Years ago, I was told by one or two top photographers that it was best to specialize in one genre of photography. They insisted that by crossing over to other genres, not only would I dilute my brand but would leave something on the table. I was also told the same by a promotional rep that I hired for about a minute-until I realized he and I were not on the same path.
This could all be true, but for me, my photography was and still is a journey with no end in sight. I consider crossing genres the same as cross training— being able to stretch those muscles not always reached by one steady course.
I have learned that there are a lot of little nuances that exist between genres. Exploring these differences is a great way to grow as a photographer. This has also forced me to work with a greater variety of camera bodies and lenses. Right now I am shooting with Sony, Canon and Olympus.
Most bird photographers are really good at using super and intermediate telephoto lenses; they may on occasion use a wide angle lens. I know a lot of flower and landscape photographers that don’t even own a super telephoto lens. By the same token, I know a lot of bird photographers that don’t own a macro lens or a super wide angle lens.
What I am really talking about here is versatility, getting out of a rut -being open to explore new frontiers and conquering the line between genres. I know it has kept me interested in my own photography and I have been able to become a better photographer by doing so. Someday when I grow up or old whichever comes first, I’ll pick a genre and specialize in it—for now I am just enjoying what comes next.
*The above image was created from a boat near Bass Rock aka The Rock. Bass Rock is home to a gannet colony of over 150,000 at peak season. This year my two tours to the UK are scheduled to land on The Rock. I have a couple of spots left on the first tour. To learn more about this trip or to sign up for it CLICK HERE.