Photography Tip: Find Your Niche

15 02 2009

I was traveling on Friday and listening to the radio. The host was talking about the NBA and in particular a player that has the ability to play numerous positions, but none particularly well. He went on to compare this player to a handful of stars in the league that are limited to one position by their abilities. The moral of the rant was that the host would rather have a basketball player that did one thing well instead of 5 things in a mediocre fashion.

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

This idea immediately stuck in my head as one that can easily relate to photography. In the world of photography, there are photographers that shoot weddings, portraits, landscapes, wildlife, macro, and the list can go on. While the principles of a good photograph can apply to various types of photography, it takes a lot of time and practice to improve the skills of any one type. There is a better chance of making your work stand out if you find your niche in the photography world. Find that area of interest or talent that you can develop into your strength. I would expect that you’ll have more success with a portfolio of strong wedding portraits than one that has average wildlife, portrait, and macro shots.

Here are some factors that may impact you in finding your niche:

  • personal interest – first and foremost, photography should be fun, so shoot things you like
  • equipment
  • accessibility – you might really like shooting abandoned properties, but access to these sights might be limited
  • time
  • money – if you’re trying to make a living, you might have to consider where the money is!

I have found my “niche” in landscape, nature, and architecture photography because I enjoy the process of finding and taking good photographs outdoors.  Sports photography is another great interest, but I am limited by my equipment as I have not yet invested in a lens that will give me a fighting chance in capturing strong sports images.

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