How to Find Your Style in Photography (Finding Your Niche)
Published 26th February 2019
When many people first start out in photography, they want to try it all.
But as you become more experienced in photography, you will probably find it challenging to succeed in a particular photographic style if you don’t practice it regularly. Here, we will help you understand how to find your style in photography.
This article will hopefully give you more insight into the most popular photographic niches, and pointers on the equipment and techniques needed to master them.
Most Popular Photographic Styles
It’s all about finding the right fit for you, and it will increase your chances of success dramatically if it’s a style you genuinely enjoy working in.
1. Portrait Photography
Portraiture is one of the oldest and most popular forms of photography.
How to find your style in photography and stand out in this portraiture, you need the right equipment and the ability to work with people, as well as good compositional and technical skills.
2. Still Life Photography
The still life photographic style shares many features with product photography, as it mainly involves taking images of inanimate objects.
You need to create your composition very carefully, depending on which angle you are going to shoot from.
3. Landscape Photography
Good composition and a tripod is a must for this type of photography.
Drone photography is really taking off now (pun intended!) and is giving us a new and exciting perspective for landscape images if you fancy trying your hand at it.
Lighting and styling is the key to good food photography. Some swear that daylight is best, and others prefer studio lighting for its flexibility.
Sports photographers have specialised lenses that let them zoom right into the heart of the action and get tack-sharp shots.
You need to shoot at high shutter speeds to capture movement without blur, but you still need to have good exposure.
Good wildlife photographers are well-paid for their images, and it requires a lot of patience, safety measures and the ability to shoot without disturbing or damaging an animal’s natural habitat.
It’s also a niche that requires you to work in sometimes challenging conditions and remote areas.
To succeed at this photographic style, you need to use a macro lens, which allows you to magnify your subject and shoot very close up, and a tripod.
This style in photography covers a wide range of events, including corporate meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, birthday parties, concerts and even weddings.
You’ll need a mix of skills and lenses for this, as you may be shooting people one minute and the venue and even the food the next.
One of the main skills needed in this photographic style is the ability to work well with others. You will need to follow the brief, work with the art director, makeup and hair stylists, dressers and the models.
10. Newborn/Family Photography
This is an offshoot of portrait photography, but it has its own set of challenges.
You need to work around the baby’s needs, and try to capture what you can when you can.
The possibilities are endless with street photography, and you can use whatever camera you have in your hands.
Street photography is often part of a personal or artistic project.
Photojournalism is a different photographic style from street photography, in that it covers specific stories or events that are newsworthy.
Technical perfection is not as important in photojournalism as the ability to capture the moments that speak to the viewer.
Documentary photography is an offshoot of both street and photojournalism, but is usually part of a carefully-planned bigger story.
War photographers like Don McCullin capture great documentary shots that are also full of raw emotion and poignancy.
Stock photography is another photographic style that has become crowded, and shooting in high volume is key to success.
Stock photographers photograph and sell images to stock agencies such as Getty, Alamy, Shutterstock or Dreamstime.
Knowing how to find your style in photography can be tricky, but the key with stock photography is finding out what’s popular, what customers want, and photographing it well.
Good, dramatic weather photos can sell for quite a lot of money, but it’s a challenging niche to be in.
You need to go where the weather is most extreme to get the best shots, but you have to be willing to risk being in adverse or dangerous conditions, such as blizzards, tornados or lightning storms.
Architectural photography is a photographic style that can offer you a steady stream of work if you are good at it and have the right equipment
Photos of the interiors and exteriors of buildings are in demand by designers and architects, as well as potential investors.
17. Long Exposure
Long exposure photography involves leaving your camera shutter open anything from a few seconds to several minutes, such as when capturing star trails, or photographing cityscapes at night. Use an ND filter to photograph rivers, as it will give the water a silky-smooth look.
18. Aerial Photography
The invention of drones has made this style in photography more accessible.
Drones have revolutionised aerial photography, and they can take images from a few feet off the ground to hundreds of feet in the air.
19. Black and White Photography
It’s an artistic photographic style, and you need to be able to “see” the finished image in black and white before you decide to take it.
For best results, take the photos in colour, and convert them to monochrome in an image editor.
20. Composite Photography
Compositing involves using more than one image to create a final image. You would take the parts you wanted of one image, and add those parts to another using an image editor.
Product photographers often use composites to make their final images look evenly lit all the way round.
21. Infrared Photography
Infrared images are a photographic style that re-imagines the world in different colours by using special coloured filters on the camera lens.
Even everyday scenes become surreal and other-worldly when captured using the infrared technique.
22. Dance Photography
This photographic style is all about capturing the grace, beauty and emotions of the dancers, and requires a good knowledge of lighting and technical camera skills to capture the dancer at the right moment.
23. Interior/Real Estate
This photographic style involves shooting high-quality images of the interior or exterior of structures for magazine publication, websites or to advertise the building for sale or rent.
Ultimately, knowing how to find your style in photography starts with choosing a niche that feels right for you – one that you enjoy doing, as well as being able to learn the technical know-how.
Above all, whatever your photographic style, never give up and always keep practicing. You learn something new every day with photography, and it’s filled with endless possibilities