I’m often asked this question: If I create such a distinct looking visual “brand”, one that focuses on a particular area, won’t that pigeon-hole me and my work? And the answer is; Yes, sometimes, but is that always such a bad thing? There is an advantage to looking like a “specialist” in a particular area of the industry. Just ask, relative newcomer, Reena Newman, whose made a name for herself by doing just that.
Reena says -
One of the biggest things photographers are often warned about is not pigeon-holing themselves. That’s something I’ve been very conscious of, yet, I’ve been so wrapped up in and so passionate about my food photography lately that I’ve just decided to run with it. I do think that by specializing in one type of photography, I definitely run the risk of not being considered for other jobs because people assume that I can’t shoot them. I’m finding that having built up a cohesive and focused body of work, has actually worked in my favor. I think that the singular nature of my book has led me to be perceived as a “specialist”, even as a newer photographer. Letting people see that I’m capable as a food shooter has led to me being trusted for jobs that someone with a more varied portfolio might not get. Pretty much every job that I’ve shot in the last couple months has been accompanied by someone telling me that they instantly recognized my work, even before seeing my bi-line. I think that if I was shooting work that ranged the spectrum of photography, my work might be a little less instantly recognizable. Having people know who you are and be able to identify your work as yours is hugely important. As a shooter trying to get out there and be recognized for what I do, so far, introducing myself as somewhat of a “specialist” has definitely been working to my benefit. I think that as I begin to establish myself as a name, I will be able to show people my range as I go. It’s important not to stagnate and to always be growing as an artist.