The Business of Photography – Finding My Place
Trying to be a successful photographer is becoming harder and harder. Photography is so much accessible these days and so many people are doing their own, that for someone to try making it as a photographer means something completely different. So I have to work out where I fit into all this. Is there a place for my photography and if there is how do I find the people who want it?
These aren’t new questions, I’ve asked them before. but as I put myself and my work out there, I am finding that the world is not quite as I thought, and there seems to be a change in the way photographers work. The word “niche” seems to come out a lot. Once upon a time if you wanted to be a photographer then you did as much as you could, now, it seems you will never find success if you do that. Today I am being told that if I want to be a successful photographer then I have to find a niche market and I need to specialise.
So what would my niche market be? I thought it would be the portraits, and it is something that I really want to pursue, but I am finding that I am getting inquiries about my Architectural Photography, so should that be my niche market? You get how confusing it can be.
Then this morning I went to a networking breakfast. I have been trying lots of different workshops and trying to find ways to help me work out how to market myself. So this morning I went to a networking breakfast held by the local chapter of BNI. Someone at a marketing workshop said they were good, so I thought, okay, I will go. I don’t know what I expected, but what happened was not what I expected to happen. It wasn’t bad, it seemed like a very supportive environment, they help to refer people to your business and you do the same for them. It seemed rather unique, though I know it isn’t, there are chapters for BNI all over the world.
As I was driving there, I wondered whether my Fine Art Portrait business would fit into this environment, and after being there a short time, I realised that they would not be able to help me in that respect, but perhaps, my Architectural Photography would be more suited. So after they all talked about the referrals they would like to get, all the newbies, that was me, was asked to talk about what our businesses were and what work we were looking for. I stood up and talked about my Architectural stuff.
This also came on top of me doing work for the Inverleigh Hotel where they wanted me to take photos of the building, inside and out. I was approached by a Real Estate Firm inquiring about my rates for some photos they were interested in. So I have to ask myself if I am going to have two niche markets? Is there anything wrong with that? Can I be a Fine Art Portrait Photographer, and a Fine Art Architectural Photographer? I would like to do both.
Then there is the stuff I just want to do for fun.
The BNI was interesting, but it comes with a very heavy membership fee. I need to do some research as to whether or not it is worth it. There is so much information on the internet, that has a heap of people saying it is a scam, then there are also people saying it isn’t and that you get so much work from it. That the networking is invaluable. Right now it is right out of my price range, and even if I wanted to join, I couldn’t, I don’t have the kind of money they are asking for. It is an interesting idea, and I will have to investigate it further.
Sorry long post, but I wanted to talk some stuff out with you. I hope you don’t mind.