What’s Your Niche?


In my last post I talked about exploring many different photographic subjects before coming full circle … back to landscapes and Americana, which includes abandoned places and artifacts. My fascination with little shacks, old barns and abandoned Americana goes all the way back to childhood. I’ve accepted these subjects as well as landscapes as my niche. My interest is authentic and I am quite content. There is still exploration to find these subjects … it’s a big part of the process. My work expresses what calls to ‘me’. Of course the subjects I photograph are popular ones but I have stopped seeking something more uncommon. It seems we are all inundated with photography these days … especially if you engage in social media (like this blog, Facebook or Instagram)! I like to appreciate my colleagues work without being influenced by it … a particular subject, location, vantage point, or composition for instance. In the end, I believe that a true artist’s inspiration needs to come from within. What do you think? How much are you influenced by the photography you see on social media? What is your authentic niche?

‘Abandoned Bunkhouse’ © Denise Bush

‘Grounded’ © Denise Bush

‘True Grit Moon Rise’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Mountain Cabin’ © Denise Bush

‘Colorful Truck In Fall’ © Denise Bush

‘Yankee Girl In Winter’ © Denise Bush

‘Corner Cabin’ © Denise Bush

‘Miner’s Commute’ © Denise Bush


32 Responses to “What’s Your Niche?”

  1. I think we are all influenced to some degree by other people’s photography, although we try to develop our own unique perspective…

    • I think that’s true Maureen! And it’s OK as long as we don’t try to copy what other’s are doing instead of expressing our own vision. Thanks for your visit and comment!

  2. 3 DWPhotoworks

    I too have changed my focus several times. When I lived in Colorado I had wonderful images from the cripple Creek area. Mines, shacks and such. I unfortunately lost all the negatives in the move to Jersey. Most recently I was doing Seascapes and Landscapes. Then I moved into still life’s for awhile, and most recently I’ve found pleasure in creative floral compositions. I don’t know what spurred each change, But I do enjoy new challenges and am not afraid to seek my vision in each style. I do understand your passion for the decaying and unfortunately disappearing subjects to be found in your area. Thanks for the blog and your thoughts.

    • I guess you and I are opposites! I moved from Jersey to Colorado and you moved from Colorado to Jersey! I suppose it is good to try different subject matter especially when you are not sure or content with what you are doing. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Yes, I too have been thinking about my photographic niche. I find that lately, while I’m impressed with all the wonderful powerful landscape and nature images out there, it’s starting to feel a lot like just a bunch of spectacles. Everyone trying to outdo everyone else.

    When I hike up a mountain and look at the view, I don’t want to impress people with that view, I want to share it with them because they may never get there. When I walk in the forest, it’s calming, quiet, meditative, beautiful, not impressive.

    So that is what I’m trying to portray now. The images that convey the feelings that really speak deeply to me. And sometimes they are impressive and spectacular, but that is the exception, not the rule. I especially love the first pic in this set because it does that for me and it’s not spectacular, it just tells a lovely story.

    • It sounds like you are in touch with what you are doing. There are many emotions to convey as you say … peaceful, gloomy, sad, lonely, humorous, etc. Every photo does not need to depict a dramatic scene.

  4. When I look at your photos, I like to think about the people who built these places, drove the vehicles and worked the land. You give us the end of the story and it is up to us to guess the beginning and middle.
    I find inspiration from other nature photographers, and may learn from what I see posted, but in the end it is what I personally see that gets captured. I guess my niche, if I were to claim one, would be beauty in nature, flowers, especially. But I don’t devote myself to it like you do and it definitely shows, lol! 😉

    • When I think of your work I see that you have found your niche in nature. The garden, your arrangements, your wonderful photographs (beautiful and intimate glimpses of nature) and writing all combine to tell us a lot about who you are. No doubt … you can claim this as your niche!

      • Thank you very much, Denise. I often wonder how my blog is perceived and if folks find it of value. 😉

  5. Hi Denise! Wonderful images, I’m especially drawn toward the ones with the old trucks. Really love those! I agree “the true artists inspiration needs to come from within”. I definitely find inspiration within others works and expressions and most times if I’m influenced to do anything it’s largely to continue curating my own vision. I find appreciating someone else’s work can often times propel me deeper into my own. There is a lot of influence as you said especially with social media. Thank you for provoking thoughts and sharing your incredible work!

    • Hi Victoria! I like hearing that you are inspired to ‘continue to curate your own vision’. Inspiration is great wherever you can get it! I suppose influence is a bit different and something to think about as we grow. Glad you like the trucks. They are some I have been holding onto. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Lovely images! My favorite if I had to choose one would be True Grit Moonrise. It’s so lovely in that rosy light! The boarded up windows almost look lit from within…with a squint and some imagination. 🙂

    My niche…still evolving I think. I am ever the explorer. I change my focus by season, but I always love landscapes, and the stars. Two things I don’t seem to get to photograph enough of.

    • Thank you Deborah … I thought the same thing about the windows in ‘True Grit Moon Rise’. I appreciate your visit and thoughts!

  7. Love True Grit Moon Rise, and Yankee Girl. Are you the Yankee Girl? I thought you had declared yourself a Piney.

    But more, your thoughtful insights come through in your lede (sic). It also made me think of something you said to me last year in response to my chronic complaining about shooting the same stuff. Took me a while to find it but it was in a comment to a post in which I was … complaining. It has made me think about it and to be more at peace about my images. Here it is:

    “You know what they say … write or photograph what you know. After trying all kinds of photography subjects I have come full circle to accept what it is I love and I’ve stopped looking for something else. ….. It comes through in your photos when you love a place as you do. I say stop fighting it and find new ways, and under different conditions to shoot what you know & love!

    • Thank you Ralph! I’m part Yankee, part Piney (mostly through marriage) and now part Mountain Mama! And that still sounds like good advice I gave you!

  8. I relish all the opportunities to see great work online, but I wish I would make myself take a break from it more often. It’s all very addictive, isn’t it? Sometimes, just a few looks at something really good will set me off in a good direction, inspire me. As for my niche, it may be plural. 🙂 Or it may have to do with a certain style, rather than a particular subject, though obviously, certain subjects speak to me more than others. The sense of place is important, as it is for you. I love the energy of ‘Grounded’ above!

    • Hi Lynn! Thank you for your thoughts. Yes … I think social media can be addictive and very time consuming too. It’s good to be aware of that and break free to focus on our own work. I’d say your niche is your visual wanderings!

  9. 18 Virginia Rice

    True Grit is my favorite.

  10. That’s a great question. I think I am often influenced by what I see on social media and even in commercial art. I often feel challenged to look at an image to figure out why I looked at it twice. That is a source of learning and inspiration. I’m not a good enough photographer to have a focus. Like you, I’m drawn to old buildings, towns, signs, and I love landscapes, simply because I’ve lived in them all my life and I see them better through a lens. But I also adore good street photography and recognize the special skills that takes…which I don’t have…but dream of having.

    • Hi Linda! Maybe the downside of looking at other’s work on social media is a feeling of not being good enough … which you definitely are! Is there a need to compare? Does it become competitive? Does it hold us back from immersing ourselves in our own work? These are things I don’t have the answer to but think about. 🙂

  11. Good question Denise. It’s easy to get influenced by other images. I have a curious nature, and so far, I’ve been photographing different subject matter, portraits, landscape, street scenes, abstract, just life around me, and I enjoy it. Still, I am doing some soul-searching if I can pin-point something in particular I like to photograph, and it’s an ongoing process. Thanks for this post!

  12. 29 Angela Moyer

    Inspiring images, Denise! Thought provoking discussion for sure. I find inspiration in what others photograph but I aim to search and convey my own voice. As they say, it is the journey, not the destination. So I like to try new things, and am still searching for my niche.

  13. I take inspiration from the work of others but never seek to imitate it. Instead, I if something moves me, a style of photography, painting, fabric art, etc., I figure out why. Sometimes understanding why I am moved helps evolve my artistic voice. A great example is you my friend. When we met, I wouldn’t go near an abandoned feeling the subject was too much of a cliche. After seeing your work and some others, I began to understand why you did this and began to come up my own “voice” on the subject. Now our abandoned past is a big part of my work, yet our styles are remarkably different.

    • Good answer Rich. I am going to make a conscious effort to analyze ‘why’ I like something. I think I probably already know why I like some images but do so on a more subconscious way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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