“Should I specialize in one area of photography?” I get asked this question all the time. I have been to many workshops that cover this topic, and most of the time the push is to specialize. The many reasons are that it’s easier to just focus on growing one area, for example, just weddings. Paying for just wedding workshops, and having your target client be more specific. As photographers, we get drilled with the message that if we are a “Jack of all Trades” we can’t be a master to any of them. My thoughts on that? I think sometimes it’s ok, as long as you love everything you do. I shoot weddings, newborns, families, and seniors. I really connect with all of them. To this day, I find that diversifying keeps me from burning out.
I have heard many photographers say they only photograph weddings because it’s good money, but they hate it. Or they photograph families, but don’t like kids. To those people, PLEASE stop shooting things that don’t make your heart happy! In this case specializing is the answer. When you’re spending your time doing things that you’re not passionate about, it will lead to mediocre work, at best.
I do believe my work in all areas I shoot is beautiful, because I get goosebumps with excitement every time I leave my house for a session. I go home afterwards and I WANT to edit because it makes me happy to deliver images I know will touch my clients’ hearts.
Don’t specialize just because you’re being told to. Have a reason to! I would say I do specialize in photographing people’s true emotions, true smiles, who they really are. So there, I have specialized in that.