Have you ever heard the saying, ‘jack of all trades, master of none’? Today, I want to talk about why I have chosen to specialise in weddings for my photography business, how I did it, and why I think it’s a great idea!
I was first exposed to photography when I landed a job at the University of Auckland as their assistant photographer. I was studying Graphic Design at the time, and had only used a camera on Automatic mode before, so I was lucky to get this job! Working at the University exposed me to a HUGE amount of variety and each day was different. One day, I may have been required to photograph portraits for visiting dignitaries, the next day I would be photographing a winery on Waiheke Island. The job at the University taught me everything I know technically, and I was super blessed to spend 4 years there.
I didn’t discover weddings until later, when I landed another part time photography job, working for a wedding photography business. It sounds cliche, but the first wedding I was assigned to shoot under that brand completely opened my eyes. I got goosebumps from all the amazing moments I was capturing, and my mouth was sore from smiling at the end of the day. Needless to say, from that very first day – my love for weddings was born.
Out of all the different things I had photographed for the University, and for friends (babies, families, sisters, maternity, kids, head shots, product photography…) I discovered that photographing weddings was what I was MOST passionate about, above all other areas of photography. So I decided to put my time and effort into marketing for weddings, going forward.
If you are thinking about specialising, you need to firstly discover what you are MOST passionate about, and this takes time!
If you are just starting out in your business, you need to figure out what it is that lights you up the most. I realise I was pretty blessed to have the job at the University, where I was exposed to a lot of different subjects to photograph. But your passion will only start to reveal itself when you put time and effort into shooting lots of different things. It’s important you don’t specialise too early. I think you need at least one year of experiencing all different kinds of photography, before you make a decision to specialise.
When you know what you want to specialise in, you don’t have to say no to other jobs! It takes time to build up your reputation as a specialist, and you still need to be able to eat during the quieter times. A wiser way is to begin marketing in the area you want to specialise in, while still shooting other things on the side. You don’t necessarily need to blog about the side projects you are doing, or promote them in any way. It’s better to let specialisation happen organically and naturally over time, until you get to the point where you don’t need to photograph anything besides the thing you love the most!
Committing to the journey towards specialising in your business is very important. It separates you as a master of your craft! It’s not about rejecting other parts of photography, it’s about focusing on the thing you are most passionate about. If you are passionate about something, you will have no trouble attracting people, because you won’t be able to stop talking about it! People are drawn to passionate business owners. Running a business is difficult, and if you have enough passion about what you are doing, you are off to an amazing start.
When I first started my business, I branded myself as ‘Kate Robinson Photography & Design’ – because I wanted to cover ALL aspects of photography + Graphic Design!!! I’m so glad I chose to specialise. Life as a small business owner can be tricky, and choosing to specialise in ONLY weddings and couples was an easy decision, and has definitely set my business apart.
So do you ever feel like a ‘jack of all trades’? What do you think is holding you back from specialising? Or maybe you’re a multi passionate business owner? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you. xx