My quest to be a renaissance photographer man.
As a new photographer, the first thing you find is either you have one thing you adore photographing or you learn that there are so many things you want to photograph. The latter happens to be more how I started. When I started calling myself a professional photographer, this proved to be a fatal mistake. My quest to be a renaissance photographer man.
People who hire photographers tend to prefer sticking with a look they can expect to come out with. The hardest thing for me to admit that until the past year to two years I did not figure out exactly my style. Here is an example, alongside your local high school football field you will typically find a person with a camera. Many times it will be a team members parent but many times the photographer turns out to be someone who is practicing to be a sports photographer.
This same photographer may turn out to be an awesome senior picture photographer but who will know. I will tell you if you are the photographer and a parent, your child will not market your photography for you. Family tends to look at you as your role inside the family. Not until you learn great fame or someone asks does it come to the top of mind. It is worse if you are taking pictures for the booster club or team, you are just the game photographer.
I have photographed a high school football team here in Portland for several years now. How many seniors have a photographed from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portland, 3, my youngest son, daughter and one of their friends. Pitiful right, 3, after years of support, 3. But the person on the sidelines with me, senior pictures all the time. The possibility is that I failed to market myself but she does focus on male senior pictures and most of my portfolio is female.
This translates to adult amateur football games as well. I photograph the Portland Raiders, a semi-pro/amateur football team here in Portland Oregon (most home games tend to be played in either Oregon City or Hillsboro). How many weddings or portrait sessions has this gotten me, zero, zilch, nada.
In the end, the people benefiting from my sports photography do not see me as a senior picture/family picture/wedding photographer, just the guy who takes their photos while playing a game I dearly love. That is why I still do it, I love to photograph people and perhaps that is enough.
My point boils down to this if you do what I did/do and keep with the aim of being the renaissance photographer man. Your odds of being successful, place type of photographer here, are much slimmer. This does not mean that you can only shoot one thing, it is more that if you want to make a living out of that one thing focus your business efforts on portraits, wedding photography, boudoir, sports or landscapes. Become the expert but never stop learning. You would be surprised what those other types of photography will teach you that you can use. That and if someone, if, a very big damn if in my experience, asks you to do something you don't show but know how to do, it is a money making opportunity and that is what being a professional means, making money out of your photography.