Originally Posted by Serp
Ask for 50% up front, then at the end show the client screenshots of you work and request the other 50%. Then send him the files. Mention this in your contract.
Your contract doesn't have to be fancy. Just write what you are going to do for your client and your name, his name, and signatures.
This doesn't always work. Yes you should always have a contract, definitely to protect you and your employer.
However, getting 50% up front will likely only happen with smaller freelance (though actually, none of my freelance ever worked that way). I've done three methods of freelance so far: Working sending in invoice then getting paid, sending final shots but not final work - getting paid - then sending in final work, and also a pay by weekly structure.
Always always have a contract though.
In some countries, you have to claim freelance as income and need to pay taxes on it, so it's good practice to get into charging extra for your work to cover that. In Canada specifically, you'll need to claim it for sure.
Too many artists short change themselves.