I’m a member of several photographer groups on Facebook and one thing that seems to be coming up a lot as we enter 2013 is where to take your business. As somebody who has gone through shooting everything and not always loving it, I thought I could be of some help to my fellow photogs.
I have noticed a common trend among photographers breaking into the industry:
During your first year in business you want to get your feet wet. So you try out a little of everything.
But then you realize that certain things aren’t for you.
You don’t have the patience to work with newborns or children.
Or you would rather not deal with adults.
Or shooting boudoir makes you uncomfortable.
But when you are just starting out, you may have the desire to take on any paying job that comes your way.
Or you want to try it and see if you like it.
The phrase “Jack of all trades but master at none” comes to mind here. And as a person offering a professional service, you are looked to as the “master” of this subject. Your clients are trusting your expertise and guidance, after all they are paying you for it 😉
As you prepare for the new year, I encourage everybody to really sit down and think about what they are passionate about.
My process in choosing my niche
Around the beginning of this year I was able to take a step back and really think about my life.
I thought about what inspires me, what my goals were, and who I was as a person.
All of this is so crucial to how I run my business because I know that if I am not happy, I will not put 100% into my work.
For 2013, I decided to only shoot boudoir, because that is where my passion lies.
What I love is helping people. I went to school for Psychology. I am studying to be a sex therapist and I am very connected to my sexuality.
Another photographer once asked me how I didn’t get uncomfortable shooting boudoir. I know it is because at the core, this is what I am meant to do.
I have always been drawn to this because I am much more comfortable working in a more intimate environment and being able to connect with my clients.
When I lived in Hawaii I shot a lot of families. And I had some pretty amazing and fun families. But I realized that I was missing the passion that other family photographers had.
When I moved to Virginia I decided to focus on couples, weddings, and boudoir. I loved working with couples. I still do. And I love shooting weddings. But shooting weddings is only a very small part of what it takes to be a wedding photographer, and I didn’t find myself passionate enough about the wedding industry to do all of the networking and business involved with it.
Around mid-2012 I started thinking of just shooting boudoir.
In August, when we found out that we were pregnant, my decision was made.
It was that final push I needed that told me that this is what I am meant to do.
As I will be going full time with photography, I knew that I needed to be 100% committed to my decision. And I needed to love it. I need to live and breathe it. I needed to be challenged constantly and have a desire to be better. I needed to have my creativity fueled.
And boudoir gives this to me, over and over again.
When choosing your niche here are a few things you should ask yourself:
- Does shooting ______ excite you?
- Are you dedicated to continuing education on shooting _______?
- Do you feel that you are strong enough shooting _______ to have a consistent client flow?
- Does shooting _______ push you to be creative?
I hope this helps somebody!
I would love to hear the process that those who have a niche took when deciding what to shoot. Be sure to leave a comment below 🙂
November 29, 2012
Great post! I have been so much happier since I decided to specialize in maternity, birth, and newborns. I follow ‘my’ babies through their first year, too, and love watching them grow. But my heart is in that birth process and so I have to let them go once they are toddling around. Shooting families stressed me out to the max – even though I felt like I was good at it….but it’s more than just being good at something. To be successful and happy, you have to LOVE what you do. Congrats on finding your niche, LeZandra! You are awesome!
Awesome post LeZandra!!! You have definitely found your niche and are owning it!!!!
Awesome blog, I loved reading it. Made me think
Great post! I think it’s difficult to decide in the beginning for the reasons you stated. It takes time to try it all out and to determine what you love. I will add that a big deciding factor for me was marketing. I had to learn how to market, and in doing so, I found that I am more comfortable and better at marketing to moms. It was then that my decision became clear. I specialize in children and families, which by the way, were my inspiration to begin my professional photography journey. 🙂
Great advice, and something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Thank you for the timing of this post and for the encouraging words!
This mad good timing with me as well. I’m finding I’m more in love when I do single or couple portraits. Families are stressful and intimidating at times. Babies aren’t really my thing either. And I’m just feeling out weddings right now (though I enjoy bridals). I really just love a good romantic couple session out of everything. Perhaps I’ll end up sticking with that. But for now, I’m enjoying the opportunities I’m getting. 🙂