we already solved already put in it's tidy place and we've dotted the I's cross the tease if we need to with that type of contract but in any case emotionally it definitely has to be in taken care of and that's what I need to do to feel confident other people can just go in there and okay let's do it that's not me you know, but now you've learned to protect herself that was also learned that I need that kind of preparation order yeah you can't be successful otherwise right yeah right yeah great description alright, thank you, thanks that was great

Class Description

Core negotiation skills are essential for creative professionals, but negotiating can be fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainties. Join Ted Leonhardt to uncover the negotiating tactics that allow you to build the power and respect that lead to financial and creative freedom.

Throughout this course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the common anxieties and vulnerabilities around negotiation and build the skills you need to keep those fears from holding you back. You’ll explore negotiation not as a bargaining session but as a collaboration in which you guide those you are negotiating with. You’ll also learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with your vision. Because dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging aspect of negotiation, you’ll build strategies for coping with and disarming bullies and naysayers. You’ll develop a negotiating style that doesn’t neglect the importance of kindness and good manners, but that also allows you to know and assert what your unique offering is worth.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re a longtime creative professional, this course will equip you to know your worth and confidently ask for the opportunities and compensation you deserve.

Class Materials

bonus material

Ted Leonhardt - 13 Negotiating Tips.pdf

Ted Leonhardt - Core Principles.pdf

Ted Leonhardt - Nail It.pdf

Ted Leonhardt - References.pdf

Ted Leonhardt - Session Keynote

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



While I walked away with some amazing knowledge and skills to apply to negotiation, more than anything, I appreciated the authenticity and humility with which Ted crafted and delivered all of the materials in this class. As a fellow creative, every word spoken in this course resonated with me on a deep level, and led me to retain and integrate the materials far better than I expected. A most sincere thank you to Ted for sharing these pieces of his inner life with us.

Kal Sayid

Love Ted. His desire to help creatives shines through. Lots of great nuggets as well as strategies for both the newbie creative and the veteran.

a Creativelive Student

Another terrific course from CreativeLive. I would and did recommend it for anyone, creative or otherwise. Most negotiation courses leave one with a "bad taste"-not this one. I vastly prefer this approach. My life would be very different right now if I had this information available when I first graduated from college with a BFA in Graphic Design. Oh, and an unmentioned bonus-a design agency soap opera is included. Ted is a marvelous teacher.