Expanding Your Photography Business

Expanding Your Photography Business with Jermaine Horton

You don’t have to only shoot weddings! The one thing I was told when I first started in photography was to stay with one genre and do not do multiple. Worst advice I ever got LOL.

Now I’m not saying don’t master your craft and genre, but what I’m saying is that you don’t have to be STUCK in just one. Because I decided to open the doors of photography, I’m a published wedding, sports, wildlife, portrait, etc. photographer. There are no limits except the ones I place on myself.

Lighting isn’t always focused on strobes or speed lights. It can even be natural light. When shooting sports or even wildlife, for real-time action you don’t get to choose where the sun is or will be. For wildlife like in Alaska, it’s preferred to be overcast with the sun still facing the direction you are shooting. Sometimes the sun can cause reflections that are not good for the subject that has harsh light bouncing back into the subject. So understanding ALL light is the start, from natural to artificial.

When I’m shooting sports, I’m always wanting the best light. That’s not always the case, but I like to have my subjects with the light facing them. With sports, you don’t always have that choice, but usually in football they flip sides of the field so you will end up with the light you want. Even with still subjects such as my wedding and portrait clients, people always ask, “What’s your favorite light?” The simple answer is… the best available.

Weddings are so fast-paced so I don’t always have time to set up soft boxes or umbrellas, however, sometimes the best available light turns out to be the most flattering. There are wedding days where my couples are like, “Oh man, it’s so overcast” when I’m like, “YES!” That means that the sun is my light source and the clouds are my soft box. Now don’t get me wrong, if I have time to be creative I can get my soft box and expose for the sky and get some dreamy buttery shots. But it’s not always required. The wedding day is so hectic that sometimes you only have a few minutes to get a series of shots. So choosing the BEST light is paramount.

I truly feel that once you understand lighting, you can practically shoot just about anything. This is no knock to anyone in their respective genre to say a newborn photographer can come in beauty and fashion and do the same as them, but if you understand the fundamentals, you can learn to be just as good to shoot ANY genre with the best of them.

I used to be TERRIFIED of flash! I was a natural light photographer and wouldn’t touch anything but a speed light. Now, I forget how to shoot in natural light sometimes because I would always shoot flash. Now I’ve learned the healthy balance of both! You don’t have to be limited with just shooting weddings or a certain genre.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the February 2022 magazine.