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The Blinking Eye

What is all this talk about niches?

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Stock photography newbie here, forgive the ignorance.  LOVE this forum.  Everyone so generous and forthcoming with knowledge.

 

Anyhoo... what is all this talk about niches?  What are some niches that people have discovered and how do I find one?

 

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Where do you find a niche? I only know that if/when you do, you won't be keen to publicise it on the forum!

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24 minutes ago, The Blinking Eye said:

Stock photography newbie here, forgive the ignorance.  LOVE this forum.  Everyone so generous and forthcoming with knowledge.

 

Anyhoo... what is all this talk about niches?  What are some niches that people have discovered and how do I find one?

 

🙏

 

A niche may be a particular location, hobby, workplace, specialist knowledge - something unique which you are able to photograph. The key point is that your situation or knowledge means that few other photographers are able or inclined to replicate what you are able to do. Alongside that is a demand for the photographs you produce. Getting those two sides of the coin to coincide is the difficult bit.

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Some can be surprising. I photograph a lot of politicians, as do a lot of other people. The ones everybody's heard of are very well covered buy I am frequently surprised, when I get a back-bencher wandering around Westminster,  to discover that Alamy have no/very few images of him/her, even moderately well-known ones. 

 

The best way to find niches is to photograph EVERYTHING and find out what sells because nobody else has photographed it.

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If you're lucky, a niche will discover you. 

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10 hours ago, Phil Robinson said:

Some can be surprising. I photograph a lot of politicians, as do a lot of other people. The ones everybody's heard of are very well covered buy I am frequently surprised, when I get a back-bencher wandering around Westminster,  to discover that Alamy have no/very few images of him/her, even moderately well-known ones. 

 

The best way to find niches is to photograph EVERYTHING and find out what sells because nobody else has photographed it.

 

Cool.  Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

I niche is a well-defined photography area. Well-defined like in "I shoot XXX images for YYY market". One sentence.

Here are some attributes of a niche:

- market that pays well (ie demand);

- you have to be able to name the clients;

- limited supply;

- not easy to break in, not available to a passer-by with a camera, requiring some combination of: special access to people and/or locations, special knowledge (depth), special technique and equipment (ex microscopy), understanding the workings of the chosen market;

 

Do your market research, choose a niche and go deep, not wide.

 

Just an opinion.

 

GI

Edited by giphotostock

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18 minutes ago, giphotostock said:

I niche is a well-defined photography area. Well-defined like in "I shoot XXX images for YYY market". One sentence.

Here are some attributes of a niche:

- market that pays well (ie demand);

- you have to be able to name the clients;

- limited supply;

- not easy to break in, not available to a passer-by with a camera, requiring some combination of: special access to people and/or locations, special knowledge (depth), special technique and equipment (ex microscopy), understanding the workings of the chosen market;

 

Do your market research, choose a niche and go deep, not wide.

 

Just an opinion.

 

GI

 

That's a lot to chew on.  Thank you.  The idea of access rings a bell.

 

Market research, however...what in the world is that?  :) Or maybe that's another thread.

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13 hours ago, The Blinking Eye said:

 

That's a lot to chew on.  Thank you.  The idea of access rings a bell.

 

Market research, however...what in the world is that?  :) Or maybe that's another thread.

Finding a niche may not be that difficult.

 

One approach is to look at images that are being used (newsstand, billboards, ads, industry publications, conferences, Fortune 500 websites, etc etc) and make a list of images where your reaction is "I cannot shoot THAT". That's what every other generalist is going to think as well. However, somebody shot those images, right? Analyze the list and see if some patterns or groups of similar images emerge. You probably are going to get several niches in that list.

 

Now comes the difficult part. You'd have to turn around "I cannot shoot THAT" into "what can I do to shoot THAT". Most people are not going to do this and remain generalists and continue shooting what they've been shooting.

 

Another approach is to self-reflect and think about what special knowledge, access, passion, etc you already have, and see if there is market for images in that area.

 

GI

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10 hours ago, giphotostock said:

Finding a niche may not be that difficult.

 

One approach is to look at images that are being used (newsstand, billboards, ads, industry publications, conferences, Fortune 500 websites, etc etc) and make a list of images where your reaction is "I cannot shoot THAT". That's what every other generalist is going to think as well. However, somebody shot those images, right? Analyze the list and see if some patterns or groups of similar images emerge. You probably are going to get several niches in that list.

 

Now comes the difficult part. You'd have to turn around "I cannot shoot THAT" into "what can I do to shoot THAT". Most people are not going to do this and remain generalists and continue shooting what they've been shooting.

 

Another approach is to self-reflect and think about what special knowledge, access, passion, etc you already have, and see if there is market for images in that area.

 

GI

Dang, this is better than photography school.  Much obliged!!

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