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How to Find Your Niche in Commercial Photography

Photography is a big world. If you’ve ever tried different types of photography, you know how different each one can be. 

Though the technical skills of working the camera may be the same, the overall skills (and endurance) you’ll need for a newborn shoot are vastly different from what you’ll need for weddings. 

The same is true when you move from the world of family photography to commercial photography. Plus, commercial photography has a lot of niches for which you’ll use different skills. A food photoshoot, architectural photoshoot, and product photoshoot are all quite different from one another and even require different equipment. 



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Instead of being a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, picking a niche and becoming an expert is an excellent way to grow your photography business. 

But how do you choose your niche? I’m here to help!

Try Everything

At the risk of getting Shakira’s song “Try Everything” from the kid’s movie Zootopia stuck in your head, the first thing I’ll say is to try everything. The easiest way to find out what you love to photograph is to give it a try! 

You might get requests from clients for different types of shoots. For example, one of your regular family session clients may own a restaurant and ask you to come in and take photos of their dishes. 

This type of photography is very different from shooting families. For one, your subject doesn’t move and you don’t have to worry about getting it to smile naturally. For another, you’ll be doing more macro work as you try to emphasize the textures of the food. After all, you’re trying to make a dish look absolutely scrumptious and there is no accompanying smell or taste to help. 

You might love it, you might not, the best way to find out is to try it. 


Food photographers create mouth watering photos for restaurants, food bloggers, cookbooks, and more.

Food photographers create mouth watering photos for restaurants, food bloggers, cookbooks, and more.

Set Up Your Own Shoots

You might not get requests for photography niches that you want to try, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t try it! Set up a product photography shoot in your studio. You can even pick up one of those inexpensive lightboxes from Amazon to try your hand at photographing smaller objects. 

If you discover that you love it, use the photos you get from the shoot to advertise your services as a product photographer. There are tons of small businesses that would love to find affordable professional product photography. 

If you need people for your shoot, such as for fashion photography, put out a model call on social media. You’ll find many beautiful models willing to trade their time for photos they can use for their own portfolios. 

What if you’re interested in becoming an architectural photographer? There’s some really good money in this, but it takes someone with a lot of patience and an extreme eye for detail to create stunning real estate photos. You can try it out by cleaning up and photographing your own home or a friend’s. 

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Be Humble and Teachable

It’s also important to recognize that while you might be a maestro at photographing outdoor family sessions, you may not understand all the ins and outs of studio lighting. Be humble and recognize that your photography knowledge has limits. 

Learn from other photographers in your area and don’t hesitate to take advantage of the Internet. In fact, before trying a new type of shoot, I recommend Googling whatever type of shoot you will be attempting. There are a plethora of blog posts, YouTube videos, and more offering tips and tricks on all types of photography. 

Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything and reach out for help.


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Learn to Say “No”

As you try different things, you’ll begin to develop a feel for what really gets you excited. What types of shoots do you look forward to? Which ones do you dread? Which photos are so exciting to edit that they practically edit themselves? 

Once you know this, it’s okay to focus on that niche. In fact, that’s the entire point of looking for your photography niche in the first place! 

If you want to focus on product photography or becoming a food photographer, it’s okay to say “no” to those looking for an architectural photographer. Do what you love. That’s what being a photographer is all about!


Product photography is another form of commercial photography for people who are detail oriented and like prop styling.

Product photography is another form of commercial photography for people who are detail oriented and like prop styling.

Support as a Commercial Photographer

Unfortunately, running a photography business involves a lot more than simply taking photos. We all get bogged down in marketing and other aspects that take time away from what we really love to do.

That’s what I’m here for! I help photographers like you with the nitty-gritty details of their business so they can focus on doing what they really love. Reach out today to learn about what Focus Creative can do for you!

 



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Hey there, I’m Kassady.

I’m a professional photographer who helps people create a successful commercial photography business!


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  1. […] what particular type of photography will make your heart sing. Here are some great tips on how to find the perfect niche as a commercial […]

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