Going Professional – Finding Your Niche Market

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  By Jonathan Ma
Going Professional – Finding Your Niche Market www.sleeklens.com

In a previous article, “Considering to Become a Professional Photographer: Where to Start?”, we discussed the importance of specializing in one field of photography. Becoming known as a great wedding photographer is better than becoming a great all-around photographer. In this article, we’re going to take this a step further. Instead of just becoming known as a great wedding photographer for example, how does being the best [type of wedding] wedding photographer in [your city] sound? By finding a niche market to fill, you have a chance to become the best in that particular segment of the market. Consider some examples of niche markets below.

Asian Wedding Photography

Culturally, weddings are celebrated in totally different ways throughout the world. For example, Asian weddings can sometimes last 2-3 days. They can include tea ceremonies and other family events. Hence, becoming the greatest wedding photographer for a specific type of culture requires a lot of research and experience. It also requires excellent communication skills. Being able to speak to the bride and groom in their mother tongue is essential. For this reason, many photographers will specialize in shooting weddings of their own culture. Communication with the couple, the wedding party, and the guests are much easier for the photographer this way. Potential clients are also more inclined to trust someone who has come from the same culture to take photos of your wedding. Weddings are very personal occasions and trust is a big factor in choosing wedding vendors for the bride.

Indie Band Photography

If you live in a city where the indie music scene is booming, you may want to look into indie band photography. Every band needs photography work done for their marketing materials, cover art, and promotional photos. Indie bands are a great place for a new photographer to start because many indie bands are somewhat new to the music scene. If you have a successful photo shoot with an indie band, it can lead to other work down the road with them. The possibility of repeat work is a great bonus for band photography. Try to book photography sessions for up-and-coming bands. If they become famous, your portfolio’s value will also go up with them!

Breakfast Restaurant Photography

Instead of just becoming a restaurant photographer, how about becoming a professional breakfast restaurant photographer? By limiting the scope of what you specialize in, potential clients will be more likely to hire you because they know exactly what kind of experience you have. This is not to say that you should refuse every dinner restaurant job offer. But when you focus and market just your niche market, it will help improve your image and elevate you to the top of that niche market. There may be 100 restaurant photographers in your city, but maybe only a handful of those specialize in breakfast foods. Learn to be the best breakfast food photographer you’ve ever known, and you’ll soon find clients will be calling you left and right.

Destination Wedding Photography

For professional photographers that have some wedding photography under their belt already, destination weddings are a great market to dive into. Because destination weddings usually cost more, the clients are generally looking for more experienced wedding photographers. This can be a great niche market for a photographer that has already established themselves in one segment of the wedding photography market and is looking to expand. Destination weddings usually include traveling to a beach town, famous city, or isolated island somewhere. Therefore this market is better suited for photographers who are willing to travel on a frequent and regular basis. Being flexible is also a requirement for this style of photography because the location is always changing. To be fair, becoming a destination wedding photographer is the dream of many wedding photographers. Not only do you get to get paid for doing what you love – wedding photography – but you also get paid to travel the world while doing it! You’ll learn much about the world, about different cultures, and about people. The number of professional destination wedding photographers is quite limited because of the amount of sacrifice it takes to successfully pull it off. But if you do pull it off, it’ll be worth it. Some destination wedding photographers only need to shoot 1 wedding a month to stay financially stable.

Happy shooting!


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Jonathan Ma

Jonathan Ma is a freelance writer and professional photographer. He grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States. The natural beauty that surrounds this area has helped him to learn to appreciate art and photography. Jonathan's favorite styles of photography are nature and sports photography. He enjoys learning and teaching others what he knows.

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