When I first began photography, like many other photographers I’ve met shot any and everything. I photographed club appearances, red carpets, newborns, speaking engagements, smash cakes, engagements, portraits and weddings. Some of it I enjoyed and some of it I couldn’t wait until it was over.
It wasn’t until two years ago, I had a major burnout. I was photographing a ton of weddings. While I love love, I just didn’t feel connected to capturing the wedding day. It never went away and I kept coming back trying to address my feelings on transitioning from something that I was known for.I went through all the emotions and motions until I felt that if I continued to do work that didn’t serve me, I would eventually not be serving others.
During the mental transition I made out lists of things that I enjoyed capturing. That is where I began to learn about my target audience and ideal client. I became clear on where I’m at my best when I’m serving these types of people and it made me smile on the inside thinking of it.
Of course, I loved people, but what fed my soul was working with people new in business or even established business people who valued and understood the impact of photography. I also had the sweetest spot for families and the fun side of me absolutely enjoyed capturing events. There was born my primary genres: lifestyle business branding, portraits and events. Of course I still lovve capturing small elopements and ceremonies as well!
So the new journey ( one which keeps most people from moving to the next level because of all the aches, pains, rejections, NO’S) began. It was awkward and uncomfortable for a while but I’m excited to say, “I’m still here, thriving and serving others from my best self because I decided to choose something new and different for me.
I wanted to share how I pivoted and how you can too, in case you were on the edge of change and just wasn’t sure of your next steps…
Before you start changing things up , you need to have a new portfolio to of your new work. That means stop posting and showing what you don’t want to shoot or book. Get intentional about shooting new things, that reflect your new niche. This includes locations, colors, different moods and expressions.
As I was making my pivot, I still had weddings on the books.I didn’t run off on my commitments, I stuck them out and continued to build relationships. Clients always need photography well after their wedding or know someone who does.
If you still love shooting a particular genre, it’s ok. You just don’t have to shoot it as much. Take on less clients of that genre, commitment to less time and guests in attendance. Do what moves you.
One of the quickest and surest ways that you can begin to pivot your photography niche is to change and or revamp your website. When I no longer servicing wedding, I removed all the booking information, images…. anything that pertained to weddings was removed.
This is also an important time to get updated images of yourself! You need to look the part. If you are going into a more relaxed role, show your audience that! Will a new logo be appropriate or necessary?
Don’t forget the new business cards!
If you still desire to service a particular niche just not as much, you can create a special link and when someone inquires about the service, simply forward them the link that may contain the portfolio, info, FAQ’s, the works!
Changing things up on your website, social media and email newsletter are all perfect ways to pitch yourself to a new audience.
I’d also suggest attending networking events specific to the types of clients you’d like to target. Reach out to previous or existing clients to introduce your new niche and inquire as to if they need your new services. It’s great idea to offer an incentive such as waiving the sitting fee or percent off first session. A referral program is also an awesome idea.
This is the good part. You will begin to blossom not only in your business life, but your personal life as well by saying the word NO. Pivoting into a new niche is already a big step so you’ll most definitely surprise yourself at certain points when you accept particular challenges and shoot things you have never shot or even thought you could shoot.
I get it you’re worried what and how people will respond when you say no. Well of course you’re going to be nice and educational about it. Be sure to help them understand that it’s not them, it’s about your ultimate purpose in serving what’s best for you and your clients.
Saying NO does’n’t meaning saying NO to everything though. It can come a time you need to take on some projects that aren’t particularly in your niche, however it can pay the bills, so take it with gratitude to have the ability to be flexible and useful. Just be sure to not fill your calendar with jobs that pay but don’t fuel you.
Be sure to do things that feed your creativity to grow and muster you from points of burnout, because it happens.
Trust yourself more. Be comfortable with getting uncomfortable, it’s all apart of the process and a grand picture.