As a commercial photographer, I love being able to photograph a variety of subjects in various styles. As I had mentioned in my last post, in some markets, like New York City, you really have to specialize as a photographer. You might be a lifestyle photographer, a corporate photographer, a product photographer or food photographer, but even within those specialties you have to specialize. You may specialize in jewelry, splashes, cars, celebrities or animals. If an art director or photo buyer wants to hire a photographer to shoot a guy running along a river with his dog for a pet food company, you better have a lot of photos of a guy running along a river with his dog in your portfolio, if you want the job.
Having a unique style to your photography is another way to get commercial jobs. My product photography is generally considered very clean, while my industrial work is much grittier. It’s a strange combination, but it fulfills me as a photographer. I’m often told that I need to choose a specialty, but I feel that lighting is my specialty. Being able to create and control light is not something every photographer knows how to do, much less do it well. I enjoy using light to produce the best possible image for my clients, in any situation.
Working out of Bend Oregon and NYC, I get the best of both worlds. In the larger markets I get to be a product photographer and an industrial photographer. In the rest of the world I get to be a commercial photographer, capable of shooting just about anything you need me to. In this case, I got to combine the industrial photographer with the restaurant photographer. The client wanted images that showed the energy and action in the kitchen of their restaurant, and I incorporated my industrial style of shooting. Enjoying what I’m shooting is very important. If I’m having fun, I know that will be conveyed in my photography.