Sure, there may be some photogs that are a Jack of all trades, when it comes to making images but as that saying goes, there is sometimes an added ending to the quote; master of none.
Fact of the matter is that the majority of photographers will, in their careers, gravitate towards one specialty or another. Why? Because there are so many specialties that it would be quite difficult to master all of them, as each requires its own dedicated skill requisites. To give you an idea of the different photographic disciplines, you have people photography (explain in a second), sport, underwater, astronomy, macro, wildlife, advertising, product, real estate, architectural, abstract, street, editorial and that is just a bunch from the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty more I have not mentioned. Now, I mentioned that there is people photography, a broadest of terms. Basically, the disciplines I've mentioned can be broken down even further to where a photographer really puts their concentration. A people photographer may be strictly a wedding shooter or a portraiture shooter or a editorial shooter, etc. etc. etc. Let's look at the sports photographer. Typically they won't be a shooter of every sport known to man. Some may shoot your common sports such as football, baseball or basketball. Others may focus on forms of racing such as drag racing or motocross. Even deeper in the mix of sports shooters are those who focus on extreme sports such as skateboarding or even rock climbing. To confuse you a bit more, from time to time, these disciplines will intersect. For instance, a portrait photographer may find themselves shooting an athlete in their natural setting. These crosses happen often but a keen eye can typically recognize what that photographer's strength really is.
The point of this synopsis of photographic disciplines is that there are an uber duber (that's the scientific term for a lot) amount of what a photographer may be shooting and it usually is narrowed down to one very very specific area. Now, and probably coming to you as no surprise, I will share with you my own little anecdote.
If you have been a regular reader of this blog, it may be very obvious that my photographic emphasis is in the discipline of shooting people. My forte has shifted over time. I've always enjoyed shooting people and typically gravitated towards working in a (makeshift) studio environment. I now try to shoot most of what I do, on location, having the subject in an setting that fits the "feel" of the shoot. Now this is not to say that I won't shoot indoors, against a backdrop. There are many instances that require such a shoot. I just get a bigger rush of epinephrine when I get to work on location.
What does this have to do with anything?
More after the jump...
The photo probably tells the story much faster than I am about to.
I was contacted last week by a person that will remain nameless. Ok, before I go any further, you will need to know that the people involved and the reason for the shoot will remain anonymous as I don't have full clearance to disclose all of the new start up business details. Until I get the go ahead, I have to keep things on the hush hush tip, the DL, the QT, if you know what I mean.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, I was contacted by a potential client(s) in regards to doing some product photography. Now, with as little product shooting that I've done, I hastily jumped on the offer. I mean, come on, how hard could it be? I've shot plenty of people in the same environment. I thought to myself that people have got to be harder to shoot. Products don't move, have emotion or pretend to know how to pose. Directing a product to do what you want would be the simplest of tasks, right? Wrong.