RCP Photography School: Unique Niches
Hello to all who’ve joined me on day 21 of this 26 day challenge to learn about the basics of photography.
We’ve talked so much about the basics of photography, dipping into different subjects of people, places and things, but what types of niches or genres are there that are unique? What can you do that is different to other people?
If you’re doing this course, you probably already know a little bit about me but if you don’t, please check out who I am.
Today I’m going give you an insight to a professional photographer’s world and talk about...
U for Unique Niches
There comes a point in a photographer’s life that they start to re-evaluate what they love photographing, and what they don’t. Most of us start by photographing everything - from landscapes, newborns, families, weddings and studio photography. When we try all of these, we sooner or later find out what we enjoy doing. What we love doing.
This may speak so someone that is overwhelmed with the fact that picking up a camera can mean you have to photograph everything that there is in front of us.
That's not the case.
Photography is an art. Photography is a speciality. Photography is a therapy.
Picking a niche, in photography, can be easy through the learning process. What I mean by that is, during the first stages of learning the basics of photography, you will find people, places and things to photograph. You will maybe choose something to practice on that you love, like flowers or food. But no matter what it is, that is how you develop your niche.
Let's talk more about who we photograph.
For parents, your kids might be the easiest subjects to photograph - I don't mean because they sit still and smile for mummy and daddy.
I mean because you have unlimited access to someone who you can photograph.
I've been photographing families with small children since I started my career as a professional photographer in 2014. I have come to learn that, in all honesty, you will never be prepared for what the child or children react when you whip out your camera. They may be used to it or they may be curious (I used to let the kids play with my camera, it helps to build a relationship with a small human that doesn't know you and for someone you need to photograph and capture their true little selves!), or they may just hide behind mummy or daddy's leg. Some kids arrive to our outdoor locations, just awake from a nap; others arrive excited to meet me (especially those who are repeat clients); and some arrive in completely foul moods - ALL of the above are manageable as a photographer. Yes, it's hard, but it is manageable through practice.
Parents have a head start than me, because I don't have kids - they already have a loving connection with their babies and can peep through the door and watch their little one playing 'tea party' with their teddies or making a mucky mess outside.
These are moments that are worth capturing, and moments that families entrust me to capture - yes, I shoot outdoors but before lockdown, I was invited to families' homes and documenting newborns and how their older children helped out and loved their little sister or brother.
Parents mightn't find it easy to begin with because they are practicing and see what they enjoy photographing and capturing of their little ones. You may photograph them running around the house; jumping on the beds; having a bath; sleeping in random places. The ideas are endless. Photograph any moment of the day that captures your child as they are.
For children and teenagers, your friends, family, pets or places your visit after school or at the weekends may be a good subject to photograph - during lockdown, daily exercise locally is encouraged and I want to encourage you also. You may find going for a walk a bit boring, so bringing a camera along and setting a challenge for yourself to photographing things that are blue, seeing what birds you can photograph; taking photos of different signs on the roads or parks.
Putting your energy into something and spending time doing something enjoyable improves the happy hormones in your brain. I'm not saying you aren't happy, but during this lockdown that we are in, it is difficult to understand why you can't go to school, see your friends in large groups, go to the cinema to watch the latest film, sit in and eat a McDonalds. Those are things I enjoyed doing when I was a teenager (and still do!)
Being creative and having a rough plan before going out on a 'photo walk' can really get the creative flare going. There are loads of photo challenges online but here is one for you!
Let's talk about about what we photograph.
There are so many things we can photograph, not just people. As you can see above, there are some many places and things we can photograph, you just need to put your creative cap on.
Over the years, I have tried different photo challenges to boost my creativity. I find one of the main places that my creativity spikes is when I go for a walk on the beach. Might sound like a normal thing to do, but there is something about the waves crashing into rocks, the wind blowing your hair everywhere and the colours of the sky and water. The surroundings are beautiful in itself but the colours, smells and sounds spark a new project, a new idea or a refreshed mind in general - praying led to this idea to do a 26-day photography class, and praying can lead to new ideas too!
I have a unique niche, as a birth photographer, but it is very difficult to photograph births during today's climate. It took 1 birth to know it's what I wanted to focus on. And now, I can't do that, I am putting my energy into something related.
As someone has has been involved with mummies and families who have suffered mental health over the past year, and even before that, I have always encouraged them to get out of the house, or get out of bed even. To do something small but meaningful. To focus on today only.
Going for a walk and photographing your surroundings can be therapeutic. Fresh air gets the mind going, and photographing gives you a small purpose but also a chance to create some 'art' - then, you know you've done something worth while today.
Sit down and make a list of 5 things you would like to photograph over the next few days. And don't forget to send them over to me - all entries will be featured on my blog at the end of the 26-day course.
Let's talk about why we photograph.
Freezing a moment in time. Taking a memory back home with you. Creating fine art photos. There are so many reasons, and for you, it will be a personal, unique one.
Maybe you've been using a notebook to make notes over the past 3 weeks. Write down why you have decided to join in. Make a list of things you've enjoyed photographing.
What has been your favourite person, place or thing to photograph?
This course is to encourage you to from your 'why'. To find your creativity. To find a reason to boost your mood during lockdown. And to enjoy the little things in life, no matter what.