A Tweet popped up on my feed today about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers -- the first one is: "They find a niche and they stick with it."
Now, it can't be a coincidence that lots of things I've been reading lately have to do with defining yourself as a photographer before you can really succeed. "Succeed," for most of my sources, refers to having a great career and establishing a name for yourself professionally, neither of which I am actively pursuing at the moment, but I am interested in figuring out what it is that I'm best at in the world of photography, and getting even better at that.
For starters, I know what I like to photograph:
2. Interesting (usually man-made) vistas, often with people in them
Sensing a theme?
Here are the kinds of photography I like to look at:
2. Environmental portraits
I think what I would like to do most is tell stories with my photographs. This feels like one of the most important things you can do with photography. I love stories. I love to hear people tell their stories, I love to watch people's stories played out through movies and plays, and I would love to be able to help tell others' stories through my photography.
Also saw this on Twitter today: books on photography by genre and focus. (Thanks, Nick Onken!) Now that I'll have some free time this summer to read for myself, I'm looking into what photography books might be helpful to me. This site is pretty straightforward, which I love. And very organized.
I might pick up one from "Photojournalism," one from "Street," and one or two from "People" -- #5 looks good here: "Photographing People: at Home and Around the World" by Andre Gallant. I could probably stand to pick up one on how to light people, as well.
But I try not to underestimate the value of hands-on experimentation, so I also plan to shoot lots this summer. To shoot lots of people ;)