Finding My Niche and My Voice

Finding one’s niche in a particular art is pretty challenging yet essential. It’s something I’ve been thinking about the past few days because it’s always my goal to transition to being a photographer and writer full-time, be it as a photojournalist, a gear reviewer, a phoblographer, or some weird hybrid with no name.

Specialization…How to achieve it? Ideally, one specializes in the niche one has the most interest in. So, I could decide I want to be a travel photographer, or a photojournalist, or a documentary photographer…Or maybe an event photographer? There’s so much crossover in all four categories, even though they’re also quite different.

But organizing my portfolio is an utter nightmare because I’m just not a specialist. I look at my portfolio…And look away after 10 minutes of deliberating on what my voice is and how to get that to come across. I recognize the need but can’t quite find what I want to say with my art. Does that sound too artsy? I hope not – if so, think of it in terms of a resume. If you’ve had jobs all over the place then you need to tailor your skillset to create a certain look or “brand” that speaks to your audience. In this case, HR.

I don’t actually have tips for doing any of this here. I’m just musing before I meet a friend for coffee and distracting myself from an article I’m supposed to be writing.

Barbara Birge was my EMDR therapist the last few months before leaving Charlotte. She said that something I should consider is writing about travels and photography from the perspective of someone anxious yet determined to explore and learn. To embrace that as part of my voice. And that’s something I keep thinking about. though I keep finding myself thinking in terms of silly branding like “the anxious phoblographer,” or some such. Instead, can my work and writing speak to that part without needing to go over the top with it? I mean, “human elements” is just cool – at least that’s what my uncle says.

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