Finding a Niche
So i've come across a problem as of late. Up until this point, December 2017, i've just been shooting whatever I want, challenging myself with certain tasks such as only shooting with 1 lens for a day, or only shooting black and white etc. But I realised lately when posting to my Instagram that I don't feel like I have a style... My Instagram is has no structure, it has no theme to it, it's just a collection of random photos that I've taken and edited and liked enough to show to the world. So i decided to think about it for a little while, and really think about what I like to shoot and what sets me apart from everyone else on social media and in the photography sphere, and I honestly couldn't think of anything. I found it incredibly de-motivating and disheartening, to an extent, that I couldn't actually think of a single thing that makes me a unique creative, and that's not me doubting my abilities, because I believe that I am a good photographer and am constantly looking for ways to expand my horizons and progress on a daily basis, but I just don't feel unique.
That may sound ridiculous, but being a creative to me means individuality and a unique perspective on ones art form, one photographers eye is never going to be the same as another's which means there could be a million photos of the exact same building, person, dog, carpet or patio heater and each photographer, weather it be our portable iphoneographers or a studio photographer of 40 years, would all see it in a different way, or edit the photo in a different way. Some of them might put something in the background, pose a model in or in front of it, or grossly over stylise it in post production... But that kind of creative freedom and uniqueness is what makes me love my craft so much, so why is it i'm in this creative rut? Why can't I find what it is that makes my photographs mine? I've seen videos and talked to people about this and they all say it takes time and it'll come eventually, you just have to wait... But I feel like it's more than that, I feel like it's more than just a thing that suddenly appears to you and then voila, your niche has arrived thanks for choosing Amazon delivery services... There has to be some kind of passion behind someones niche no? I whole heartedly believe that someone's style is a reflection of their own personality, you see it in film when talking about auteurs and their distinctive film styles, and you can see patterns and visual styles in photographers portfolio's regularly, but I can't see it in mine... Maybe I do have a niche but I just can't see it? Or maybe I don't know myself as well as I thought I did? If style is a reflection of ones personality, what's my personality? It is a case of me 'finding myself'? Going on some sort of spiritual photography journey over five years traveling to the mountainous peaks of Nepal just to find out that i'm better at black and white than I am colour photography? Am I just not that passionate about anything for it to truly reflect in my photos?
It's something i've been thinking about for a while and obviously I don't expect an easy answer, but it's something I needed to get off of my chest more than anything... If you would like to follow me on instagram my handle is @tomofthewilliamsclan, the one thing I can say about it is that you can definitely see how my abilities have progressed over my photography career, as short as it may be... But feel free to message me and have a conversation, i'd love to know what you think about the idea of finding a niche. Below is the picture that sparked the whole idea if you want to check it out.
Thanks for reading,