I have had a few sleepless nights lately from trying to follow the advice of the pros. They say that in order to have a successful photography business, you must find your niche – your passion, your unique gift to the world, the one thing you can do that no one else can. Wow, talk about pressure! Is there really something I can do that no one else can?
I spent days trying to figure it out. I’m good at landscapes but of course there are a bazillion photographers doing that. I like architecture, and macros, and abstracts, and wildlife, even still life.
I need to be more specific. The ocean. Ok, but not underwater because I’m terrified of that. Boats. I’ve been boating for years, I teach safe boating classes, and have many many photographs of a splash where a whale used to be. More advice from the pros: don’t let what you think you can’t do hold you back. Ok, I can learn how to be a better photographer on the water. The fact that it isn’t my specialty right now shouldn’t stop me. I am driving the boat and photographing at the same time after all. Maybe it is yachts. No one can photograph their own boat moving in the water. I have the insider advantage in the industry. I already know boat builders, sailors and people who own yachts and classic sailboats.
Research. There are a bazillion photographers doing that.
Disappointment. I am not unique in the world. There is nothing I can do that another person cannot do. Isn’t that what made me think of being a pro photographer in the first place? Knowing that other people are doing it so why can’t I?
Maybe it is just too early to define myself and fit in a square box. There are certainly plenty of types of photography I have never done. Like architectural interiors, fashion, portraits, weddings, anything at all that has to do with lighting, product photography, commercial, and the list goes on.
Maybe I haven’t found my niche because I haven’t found it yet. It’s like when something is lost you always find it in the last place you look. I think I might be better off making myself a well rounded photographer by trying all the things I haven’t done yet rather than fitting myself in a box.
Is round better than square?
I would love to hear your thoughts.