In the U.K. I heard it said time and time again, "you have to specialise, find your niche". Apparently you can't be a commercial photographer, travel photographer, food photographer, fashion photographer, etc etc, you can only be one kind of photographer. There is no denying that certainly in London, and I expect other major photographic hubs such as New Your and Paris this may be the case due to the concentration of photographers. While I was in London I focused on editorial portraiture and dabbled with fashion, it worked for me and my portrait game became strong as a result of the practice and focus. I did make some effort with food photography and also shooting some product, but mostly concentrated on portraiture which I enjoy a great deal anyway so it was fun.

However I do like to diversify and had varied my subjects alongside my chosen "niche". I don't accept half measures from myself, or my team, everything I shoot, I shoot to the best of my ability, no matter what it is. Pushing to see faults, learn and correct them through a range of subjects has undoubtedly enabled me to take knowledge from one discipline and apply it to another. It also keeps me interested and driven in my work, feeling fresh and sustaining my inspiration in image making.

The first time I returned to the UK after moving to Taiwan I had a meeting with Roger Tooth (head of photography at the Guardian). It was music to my ears when he said that photographers can be more versatile, it was like a green light to explore, learn and develop myself further. We, as photographers should always be reaching to be better and produce better images, if we don't do this then why continue?

I work hard to be the best I can be across all the disciplines of photography I work in. This is paying off with work coming from a multitude of sources and across a range of genres. Regular readers will know about my Nat Geo Traveller assignments which I really enjoy. Travel can encompass all areas, street work, landscapes, portraiture, fashion and food...

So I suppose what I am saying is that I think it is possible to shoot at a high level across the different disciplines of photography if you put enough effort into it. Unfortunately what I see most times is "photographers" flitting from one to the next without spending enough time on any to become proficient. I feel they are trying to look for their photographic identity by jumping on a trend. More often than not they end up copying other and better photographers work badly. There is nothing wrong in taking cues from other photographers work, at the end of the day though, as a photographer it is your voice you need to get heard, and your style you need to develop. It needs to speak through all of your work, whatever subject you are making a photograph of. Concentrating long enough and practising hard enough to become not just proficient, but able to produce good, consistent and high quality work will bring great rewards, personally and professionally. Consistently trusting in myself and my communicative ability, my style, I believe does show within all my work. This is now reflected and confirmed by the diversity of work I get to enjoy shooting.

I love image making, I am starting to expand even further and moving towards creating fashion film. I am learning new software and fresh techniques almost daily. It is a great challenge which I simply enjoy so much. There is a wonderful feeling of producing something that you can feel proud of, that your team can feel proud of and that all of you enjoyed creating. I hope that my work brings pleasure to others too, and some inspiration. 

My plan is to never stop pushing myself, to always try and stay fresh and explore the boundaries of image making. And finally to go back to the start of this blog, I have to say there is some truth saying you can only be one kind of photographer, that is the best photographer you can be. If you want to shoot multiple genres, then practice them all equally hard and with the exact same mind set. Be honest with yourself, be your biggest critic. Listen to others also, it may not be what you want to hear, but take it on board and try to be objective.

Nowadays I am shooting mainly commercial, fashion and portraiture, I think these are the areas I get most creative pleasure from working in and I definitely have the most fulfilment working with people and a team.

My travel work with Nat Geo Traveller is fun for me and I will continue to do that as and when the opportunities present themselves, I do love an adventure in a foreign land, or even around the one I live in. That reminds me that I have not yet relayed the story of my epic thirteen day scooter tour of Taiwan last year, I will write that for you in a couple of blogs time. 

Next time I will finish up on my China assignment, for now though I hope that you enjoyed this, get where I am coming from regarding reaching to produce your best work and aim to do the same yourselves, no matter what you do for a living or a hobby.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).

Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.