When I started my photography business, it was unclear to me which type of photography I wanted to do. I would be open to all possibilities and didn’t reject any opportunity. However, the more clients I started getting, the more I realized how much I enjoyed photographing corporate event photography, the more I refused other types of work, and in consequence, the better I got at it.

Yet, did I choose event photography as a niche? Or did it pick me? When starting your photography business, it is highly crucial to specify your market niche and concentrate your offer in one place. There are many ways you could do that, and this is how it happened to me.

1. Use your passion as a guide.

I adore street photography and walking around the streets of any place I am at, watching daily life unfolding in front of my eyes. Photographing in the public space has always been highly entertaining to me because I can catch those fleeting unnoticed moments and immortalize them with my camera. 

When I started photographing corporate events, I couldn’t help but notice the extreme similarities with street photography. There were moments in which I had to be as smooth as when I was out in the streets. I needed to patiently observe the environment and be ready to take pictures of the brief moments around me.

These similarities made me appreciate event photography much more than I would have expected. Hence, I was always looking forward to my next event. I used my passion for street photography as a guideline to get paid jobs that are as close as possible to what I enjoy the most.

Key questions.

  • – What are your passions in photography? 
  • – What are the styles of photography you like doing the most? 
  • – Could you apply your passion for paid commercial work?
2. Learn what the local demand is.

I live in Brussels, the center of the European Union, where many politicians, lobbyists, and organizations share a common ground and try their best to shape current and future policy. No wonder Brussels is considered the best destination for business gatherings and conferences in Europe.

I could see from the beginning the opportunities this brings for a business in the events industry. Brussels is an absolute hotspot for event organization. The local demand played a crucial role in defining my photography niche because I knew my chances of getting more paid work would be higher if I specialized in that market. The corporate world in Brussels is enormous, and I used this as leverage to get more business opportunities.

Key questions.

  • – What is the local demand in your area or region? 
  • – Is the market aimed more at families and portraiture? or,
  • – Is it more fashion and products? 
  • – What’s hot in your area that could need photography services?
3. Private vs. Corporate.

My photography company is precisely that, a business, and the more I got into this, the more I realized I needed to treat it as such. I have worked with private clients and corporate clients since the beginning, and I have learned to appreciate the relationships with my corporate clients way more than with my private clients because of the professional exchange established with them.

Corporate customers regularly deal with providers, quotations, contracts, and budgets, so they are used to the professional world. Private clients may not necessarily be aware of what it means or involve providing a service or dealing with other businesses. This difference means the world to me, and I certainly prefer dealing with a company as a customer that understands the value of the professional exchange to favor both institutions, me, and them.

Key questions.

  • – Do you want to deal with businesses or individuals? Or both?
  • – How important is for you the professional aspect of your business?
  • – Are you treating your photography venture as a business?
4. Niche the niche.

Event photography has many ramifications and possibilities, such as cocktails, competitions, festivals, meetings, parties, among others. So how was I going to understand which type of events I wanted to cover? The answer for me was quite easy, and it is related to the previous points I laid in this article. As long as it would allow me to apply my street photography passion, supply the local demand, and deal with a corporate client, I would cover the event.

You can and should be specific in your offer and only expand after you have understood your market. I am capable of covering many different types of assignments with my photography. However, I show very clearly on my website portfolios the sort of jobs I would like to get involved in with clients. My niche has a niche, and it should be clear to my target audience.

Key questions.

  • – Can you further define your niche?
  • – Do you want to become an expert in your offer? Or,
  • – Do you prefer being an average photographer in many areas?
  • – Is your niche in demand in your area?
Final thoughts.

Photography is one of those things that gives you plenty of different opportunities for what you can specialize in when defining your niche. It can become overwhelming to narrow things down, but it has many advantages as you can become an expert in your field, unlike any other.

Use as a guide what you like and see how you can combine it with the local demand of your area, define your ideal client, and become an expert.

I hope you find value in this article from my own experience, and that you can narrow down your niche market to improve your offer as a professional photographer. Do you have any advice or personal experience selecting your photography market niche? Let me know on the comments below. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Video on YouTube available here https://youtu.be/MPHBqyCfL2s

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