When should art become “niched”?

I think of photography as an art form. Whether you use it to perform a service and photograph a Wedding or to capture a leaf in nature, it’s art. In the photography business,  experts advise that you should pick a niche, or focus. I can see the validity of this, since when I’m looking for a service I look for one specialty. But, the trouble I have with picking one to apply to photography is that I can’t just photograph one type of thing.

Feeding Chickens…

I see photographs waiting to be captured everywhere: walking down the street, watching someone do a fitness class or my children play with toys. I guess I just can’t help seeing composition and color. So, as I build my Photography business, I’m struggling to apply some of the advice out there. I want to keep true to my nature, but also make an income.

When I look at photographers and artists I admire, most of them have “niched” down and focus on one style of painting, or type of photography. It makes them marketable – they are either “Family Portrait Photographers” or “Whimsical Robot Painters” and I understand the value in this. It really helps when your art become commercially viable – especially if it fits a trend like Robots or Mustaches, for example.

But, when I think of the great artists in history, Picasso, Davinci, Van Gough, they produced a great variety of work – only one season in their career was recognized and praised. They all tried different methods. What they all have in common is the desire to keep pushing forward and trying something new.

So, I am left asking myself: What is the purpose of my photography business? Is “capturing beauty” enough to make a living?

Crossfit: Darrick gives feedback and encouragement consistently.

When people ask me what type of photography I do, I have trouble answering in one nice, short and sweet sentence. I can’t say “Sports” or “Landscapes” – instead, I find myself saying something like, “People, nature, events and art.”

Sunset in the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon.

While I am antsy to get my business going, I am trying to give myself room to find what fits. If you’re following along this path of mine, could you please tell me what you think?

What kind of photographer am I?

Would you buy a painting from an artist who also painted houses?


About Holli

A "cooking from scratch" geek, Mom, Wife, Seattle Native, Photographer and serial volunteer.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When should art become “niched”?

  1. I would say you photograph life. If it’s visually interesting, you capture the image. Sure, being niche can help you market yourself, but it can also pigeonhole you into something that might be marketable now, but won’t be in the future. In the short term you can always choose a focus if you find one comfortable for you just to get things off and running. Ultimately, I think just being yourself, being honest with prospective clients about why you love to take photos, and sharing your work so that people can see what you do is the course to take for the long run.

  2. buy art says:

    I truly agree with your views of showing the photography as an art form. To capture an event with great skills is counted as an art form. It was really grateful to read about your photographic life.

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