5 Tips for Finding Your Niche as a Videographer

1. Don’t Rush the Process.
Trust and believe that finding your niche will happen organically.  The saying, “An overnight success takes 10 years,” definitely applies here. A passion for creative work led me ultimately to realize that I enjoy being in the field, directing, shooting and producing videos. This is not my educational background, but a personal decision to do what I enjoy: being outdoors, working with people, operating camera equipment and creating something tangible at the end of the day.
2. Make Opportunities to Build Your Portfolio
Early in your video career you have to take (or even make) opportunities! Experience in the field is priceless and sometimes you have to get it where you can. For me, this meant working with friends for little or no money while I learned the craft and slowly built up funds for better equipment.
With help from online tutorials like this one here on CreativeLive, I started shooting a lot of event videos to help friends and create portfolio collateral early on. Bouncing around to different gigs will help you figure out what you don’t want to do as much as what you love. Take every job early on, and learn as much as you can.
3. Embrace Failure.
You will botch jobs. You will miss critical shots. You will lose footage and audio and experience heart-stopping gear catastrophes.
Make these your opportunities to learn.  There are so many variables in video production that there will always be an issue of some type. Dealing with problems calmly and confidently is a mark of an experienced videographer. It’s ok to learn lessons the hard way, as long as you really do learn something. And don’t make a habit of it!
4. Shoot Constantly.
Operate your camera as much as possible. Produce personal projects. Buy the biggest hard drive you can afford and save everything.
After a year, you will look back on every project file and remember what you loved (and what you didn’t) and see your own growth. Believe me, it’s humbling and also amazing to reflect on your own progress with the craft. Even as you settle in a niche, it’s important to take on personal and side projects.
One of my favorite projects of 2015—a surf video from Hurricane Joaquin—was made purely for personal enjoyment amidst a very busy work week, but the after-hours work producing it reminded me why I shoot video in the first place—because it’s fun!
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks.
What will take you to that happy point of sustainability is not the newest gear or six semesters of film school, but a drive to pursue your craft every day and take advantage of any opportunity that may arise.  Some of my early mentors have grown into great partners and even guided me to my current video niche: real estate marketing.
Through my quest for a sustainable video business, I befriended the team at Keen Eye Marketing, with no idea that two years later I would be in charge! Making the investment in Keen Eye didn’t happen lightly—it was a risk and a wager on my own ability to deliver a high quality product while also managing employees and the everything else that comes with owning a small business.
Finding that balance between passion, skill, and opportunity is critical. It’s important to acknowledge your own limitations and accept the fact that you might not jump into a dream career out of the gate. At the end of the day, if you are cultivating your craft and creating new experiences, you WILL find your niche.
Getting ahead in the video industry is challenging.
But challenges are always an opportunity for growth. In your work, if you can embrace the challenges, push yourself to do the best work possible and stay focused on what you want to achieve, nothing will keep you from doing the work you love.

This article was written by Andy Lassiter for Ebay.com, an affordable way to equip yourself to find your creative niche.


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