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This is a quick tip to help you see why finding your photography niche could be beneficial to you and the growth of your photography.
If you could shoot anything you want and get paid for it, why wouldn’t you? That’s an easy enough question for pretty much anyone to answer. You know what you like to shoot, what you get the most joy out of, have the most fun editing, and what gives you the most satisfaction when you see the end result. But if you are like the many photographers all over the world shooting pretty much everything, you aren’t making the kind of artistic growth you’d like to see or have the satisfaction you’d like to experience. A good way for you to overcome a lack of satisfaction or a decrease of productivity is to dive into a photographic niche.
A niche is defined as a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. There’s a reason why you go to a doctor when you’re sick, call a plumber when your pipes burst, or a contractor when you want to build a home. They spend years studying and working in their fields, and the consistent quality of their work is proof of it. It’s the same with photography.
You wouldn’t go to a landscape photographer to get your portrait taken, or a sports photographer to shoot your new product When you think of great photographers, who comes to mind? The landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, portrait photographer Richard Avedon, or fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz? You associate each of these people with the type of photography for which they are famous.
Now, think about yourself for a second. What do you want to be known for? What have you been shooting, what do you want to shoot? The first step in deciding which photography niche you want to delve into is identifying what you want to shoot. The decision is ultimately yours when it comes to finding a niche or genre that you really enjoy. Take a look at the work you are doing now and ask yourself if it’s fulfilling or if there’s something else you’d like to shoot.
Do you want to shoot something else? No? Then congratulations, you’re a few steps ahead of the game. If you do want to shoot something else, however, the next couple of paragraphs are just for you.
If you’re not shooting what you want now, it’s definitely not the easiest thing to change, especially if you’re known for whatever it is you’re doing at the moment. It can be a scary and drawn out process going through a rebranding, but in the end, it will be the right decision. Making money doing what you want to do has many benefits.
The first step is to target your preferred audience and curate a portfolio. Spend a decent amount of time making your new portfolio something you’re proud of. Start off small, book TFP (time for print) shoots with models if you want to get into fashion. Set up a small studio in your garage if you want to get the best product photos you can manage. Get out there as often as you can and shoot, but don’t share anything just yet. You want to make sure that you have a cohesive body of work ready to go first.
Some niches are harder to get into without an existing portfolio, but it’s doable. You don’t need an amazing wedding portfolio to book your first wedding. But at that first wedding you photograph, be as deliberate as you can be in order to make as many photos portfolio shots as possible. Stockpile a good amount of content because you’re going to need it soon.
Once you have a good amount of content for whatever niche you’re wanting to get into, you need to scrub out every remnant of your previous work off the Internet (if you have any). I know that once you post something on the technological marvel which is the world wide web, it’s out there in some way shape or form. But removing the primary source, like anything on your website or social media is pretty easy to take care of.
Once you get rid of that, anything linking to the post is now a 404 error, meaning that it doesn’t show up anymore. Once you have your old work more or less purged from the internet, now is the time to get your new work in front of your preferred audience. Throw those photos on your website, inundate social media with your images, GET THEM SEEN by your target audience.
That’s it, in a nutshell. When it comes down to it, you need to identify for yourself what you want to shoot, and go out and shoot it. Start small, simple, and perfect your vision and build that portfolio. Set the foundation of your brand within the niche you select.
Practice as much as you can and get your vision as close to perfect as you can. Once you build up your new portfolio, get it seen by your target audience. Identify, visualize, curate, and execute. Think about these steps and get into the photography niche that you want!
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