If you’re thinking about becoming a photographer, odds are you’ll want to choose a genre.
Now, you can say you photograph everything from newborn babies to industrial manufacturing, but what does that say about you? Do you want to be the Walmart of photography and have a little bit of everything at a lower cost and lower quality? That’s what generally happens to photography generalists. Using the same example, people looking to have their newborn baby photographed won’t like seeing pointy machines on their photographers website, so they usually end up choosing a photographer who either specializes in babies, families, or portrait photography.
Of course I can hear people saying, “Steve! I really can do everything and make them amazing works of art!” To which I respond: Great for you! You’re one in a billion!
If you really want to spread yourself out to every genre of the art, I would actually recommend creating different website so you can at least look like you’re specializing. It’s not a lie if you don’t actually say, “I only do _________ photography.” And fill in the blank with each genre on each website. Just let them exist as separate portfolios.
More than likely, you’re going to find just a few genre’s of photography that you enjoy and would like to spend your life creating. You take take those interests, hone them down into highly-tuned skills, and start making great images!
If you’re on my blog, you probably know my genre’s, but in case you’ve stumbled across this a different way, I specialize in Portrait and Product photography. I chose these for separate reasons:
Portraits come from my love of working with people. Working with people and light to create something special is just fantastic!
Product photography is a fun exercise in the artistic and technical aspects of photography. I love to work with lights and shadows to emphasize the product and make it look its best!
Now, there is a middle ground between being a TOTAL specialist or a TOTAL generalist, and this is what I do.
I specialize in Portraits and Products, but because of the way people think, if they like a photographer, they like to use him or her for their other photography needs. I’m good friends with a regional manager for an apartment company. I’ve done her holiday portraits before, and then when she needed one of her apartments photographed, she came and asked me first, even knowing that that isn’t my specialty.
So feel free to specialize in your favorite genres, then