With photography it pays to be really good at one thing eg portraits (a la David Bailey), landscapes (a la Ansel Adams) or weddings (a la Damien Lovegrove). And when I say really good I mean REALLY good – so you can charge what you like, do what you want and be in the envious position of turning down work…’cos you can.
So, I’ve been thinking – what’s my niche? I rather like variety including weddings, portraits, events, commercial shoots, interesting things, obscure things and abstract. My least favourite is landscapes if I am ranking genres; and animals I find really hard but always a great challenge.
But the trick to “owning your niche” is:
a) Obviously being really technically good; and / or
b) Being first or quickest to do it; and / or
c) Being unique, the only one to do it…
In 2012 I am living in London (in case you did not know), a perfect place to access everything and everyone. But many of the things that interest me photographically have been “done”: bollards, road signs, bridges, pub signs, water fountains, “deserted streets on Christmas Day”, shop fronts, trains, street art/graffitti, Tube stations, graveyards/churches, statues and sculptures, London buses, union jacks etc etc.
So how do you decide what your niche is if you don’t easily fit the first two of the above criteria? It leaves being unique as the only viable option aka the only one interested enough/bothered enough or crazy enough to do it.
One thought I had (as I witnessed a few exhibits in the run up to Christmas) was “Pukes of London” – recording the depth of colour and texture, location, interesting featus, variety, moments in time etc.
Then there is maybe “Gross Out London” – I did see an arrangement of pants and human faeces outside the Betjeman Arms on Christmas Day which I am sure they really appreciated having to clear up. Nice one.
What should it be? Will I find it? Will I ever be niche and destined to stay a generalist?
Who knows what 2012 will bring… and if you have any suggestions, please DO let me know!