Photographers specialize. There are food shooters and interior specialists, sports shooters and portrait talents. Those that specialize develop deeper and richer talents and knowledge in their chosen area and are worth every penny it takes to hire. Don’t hire a food shooter to do a wedding or a wedding photographer to shoot the super bowl.
I know and have had the pleasure of working with some amazing talented shooters who knew food or gardens, architecture and sports, music or interiors as good as anyone. I have also known some wonderful photographers who, like me, are specialist at being generalists…shooters like my friend Gary Clark and the great Joe McNally.
So yes, I think of myself as a generalist. Most travel photographers become very solid at portraits and architecture, gardens and interiors and food and drink and lifestyle activities and so much more.
When I began my freelance career a year ago after shooting travel for almost 25 years I wasn’t sure where my work would come from going forward. I initially guessed from the travel arena. But being off the road for the first time in so long has left me more content being home than I would have guessed. I expected after a few weeks at home I’d get a ‘jones’ to travel. It hasn’t happened. Not that I would object to a good travel assignment, just that I’m enjoying a more stationary way of living.
But if I’m shooting mostly near the home what work is there? So far this year has been busy. I’m blessed to have so many good friends and contacts who’ve put their faith in me. My goal when I started freelance was to build up the number of days a week I was working. I started with every other week and finally got to where I had a shoot every week. Lately it’s been two or three a week and I’m very happy about it. And the variety has been exciting too, playing to my versatility.
In the last few weeks I’ve shot:
- bankers for a business magazine
- A country store
- A BBQ restaurant for a book
- A Doctor doing medical research into concussions
- A magazine ad for a stationary company
- A Beard Award winning chef, his restaurants and food
- A nursery plant collection for print advertising
And before this week is out I’ll have added
- architectural shots for an engineering company
- an attorney for a business magazine
- an indie movie set
- a story on repairing a marriage for a women’s magazine
And I’ve committed to teaching a week-long workshop on Travel in Charleston, spoken to a graphic design class at a college and started shooting a book on BBQ.
I’m trying to keep all the plates spinning and I’m having fun.