How to Find Your Niche in Photography

Today I’m talking about how to find your niche in photography. If you’re looking to carve a unique name for yourself as a photographer then it’s important to find a niche in terms of style which appeals to a market.

This podcast video and article is going to be a really useful guide if you’re thinking of starting a photography business or you’re looking to freshen up a stagnant business you’ve already got.

What is a Niche in Photography?

A niche is a very specific corner of photography that photographers capitalise and focus on a certain clientele to create very deliberate and stylised images. Here are some examples of niche photography businesses;

Man,Taking,A,Photo,Of,His,Dog,In,The,Park.

Do Photographers Need a Niche?

I don’t think you NEED to have a photography niche unless you are trying to start your own business.

Outside of trying to go pro you don’t need to define your photography style otherwise. There is more importance to finding a niche when it comes to your business and income because you’ll be competing with other photographers in your area.

But why do photography business owners have a niche in the first place?

  • They are trying to stand out in a larger genre where the market is saturated.
  • They are aiming to capture a market that isn’t currently being serviced.
  • To give them something to call their own and an untouched area that could be developed without constraints/expectation.
Man,Busy,Photographer,Editing,Home,Office,Concept

How Do You Spot a Niche for Business?

It all comes down to research and more research. Spend time studying your local photography market and check out what your competitors offer. Make notes of what the consistencies are and think about what else your skills can offer on top of this.

For example, if you see your area has a lot of wedding photographers are they also offering;

  • Aerial drone photography of the event?
  • Engagement photo shoots?
  • Stylised photo editing?
  • Digital image delivery?
  • Fast turnarounds of images?

 

These are just some extra services or niches that you can offer as a wedding photographer that your business can become well-known for.

Otherwise have a look for types of photography that isn’t being commercialised in your area. Are there lots of pet, property, food, business, headshot or branding photography businesses around you?

Do any of these missing areas interest you? And is there a large enough market or repeat clients that could sustain your photography business?

Portrait,Of,A,Photographer,Using,Laptop,At,His,Workplace

How to Craft a Niche Through your Photos

To begin crafting a niche style of photo, research what other photographers do and save images that appeal to you.

Review these images to and see what elements are consistent that you like. Do this over a period of weeks and months. Don’t do it all in one night.

Write down what you want your style to look like;

  • Bright airy or dark and moody?
  • Colourful or monotone?
  • Intimate or widespread?
  • Busy or simplified?
  • Do you want a certain tone of colours to always appear?
  • Always got specific textures in shot? (i.e. trees in the background)
  • Always want to have a certain type of subject in frame? (children, birds, trainers)
  • Is everything cropped square or in portrait or landscape orientation?
Lightroom Screen 1 Which Photo Editor is Right for You

Once you’ve got a list of ideal elements then start building this into your shots. Don’t worry about getting them all in at once. You may need to buy extra kit to create the full effect, so do it when affordable.

Show off some of your early efforts to friends, family, photographic communities to get feedback. But make sure any suggestions you take up fit with the ideal style that you wrote down – don’t let other people change you to conform to the mainstream.

If you can compile your photo’s ‘look’ into an editing preset for Lightroom, Photoshop, Affinity or Luminar etc, then do so.

Try to make your images as consistent as possible to ensure the preset gives the right look at the end. Only use a preset to add in things you couldn’t in the camera (ie. changing colours of natural tones etc)

Don’t rely on presets to save a poor image to fit your style. Good photography comes first and the pre-set is a further enhancement only.

How to Find your Niche in Photography

How to Develop a Photography Niche

Should you just stop once you’ve found your niche in the photographic world? Well, I think there are two ways to view it;

Yes, but make sure with ever shot you’re making this style as well presented as possible and easy in terms of workflow.

No, look at this style as your base. Now it’s time to add in little flourishes and extra elements that make it more niche. For example;

  • This maybe adding in coloured gel lights
  • Getting more creative with crops
  • Mixing media and starting to blend painted effects over your images
  • Using the same backdrop in all shots

 

Whichever side you agree with make sure you only make changes to enhance your business. Don’t do a disservice to your style and make it look a parody or amateurish because of boredom or desperation.

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