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My Struggle Between Documentary and Architecture

This is one of the things that, going forward, I feel like I'm going to struggle with. Every photographer seems to find their niche. People have their portraiture, their landscape, their fashion, product so on and so on. Whilst I have started to get more into architectural photography, which I really love, I also have a great love for documentary, which I have discussed in previous blog posts. The thing that stresses me out about the whole thing is that, like most photographers, I feel like I'll be expected to eventually phase myself into one genre of photography, after all, I feel like most people who are looking at hiring a photographer for their work will want someone who's really experienced in one thing, rather than having someone who's just kind of good at everything.

Maybe I won't have to fit into that agenda but I worry that I will. I'd love to do architectural photography as a commercial career, to shoot buildings as a way of funding my lifestyle, but I also love documenting the events that unfold around my life. As hard as it was to lose my nan, the project that I did before her death and the project that I plan to shoot once I return to Ireland are things that I feel drive me. I think that despite being a person who really loves talking, my ways of coping and understanding my situations aren't things that I can just get through by talking about them. But when I phrase it like that, I think that my documentary stuff is something that despite being a big passion of mine, it only arises when those types of events happen, which means that I can't just sit around waiting for something bad to happen to me so that I can photograph it.

It could be argued that in some ways, the two genres kind of mould into each other, depending on the type of work you're doing. But the problem I have with this is that my style of documentary and my style of architecture feel like two entirely different machines. My architecture feels like it attempts to be very stylised in its shots (whether it is is not up to me, you can make your own opinion of that) whereas my documentary always feels like it attempts work that is much more grounded in its toning and styling. You would have to be when you're dealing with very personal subject matters.

I don't know, this feels like an internal debate that for now isn't going to go anywhere. I type it out in a hope that maybe I'll come to some magical epiphany but I maybe I'm currently at a point where I'm not ready to make that decision. And maybe I won't have to? That's basing it off the idea that I'll have enough money and enough mental stamina to do both styles at once. And come on it's not like that'll ever happen.

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