Specializing in photography….why it works for my business….{NoVA/MD/DC Portrait Photographer}

Specializing in one or more areas of photography is something I believe makes a stronger photographer.  It’s impossible to be great at everything, and since each type of photography has it’s own sets of challenges, I made the decision years ago to specialize – or concentrate my areas of technical training and equipment on High School Seniors, Families, Business Portraits and Weddings and Events.  It seems like a lot, doesn’t it?  But when you think about all the different type of photography – candids, sports photography, landscape & murals, newborns, maternity, & children’s photography, it’s not really as much as you’d think.

Some would say I took away more than half my “market” of potential customers when I did that.  But I know that to be true to what I am very good at, and what I have studied the lighting, posing, client interaction, etc of – not to mention what I’m comfortable doing, I had to specialize.  I’d rather be a master of one trade than a jack of all trades – and it absolutely applies to a photographer.  For example, what high school senior wants to have a photographer take their senior pictures who usually runs around after toddlers and uses funky noises, candy lures, or stuffed animals to get their client’s attention?  Knowing what I wanted to do, and knowing what I personally would be good at doing, I made the decision to specialize.  And yes, that means I will give a client who calls for a child’s portrait the name of one or two other photographers I know of that are GREAT at children’s photography.  I will happily give away “the lead” to make a client happy.  And I get nothing in return for that, just good will that I hope pays off down the line in karma all the way around.  And that’s enough.

If you’ve been to my studio you know that the assortment of backdrops, chairs, props and lighting I own are all geared towards adults – teenagers and up.  If I had to split those items between all the possible ages I COULD photograph, I’d have at least half as many options all the way around – and that means you wouldn’t have as many choices for creative backdrops, props, chairs, etc.  So yes, even in my equipment I’ve specialized.  I mean, smaller backdrops work great for little babies, but I can’t photograph an adult on a 3×3 patch of fabric, can I, LOL? I love trolling around finding cool items that would work for my specialities and you’ll see I have items that are unique – old rusty warehouse items, an old green 1957 Truck, a custom made graffiti wall, landscaped areas, and so much more to give my clients choice, variety and options for their images.

I also have choices each year of where I’ll spend my dollars for training.  My budget allows for advanced training, and I elect to train with other portrait photographers that also specialize and are well known in the same areas I’m concentrating in – seniors, families, adult portraits, weddings & events.  And that means I stay cutting edge in those areas with advice, tips, and knowledge from the best in the field in those areas.

Could I photograph other things like dogs and toddlers?  Of course.  My camera certainly can take any image I want to make – but I choose to be a speciality photographer.  And I hope you’ll agree, you will see the difference in every aspect of  your Senior Portraits, your Business Portraits, your Wedding images, and your priceless Family Photos.


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