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Trying to “Find My Niche”

March 9, 2013

“Photograph:  a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”  ~ Ambrose Bierce

It has been more than a year since I made the decision to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a professional photographer, to share a passionate hobby with the world!  It has been quite challenging but also very rewarding. I created a business name and website, printed the business cards, bought more equipment, started this blog and started marketing myself through social media.  I have continued my education through books, magazines, classes, workshops, etc.  More importantly, I have continue photograph, using my camera to capture images and preserve memories. I’ve photographed, family, friends, strangers, newborns, senior citizens, my first wedding, a number of other events, landscapes, wildlife, etc. One could say that I have a “wide angle” view of photography.

Well, today, I had someewhat of an epiphany!  I attended the inaugural “Day of Photography” organized by Midwest Photography Workshops (www.mpw.com), and held locally at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan.  Although I attended a variety of sessions from technical to creative and listened to many well-known and established professional photographers of all generes, the recurring theme and primary advice was that to succeed as a professional photographer, one must narrow their focus to one type of photography. In other words, I need to FIND MY NICHE!

Most definitely easier said than done, at least for me! I like it all.  I want to, and love to, photograph just about everything, anything, anyone, anywhere, at anytime!  Quite honestly, I believe all photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, have the same broad interest that I have.  But I have come to the realization that the most successful have learned to identify their strengths, hone their skills and market themselves accordingly.

That will be my goal this next year.

You’ve seen my work! What do you think? Where are my strengths, my weaknesses? What area of photography should I focus in on (in no particular order):

1. Travel/Scenic
2. Weddings/Events
3. All Portraiture
4. Specific Portraiture (ie. adults, families, children, newborn, or maternity)
5. Nature/Wildlife
6. Architecture
7. Product/Advertising
8. Sports/Action

Thanks for your input!

2 Comments
  1. Candi permalink

    If you are looking to make a living, then you may do better with wedding/events or product/advertising. However, if you are looking at retiring, enjoying yourself and maybe earning a little cash, then I would suggest nature/wildlife or travel/scenic.

    The former would require you to work on someone else’s schedule. Your product would be sold immediately and payment received. You would only need to warehouse samples of your work.

    On the other hand, the latter provides more flexibility. You to choose your own schedule, and choose how you want to showcase and sell your product. You can frame your product or not. Selling can be done through your website, farmer’s markets, art fairs, or you can display your work at libraries or hospitals.

    There are advantages to each. The bottom line is… I’m not going to be much help because I feel you need to consider the all around impact of the different categories. What kind of lifestyle and work schedule would you and Brian most enjoy in these years of life? How would you both most like to spend your days? Does the work with any of the categories mesh better than another? If you enjoy them all, do you need to pick two so you have balance? If you pick two, can you market each through the other?

    Choose one at a time and spend 1-2 weeks mentally making your plans to move forward in that one area. How do you feel?

    I look forward to hearing what you decide.

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