Photography is an Odyssey
I love to talk to new photographers. I'm intrigued by the stories that brought them to the art and science of the thing. Sometimes a specific event (like the birth of a child) sparks the love of shooting and I often hear how parents and other family member photographers were the catalyst. Most new "togs" start out as generalists, taking pictures of everything, and gradually narrow their focus to one or two genres that become their passion. Since each genre has its own technical and artistic challenges, it usually makes sense that most good photographers focus their practice over time.
I still consider myself a generalist because I love the challenge of trying new things, discovering what makes a particular genre work, and pushing myself to learn. Until you discover your niche, photography is a odyssey along meandering roads that will take you to some unexpected places.
I never thought I'd be interested in sports photography, but when my son decided to take up lacrosse this year, I started shooting his games and found (after a lot of trial and error) that I could get some decent images and sharing them with the players and their families was rewarding. I was approached by the coaches to shoot a tournament next month. I'll take the paid gig, and will work to create the best images possible but I don't see sports photography as a major or consistant revenue stream for me. I'll certainly use the lessons learned to improve my wildlife shooting.
I hadn't considered boudoir portraiture as an interest area either. Through the course of networking with folks who suggested that it's a rich market in my area and to try it, I've recently given that a shot. And found I really enjoy it as well. Denise and I make a great team for these sessions where I work the set, the lights and the camera and she helps with hair, makeup and wardrobe. So far, we've worked with some lovely models to build a mini boudoir portfolio that will help us start actively look for customers.
These experiences have enforced my belief that you should always keep your options open. Next, I'm going to try a little astrophotography and have just purchased an inexpensive 6.5mm fish-eye lens to play with. I'll share the results of that experiment as I get a chance to use it.