How To Find Your Niche in Photo + Video
Just bought a camera? New creator? Struggling to find your niche in photography or videography?? In this blog, I want to give you guys some tips to help find your niche when it comes to creating!
I will be going over: how to find your niche in photo/ video, photo sub niches, video sub niches, learning everything, why you should take every job offer In the beginning, who inspires you?, finding your passion, being proactive, if someone else is doing it so can you, find a mentor, one man on-the-go or production style, finding what I love, and the journey.
Photography sub niches: portrait, wedding, landscape, cultural, real estate, architectural, food photography, etc
Video sub niches: weddings, cinematic, aerial drone work, time- lapse filmd, blogs, commercial, etc
The first step to finding your niche is to learn everything! Before you can find your niche and build a thriving business and career in photography and filmmaking, you need to learn everything. There is a base knowledge of photo and video and technical things that every creator has to learn and know. Once learned, most of it becomes knowledge that you soon never have to think twice about and just comes natural, but before diving into a specific niche you need to first learn the technical skills of photography like ISO, Shutter speed, aperture, and the technical things with filmmaking like frame rate, lens choice for certain subjects, bit rate, etc. Once you learn these things you will never think about them again as they will come natural and you will know which technical aspects go with different scenes and niches.
The next step to finding your niche is I think you should take every job offer in the beginning. Practice makes perfect, and if you take every job offer in the beginning you’ll likely be taking jobs in every niche. This is good practice, good experience, good portfolio building, and also helps you discover which niches you love, which niches you like better than others, and which niches you don’t like. In the beginning, most of your jobs, or even just offers, will be from friends and family. This is beneficial because most of the time people have a variety of friends and family with a variety of interests, passions, and hobbies. So this is a great way to practice and diversify in the beginning.
Next step to finding your niche is establishing who inspires you? Who are your favorite creators? What type of pages do you follow? In the beginning I noticed myself following and being inspired by people like Sam Kolder, Nainoa Langer, Rory Kramer, and Taylorcutfilms. While these guys are still incredible creators, as time goes on my inspiration has shifted. Now, I am less inspired by creators, and more inspired by people who love something and chase that love relentlessly. For example, Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, Kevin Hart, Steve Aoki, and David Goggins. None of these people are necessarily creators (in the sense of photo/ video), however they all have relentless drive and passion, which seriously inspires me.
To kind of piggy back on my last point, is finding your passion. This is not a cut and dry process, there is no formula to figure it out, it’s something that you stumble upon randomly. But once you find your passion, its the most amazing thing to have to chase.
Proactive. Being proactive is so important. If you sit on the couch, you’ll never know what you love… this goes for every aspect of life. Unless you try tons of new things like ice skating, rock climbing, rollerblading, running, and swimming, you’ll never realize that rock climbing was your long lost love, like I've found. Same goes for what you like shooting… you have to be proactive and try everything and every sub niche to find out which one you LOVE more than anything. If you're not proactive you will limit your discovery.
Something I want to stress when finding your niche is this- If someone else is doing it, so can you. If anyone else is making a living doing something, SO CAN YOU. I can’t stress this enough, if it’s possible for someone, then it is possible for everyone. And no, the market is never TOO saturated, while some things definitely get oversaturated, with enough passion, persistence, and hard work, anyone can make anything happen. This is a huge mindset shift but it’s extremely necessary in finding your niche in photo and video and realizing you can make a living doing anything.
Also, when finding your niche, I think a mentor helps the process and helps you flash forward, although not mandatory/ necessary. Finding a mentor whether a real mentor, or one you just follow intently online because you love their work.
When it comes to filmmaking, there is something I want to distinguish. Theres two main differences in filmmaking prior to categorizing by sub niche. One man on the go vs. production team these are two of the main differences in niches of filmmaking, before diving into sub niches/ topics. I think you should be exposed to both before deciding which is more your own cup of tea. With technological advances, one person is genuinely all you need to create a film. However, old school practices are still very much alive, full production teams to create a single film or video. Both are admirable choices, but I personally will always choose the run and gun one man team.
For me, finding what I love has been a journey. I have been shooting for around 4 years, and it wasn’t until about 16-18 months ago where I truly discovered what I loved shooting, and what I didn’t like shooting. This was a result of trying everything, always being exposed to new niches people and styles, from shooting 24/7 for years, and a lot of self awareness. I love shooting landscapes, the outdoors, and adventures, with a lot of focus on cinematic aerial footage and time lapses. And I don’t like shooting weddings, or portraits, or anything like that.
The journey at the end of the day, learning photography and filmmaking and eventually evolving it into a career is a journey. And it will change constantly as you try new things and get exposed to different niches. I would just say… don’t rush it, learn and practice everything, don’t be afraid to try new things, and you will find your niche and what you love in the process.