Today I am welcoming guest writer Ashley Lipman to Falcondale Life. Ashley is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.
When photography is the passion that fuels your fire, it can be hard to set limits for yourself when it comes to determining your niche. After all, aren’t the best photographers able to take incredible photos of everything? The truth is that no, they are not. The best photographers choose a niche and develop their skills in that area.
Whether you choose to focus on artistic photos, family portraits, or use a drone for photogrammetry (read more here), choosing a niche helps you become a master of your area rather than a dabbler. Here are some compelling reasons to decide on the niche for you.
What Inspires You?
You might be one of those people that likes taking photos of everything. While there is nothing wrong with that, if you choose to make a career out of photography you’ll want to zoom in on your focus. Think about the various subjects of your work and determine which one you enjoy shooting the most. You might enjoy snapping photos of families at events, but finding the perfect landscape scene is what fuels your passion.
Figuring out which subject is your favorite allows you to hone your skill development focus. As many photographers start pursuing business options on the side to start, this can ensure that you have time for relevant education in limited time. Someone who loves shooting sporting events is going to require different skills than someone shooting portraits.
Where’s the Demand?
If you’re choosing to start a business, it can be helpful to figure out what sort of photos are needed in your area. For example, if you have ten family and lifestyle photographers in your neighborhood but no real estate photographers, you may have found your foot in the door.
Choosing something that pays the bills but isn’t your preferred niche doesn’t have to be permanent. You can use it to establish yourself as a master in one area, then make a transition to another. Perhaps the money you earn on the side from meeting market demand can help pay for continuing education to develop the skills in the niche you want to be in.
Your Unique Flair
As a photographer, you’ll likely develop your signature look– a style that sets your photos apart from others. This might be the style of lighting you use, your editing process, or a unique approach that spans over multiple niches, creating a niche that is entirely yours.
Identifying your signature style can help you determine which niche to focus on. Compare some of your favorite photos and look for patterns. Do you use a lot of shadows and dark filters or are your photos airy and light? Do you lean toward structured photography or tend to produce images that are more fluid and elemental? Once you recognize the patterns, you can use these to define your niche and build your brand.
Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself
Just because you’re choosing a niche doesn’t mean that you can’t branch out and try other things. You don’t need to limit yourself to one style or one type or subject matter. Rather, the niche you choose is the core of your photography practice, a solid foundation that you can come back to. Establish yourself in one niche and aim to learn more and try something different at every opportunity.
Thank you Ashley for those insights. I totally agree that we cannot do everything and there’s a real benefit in finding a niche. If you read this and are inspired to pursue a niche, do leave a comment below!
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Additional photo credit: Ian Dooley on Unsplash