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  • Kirsty Kelly

List of 16 Photography Niches

Updated: Jan 3

So, in my previous post I wrote about the three types of photography that I have the most experience in, Landscape, macro and portraiture. However, I felt that it was only right that I write about the other photography niches that you can specialise in. Such as travel photography, wedding photography, music photography and more. Some I have had little experience in but most I haven’t had the opportunity to gain any experience in.


Sports



Now this niche actually has niches within it so you could choose to really specialise your photography. Personally, I don’t have much of an interest in sports other than motorbike racing and the women’s w series racing. Or occasionally seeing how Scotland is doing in the six nations, or should I say how badly we are being beat. But nowhere enough of an interest in even that to consider wanting to go to take photos.


So, as I said in this niche there are niches from athletics to motor sports to wrestling and everything in between. It really comes down to what sport holds your interest. Due to the speeds that can be involved you will need to know whether you are wanting to freeze all motion or go for a blurred background to emphasis the movement that you are capturing. That will dictate the camera settings that you will use during the event.


Weddings and Events



Now this one should be pretty self-explanatory and as far as commercial photographers go, I would say that for a fair few that it’s their bread and butter. Apparently, the average wedding costs in the UK is £30,335 so with couples willing to spend that sort of money on one day they understandably want a way to look back and remember the it. And having once been a bride I can tell you that no matter how hard you try you cannot be everywhere at once. Plus, there will be things about the day you didn’t notice or remember, so having photos is lovely way of reliving the day.


As well as weddings there are memorable events such as significant birthdays and anniversaries, christenings and baptisms to name but a few. Basically, if there’s something significant going on there’s a good chance there is the want for a photographer.


So, if you can get the experience it can be a very lucrative field to specialise in.


Concerts



As with all the niches in this post I haven’t had any experience in however I think I might need to give the other half some prompts about us maybe going to a concert, if we can agree on what type of music which will be easier said than done.


That aside you don’t just need to be going to the big-name gigs to get some great photos. There are fantastic photographs to be had at local events or at music events where there are multiple artists preforming. And you never know one of those unheard-of bands today might be a massive name in a year of two and then you could hit the jack pot selling the photo of when they were unknown.


Photojournalism



Photojournalism is where you tell the news through images rather than through words or the spoken word. They are used by newspapers and magazines, which is often used to support a written story.


However, it is important to note that anyone who wishes to specialise in this form of photography you will need to gain formal qualifications. As well as having a portfolio to support the degree.


Wildlife photography




Wildlife photography is something that I have dabbled in but not seriously, but I have every intention of doing more of in the future.


It really is what it says on the tin, it’s photos of wildlife. Now yes I’m sure when I say this you will think of the savannah and the pride of lions or the heard of elephants. But it is something that can be done in your back garden with a bit of patience, which is not something that I am endowed with.


However, that being said I have managed to capture the odd photo of some local wildlife as well as that of animals in captivity. Above is one of my own photographs of a swan on the forth canal.


Fashion photography



This is another one that is pretty self-explanatory, this is where you take photos of clothes and fashion items. It can be for magazines such as Vougue, as well as for the designers directly and it can be a very lucrative career. It is mostly done in a studio however that is not always true as some shoots are done in the great outdoors, where you are the mercy of the weather and lighting gods.


Ariel photography




This is photography taken from an aircraft or flying object such as a drone. This type of photography is great for capturing scenes and moments that would otherwise be impossible to capture, such as large festivals.


One word of warning if you decide to get into drone photography you do require permission from Civil Aviation Authority espically if you are going to fly them for commercial use. There is a cost involved in gaining this permission.


Pet photography


My cat Chase

This can take many forms from taking portrait type photographs of people’s beloved pets in a studio in front of the lights. Or it could be action type photos of pets running about with their owners or even at agility courses or competitions.


Of course, those types of photos are more dog photos but of course people have pet cats, hamsters, snakes, bearded dragons and more. Sadly, most pets do not have as long life expectancy as humans and so having professionally done photos that the owners can look back on does mean a lot to them.


In fact, myself and my partner both have pets and naturally we have taken photos of them. Of course, these weren’t taken in front of studio lights, which if we were doing this professionally we would’ve done.


Architecture photography


One of my local churches

This is the photography of either the exterior or interior of buildings either in an urban environment or rural one. You can either focus purely on the aesthetics of the building or the human element of the building by showing how people use the building. For example, by showing workers at their desk busily doing their job.


Architectural photography is often used for commercial use in brochures and leaflets.

This is a photography niche that I have dabbled in and will likely do so again in the future.


However, for the time being the photo above is one of my architectural photographs. I am planning on exploring this niche further in time.


Astrophotography



Astrophotography is the photography of stars, astronomical objects and celestial events. It obviously goes without saying that this type of photography happens exclusively at night.


And although you’ll have to wrap up warm for it with patience you can achieve some astounding results as shown by this photo.


Food photography



Now who hasn’t seen a photograph of some baked goodies in a recipe book and started drooling at the thought of how delicious they must taste. The truth is they could be the most disgusting tasting things on the planet, but by taking their photo in the correct light with a few carefully chosen props. It will make them look mouth-watering.


This is a great niche if you are an avid cook or baker as it will let you show off your skills in the kitchen in a mouth-watering way. And then you’ll have everyone banging down your door to try your goodies.


Vehicle photography



Smiths of Denny Vintage Truck

You know those photos in magazines, billboards or in the booklets in the car showrooms that make cars look really sexy and makes you want to buy that vehicle. Well it’s all done by a photographer who has worked hard and learnt how to take stunning photos of cars. And of course, it’s not just cars that you can take photographs of there are motorbikes, bicycles, vans, lorries and more.


Basically, anything that we use to get us from one point to another point can come under vehicle photography. Above is a photographs taken by me at Truckfest Scotland.


Travel photography



This is a wonderful niche that allows you not only to document the landscape, people and culture of different countries but enables you to be completely location independent. Unlike sport photography where you need to be at a venue or fashion photography where you need to be in a studio. Travel photography involves travel.


In fact, there are stories of people packing in their jobs, selling all their worldly belongings including their homes and travelling to take photos. I must admit the thought of taking off without a care in the world and taking photos round the world is very appealing. However, for a single mum with a child in school it is not a very pracitcle thing to do.


Of course we can all capture travel photos when we go on holiday.


Street photography



Street photography is taking candid photos of life in public areas such as streets, shopping centres and museums. There apparently is an argument whether street photography should have people in it or whether it counts as street photography without people. There is also another argument apparently that the subject you are taking photos of shouldn’t make eye contact as it takes away from the spontaneity of the photo.


I appreciate the art of street photography such as the one above, however, I have not the nerve to take street photos. I tried it once and got such a dirty look from a woman I deleted the photo and it put me off this niche there and then.


However, please don’t let me experience and nervousness put you off pursuing this niche. It can be highly rewarding and there are courses out there that specialise in street photography. Maybe one day I’ll go on one of those courses and give this type of photography another go.


Underwater photography



This is another niche that is pretty self-explanatory, it’s photos that are taken underwater either of our wonderful sea creatures or of shipwrecks. Of course, you need a lot of specialist equipment for this niche from the camera itself to the swimming gear you will need. However, all that speacilism can really pay off.


However, in saying that I did once hear of a technique to allow underwater photos to be taken without the need of a speacilist camera. It involved taking a clear plastic box and placing a camera into it and partially submerging the box while not allowing water in to it. This is meant to allow photos to be taken under the surface of water. How successful this technique is I am not sure as I have never tried it out myself. If anyone does it I would love to hear how successful it works.


Equine photography



This niche is the photography of horses and all things horse related. Of course, just like the pet photography of earlier horse owners may just want a portrait done of their horse.


However, there are many horse events such as dressage and racing which either the individual horse owners may wish captured or horse stables and associations may wished photographed.


Of course, to get involved in this niche it helps to like horses which as much as I like them I prefer them from a distance. Up close I’m not afraid to admit they scare me so this is a niche I will not be getting any experience.

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  • Kirsty Kelly Photography
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