02 April 2011

Going Solo? Find Your Niche

"High Wires", Terrell Neasley
"If you are going through Hell, keep going!"
-Winston Churchill

Photography is a business that has seen many derivatives...many variations. One might assume that other ventures might prove more worthwhile creative endeavors. Everything that can be done in photography has already been done. The market is saturated. There is no money to be made. How can one stand to make a living   as a "photographer"?

I've had to battle with naysayers such as this for my, umm... resolve, concerning entrepreneurial interests in this field where many chose to run out of it in a state of panic. The market's flooded. Digital has put a camera in the hands of anybody willing to call themselves a photog. GWCs (Guys With Cameras) have tainted the business and undervalued our work so as to prohibit us "decent" togs an honest wage.

I must admit. Some of these doubter-opinions have sprung from my own head. Its not an easy thing to tackle the unknown in lieu of the security of that all-mighty, ever-dependable paycheck. However, I have ever been the risk-taker and if I ever trust in anyone, then it is myself, sometimes albeit to a fault. I believe myself to be my own best investment. I have my own best interest at heart better than anybody outside of my own mother.

Two things, I believe are key to being successful in this enterprise of image making. One is simply learning to be good general businessmen and women. The other is finding your niche that makes you special. Yes, many believe its all been said and done. I do not subscribe to that notion and I am making this blog post because I came across two videos that very handily explain my two points better than my words can.

The first deals with a man at his ropes end. He works at a dead-end job that he hates. He picks up nasty vices that almost compel his wife to leave him. Then he picks up a camera. Takes a journey. Finds that he is much like everyone else in the business and choses to search further to distinguish himself and he succeeds. Check out Denis Smith, from Austrailia with his art work making Ball of Light.

Ball Of Light from Sam Collins on Vimeo.

Next, I beg you to get more comfortable in your seat and spend another 7 minutes viewing the video by graphic designer, Brandt Botes, of Studio Botes. Brandt recently chose to go solo and begin his own business. He sought out the advice of friends who each gave him nuggets of wisdom that he could build on. Check out his stop animation presentation that details what he found.

Going Solo. from Studio Botes on Vimeo.


Karl said...

Thank you for writing this. I needed a pep talk and a kick in the ass. Your words and the videos were both.

For me, photography has become something that I have to do and create as a core part of my being. I need it, like I need to breath.

You mention the need to find niche. That is so true. There are BILLIONS of photos on the internet. While that is true, the internet allows access to billions of people that was impossible before it. Think of the numbers game. If your photos are important to , and potentially purchased by, 1 out of 100,000 people, you have 700,000 potential global customers. It is more important to find that niche you love and satisfy it than trying to please the masses.

Thanks again.

Photo Anthems.com said...

That's definitely well put, Karl. This post was just as timely for me, too!