In today’s world of iPhones, Facebook, and Instagram, photography has become much more accessible to absolutely everyone. In fact, you have probably posted hundreds of photos during the past month. To take your skills to the next level, you may want to consider the different kinds of photography and which types would be good fits for you. Here is a complete guide to different types of photography from A to Z.
This type of photography is non-traditional. It focuses on details, patterns, lines, or shapes, rather than a whole subject, as it would normally be seen. Therefore, images are not easily recognizable and can be used for design purposes.
Many advertisers require photographs to help them sell a variety of products. The value of these photographs contributes to the end result, a successful sale, so it is important for brands and freelancers to make products and services look flawless and to market them to the public.
In 1858, the French photographer and balloonist, Gaspar Felix Tournachon, took the first aerial photograph from a hot air balloon. Today, photographers also use drones to capture images of city streets and landscapes. As long as you aren’t afraid of heights, aerial photography might be right for you.
Some photographers enjoy taking pictures of buildings, either interiors or exteriors. The primary challenge that you will face with architectural photography is lighting. Outdoors, you depend on natural light, and indoors you need to use a flash to get the best shots.
If you enjoy stargazing, then astrophotography might be a good fit for you. This type of photography uses telescopes to capture images of stars, planets, and galaxies. You attach your camera to the telescope.
Similar to fashion photography, beauty photography shows the splendor of makeup, perfume, hair, and jewelry. It is important to get the best lighting to emphasize the beauty of your models. These photos are often published in magazine articles and advertisements.
Black and White Photography
Photographers took the first photographs in black and white. Today, the style remains popular with photographers who excel at creating contrast between black and white images. Artsy black and white images adorn the walls of private collectors, museums, and galleries. It is the contrasts between black and white and the shadows of gray that enhance the beauty of these photos.
Women choose boudoir photography as a style to show an intimate and romantic moment for their partner. Given as a gift, on the occasion of an engagement or wedding, boudoir photography shows common people in sensual poses.
You might enjoy taking pictures of spontaneous moments. This genre is called candid photography. The people in the photos are generally unaware that they are the subjects of your photos, so their emotions and interactions are genuine and authentic.
Do you appreciate live music? Then, concert photography might be right for you. Book a ticket to see your favorite musician or band and document the live performance. One challenge you face is dark spaces and big crowds.
Like sports photography, dance photography requires quick shots and fast shutter speeds. Dancers display great skill and artistry, so if you enjoy capturing creative images, this kind of photography may be for you.
Often photographers prefer to create a story about a particular subject, such as a sports icon or a celebrity. You can chronicle the events in someone’s life, the unfolding news in the world, or the emerging developments in a social issue. In your photos, you are able to reveal aspects that are not normally seen by the ordinary eye.
Often event photographers are asked to document special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, corporate milestones, or high-school or college reunions. You are capturing milestone moments for family and friends.
Family photography may be posed portraits of small or large groups or more candid shots of family members sharing an experience, such as skiing, boating, or horse-back riding. If you enjoy working with families to record special occasions, then this type of photography is right for you.
Fashion designers hire photographers to shoot their seasonal runaway shows, and fashion magazines contact them to showcase entire outfits, select pieces of jewelry, or pairs of shoes. Models use fashion photographers to create their portfolios. If you are creative and enjoy managing a team of models, hair stylists, and makeup artists, this type of photography is a perfect fit.
Fine Art Photography
Some photographers wish for their work to be displayed in art galleries and museums. In this case, the photographer is an artist who tries to convey a point of view about the subject. Subject matter can vary from images of people, landscapes, or buildings.
Food and Drink Photography
Images of food and drink make our mouths water. Every restaurant wants to highlight its featured courses, and culinary magazines depend on tantalizing pictures from advertisers. Be sure to use natural light in this genre; a flash will distort the color and reveal unwanted elements.
This kind of photography employs special filters that change colors from blues and greens to pinks and oranges. The images can be surreal and often appear as if they are taken on another planet.
Interior Design Photography
If you enjoy home design, lighting, and furniture, then interior design photography could be a good match for you. Popular places that your photos are featured are interior design magazines and home catalogues. You can also work with a real estate photographer to stage indoor spaces for sale.
Photographers that specialize in photojournalism take pictures of live events and publish them in newspapers and magazines. This type of journalism often takes photographers around the world to warzones and areas of strife. You must love a sense of adventure to excel at journalism photography.
Some photographers enjoy working outdoors. Finding the perfect light is important in this style of photography. Try to shoot early in the morning near sunrise or late in the evening at sunset. Many travel photographers and environmentalists prefer this type of photography.
Photographers who tend toward lifestyle photography initially pose their subjects and then give them direction. The end result is that they tell a story through the photos. A lifestyle photographer may also enjoy street photography, fashion photography, and wedding photography.
This type of photography involves capturing images after dark. You need to be experienced with using manual mode and the nuances of light, shutter speed, and aperture. Long-exposure photography requires patience to film elements during an extended period of time, such as car headlights, starry streaks, or buzzing insects in front of lights.
In macro photography, photographers show images of very small things extremely close up. That means they appear larger than they actually are seen to the naked eye in real life. Favorite subjects include leaves, flowers, and insects. You will want to get a special macro lens for this type of photography.
What to expect when you are expecting? There are nine months for mothers to document the different stages of pregnancy. Women meet with a maternity photographer more than once to show the progressive changes. Often photographers make initial contact with couples while filming their wedding; this relationship can blossom into celebrating the growth and birth of their children.
Sometimes, photographers prefer to capture images in motion, such as trees blowing in the wind, horses running across a field, or cars speeding on the freeway. You might want to blur certain elements in the background to focus on the more important subjects of the image in the foreground. Faster shutter speeds sharpen your focus, while shower speeds create the blurring effect.
Nature photography is the broad term used to include landscapes with trees, water, animals, and flowers. This type of photography overlaps with garden photography, wildlife photography, travel photography, adventure photography, macro photography, and landscape photography
Newborn photography is a subset of portrait photography, except your subjects are infants, often babies less than 6 months in age. You may be intimidated about capturing these beautiful and spontaneous moments, but the parents are excited and willing to help hold and pose their child.
If you are a night owl, you may want to try your hand at night photography. These photographers use long exposures and high shutter speeds to capture outdoor images between dusk and dawn. Common subjects to capture include fireworks, stars, rock concerts, and lightning storms.
In panoramic photography, photographers use special lenses or equipment to take photos with long horizontal fields of view. These wide-angle shots are often best for cityscapes, historic monuments, and landscapes.
If you love animals, then pet photography may be right for you. The pet industry has soared in North America, and pet parents are willing to pay high rates for good quality images of their fur babies. You can take these photos outdoors or in your studio, but be sure to have treats and toys handy to reward your subjects.
Photographers that focus on people’s natural moods and expressions tend to enjoy portrait photography. While the subjects of some portrait photography are posed, often a spontaneous shot captures the best emotion. You want to document special occasions, such as engagements, weddings, and new babies.
Real estate photography is important to highlight the strongest features of houses and buildings. You want to use a wide-angle lens and flash. The realtor can help you find the locations that capture the best exterior and interior shots. Just think, your pictures influence how quickly the property sells.
If you have an interest in biology, medicine, or engineering, then scientific photography may be right for you. Your images can be published in academic journals, nature magazines, and government reports.
Photographers who excel at capturing quick action during sporting events enjoy this kind of photography. You want to use a very long telephoto lens and shoot at a high ISO and high shutter speed to get the best shots.
If you enjoy composing your subject, then still-life photography might be a good fit for you. Unlike some of the other genres, like dance, sports, and event photography, you are not pressured by time, and you can take as many shots as you need to capture the inanimate objects before you.
The library of stock photography contains large numbers of images for sale at different price points, from thousands of dollars to a few cents or even free. Newspapers, magazines, and catalogues are your best clients.
This genre of photography focuses on images of ordinary people and everyday things in public spaces. It is not limited to popular tourist locations, but rather broad enough to include real-life scenes in local neighborhoods. It can be artistic or political in focus.
Time Lapse Photography
You use time lapse photography when you want to capture motion — birds in flight, cars on a highway, crowds of people, or motion of the sun. Multiple images over a period of time create the sensation that the image is slowly moving or changing right before your eye.
If you love to travel, then travel photography might be the genre for you. It showcases the culture, customs, food and drink of people in a different location. Natural landscapes and busy cityscapes are also popular subjects to capture the essence of a particular place. You create a story and show scenes from your own perspective.
To excel at underwater photography, you will need special waterproof cases to protect your camera and other equipment. If you enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling, then this type of photography is right for you. Your subjects are fish and marine mammals, as well as coral reefs, underwater cavers, and shipwrecks.
While street photography focuses on people and street life, urban photography also captures architectural elements, motor vehicles, and other elements of city life. Travel photographers often capture images of cities or towns to documents cultural experiences and trips to new places.
If discord and strife are your subjects, then you may want to consider war photography. You should know that this profession may be dangerous and pose threats to your health and well-being. Newspapers and magazines purchase these images to complement their news stories of areas of conflict.
Perhaps the most exciting type of event photography involves weddings. While some couples want posed portraits to document the celebration, others may lean towards adventurous shots, such as underwater, at the top of mountains, or on skis. In any case, as a wedding photographer, you need experience with taking photos of food and drink, fashion, landscape, and macro subjects.
Wildlife photography requires the photographer to have advanced skills. The animals do not rest for long in their natural habitat, so you will need to be adept with your manual settings and be able to take pictures quickly without being noticed. Waiting for the exact shot also require patience and good timing.