Niche has a few different definitions, but in regards to work as an artist, it is closely related to genre.
This is sometimes difficult to pinpoint, especially for newcomers. Years ago, I remember saying I couldn’t possibly limit myself because I loved to shoot everything! Well that love may be true for many of us, but typically there are a couple types of photography we find ourselves gravitate towards.
For me, it’s people.
I love anything involving people; portraits, fashion, street, etc. There’s something so fascinating about the human face, body, and overall interaction with the world. Because of this love, the majority of what I shoot involves people. My niche is specific in that I focus primarily on portraits & headshots.
Advantages for having a specific niche:
You have a focus.
By honing in on a very specific aspect in your field, you will always have an idea of what your next project will be.
Your passion really shines through.
Because you aren’t trying to shoot every single thing in the world (which could amount to so-so results) you are able to put in 100% each time you do a shoot.
You will be recognized by your body of work.
Though different from style, your niche will also help in your overall brand recognition. For example, instead of being Shekinah Shazaam a photographer, I’m Shekinah Shazaam a portrait photographer. I have many friends who are specifically wedding photographers or family photographers. The cool thing is, each of these niches have many opportunities within them (wedding – couple, engagement, boudoir) (family- newborns, children, senior). The same can be said for other types of photography as well.
Now just because you have a specific niche, it doesn’t mean you can’t also shoot outside of it. I still shoot travel & landscapes. I just don’t put those in my portfolio, because that’s not what I’m most passionate about & it’s not the work I’m trying to attract from potential clients.
So it turns out that picking a specific genre isn’t only helpful to you as an artist, but also to potential clients who are looking at your work. If they see a cohesive and solid body of work vs. a haphazard display of every image you every captured, they will most likely prefer the prior. If you do want to add different images to your portfolio, I would highly suggest you have each type on a different page or at least a different category on your website so viewers won’t be confused.
Hopefully that has given a bit more clarity on choosing a niche.
May the light be with you.