Niche

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Niche is a strange word…. Webster says that it means “a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment”.  This makes me LOL.  As a photographer, my understanding is that I am supposed to find this….in my photography.  It is a question that I have wrestled with since the beginning….. 7 looooooooong months ago.  Really, longer than that.

When I got my wedding photos back – I said to myself, “self, let’s do that.”  I only ever said it to myself. That was nearly 6 years ago.  Last year, I was in school for Healthcare Administration.  Because, that’s what I do during the day.  And it seemed easy.  And its good money.  My amazing husband and I were discussing the future, as we often do, and he asked me what I want to do with a HA degree.  I stared blankly at him.  I didn’t know. And I didn’t know, because I didn’t want to do that as my “when I grow up…” job.  He asked me, “well, what do you want to do?”  Well…….. “I want to be a photographer”.

So, here I am.  Photographer-ing.  And it’s scary.  Some people only see smiling faces staring back at them.  But this is a piece of me.  It’s my work.  It’s my passion.  It’s my artwork.  And it’s horrifying to put it out there.  (Where is “there”, anyway?)

This week I met with “my” photographer.  And she told me that it was time to find my niche and work towards that.  GASP!  The horror of making a decision!! Say it isn’t so.  I have my hand in a little bit of everything.  Newborns? Yes!  Weddings? Hell, yes! Families, Seniors, Real Estate, Commercial, Engagement? Yes, Yes, Yes.  Because…who I am to turn away business?  Well, I’m a photographer with no niche, that’s who I am!

Looks like I’ve found, with much guidance, a place to start.  I have booked my first solo wedding for this summer.  I was so excited that I almost injured myself doing my happy dance.  Then I wanted to throw up and take a nap.  A wedding.  The most pressure a photographer can have on them.  All of those one-time and first moments that you have one shot at.  Sigh….. pressure!  But I am stoked.  Over the moon excited right now.  And thankfully, I have 4 months to prepare!!

So… comfortable? No.  But in “a suitable position”?  Yep.  I got this.

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To blog, or not to blog…

Oooooh…..my very first blog.

In the movie “Sabrina”, (the newer one, with Harrison Ford – don’t judge me; Audrey Hepburn is one of my heroes) Sabrina says “Every time I look through a camera, I’m surprised. Like finding yourself in the middle of a story. I think I’ve been taking pictures all my life…long before I ever had a camera.”  This is me.  This describes me perfectly.

I have been an apprentice with a professional photographer for close to one year.  My husband made me do it. No…really. I came home from work one day, and he told me I had a meeting in a couple of days with a photographer. (Insert open mouth and sweaty palms.) I have been told by many people, always with a somewhat surprised tone, that I am “very talented” or have a “good eye”.  But I never wanted to put myself, or my work, out there (where is “there”?). Especially if there was any chance they weren’t going to flood me with compliments. Ego is difficult and fragile thing.  “My” photographer was straight forward. And no, it wasn’t all compliments. This is real life.  But we instantly connected and I knew I would learn a lot. I have always wanted to venture out – sell my photos or start taking pictures of… PEOPLE! (Gasp!!)  So, I was off to the races.  Even if it was against my will.

Below is one of the very first photos I took as an apprentice.  It was a post-wedding family celebration party. Neither the bride nor the groom were particularly fond of the camera. They would literally run from us and dodge us at every turn.  It was a dark room with mirrored ceilings and I thought I was going to throw up I was so nervous.  I felt like I took more pictures of cupcakes and champagne glasses than of the couple. Cupcakes don’t run from you….and they were really pretty cupcakes!! This event was when I learned I hated flash.  Hate, hate, hated it.  In reality, I hated it because I didn’t understand it. Funny how that works.

I like this photo though.  It was a real moment; a genuine smile.  I considered myself lucky to capture it.  I would be from this moment on, intrigued and terrified of shooting weddings!

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