Develop Your Photographic Diversity

When times are good and the economy is rolling along, it’s all too easy to become a niche photographer and specialize in work that you are most familiar and comfortable with. I know several local photographers that do only event photography like weddings and bar mitzvahs and others that do only high school senior portraits. Many landscape and nature photographers that I know wouldn’t think of shooting a wedding or sweet-sixteen party, let alone a corporate head-shot. When times are good . . .

Well, right now times aren’t so good and many photographers find themselves scratching to make a living, lowering prices and accepting client terms they would have laughed at several years ago. It doesn’t look like the economy is going to recover anytime soon and even if it does, the market for commercial photography may never be what it once was. Corporate and personal frugality may become the norm rather than the exception.

But some photographers are thriving despite their circumstances. These folks seem to understand that “specialization is for insects, not people” (Yes, you’ve heard me say this before). They know that there is incredible strength in photographic diversity.

It’s a lesson that every photographer should heed, myself included. Mix things up a little and photograph subjects that stretch your current skills. If you shoot predominately landscapes and nature, go out and shoot some portraits. Dig a little deeper and reach a little further. If you shoot wedding and events, get up early one morning and shoot the sunrise. Get out of your photographic comfort zone and take creative some risk.

I think Dewitt Jones sums it up nicely. “Celebrate What’s Right With the World”.

What have you got to lose?

Race Gun

Race Gun – Sugar Land, Texas
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 35mm, f/9 for 1/400th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Simple Beauty

Simple Beauty – Austin, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens hand-held. Lit with a Profoto strobe and shoot-through umbrella for fill flash. The exposure was taken at 102mm, f/7.1 for 1/200th of a second at ISO 100. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Wet

Wet – Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 7D set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM + EF 1.4x Extender hand-held. The exposure was taken at 560mm, f/7.1 for 1/200th of a second at ISO 100. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

4 thoughts on “Develop Your Photographic Diversity

  1. I too am an amateur. Been shooting 35 & DSLR since the middle 60’s just for my personal enjoyment. Shortly before retiring, last July, I started learning/working, from/with Ray Kectham. I’m lucky to have met Ray before I even knew of his talents and what he and others have asked me is “What is your focus, or what do you like/want to shoot”? Well last Wed. during my session with him he, I believe, finally understood that I really don’t have a niche and never will. All my life I’ve needed diversity in what I do, no matter.

    This is my first time commenting on your blog even tho I’ve been following for quite some time and I have to say most of your November posts have really struck a cord with me.

    Thank you,
    Don

  2. It is a true sign of the changing times… I’m only a hobbyist and I’m lucky to have a full time job… but when I first got into this everyone was telling me specialize, specialize, don’t do everything because you won’t be good at anything! Great post.

  3. Excellent advice, Jeff. I know that I am in one of those niches. It seems that right now my passion is for bird photography. Of course, in my case, I don’t have to depend on it to make a living. But even then, I know that I could try something new. It would at least give me something more for me to write about in my blog. 🙂

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