What Kind of Photography do I Do? Something I have encountered on many occasions over the years is people not understanding that there are different types of photography. I went to the local BBB to get information about joining. The lady I talked to was really excited because of the low number of photographers that are BBB members. She immediately assumed that photography meant wedding/studio type work. I explained that I don't do that type work and attempted to explain what types of photography I do. She searched her computer for the correct classification of my type of work. There wasn't any. I have encountered the same problem while trying to set things up for yp.com and other similar sites for listing my business. There simply is no classification for my type of work.
In the broadest classification, I do most types of outdoor photography. While I can do sports such as football and baseball, I have no interest in those. That falls mostly under journalism and I have done that type of work in the past. Outdoor photography encompasses nature, wildlife, sunrise/sunset, architecture, street scenes, historical, and many other subjects. I really do not like using artificial light sources. A little is acceptable to help knock the shadows down, but too much makes the subject look artificial also.
I love doing wildlife. A couple of years ago a local wildlife park started offering photography days. I signed up and went to one. The price included entering the enclosesures for some of the animals. The experience was wonderful for the most part. I came away with pictures that I would never have gotten in the wild or from standing outside the cages. I said for the most part and that is because there were about 30 photographers of all skill levels trying to get similar pictures. There was one novice in the group that kept going on about wanting the sun behind her. Normally a good practice but not always attainable or wanted. A good photographer knows how to work with the various lighting situations encountered while doing outdoor work. This includes shooting into the sun and using backlighting for some very dramatic photos. I did my best to stray away from the crowd to get unique shots. There were a few other pros there and we tended to go our separate ways and stay away from the non-pros. We weren't being snobby, each of us knew how to evaluate the scene and what we wanted to capture. Part of the experience was driving into the safari area and being allowed to exit our vehicles. I had the pleasure of having an older gentleman riding with me who used to work for National Geographic.
I do a lot of motorcycle photography. When I tell people that, they assume it means that I go to bike shows and rallies. Where I live, curvy roads are the norm. Many motorcyclists come to this region to have fun on our curvy roads. Those same motorcyclists like to have pictures of themselves leaned way over in a curve. While there is not enough motorcycle traffic in my little corner of the mountains to maintain a photography business, there is an area just outside my range that provides enough business to support several photographers. I get pictures of bikes going to or from that area. I also get the business of the motorcyclists that do not want to deal (no pun intended) with going to that area and it's associated traffic. This type of work is not for everyone. Sometimes it can be rather boring sitting and waiting for riders. My usual spots have no cell phone service. Other times there can be too much excitement. I have seen a few riders go down and an SUV hit a tree at 30mph. Even after explaining what I do with motorcycles, I think many people still do not get it.
I have galleries of battle reenactments, battlefields, animals, flowers, trains, and many other things. To really understand what I do, browse through the galleries. There is something there for almost everyone.
Posted by Patrick G. Welch at Sunday, November 20, 2011