One of the biggest mistakes professional photographers make is not specializing. In this video, I’ll be giving 4 reasons why you need to specialize when creating a photography business.

Video: 4 Reasons To Specialize When Creating a Photography Business

Reason #1: You might not be as good as you think you are

Generalists often look at being able to photograph everything as a way of opening up their potential audience when creating a photography business. In theory, this makes sense. However, when I look at their portfolios, their work is often decent at best.

In psychology, this is known as the “Dunning-Kruger Effect.” Basically, when we approach something with limited experience, we tend to have more confidence than we should. Only by diving deeper do we realize how much more we need to learn and this process of growth never really ends.

The photographers at the top are there because they dedicated all their efforts to one particular genre. Because a generalist is spread across a little bit of everything, they usually don’t get the experience necessary to truly compete with the best.

Related Reading: 5 Mistakes Photographers Make When Going Into Business

Reason #2: Your time and resources are limited.

It can take decades to master a single genre of photography. Still, the masters insist that they have a lot left to learn. Now you don’t have to be a master, but it still will take time to develop a skillset worth paying for. I’d say 2-3 years for the average person.

How do you do this if you’re a generalist with 4-5 different focuses? It might take a decade to get enough experience in each of these genres to make considerable money. Most of us don’t have that time. Specializing is going to be the quickest way to develop the skillset necessary to generate revenue when creating a photography business.

Reason #3: You’re competing with other specialists.

Generalists tend to compare their work with other generalists. They fail to recognize that they’re actually competing with other specialists.

Put yourself in the shoes of a client looking for an architectural photographer. Photographer A shoots architecture but also showcases automotive, fashion, and corporate headshots on their portfolio. Photographer B, on the other hand, spends all their time shooting architecture. Unless Photographer A’s architecture photographs are out of this world, you’ll likely choose Photographer B.

A client is going to be looking for exactly what they need, not everything else you might be photographing. They’ll be looking to get the best product for their money. In order to provide the best product, you need to invest the time to become the best. How do you do that while creating a photography business if your time is split across multiple genres?

Reason #4: Marketing is virtually impossible.

A specialist knows exactly who their audience is. They can then design their portfolio to showcase exactly what their potential clients are looking for. For example, a wedding photographer, whose clients consist of brides and grooms, will find it incredibly easy to create content curated just for them.

What about a generalist? Who is their target client? What do they put on their website? What do they say that they actually do? Automotive, wedding, corporate, real estate… These are all different clients. It’s virtually impossible to communicate one message to all of them.


Many photographers think that by specializing, they’re limiting their potential customer base when creating a photography business. In reality, it’s the exact opposite. By specializing, you actually open yourself up to everyone in a particular niche.

I hope you enjoyed this article/video. Specialization is only one piece of the complete Photography Business Training System, available at SLR Lounge Premium. This is an A-Z course on how to build a 6-7 figure photography business or studio of your dreams. Be sure to check it out to learn more!

Don’t miss our next episode of Mastering Your Craft on Adorama’s YouTube channel next week! If you want to catch up on all the episodes, make sure you check out our playlist!