What are the Types of Photography
Different types of photography vary based on personal techniques, equipment used, and topic.
Many photographers choose to engage in multiple photography niches concurrently to diversify their portfolios and skills.
However, others work on improving a specific technique throughout their photography careers. Here is a list of different photography niches you can familiarize yourself with.
1. Portrait Photography
Portrait photography is a popular type of photography.
Nearly everybody can practice in this photography niche, especially as smartphones become readily available.
Social media platforms encourage people to share the highlights and activities of their daily lives, and impressive specifications are now more accessible than ever.
As a result, shooting and posting a portrait photo is now easier.
Portrait photography allows you to seize an object’s personality. You can achieve that by stimulating actual expressions, close-ups, and poses.
Professional photographers specializing in the portrait niche often capture images of famous people or supermodels at magazine shoots or the red carpet.
Sometimes, they do family portraits, graduation images, and head pictures of upcoming actors and models.
2. Adventure Photography
Photographers in this genre capture beautiful images outdoors. This niche often features dreadful shooting conditions due to changing weather conditions and poor accessibility to some locations when capturing images outdoors.
Further, it targets outstanding adventurous travelers and landscape images. Ferrying camera equipment in rugged and remote areas is one of the common challenges that adventure photographers face.
3. Still Life Photography
Still life photography involves capturing images of non-living elements.
This niche is similar to commodity photography, which many advertising agencies utilize to photograph branded products for billboards, magazines, and catalogs.
To capture remarkable still-life photos, you need excellent lighting, whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors.
Some photographers use a lightbox, especially in product photography, to illuminate the object from all aspects and eliminate shadows.
4. Landscape Photography
Travel enthusiasts often capture numerous landscape images. Apart from horizontal images, photographers can experiment with various shooting styles.
For example, they can shoot vertically to capture tall mountains and trees as they explore the outdoors.
Landscape photographers usually work all day long and sometimes throughout the night to capture beautiful images under the night sky.
With the advent of advanced shooting technology like drones, capturing bird’s eye view-based landscape images is becoming easier.
To capture the best landscape images, photographers should invest in the right equipment and utilize the proper lenses.
5. Architectural Photography
Architectural photographers focus on capturing the exterior or interior of a structure. Often, these images are a precise illustration of the construction captured aesthetically and engagingly.
Photographers rely on daylight and sometimes moonlight to capture exterior shots and the adjacent landscape. Interior images complement the external representation to illustrate a particular architectural style.
Angle control is critical in this photography niche because of the vertical size of many buildings today.
The oldest architectural image was captured between 1826 and 1827, making this niche one of the inaugural types of approved photography.
Architectural trends have changed as different types of buildings have been constructed across the globe.
Photographers in this niche can focus on taking images of a defined architectural form like classical, Victorian, Tudor, gothic, postmodern, and contemporary.
6. Travel Photography
Travel photography involves capturing different images while on a trip and can cover multiple photography sub-groups like landscape, portraiture, wildlife, nature, food, and architecture.
Photographers can engage in various types of photography while exploring new places. Travel photography is not only exciting, but it also exposes travel enthusiasts to new experiences.
7. Abstract Photography
Also known as experimental, concrete, or conceptual technique, abstract photography is difficult to illustrate.
Often, abstract images use light, form, color, shadow, shape, and texture to create an impression, sensation, or feeling without providing a visual image of the scene or matter that you are photographing.
Directly identifying images that fit in the abstract photography niche is not easy.
That’s because their creation involves detaching a specific natural scene or element, eliminating coincidental details from that particular photo through creative editing or framing techniques.
Astrophotography is the practice of capturing images of astronomical elements like meteors, planets, stars, and celestial events such as solar eclipses and lunar.
Photographers in this field can use both digital and film cameras fitted with prolonged exposure capability to capture astronomical images.
However, to capture precise details, you may need specialized techniques and equipment such as telescopes, tripods, wide-angle fixed-lens photographic cameras, imaging sensors, post-processing equipment, and tracking mounts.
9. Pet Photography
A photographer engaging in pet photography uses techniques and concepts similar to portrait photography. However, pet photography can be more fun because they don’t have to worry about giving their subject a great appearance. I took this photo in September 2023. His name is Alpha. I am not a high-end photographer, so please excuse the details I might have missed.
Further, pet photographers can experiment with a wide range of techniques, like capturing close-up images using wide-angled lenses.
Photographers can leverage digital photography to experiment by capturing numerous images.
10. Food Photography
Until recently, food photography was not popular among many photographers. In the digital and social media age, this niche is popular among professional and amateur photographers.
Some food photographers engage in this niche for marketing reasons, while others do it for fun and their passion for food.
To capture a great food image, you need a good phone camera, proper lighting, and the correct camera settings.
You can also use post-processing balancing techniques to improve the appearance of your food and make it more attractive.
11. Black and White Photography
You can capture black or white images either by capturing and editing colored photos or setting your camera accordingly.
With the advent of photography technology, nearly all captured images were white, black, or different sepia shades.
In the past, color images were hand-tinted even though the practice was rare and creating them was costly.
Color photography would later become popular following technological advancements in the mid-20th century, wiping out the previously dominant black-and-white niche.
Black and white photography involves capturing elegant, timeless, and classic images.
Today, this type of photography is considered fine art and helps create a vintage and nostalgic appearance.
12. Sports Photography
This professional photography genre involves high-speed image shooting. Sports photographers often use heavy and long lenses that can easily zoom in to capture the real action.
The lenses are designed to capture images at swift shutter speeds without generating underexposed photos.
As a sports photographer, you can work for sports magazines and newspapers or capture pictures for advertisement. Location plays a crucial role in capturing that perfect sports image.
Further, the sport you are shooting determines the ideal camera structure and lens you will need.
13. Business Photography
Business photography involves capturing images of the working society. Often, photographers capture business images to support development and growth in the sector and for promotional and marketing reasons.
When you shoot pictures of entrepreneurs, their services and products, and teams, you give them a chance to tell their story through images.
Other types of photography that fit well in this category include lifestyle, portrait, product, architectural, and candid. Companies can upload business photos in their brochures, website, and editorials to market their brand.
14. Wildlife Photography
A photographer in this niche will need advanced camera gear and proper safety measures to engage in wildlife photography.
Capturing excellent and clear wildlife photos without meddling in their natural habitat can be a dangerous and daunting task. Still, this niche can be fulfilling and well-paying.
Only a few people can engage in wildlife photography, which explains why individuals and organizations often pay colossal sums for wildlife images.
Many times, photography techniques used in the sports niche are effective in wildlife photography.
15. Macro Photography
People interested in capturing extraordinary images love macro photography. This niche involves capturing small subjects to make them appear larger than their actual size.
Often, these objects can be small insects or flowers that you hardly get a close-up view of with your naked eyes.
Macro photography is simple only if you have the proper gear. You can connect a macro lens clip-on accessory to your smartphone to capture excellent images.
To capture high-resolution photos, consider using a macro lens with a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
Macro photography is ideal for people interested in capturing highly compelling and artistic images of both living and non-living things.
16. Candid Photography
Often, photographers direct photos while models pose for the photo. Candid photography eliminates the aspect of posing by capturing spontaneous images of people while in motion.
Photographers in this niche should focus on capturing their subjects in the most natural state without directing or having them pose for the ultimate image.
Remember, this doesn’t mean that your subjects are unaware that someone is taking their photos. However, candid images should illustrate their authentic facial expressions, reactions, and senses.
Candid photography involves various segments like secret photography, which takes place when the subjects are not aware.
This form of photography can be obstructive, which is why it involves the use of small and discrete gear to prevent distractions.
The flash feature is often not used in candid photography because it draws attention and triggers subjects to adopt a controlled and less natural behavior.
17. Event Photography
Event photography is a popular and broad niche. It involves various types of occasions like birthdays, concerts, weddings, and corporate affairs.
Event photographers use a wide range of techniques to capture the perfect shot.
Apart from covering a specific event, you should know how to tell a story skillfully using your pictures to excel in this photography niche.
Mastering that art requires relentless practice in covering specific events and handling your subjects. Further, you will need various types of lenses to capture every crucial detail.
18. Cityscape Photography
Cityscape photographers focus on capturing different parts of a metropolitan area and city skylines. You can photograph such images during the night or day.
While you will need wide-angle lenses to capture the perfect shot, telephoto lenses are ideal for capturing small parts of a city.
Consider using a tripod to hold the camera in place and prevent blurred images. Cityscape photography is versatile, and you can capture beautiful pictures at any time from a wide range of locations.
High elevations like top floors and rooftops in high-rise buildings and less dense areas like waterfront walkways are prime areas for the perfect shot.
19. Wedding Photography
Wedding photography is a broad genre that includes engagement, pre-wedding, wedding ceremonies, and wedding reception photos.
Sometimes, it may also comprise honeymoon photos. Wedding photography is part of the massive commercial photography categories, with numerous photographers specializing in this niche.
Wedding photography is classified into two concepts – photojournalistic and traditional photography. In the traditional concept, the photographer directs the entire event.
The photojournalistic approach involves a wide range of editorial experiences with natural, more candid images and minimal direction.
The fashion-oriented concept is also part of wedding photography. Here, the photographers use innovative and creative techniques to deliver appealing pictures.
Tradition and culture are critical when it comes to the style and pictures a couple wants to capture.
20. Fashion Photography
For years now, fashion photography has been among the most profitable genres due to the high demand in marketing and advertising.
Fashion photos usually feature celebrities, supermodels, and freelancers in fashionable shoes, clothes, and accessories.
Fashion photography involves both full-body and portrait images. To excel as a fashion photographer, you need to possess excellent portraiture skills.
You’ll also need to master the art of dealing with diverse people and practice technical and artistic posing styles. You can capture fashion images both indoors and outdoors.
21. Creative Photography
Defining creative photography can be a difficult task. The genre includes a wide range of techniques and concepts.
It encourages creativity and analysis in composition, procedure, and gear you use to capture images. Photographers can use composite photography to overlap with creative photography.
Crystal ball and fisheye lens photography niches exploit the outlook of creative photography. Other photography subcategories that fall under this niche include forced perspective and HDR (high dynamic range) photography.
You can experiment with different techniques to develop a new context, like motion blur, opacity, textures, filters, multiple exposures, and shutter speed.
From this article, it’s evident that there are numerous types of photography that you can experiment with.
Various factors are critical in determining the quality of your images, such as the photoshoot location, your techniques and the type of gear you use, lighting conditions, and even the subject matter. You can perfect your photography skills through regular practice.
In today’s digital era, upcoming photographers can showcase their work on their social media platforms.