It starts simple, you buy a camera and start taking pictures: scenery, people, animals, insects, nature, etc. There is a vast range of subjects and photography types you can shoot.
Styles in photography you should know about:
I will start with this type because it is one of the oldest, maybe the most, former photography styles. I imagine that when they created the first camera, they wanted to capture people’s faces. So portraiture is a photo in which you catch one or more persons, usually from a close angle.
This is a great and fantastic style because you can capture feelings, moods, and reactions. You heard about that photo that says more than a thousand words.
As the name says, it is about capturing for eternity the lovely little ones and make fun of them later.
It reveals a peaceful atmosphere; the subjects are calm and relaxed. It is showing the relationship between the people, their moods, and feelings.
So who does not want to immortalize that moment when two lovers became family, and from that moment on, everything changes? This is good though, assuming that the beloved wife is the only person in your whole life you got to go ”there”, you for sure can say you got two women in your life – one before marriage and a completely different one after.
But who am I to say that, just another one married man 🙂
These are beautiful images in the modern fashion world. All fashion companies use this photography style in their magazines. It involves a lot of hard work for artists and models.
The landscape photographer is drawing our attention to the prominent places of our planet, the beauty of nature we may miss or never meet. Combined with seasons, weather conditions, exposure, and chosen daytime, it goes to amazing results.
It is about shooting houses or flats for those photographers working with real estate, for example.
It is also about historic buildings and their details. It is about capturing the beauty of architecture for different scopes, taking pictures both indoor and outdoor.
All restaurants, fast food places, cafes need advertising. This is why it is a must that photos with their foods look very appealing.
You can read more on my full post about food photography
This is one of the most challenging photography types – underwater photography. It requires waterproof cameras, lighting, in one word – equipment.
Models and artists need to know what they are doing. These photos are most unusual and sensual because of the slow water movement and the light effects and reflection.
High dynamic range photography is bright and colorful. This is a combination of three or more photos taken with different lighting, contrast, and saturation.
You can do that in programs like photoshop or shoot them directly with your camera if it is a new model that has that option. That reminds me of a funny situation, funny for me mostly.
I was shooting some architectural details using a tripod and a remote controller in HDR mode. Someone approached very surprisedly about the camera noise because it sounds like I was shooting continuously and at high speed, like in action mode.
I had to explain that my camera is shooting multiple images at different exposures, and after that, it combines them in a single picture.
This is fine; I am aware that he was a professional photographer. He was gripping to his old gear and lost contact with the top cameras.
Black and white photography
This is the oldest photography style, and it is imperative to have good knowledge of lighting and shadows. Textures and contrast are more substantial in black and white pictures.
Black and white photography can reveal emotions more intense than color by removing distractions from a portrait.
You can shoot them directly with your camera in black and white or convert them later in a program. Thanks to these programs, like Photoshop, for example, you can adjust and enhance your photo if not pleased with your initial result.
This style of photography shows the quick action of a person, animal, or object. Used in sports, car and bike races, wildlife, etc.
Motion photography is capturing a moment like, for example, the moment when the football player hits the ball with his head or the moment when your dog is running in water, capturing the water drops, the motion, and the happiness of your pet.
This is an exciting and sometimes hazardous type of photography, depending on what you’re shooting.
Wildlife photography involves a lot of traveling, working in different weather conditions, hunting the moment, and a lot of patience.
Still-life is about taking pictures of still objects which build a composition. You need to give the image a unique charm using your imagination and manipulate the picture.
This is going close to the subject and depends a lot on your ability to shoot from unusual angles.
The gear for macro photography is expensive if you want to go closer than the usual macro lens allows.
This is why a reverse ring is more affordable, and the quality is quite good. I recently wrote a post where you can find more details, if interested.
Night pictures can be very romantic. It can show the beauty of people surrounded in veils of darkness, can look pretty spectacular as the night sceneries with moonlight, stars and sea or mountains, forest and mist, a campfire, fireworks, etc.
Of course, it is needed a modern camera with the capability of night shooting. For excellent images, it will be recommended a professional one and a tripod.
It is about telling authentic stories about people and events.
Documentary photography can be compassionate as you go close to the person or the situation, which sometimes can be harmful. Or it can be funny or just entertaining, always depending on the subject.
Those are pictures that show traditions, culture, costumes, and ways of life in different countries and areas.
Travel photography, of course, involves traveling, which is always inspiring, and the range of subjects is always huge.
It is about presenting the day-by-day living of people around you. Spending some time on the streets, you’ll be able to capture amazing moments, feeling, moods, and situations.
Read more about street photography
All these being said, I hope I was covering most of the leading photography styles. Shooting for photos can be a job, but it also can be a pleasure.
Do not avoid putting some feeling into that; being professional does not necessarily mean being an artist. If you want the best results, you have to involve yourself with everything you got, including your feelings.
I hope you enjoyed this general presentation, and please comment below with any ideas you may have. I am always about learning new things, and we can do it better together.
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8 thoughts on “Photography types”
Thank you for this great post! I love to take pictures but unfortunately I am not very good at it. I have a decent camera but have a hard time taking live actions pics. From your post they are called “motion photos” They either come out blurry or out of focus. Any suggestions as to why this is? Do I need a better camera or is there a setting I can use to fix it? Thanks in advance
Hi Mike, there are three ways I know about to help you with fast movement subjects.
The easiest one is with camera presets, usually named action or sport. It is a menu named scenes where you can find this.
Another one is to set camera on shutter priority and choose the exposure like 1/250 or more for very fast action. Like, for example if you want to shoot rain drops I suggest 1/4000 or more. It will be noise, but hey .. it will be spectacular, isn’t it?
Photography is still a great way to convey a message, do you consider yourself a photographer? Enjoyed looking through the site, maybe ypo’d look through my site and comment , thanks in advanced.
Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. I can tell you that some people consider me a photographer and other don’t. I only can let them to decide that, in the mean time I am doing what I like most – marketing and photography
Hi. Great article with great pictures. I laughed at your story of the photographer clinging to his old technology. Why do this when so much can be achieved with new technology. I love macro, nightlife, and street shots the best. I look forward to reading more on your site. Kind regards,
Though he is a great photographer. It was funny for me that I was looking silly to him, but honestly the great gear will never make anyone a great photographer. He is so much more over me, just thinking about his experience. Anyway I am glad you enjoy it… Cheers
I have been taking pictures for many years. I try to leave people out of my photos for some reason.
I like the nature, auto and traveling types of pictures.
I have thousands of pictures of classic cars, places around the world, flowers, bugs, birds and animals have been high on my list also.
Taking series of pictures from the same location over a period of time have lead to some videos. I took a picture every day from the first egg until the little on left the nest last year. Have you eve tried this before.
That’s amazing John, thanks for sharing. Great idea, I will consider trying that