Have you ever snapped a photo of a great meal and posted it on social media? Most of us have. In today’s digital generation, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. As more restaurants and food producers turn to social media for their marketing efforts, food photographers will benefit with more work and greater creative license.
Lighting is one of the biggest skills to master when it comes to photographing food. Whether you are trying to capture the ambiance of a local restaurant or the brightness of a basket of produce, experiment with filters, diffusers, and reflectors to see what paints your subject in the most delectable light.
If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, you’ve probably snapped your fair share of landscape photos. Photographers in this niche have great success selling their work to travel companies, tourism websites, and directly to consumers as framed art.
Landscape photography used to be limited to wide-angle, horizontal shots, but as technology has changed, so have the possibilities for artistic techniques. Some photographers use drones to capture a unique angle of a well-known landscape. Others experiment with vertical shots or full panoramic views. A good way to see what works best is to photograph the same landscape with several different lenses.
Sports photography is an exciting niche that requires the ability to shoot at high-speeds to capture actions as they happen. With so many photographers crowding professional sporting events, it might seem challenging to break into this niche. As a first step, contact your local little leagues, sports clubs, or high school athletic departments and offer to photograph games and events at no charge. As you get more experience, you will quickly build your reference pool and portfolio.
Macro photography is one of the most specialized and unique niches. It is the art of making objects look much larger than they are in real life while capturing tiny details that would be missed by the naked eye. Macro photography can be done with a wide variety of equipment, from a DSLR camera with a macro lens to a simple smartphone camera and clip-on macro attachment. While it can be difficult to find a regular client base for this niche, many photographers sell their macro photographs as prints or framed art.
Wildlife photography is a unique niche that poses some interesting challenges. Depending on the subject, wildlife photographers often operate in dangerous conditions and remote locations. Because they need to capture crystal-clear photos without making the animal aware of their presence, these photographers need top-notch lenses and equipment and must also take precautions to stay safe from both the animals and the environment they shoot in. Despite these challenges, wildlife photography is a popular niche for adventurers and assignments pay well.
For the less-adventurous animal lover, pet photography is an increasingly popular niche to explore. While the subjects can be unpredictable, they are also highly coachable with treats and praise. Just like wildlife photography, pets require lots of high-speed images to catch a few exceptional shots. To get started in the pet photography market, take photos of your own pets and those of your friends and family in exchange for testimonials. Don’t limit yourself to just dogs and cats--showcase your talents by adding prints of some unusual pets to your portfolio, too.
Some of society’s most compelling and memorable stories were captured by photojournalists. This specialized type of photography covers news stories and world events, including natural disasters and wars, as well as historic moments in time like rallies and celebrations. Because these photos are in high demand with newspapers, magazines, and online publishers, photojournalists tend to be paid well and receive a great deal of notoriety for their work. Photojournalists are skilled at capturing the essence of a historic event and not necessarily a perfect shot.
8. Stock photos
There is a large market for stock photos, and it’s growing by the day. Organizations of all types and sizes use stock photography for marketing purposes and to accompany content, both printed and online. While it may be difficult for some to sell their “art” to someone for commercial gain, stock photography is a lucrative niche for photographers who are just starting their professional careers. Unlike many other types of photography, stock photos can provide passive income to the photographer through repeat sales of the same photo to different buyers.
Weather photography is one of the most unusual types of photography that also delivers truly beautiful images. It features various types of wild weather, including snowstorms, thunderstorms, and even sandstorms. While there is certainly an element of danger that goes along with weather photography, the resulting images are often sold at a high price and can even win awards.
Architecture photography is in high demand. It is not only used by design companies and architecture firms but also coveted by consumers for its clean, sleek styling and crisp images. It takes practice to capture the right angles and avoid sun glare and reflections, but this niche is the perfect fit for photographers who like to blur the lines between artistic and technical photos.
Whatever type of photographer you want to be, practice will make perfect. Try several different types of photography to get a feel for your strengths and investigate the market before you invest in special equipment. Above all, choose a niche that you enjoy, and your work will reflect your enthusiasm.
Thinking of putting your photos online? Make sure you protect your photos with a watermark.