analyzing your market
Analyzing the local professional photography market
Now that you know what type of photography you want to pursue, let’s do some research. So you want to be a pet photographer and live in Peoria. Start looking around to find your competition. Do a Google search on phrases like “Peoria pet photographer” and see what you come up with. Look in the yellow pages and call a few photographers, asking them if they shoot pets.
How many competitors do you have? Are you able to find out what they are charging? That’s analyzing the competition.
Back to Google and the yellow pages. Are there pet stores and kennels in your area? Can you think of ways to partner with them to advertise your services? That’s analyzing the market. How many pet owners are out there and how can you reach them cost-effectively?
After doing the above you should have some idea of whether or not your photo niche is worth pursuing. There are some things that may give you pause. If there are already a bunch of pet photographers in your area then maybe the market is already saturated. If photographers are not able to charge very much for their pet services then it might not be worth investing your time and money. Or if your potential business partners (pet stores, kennels, etc.) already have agreements with other photographers then it might be tough to reach your market effectively. You might want to think about shooting something other than (or in addition to) pets.
But, hey, you know you’re a kickass photographer and even if the odds are stacked against making pet photography work you’re still going to pursue it because you love it, right? Even if you’re the one hundredth pet photographer in the Peoria market, you’re gonna make it happen. That means you better have a great identity that shows why you’re the best out of all the many choices.