It’s not as easy as it sounds. There are so many businesses competing for clients in the photography industry, and knowing your niche can be the difference between success and failure. But just what is your niche? How do you narrow down your field to cater to the clients that you most relate to? Or, do you take any jobs that come your way and be a freelancer? Questions, questions and more questions.
Over the next few weeks I will be embarking on a personal voyage to answer the question of direction for 7 Photo. I love making images. Period. It’s challenging at times but also therapeutic; like a difficult hike in the mountains challenges the body to continue but the views and fresh air rejuvenate the soul. That’s photography to me. But it’s not enough to just love photography; I need to know that I’m doing the types of images I enjoy making, and for the right reasons. Knowing my motives for photographing people will be the first step; not just having a vague idea what my intentions are but actually writing them down, concisely and openly, in a mission statement. Perhaps there are multiple missions here, dependent on the genre of photos I’m working on; that’s to be decided yet.
Perhaps it goes without saying (I’ll say it anyway): a business cannot survive without creating a cash flow. There, I’ve said it, the nasty secret is out. A business must make some money to be viable. I don’t believe anyone would argue that (at least too hard anyway) but 7 Photo is not just about making money, that I know. It’s part of the business model but not the main (or even secondary) motive for photographing people. I may be an idealist or dreamer (not sure which) but I want my work to mean something to the clients; to be a change catalyst, a chance to reinforce the good, or a historical record of this slice in time. For some, the process of a photo session will be the most important part of experience; for others it will be the photos themselves that will be the goal. So my mission must include these ideals and communicate them to clients, past present and future. And the final product must be top drawer, the best images I can create (either technically, emotionally or both), another point the mission must include.
This process is not an overnight thing; it will take some thought and personal introspection to achieve the final mission(s). I’m ready.