Nature Photography

The term Nature Photography refers to a large genre of photography that deals with natural occurring elements and the great outdoors.

Some subjects of Nature Photography would be Wildlife and animals, flowers, trees or plants, spiders, snakes and insects, landscapes, seascapes and other land formations. Photographic views can range from extreme macro photography or closeups to large panoramic triptych style photographs. Unlike documentary photography and Fine Art Photography which deal with a subject matter or artist point of view, Nature Photography usually aim to be more aesthetically pleasing. Nature Photography tries to express the beauty of its subject through color, depth and perspective.

Nature Photography is a very broad term and so contains many subcategories. Some of the more popular categories and subjects are Wildlife, Landscapes, Seascapes, Plants and many more.

Wildlife photography deals with the animal kingdom, from elephants to dung beetles, Salmon to Sharks, Penguins to Pot Bellied Pigs. Wildlife photographers try to catch their subjects in their natural habitats and normal behavior.

Landscape Photography attempts to capture the grand nature of our surrounding. The subjects of landscape photographers are usually land masses, mountains and mountain ranges, sunsets and cloud formations, waterfalls and coastal vistas. The presence of humans are usually void from landscape photos in attempt to capture the raw beauty of a scene unhampered by mans hand.

Seascape Photography looks to capture the sea and its many faces. The presence of humans or animals in seascape photography is neither required nor prohibited. There are many beautiful panoramic views of the ocean with a whale or a boat present. Seascapes also are related to the beach scene category which would include beaches, water, coastline, tropical scenes and maybe a sunset.

Plant photography deals with all forms of plant life, from flowers to vegetables, from trees to moss. Plant photography usually deals with closeups, still shots and macro photography. Flowers and extreme closeups are a popular theme of plant photography.

Nature Photography is a large category unto its self as all the many sub categories could technically be termed Nature Photography as they clearly fall under the umbrella of Nature.

Some of the most famous Nature Photographers would be Ansel Adams who pioneered Landscape Photography with his amazing black and white photos of beautiful vistas around the United States. Another would be Galen Rowell who was a photojournalist and became famous for his beautiful landscape photography. Other names would include William Henry Jackson, Eliot Porter, David Muench and Philip Hyde to name a few.

Nature is still the most popular category of photography today. Whether Nature pictures are taken professionally or by the vacationing amateur, the category of Nature Photography goes on strong and is here to stay.

10 Tips To Tell You How To Start A Photography Business By Finding Your Photography Niche

Sooner or later, most photography enthusiast give some thought to “how to start a photography business.” Unfortunately, there are a ‘few‘ challenges that “doom” us to failure. One of the biggest challenges that we bring is our failure to make the distinctions between our love of photography (re: our enjoyment and passion for photography) and the business of photography (understanding buying and spending habits of people that are photography customers).

For example, many of us think that because our photography work is “so good,” that we shouldn’t have that much trouble selling it. We, sometimes, mistakenly, think that great art and photography “sells itself.” Big mistake! Great photography does not sell itself. In the business world, nothing sells itself – nothing! Knowing this is critical to start a photography business.

Our failure to make the distinction between our passion for photography and our desire to be in the photo business is also evident in how we try to tell people about what we do. For example, photography customers don’t care what type of equipment we use. They don’t care how many mega-pixels we have, nor how much our equipment cost us, nor what brand of camera we use. Photography customers (current and potential) want to know that we can, and will, produce the highest quality photography work for them.

Think about it, the mechanics that repair our cars don’t tell us what tools that they use. The chefs in the restaurants that we patronize don’t tell us what type of pots, pans or stoves that they use. In those businesses, it is already established what customers want and how best to give it to them. In other words, other businesses do a better job of understanding their ‘niche.’ In order to start a photography business that is consistently successful and growing, we must be clear on what niche we are offering and how to sell the benefits of our niche to the customers.

Another mistake that we budding photography business owners repeat is failing to “specialize” (know our photography niche) in what we do. As photography enthusiasts, we enjoy shooting any and everything. As photographers, that’s just fine. However, when we start a photography business, we, mistakenly, try to be ‘all things to all people’ – we take every photography job offered us.

One of the obvious problems with this approach is our failure to recognize how it drastically cheapens the value of what we do as skilled photographers, in the eyes of the customers. Mistakenly, we want our customers (current and potential) to know that we can photograph anything – after all, we’re very versatile photographers! What the customers actually see is that we’re not “versatile photographers,” we’re just someone with a camera that’s available to take pictures when they call us. Serious photography customers (re: those that can afford to spend regularly) want to do business with specialists – photographers that know their photography niche.

Successful wedding photographers are clear on this, as an example of my point. Their ‘primary’ customer (usually the bride) has dreamed about her wedding day for most of her life. She isn’t looking for a vesatile photographer. She wants a “wedding photographer” that can make her ‘look’ as good, happy and beautiful as she has been in all of her lifelong dreams of ‘her day’ – her wedding day. There’s a special skill to this type of photography service. In fact, this niche has more to do with well developed ‘people skills,’ in my opinion. Successful wedding photographers that are clear on these nuances are more successful in business.

Do your research.

  • Inventory Your Photo Collection – Take a look at your photo collections. Determine what it is that you 1.) shoot the most; 2.) shoot consistently well; and 3.) enjoy shooting. Identify your and categorize the photos into various niches, i.e. portraits, sports, glamor, pets, children, landscape, etc.
  • Research The Photography Markets – Do internet searches using the words “photography niche.” Also, use the type of niche that you think your photos fit. For example, “event photography niche,” “wedding photography niche,” etc. Also, a good source to help identify some of the photo markets is “The Photographer’s Market.” This is a book that is published annually and claims to provide photo buying contacts and information. Online searches are the most useful, in my opinion. Books by author and photographer, Dan Heller are good places to get a better understanding of the vast world of photography, without all the ‘artsy-hype,’ in my opinion. He also has a very informative website – DanHeller.com
  • Identify ‘Real’ Markets – Find out what type of photography (of your specialties) your customers currently are purchasing. What type of photography is selling? At some point, you’ll have to ‘balance’ the realities of the different niches. There can be some factors that aren’t consistent across all photography niches. For example, some niches require longer “workflow” (workflow is the post production process of taking photos) periods and tasks than others. Higher quality portraits normally require photo editing – which is time-consuming. Event photography requires the processing, packaging and delivering (presenting) of photos. True story: I went through my large photo collections and found that I had a very large number of outstandingly beautiful flowers. I can’t begin to tell you my disappointment when I found out that there is ‘virtually’ no market of photos of flowers – it seems that everybody has them already, everybody! Lesson learned – identify ‘real’ markets.

Ten Tips To Assist You To Identify Your Niche

  1. Identify specialties that fit your style:
  2. Determine if you have the necessary equipment for the niche
  3. Do you have identifiable and specific skills in this niche area – can you articulate them?
  4. Who is your target audience
  5. What type of photography do they purchase the most
  6. Where are they taking their photography business currently – your competition
  7. What will be different about your services
  8. Does where you live support your preferable niche
  9. Is your niche ‘stock photography’ or ‘assignment photography’ – do you know the difference
  10. What is the future potential and tendencies of your niche

Fortunately, the internet makes this information just a few clicks away. The information isn’t difficult to find and learn. Knowing your niche increases your confidence tremendously. Truly know your niche – and your photography business will follow!

Do Business Degrees In Photography Work?

Most photography schools offer business degrees in photography but many photographers wonder whether such a course is useful or not. Photography is not just a form of art but it is a science and business at the same time. To become a successful photographer, you need to know the creative and scientific aspects of photography so that you can create wonderful photographs. However, you also need good business knowledge to sell these photographs. If you have noticed, most of the masterpiece photographs were never sold!

In photography interviews and many discussion forums, you can see many people claiming that photography is a passion for them but this passion is not enough to generate sales. Many photographers fail because they can’t distinguish their passion for photography and the need to sell those pictures.

As an amateur photographer, you probably shoot almost every subject but for professional photography this idea will not work out. You need to choose your niche because the customers come to photographers who cater some of the most specific subjects. A good photography course will help you to choose the right niche and market yourself in that niche.

For a good business photography degree, marketing techniques are the major part of its curriculum.

Market Research- Market research is something that you learn in a photography business degree. You will research and find out the niches that are currently on demand. For different photography niches, different level of investment and time is required. With market research, you can choose a niche that suits you the best.

Presentation- Stock photography and wedding photography are two famous niches in professional photography. However, the marketing and sales procedure for both is completely different. It is very hard for a stock photographer to succeed in wedding photography with the marketing techniques that he/she uses for stock.

In wedding photography, clicking photographs are just a part of the job but everything from your costumes to the presentation (photo albums) are very important. For stock photography, your personality and presentation has nothing to do with selling photographs but other elements such as key wording and various licenses do.

Marketing- Marketing tools in photography business have changed a lot in the last decade. A personal website, social media profile and a blog ensures your presence on internet. However, it is imperative to learn how to market yourself through these new media platforms. Traditional marketing tools such as business cards and gifts also work well. A good course will teach you how to use these techniques for your success.

There is no doubt that a professional photography business degree from any of the well-known photography schools can be the best resource for any photographer’s marketing success. A successful photographer should not only learn to click masterpiece pictures but also how to sell them. With the right marketing techniques, photography is one of the safest career that someone can opt and the creative side of it is fascinating.