Fstoppers Answers - "Why Did You Choose Your Professional Niche?"

Fstoppers Answers - "Why Did You Choose Your Professional Niche?"

Each week, we ask our viewers to submit questions in the comments for our writers to answer in a series we call "Fstoppers Answers". Last week, we asked our writers to give marketing advice to the viewers. This week, we're asking them what made them choose their career with "Why Did You Choose Your Professional Niche (Wedding, Commercial, Sports, Etc.)?"

Jaron SchneiderFeatures Editor | Commercial Photographer It’s odd, because what I originally wanted to focus my work on was food photography. I have a lot of experience as a chef, so it seemed like a natural place for me to start. Except for the one simple fact that I’m horrible at it. Photographing people and working on commercial video projects really chose me, not the other way around. My biggest client, was referred to me by a friend who had more faith in my production skills than I did. It forced me to up my own game and really challenge myself to do something I never thought I was going to be doing. But every day I realize how much I love it, and that I’m so grateful that life put me where I am. I’ve always loved storytelling, and video production has been a great outlet for me to do that.


Peter HouseStaff Writer | Commercial Photographer I chose commercial photography because my formal training is in marketing and advertising. While in school I always aspired to work for an ad agency. Today I actually see myself more as an “ad man” who works through photography. Photography is just my tool for a much greater ambition. I love helping businesses bring their marketing campaigns to life through visual mediums. I chose my niche because it was the best way for me to merge two of my passions in life while making a career out of it.


Noam GalaiStaff Writer | Commercial Photographer I was always told I need to choose my niche and stick with it in order to succeed in the business. I know it's true in most cases, but I want to believe it's not true in my case - because I have so many niches. I shoot entertainment (music, TV, film), I shoot sports, I shoot portraits and studio, I even shoot news sometimes. Yeah, kind of all over the place. But it works for me. I don't want to limit myself to one category, because I love them all. I shoot music because I love music. I shoot sports because I love sports. If I had the talent maybe I would be a singer or a basketball player, but my talent is in photography, so im combining my passions into one.


David BickleyStaff Writer | Fitness Photographer It just sort of happened. I started off in portraiture but before I knew it I was working almost exclusively with athletes after one fitness client and I cranked out an awesome series. I spent most of my life in martial arts and dance and that translated really well into physique work and word spread. When I landed my first international a few months after focusing on the new direction I knew where I belonged.


Sarah WilliamsStaff Writer | Wedding Photographer When exploring photography initially I shot everything under the sun. I did studio, I did fashion, artistic nudes you name it. But the one thing I realized in all of it was I loved the stuff nobody else did. Everything was too posed and contrived. I had shot some weddings and natural environment stuff and fell in love. The emotion of lifestyle and weddings just brings joy to everyone around them and it made me a happier person being submerged in all of it. Thus, we shoot lifestyle and weddings.


Ben SassoGuest Contributor | Wedding Photographer My original niche (weddings), was something that I chose because I saw a clear path into it. I knew what I needed to do to get to where I wanted to be, and that gave me the courage to go for it. Since then, I have been able to venture more into lifestyle work (that venture was inspired by some of the small moments and moods I saw in weddings that I wanted to recreate), and my favorite of all, teaching. I love being able to work with some many fellow photographers from around the world who see the value in pushing their work and business forward.


Zach SuttonAssociate Editor | Headshot Photographer In reality, I haven't. I identify myself as a headshot photographer, but I've also done events, commercial photography and weddings. My experience and interests aren't just limited to portrait work either. I find myself really enjoying food and landscape photography as well. I think its important to highlight a few niches while working in photography, but I also think that experimenting and getting out of your comfort zone will also help you shoot more creatively and hone your talents faster.

As always, if you have a question you'd like to see answered, feel free to ask it in the comments below. Also, feel free to submit your response in the comments.

Zach Sutton's picture

Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

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Seriously. Terrible food photographer I am.

We need proof!

When I started photography full time I thought of it as a blanket approach. I very quickly gravitated towards cars, because, well, hey, I'm a guy. I love cars & getting to be around them. It very soon developed into way more & realised it was such a small niche market, I was able to 'impress' easily. That all contributed to getting to where I am today -what feels like such a short amount of time. I'm now shooting commercial advertising & editorial. A nice balance which keeps me sane & allows me to shoot both automotive & people.