[Last Updated in April 2022]
Photography is the name of beautiful art and its trends are changing with time. As a beginner in the photography industry, it may seem difficult and challenging to choose only one or two genres from its various niches. Since the development in this area has got attention, you have the option to research and examine different types of photography with a view to gaining the in-depth knowledge.
In this article, we have planned to let you know the popular photography categories along with their amazing examples.
Here, you will know about some of the popular types of photography that will help to enrich your idea in the regarding field. Let’s go through the points below!
Photo Credit: Colin Knowles
If you love to capture photos with your creative imagination and concept where you don’t need to follow any particular and hard guidelines or rules, Abstract photography can be a great thing indeed for you. It gives you the freedom to express your artistic mind. That’s why beginners are suggested to start with this type in their journey of photography life. A good abstract photo includes an excellent combination of simplicity, composition, lighting, and mystery.
Top Abstract Photographers: Colin Knowles, Angie McMonigal, Eileen Quinlan, Jonathan Schoonover.
Photo Credit: Mark Dutton
Adventure photography has become one of the popular types of photography, especially for the youth who love to stay with the beauty of nature & thrill. In other words, it’s outdoor photography that deals with capturing pictures of mountaineering, skydiving, biking, skiing, etc. This type requires a perfect subject placement at the right time. So, you need extra attention and skill to grab the focus.
Top Adventure Photographers: Mirae Campbell, Jimmy Chin, David Doubilet, Ben Giesbrecht.
Photo Credit: Kremer Johnson
This type of photography deals with capturing products or services along with their attractive elements for advertisement on posters, magazines, or social media platforms. In modern times, advertising photography has great value for a business to inspire and engage the audience.
As a result, most of the local and international brands take this service from professionals each year and invests a lot of money. The experts in this field are also recognized as commercial photographers.
Top Advertising Photographers: Kremer Johnson, Fernando Decillis, Fabrizio Cestari, Nadav Kander.
Photo Credit: Rory Gardiner
Architecture photography is the way of photographing various buildings and structural views of bridges or any other monuments that cover both interior and exterior parts. It needs specialized skills, techniques, and equipment to get purely artistic captions.
Expert photographers know how to shoot the views in a variety of weather conditions prioritizing good lighting and unique angles. Another interesting part is- it’s one of the highest paying fields among various photography categories in the present times.
Top Architecture Photographers: Rory Gardiner, Iwan Baan, Josef Schulz, Joao Morgado.
Photo Credit: Andrew Campbell
If you have an interest in discovering the beautiful sky and various astronomical objects like galaxies, stars, and planets, this special type of photography may attract you. As a beginner, dark sky, star trail or nightscape can be your initial things to capture.
Don’t forget to bring a high-performance camera that works best in low-light conditions and in long distance. Also, it needs some equipment likely tripods, telescopes, imaging sensors, etc.
Top Astrophotography Photographers: Andrew Campbell, Anton Jankovoy, Justin Ng, Connor Matherne.
Photo Credit: Arthur Morris
Another challenging category in this area is bird photography. It takes time, passion, and skill to grasp the art. If you have not patience enough along with sharp eyes, this type may not suit you. Firstly, it needs to know about the bird and its activities.
You must have knowledge of camera settings, including exposure and composition. In some cases, background plays a crucial part in this photography. So, try to capture the photos with the most appropriate background that focuses the object properly.
Top Bird Photographers: Andy Rouse, Arthur Morris, Glenn Bartley, Jess Findlay.
Photo Credit: Daido Moriyama
This is an art of photography that plays with different color tones from white to dark. It uses minimal amounts of lighting. In other words, it’s called monochromatic photography. To achieve realistic looks in B&W photography, it uses mostly contrasts and shadows. No doubt, it’s one of the special branches of photography where fine art photographers bring exceptional creativity along with emotional attachments.
Top Black and White Photographers: Adela Filip, Doc Ross, Daido Moriyama, Koen Jacobs.
Photo Credit: Tim Hawley
Business or commercial photography refers to the photography that captures businesses or marketing materials or ideas to sell products or services. As a professional photographer, you must explore the story of business purposes to the audience. Understanding the offerings and usability are factors here to be introduced before the photoshoot. The photographs can be used in either corporate sites, brochures, leaflets, magazines, or any other promotional media.
Top Business Photographers: Jaime Travezan, Tim Hawley, Fernando Decillis, 7Jean-Yves Lemoigne.
Photo Credit: Allison McCafferty
Boudoir photography is another one of the most popular types of photography where you will require the combined skills of fashion and glamour photography. It’s kind of intimate shots of the subject that expresses the appeal of beauty in artistic ways. These photographs are taken for any particular events like engagement, marriage, or party with a view to giving gifts to partners. Apart from the common equipment and skills, you must have the ability to bring something exceptional in styles and moods.
Top Boudoir Photographers: Adrienne Richgels, Jason Guy, Gregorio Campos, Allison McCafferty.
Photo Credit: Steven Depolo
Candid photography captures the unposed subjects without making them prepared. It’s also called secret photography for its photography nature. Photographers take this type of photographs in a busy city, street, or in various events.
In this type, it’s essential to make the best of weather and emotions together to get the most meaningful results. The practice may start with capturing authentic scenes and reactions of your friends, classmates, or brides.
Top Candid Photographers: Andy Teo, Steven Depolo, Chiriloi Catalin, Ian Sane.
Photo Credit: Quintin Gellar
Once again, Cityscape photography is a unique genre of photography that represents the physical aspects of a city or metropolis. These photographs look beautiful in both daylight and moonlight from different angles and locations.
It has a wide range of options in order to capture the best shots. In many cases, photographers use a wide-angle lens to capture the skyline along with the city or urban materials. Using a tripod is also an important way to grasp sharp results.
Top Cityscape Photographers: Dave DiCello, Hannibal Renberg, Hiroaki Fukuda, Quintin Gellar.
Photo Credit: Greg Adams
Composite photography refers to the way of combining multiple images to a single one. It’s a kind of tricky and complex method that takes several hours to complete the whole process. Mostly, photographers use layering techniques to create the photograph. All in all, this artwork is a combined task of digital photography and post-processing activities. As it takes a longer period, you need to be very passionate to be skilled in this versatile field of photography.
Top Composite Photographers: Dave Hill, Elena Paraskeva, Greg Adams, Karen Alsop.
Photo Credit: Jordi Koalitic
Creative photography is something that differs from the usual photography categories and contains creative natural elements. Photo artists must think out of the box to bring creativity into the images. So, how to add the elements?
They should be intentionally included so that it creates an extra appeal to the audience. It can be a combination of colors, interesting shapes, water splashes, reflections, amazing backgrounds, animals, or other objects.
Top Creative Photographers: Alma Haser, Jordi Koalitic, Madame Peripetie, Tim Tadder.
Photo Credit: Paul Basel
If you are curious to know something different about photography techniques, crystal ball photography comes with a new challenge. It’s one of the best types of creative photography that deals with capturing amazing scenes from different angles using a crystal ball. Apart from this essential element, you’ll require some other equipment likely camera with the macro lens, wide-angle lens, tripod, wine glass, etc. Mostly, you must utilize the best form of light to make the photographs stunning.
Top Crystal Ball Photographers: Alan Glicksman, Max Goldberg, Christian Schnettelker, Paul Basel.
Photo Credit: Pablo Ernesto Piovano
It’s one of the most popular genres of photography that represents actual forms of a subject or event. In other words, document photography is closely related to real-life photography or photojournalism. It’s not like glamorous or fashion photography. That’s why you must be passionate and determined along with a high standard of ethics and respect.
Also, it may need to make in-depth research on the subject to explore the real things in the photographs.
Top Documentary Photographers: Arthur Lumen, Pablo Ernesto Piovano, Harry Mitchell, Sophie Green.
Photo Credit: Dirk Dallas
Once again, we have come to introduce one of the modern and versatile types of photography. It’s also recognized as aerial photography that captures any object using a drone. It’s a kind of electronic device used by photographers to take scenes from high in the sky.
It’s been a popular type in the photography area, especially by the youth who loves to connect technology to explore exceptional skills. All in all, drone photography makes the way comfortable capturing complex and challenging along with unique types of photoshoots.
Top Drone Photographers: Dirk Dallas, Francesco Cattuto, Irenaeus Herok, Stian Klo.
Photo Credit: Michael David Adams
You may have confusion relating to editorial, commercial, and fashion photography. Well! Editorial photography is a special branch where the images tell the whole story along with their purposes to use.
These images are mostly used in newspapers, documentaries, textbooks, and magazines. Before creating working for an editorial project, you must know the story to explore and relate it properly. Also, camera settings are crucial to achieving a meaningful outcome.
Top Editorial Photographers: Michael David Adams, Stephen Paul, Ewen Weatherspoon, Hannah Brown.
Photo Credit: Michael Jurick
Event photography is another important field where photographers capture images of various events or occasions, including weddings, corporate parties, award ceremonies, workshops, seminars, funerals, and concerts. It’s one of the demanding and popular genres in the field of photography. As a professional, you must be concerned to capture the expressions of your surroundings at the right moments. Sometimes, using an external flash can also bring unique and attractive results.
Top Event Photographers: Chris Lusher, Darrylee Cohen, Michael Jurick, Olga Kravets.
Photo Credit: Alysse Duncan
Who doesn’t want to keep the sweet memories of his/her family? Family photography brings the opportunity to capture the strong relationships between parents, siblings, and children. The shots can be taken on different occasions like family reunions, birthday parties, or weddings. In this case, photos have to be captured in a natural tone and expression. Also, you may try in black and white mode to have powerful effects.
Top Family Photographers: Alysse Duncan, Paulo Guanais, Rafael Rosa, Natalia Diniz.
Photo Credit: Todd Anthony Tyler
Fashion photography is referred to as the practice of photographing clothes and fashion accessories. The images are used for commercial purposes with a view to selling the clothing and footwear items. Each ecommerce company that deals with these type products require fashion photography to showcase them properly so that customer gives extra attention. To bring the expected outcome, it needs the best use of lighting, locations, and surroundings as well.
Top Fashion Photographers: Jeff Bark, Mario Testino, Lucio Gelsi, Todd Anthony Tyler.
Photo Credit: Gina Vasquez
We are going to introduce a creative genre in the photography area namely fine art photography. It’s about focusing the subject in the eye of an artist that expresses a vision, not only the scene. That’s the reason; the creation must be beyond the literal presentation. It should have an artistic vision, technique, and artist statement to clarify what the picture describes. In this case, finding the subject and working out the techniques are important to start with.
Top Fine Art Photographers: Aaron Sehmar, Gina Vasquez, Sarah Ann Loreth, Willemijn Louws.
Photo Credit: Barry Yanowitz
Fireworks photography is something interesting that captures beautiful fireworks images at night beyond the traditional approaches. Without having proper skills and tricks, it may hamper the photoshoots and bring blurry pictures. A camera with a wide-angle lens and a tripod is essential in this type of photography. Some other special factors to get the best outcome are likely using a remote release, selecting the right aperture and focal length, etc. Executing the captions at the right moment is also crucial as you won’t get enough time there.
Top Fireworks Photographers: Antonio Gabola, Barry Yanowitz, Evelyn Paris, Jack Patrick.
Photo Credit: Benjamin MacMaster
In the present time, many people think film photography dead as it’s the era of digital photography. But, still some photographers keep it alive with the charm and aesthetic of the film. The biggest advantage of this type is the learning opportunity to build your career in the most professional way. It lets you know the camera inside and out, lightings, and many challenging parts that come first than digital photography. And, it gives you a different look that resembles your artwork from others.
Top Film Photographers: Benjamin MacMaster, Rosie Matheson, Niklas Porter, Zhamak Fullad.
Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga
It sounds interesting to hear- ‘fish-eye’ which was first heard in 1906 from a physicist, Robert W. Wood. It expresses the look of a fish from inside a goldfish bowl. Since then, it becomes popular and many photographers love to take this kind of shot using a fish-eye lens. The captions look close to the subject and the view varies between 100-180 degrees. You can practice fish-eye photography in concerts, tight spots, wedding receptions, and selfies.
Top Fish-Eye Photographers: Andrew Cooney, John Martinez Pavliga, Karim Nafatni, Imantas Boiko.
Photo Credit: Isabella Cassini
Food photography has got huge popularity in recent phenomena. It’s all about food and related scenes along with its ingredients. The photos are used in different media likely blogs, advertisements, magazines, restaurant menus, and cookbooks. This is among the types of photography where you need to focus on creating bright images maintaining shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. Back & side lighting, angles, and styles are also crucial to have attractive images of food items.
Top Food Photographers: Jennifer Pallian, Isabella Cassini, Skyler Burt, Ira Leoni.
Photo Credit: Jim Boyrer
Have you heard about manipulating the perspective of photography shots? Well! Forced perspective photography refers to a special technique that forces viewers to see the subject from a different angle through optical illusions. That’s how it appears bigger, smaller, closer, or something else that looks interesting. As a beginner, you may try this photography technique anywhere with any object you see.
Top Forced Perspective Photographers: Alan Travers, John Hurson, Jim Boyrer, Rachael Westergard.
Glamour photography captures the beauty that is sometimes similar to portrait and boudoir photography. You may have seen this genre in many international magazines and posters. To work with this type of photography, you must be concerned about the elements that are related to the subject’s beauty. All in all, getting the proper physical attraction in the frame is a must in glamour photography.
Top Glamour Photographers: Gregorio Campos, Jason Guy, Lindsay Carlisle, Petrova Julian.
Photo Credit: Nils Hempel
Golden hour photography refers to the techniques of capturing moments between a particular time of sunrise and sunset. As it’s calculative, you must be aware of making the proper use of time to bring the characteristics of the golden hour into your images. Playing with flares and shadows can help you getting some mind-blowing shots in this case. No doubt, you will achieve amazing experiences.
Top Golden Hour Photographers: Cara Jourdan, Kayla Mendez, Nils Hempel, Ray Bilcliff.
Photo Credit: Peter Hurley
From corporate personnel to social media influencers, everyone needs headshots nowadays. This is a type of portrait that focuses on the face of the subject or model. It also includes the head and shoulders with a clear background. People from different industries like to use these captions for their professional and social media profiles along with business websites. Although it takes less time compared with portrait photography, it requires a strong foundation to have quality headshots.
Top Headshot Photographers: Dino Mosley, Peter Hurley, John Holloway, Kirill Kozlov.
Photo Credit: Klaus Herrmann
Once again, HDR photography comes with a special photography genre that captures photos in high dynamic ranges at different exposures. In other words, it’s the technique to create a picture blended from multiple images using advanced post-processing methods. You may try a camera that includes HDR features to make it done with less complexity. As it needs technical experience to capture in HDR mode, photographers must practice more to get the best shots.
Top HDR Photographers: Alan Fullmer, Klaus Herrmann, Matty Wolin, Peter Talke.
Photo Credit: Gina Smith
Holiday photography defines the niche that deals with taking photographs of yours or with your family and friends in different places where people go for a vacation. In other words, it’s also about capturing sweet moments of various occasions with your dear ones. It can be on Christmas, New Year, Family Vacation, or any other times. As thousands of people go on holiday each year, this photography has a great demand along with other genres of photography.
Top Holiday Photographers: Chelsea Kyle, Gina Smith, Noppharat Nama, Pia Riverola.
Photo Credit: Hanna Polczynska
The technique that captures inside the home or a studio refers to Indoor photography. In this type, photographers must have control of camera settings and lightings to get great photos. This is also similar to interior photography where the elements inside a particular place are captured beautifully using natural or artificial light. It requires expertise in taking scenes from different light sources and conditions
Top Indoor Photographers: Hanna Polczynska, Tim Kiukas, Slim Aaron, William Waldron.
Photo Credit: Jose Carlo Reyes
Infrared photography refers to the method by which it shots the invisible world through infrared light or technology. It uses the wavelengths between 700 nm to 900 nm that are beyond the range of the human eye. This special type has got popularity after being introduced to digital photography. To achieve the best quality, in this case, it may require post-processing activities.
Top Infrared Photographers: Bruna Marchioro, David A. Evans, Musin Yohan, Jose Carlo Reyes.
Photo Credit: Tim Simpson
Kinetic photography is another kind of artistic photography that brings awesomeness with the movement of the camera during an exposure. It’s really exciting to learn for beginners. Photographers must be creative and familiar with the camera’s shutter speed, exposure times, and ICM concept. Besides these, they should have a strong understanding of ICM equipment likely filters, tripod, and wide-angle lens to have better shots in Kinetic photography.
Top Kinetic Photographers: Paul Nicklen, Sebastião Salgado, Thomas Quine, Tim Simpson.
Photo Credit: Charlie Waite
Are you obsessed with nature and its beauty? Then, Landscape photography comes with a lot of opportunities for you. It’s among the types of photography that focuses on outdoor objects likely lakes, rivers, gardens, farmlands, deserts, and many other natural views on different seasons. Using of sunsets and moonlight can bring some amazing professional pictures of nature in this genre. To do so, you must take the necessary photography gear to make the photoshoot properly.
Top Landscape Photographers: Charlie Waite, Max Rive, Ted Gore, Valda Bailey.
Photo Credit: Pieter Wolfaardt
It’s all about exploring the people and their livings in real life. Lifestyle photography is similar or close to some other genres likely photojournalism, documentary, and family photography. It can be used either for personal or commercial purposes. As a photographer, you may give the directions or take in natural modes to get the best shots.
Top Lifestyle Photographers: Amber Schoniwitz, Becca Baker, Pieter Wolfaardt, Mandy Scholten.
Photo Credit: Besim Ibrahimi
This is another popular technique in photography that focuses on the effect of passing time. It’s also recognized as slow-shutter photography where shutter speed is the most crucial part and differs from conventional photography methods.
To start with this genre, you may need a tripod, digital camera, shutter release, and ND filters. Photographing in RAW can be also helpful as it will help to bring more accuracy in the post-processing activities.
Top Long Exposure Photographers: Besim Ibrahimi, Lucas Zimmermann, Matthew Feng, Viktor Varga.
Photo Credit: Ajo Blanco
Macro photography is among the best types of photography in which tiny subjects are captured and showed on a larger scale than its original ratio. The subjects can be flowers, insects, water drops, eyes, toys, jewelry, or any other things around you. To work in this field, you must have specialized lenses, understanding of the depth of field & lighting along with the necessary photography gear. But no doubt, it will be an amazing experience for the beginners as well as for amateurs.
Top Macro Photographers: Darren Gentle, Fatima Al Musawi, Gerald Donovan, Sarah Marcello.
Photo Credit: Luke Peterson
Once again, we come with a creative technique, Milky Way photography that captures the Milky Way in the night sky. As it focuses on capturing low light conditions, photographers must gain experience with exposure and camera settings, especially with wide-angle lenses. Also, you may have to take the assistance of image experts as a part of post-processing to enhance the quality.
Top Milky Way Photographers: Giulio Cobianchi, Luke Peterson, Nicholas Roemmelt, Stefan Liebermann.
Photo Credit: Annie Frost
Minimalist photography refers to the technique where photographers use the necessary visual elements, including color, shapes, textures, etc. in a minimal way. In general, it captures the natural scenes to focus the beauty in photography. A minimal picture is clean and simple in nature but able to express the concept clearly. In this case, understanding the composition, negative space, contrast and texture can help you out to bring the real artistic look in this photography.
Top Minimalist Photographers: Annie Frost, Dennis Schoof, Patricia Romero, Yane Naumoski.
The photoshoots that are taken using smartphones are defined as mobile photography. This is no doubt the most popular and comfortable in modern times in terms of availability, portability, and cost. The most advantage of this genre is that you can work with any type of photography, anytime, and from anywhere. There are lots of inspiring creations using smartphones on social media and professional websites you can see.
Top Mobile Photographers: Benedicte Guillon, Matt Louder, Robert-Paul Jansen, Zuka Kotrikadze.
Photo Credit: Loh Kooi Chin
It’s all about photographing newborn babies with or without parents. This type of photography requires an extra priority and safety of the subjects besides taking care of the poses. Photos can be taken when the baby is awake or asleep. Both look great if the positions and lighting are properly set up. The best thing comes up in newborn photography when the shots are taken naturally.
Top Newborn Photographers: Jolia Stern, Loh Kooi Chin, Tricia McLelland, Victoria Kuzilova.
Photo Credit: Mark Teasdale
Night photography deals with the technique of taking pictures in low light conditions at nighttime. As per the condition of this photography, one of our points mentioned above, Milky Way photography can also be put in this genre.
In this case, photographers must be familiar with camera settings in low light, photography gear, and manual focus. Using some creative effects can be awesome to have cool photographs at nighttime.
Top Night Photographers: Amanda Friedman, Jose Maria Cuellar, Kirk Marshall, Mark Teasdale.
Photo Credit: Adam Swindells
Pet photography has been a popular category among the areas of photography in present times for pet lovers. Photographers love to focus images of cats, dogs, birds, horses, etc. in portrait manners.
It needs special expertise and patience along with proper camera settings to take perfect pet shots. You may try with their favorite poses, environments, toys, and humans to have the best captions with less complexity.
Best Pet Photographers: Adam Swindells, Elke Vogelsang, Pössl Isabell, Sarah Beth.
Photo Credit: Marie Frost
Photojournalism is one of the most popular and demanding forms of photography that tells the story of news through its images. There are different categories of photojournalism in which the creations are mostly used in daily newspapers, magazines, and other platforms as well. It needs to maintain some rural and global rules and regulations along with ethical standards. As a professional, you have the opportunity to work with any news agency or to start a freelance job independently.
Top Photojournalists: Gabriele Galimberti, Marie Frost, Osman Orsal, Peter van Agtmael.
Photo Credit: Francesco Ridolfi
Product photography is another popular form of photography, especially in the eCommerce sector. It’s about capturing products or services for advertising purposes. As images are the most influential and crucial parts in getting a better result in business, it has great importance. Also, it has some important guidelines to follow. Photographers must bring the necessary equipment and create the environment before starting the photoshoot. Choosing the proper background is another factor to be considered in this genre.
Top Product Photographers: Anait Sagoyan, Francesco Ridolfi, Nadav Kander, Timothy Hogan.
Photo Credit: James Rushforth
This type deals with photographing sports and all the things related to this event. Sports photography requires a lot of patience and practice to have the most natural photos. In other words, it’s among the types of Photojournalism that are used in sports magazines, newspapers, and other media. Also, many international brands use photographs to make the advertisement of their products globally.
Top Sports Photographers: James Rushforth, Lucas Gilman, Russell Ord, Steven Wohlwender.
Photo Credit: Linda Wisdom
Street photography comes with the technique of capturing real-life scenes on the street. It involves different photography styles, including architecture, documentary, portraiture, and urban photography. Because of its different styles of taking pictures, it’s one of the most challenging parts of the photography area. Achieving a clearly defined subject that tells the story is complex enough and it needs patience and hard work to gain.
Top Street Photographers: Bruce Gilden, Paola Franqui, Linda Wisdom, Martha Cooper.
In the list of photography, let’s introduce the most challenging and risky genre- War photography, which is ultimately a subsection of photojournalism and documentary photography. There are many photographers around the world who have been working as war photographers for years to bring the most authentic news to the common people. It needs some special arrangements along with the common tools to get the best captions keeping the maximum protection and security.
Top War Photographers: Charles Kerlee, Denis Sinyakov, Moises Saman, Ron Haviv.
Photo Credit: Fabio Mirulla
Among the different popular fields of photography, Wedding photography comes with the process of capturing the most valuable and memorable moments of a human being, including engagement, wedding reception ceremony, honeymoon, etc. You can also relate this genre with family, candid, portrait, event, and commercial photography. So, it will help photographers learning various types at a time.
Top Wedding Photographers: Allan Zepeda, Fabio Mirulla, Robert Lawler, Sophia Carey.
Photo Credit: Connor Stefanison
If you love to capture both natural beauty and animals, wildlife photography can be a good choice for you. It’s one of the important photography disciplines that deal with capturing animals. This type has some challenges in framing the subjects. You will need technical skills and special photography gear to shoot wildlife. Also, photographers must be aware of taking safety equipment.
Top Wildlife Photographers: Connor Stefanison, Martin Bailey, Nick Brandt, Stefano Unterthiner.
So, you got a comprehensive list of various types of photography. As a beginner, it will help to get an overview before choosing a suitable genre. No doubt, there are many criteria to be considered to start as a professional photographer. Apart from the technical skills, it requires patience, dedication, and hard work to achieve the goal. Also, you must have expertise in photography post-production services to scale up the quality.
Then, don’t forget to create a portfolio with the best creations to showcase your talents. Hopefully, it will be a good start in the journey of your photography career globally.