As you look at body of work of top rated photographers you will notice a high degree of specialization. In other words they have found their niche in photography. You may wonder how they have made that journey in their photographic career.
In most cases it has come down to two different approaches. The first concept is to embrace experimentation with whatever your subject matter is and then seeing if organic growth develops from this. The second concept is to develop an idea and then build a body of work on that concept. This concept is not unique and their are many web sites to help motivate you on that path. These sites revolve around the 365 day project or the 52 week challenge which features different challenge topics.
What I am suggesting is to take this a step further and pick one subject. It should be vastly different from your area principle areas of photography. For example if you are a bird photographer pick a subject like glass bottles or fruit. The goal is concentrate on that photography subject for a month to many years. The object is to develop a body of work concentrated on that principle topic. As you develop this body of work it will help you refine your technique further and find your niche.
One of the side benefits of this approach is that your individual images that make up you body of work may be suitable for photography competitions or your entire body of work is best suited for a gallery showing or magazine publication.
One project that I work on the side is photographing doorways. In my travels I have encountered many unique styles. Everything from the monolithic type doors of the Nasa Vehicle Assembly Building to doors built in the 18th century. Gallery on Doors
My project on doors is an ever evolving body of work that I will continue with. At some point I will consider it finished and embark on another topic. To help get you started on your own photography side projects here are some links to get you started:
Watsonphotography.ca creates unique images of fashion, models, travel, people and racing sports by the Toronto based photographer Peter Watson.
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