I’m honestly with Ebi on this one. I also do not agree that you need to be great at both portrait and landscape to be considered a good photographer. It’s absolutely better to be more well rounded, yes, but I don’t think it should be required. You can compose a landscape well but still turn up with a boring shot. Likewise, you can shoot a couple or a high school senior with strong composition and totally miss any sort of emotion or personality. Technical skill it one thing, but it’s far more likely someone will hone a certain skillset in order to succeed in a particular market.
I can photograph people far better than I can photograph mountains. The way I shoot landscapes doesn’t move me the same way that a couple completely enamoured with each other does. My mind just doesn’t turn the gears regarding landscapes like it does to others. Thus, environmental portraits are my niche. I could probably produce decent fashion work, but that also wouldn’t have the same kind of -oh gawd this word, but it applies- passion attached to it either.
You know iliketag, I have a friend that is a really good landscape photographer and he freaks the “F” out when people ask him to do portrait sessions. I think a lot of it is him psyching himself out, because I know he can do a fine job with portraits. I think it’s funny, because I know he can do it. I give him crap and bust his chops for that all the time, but he still calls me up when a portrait session comes his way and his stress level goes up.
I am the same way, my landscapes I think are okay, but not stellar, IMO. I am a people person, I like talking to people. Doing landscapes, I am usually by myself, so I get funny looks if I am talking, but I keep myself entertained.