Whether you see a billboard, pictures of friends on social media, or an advertising campaign, photography is everywhere. Visual content allows us to tell a story, to communicate with a viewer, and cause emotions.
For those of you who are hoping to build a photography career, you need to know different styles of photography to choose the one you like. You can try them all and then make your decision, and some styles even combine a few photography styles.
In this article, we will go over 32 photography types that will help you to learn more about each of them. We hope this collection will inspire you to go out and try at least one style yourself.
1. Fashion Photography
Fashion photography is a glamorous niche that is quite complicated to enter. From capturing the latest fashion shows on the runway to covers of top Vogue magazines, fashion photography is a lifestyle.
You need to know how to work with a model one-on-one and how to choose a location whether it’s a studio or a tropical beach. A photographer is just a part of the group who works on the scene for publication along with hairstylists, makeup artists, and artistic directors.
2. Event Photography
Event photography is dynamic and fast-changing type of job. One day you may need to shoot a corporate party and the next day, you may need to be at a rock concert. This style is all about photographing guests and scenarios of different occasions.
Event photography is a combination of photojournalism with portraits and includes everything from photographing parties, weddings, press releases, carnivals, concerts, and many other events with groups of people.
3. Food Photography
With the popularity of social media, everyone can make themselves feel like they are a food photographer these days. Food photography is part of still life photography. In this style, you need to focus on food, styling, ingredients, drinks, and other food-related things.
This type of photographer can be useful for cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, food blogs, and product websites. With photography, you need to sell food to customers, so it should look amazing, mouthwatering, and tasty. However, the key element of any stunning food photo is to know how to light the scene properly.
4. Documentary Photography
Documentary photography is about storytelling. This is the art of telling a story with a picture of war, social events, science and so forth. The main task of documentary photography is to chronologically capture significant events, such as the life of a celebrity or a sportsman.
You need to capture emotion with your photos while also showing the event through your lens.
“Documentary” means that all events happen naturally, so you should showcase these events to the world. Think about the big picture, but don’t forget about the details. Details always help a photographer tell a story of how it was.
5. Wedding Photography
Wedding photography is a type of event photography. Many people go throughout their lives without buying photo sessions for themselves, but almost every couple hires a photographer for their wedding. Being a wedding photographer requires some portraiture and event photography skills mastering many settings. This style is quite intense because events unfold very quickly at weddings.
You should be flexible and shoot outdoor portraits and indoor dancing in low light on the same day. Moreover, couples expect the direction for style and posing from a photographer that requires patience and a love of people.
6. Landscape Photography
Landscape photography is another popular style where a photographer captures nature scenery or environment changes. Landscape photography requires waiting for proper lighting conditions and the use of a tripod. Tip: using long shutter speed while shooting water can give you amazing results.
Being a landscape photographer means getting up late at night before sunset and going to the location in the dark and cold to capture the first rays of the sun. All landscape photographers dream to be featured in National Geographic, what about you?
7. Still Life Photography
Still-life is a type of photography that enables you to create a scene with different objects and capture it; it could be anything from jewelry to even food!
Still-life is a creative and vibrant niche that allows you to make money on stock sites or as a freelance product photographer. You don’t need an expensive studio, just a table and a window with natural light, and a creative mindset to come up with ideas for interesting subjects or concepts to capture in your still-life photos.
8. Portrait Photography
This is one of the most common types of photography that many beginners consider as a career option. Capturing people’s expressions is a fun job to do. A portrait could be a close-up shot or a full body photo. You should ensure that the person’s face is sharp.
Many portrait photographers focus on the eyes, and poses for this photography style should be flattering. When working with people, you need to make them show different emotions depending on the goals of the photo session.
For portrait photography, a mid-range lens covering 50-100mm is a must. Most head-shot portraits are taken at around 85mm. When your photo session is over, you should take some time to post-process your shots. People want to look great in portraits. Sometimes this requires you to retouch the portrait a bit, to make your subject look their best.
9. Sports Photography
Being a sports photographer is a perfect gig for people who love sports. From the sidelines, sports photographers use long lenses and quick camera settings to capture fast-paced actions. The photos can then be used in sports magazines, blogs, and advertising.
Today, an entry-level telephoto lens costs over $200, but in this profession, a high-quality telephoto lens is a must. This is because you can’t go on the field while soccer players are practicing or playing – you can only capture them from the side.
10. Wildlife Photography
Another great and rewarding photography niche is wildlife where your goal is to capture wild animals in natural surroundings. It requires you to update the lens similar to sports photography and follow a lot of safety measures.
Not everyone can be a wildlife photographer, which is why clients are willing to pay good money for this type of photography, but if you are among the best of the best. Most wildlife photographers struggle to get assignments or sell their photos.
11. Fine Art Photography
Fine art photography is definitely a form of art. The works of fine art photographers are even featured in galleries and bought on canvases.
As a fine art photographer, you can take images of anything, from people to streets, but you need to bring about emotions with your image(s). This style of photography is all about ideas and the message you want to convey.
12. Street Photography
For those of you who take your cameras everywhere you go, street photography is a flattering niche. Street photography allows you to capture unexpected events on the streets as they unfold, capturing everyday life in public spaces. This style includes real-life scenes of the streets and portraits of the people there.
Don’t go for popular places, but instead look for hidden spots to capture ordinary life. You can take photos of graffiti, people, vendors, street food. Many street photographers have a love for showing their work as black and white photos.
This type of photography is similar to documentary style, but is not to be confused with street photography. The goal of a photojournalist is to capture events in real time and let the world know about them.
You can see examples of photojournalism in magazines and newspapers as all images of the events and people created for news are photojournalism.
14. Macro Photography
The devil is in the details and macro photographers know this. Macro photography is about capturing objects from new perspectives as if they are bigger.
15. Newborn Photography
Newborn or baby photography is the same as portrait photography, but with some special challenges. For example, newborns are very fragile and their eyes are sensitive to light, and babies’ moods can be unexpected, bringing chaos to your photo sessions.
Despite this, it is also a rewarding experience. Regardless, you need to have proper equipment for newborn photography, studio, and props.
16. Architectural Photography
Taking pictures of beautiful buildings may be hobby for many people, but some photographers make career out of it.
Often employed by building companies and real estate agencies, these photographers shoot buildings from inception to completion. Attention to details, interior, and exteriors are important for this type of photography.
17. Black and White Photography
Black and white photography could be any other style, but with monochrome colors. You can convert any image you have using post-processing software.
18. Abstract Photography
Abstract or conceptual photography includes images that don’t give you instant association. Any object could become a subject for abstract photography depending on the way you capture it, so it takes imagination and creativity to take abstract photos.
19. Commercial Photography
Commercial photography covers all photos that are aimed to sell a product, including advertising and stock photos. As a commercial photographer, you need to know how to photograph people, still lifes, and landscapes.
The most challenging part is creating an image that causes specific emotions and shares a particular message.
20. Underwater Photography
Even if you live in a location near the sea or ocean, underwater photography is a complicated style of photography. It not only requires a waterproof camera but also good lighting equipment.
Furthermore, you need special training for longer dives or scuba gear to be underwater for an extended amount of time.
21. Aerial Photography
Aerial photography is a modern style supported by technology. Of course, this type of photography exists as long as people fly on airplanes and helicopters, but it is much easier to start aerial photography with a drone today.
In the USA and many other countries, drones are banned and you need to have a commercial license to shoot.
22. Stock Photography
Stock photography is another modern niche that has grown exponentially for freelance photographers. With this style, your goal is to shoot images that you can sell later on stock websites.
These images can then be used for blogs, magazines, websites, and other purposes. It could be a great source of passive income as you can take a bunch of different photos once and then sell them.
23. Travel Photography
This photography style is an ideal option for people who love to travel and want to get paid for it. You can not only sell your travel photography on stock sites but also become a travel blogger, sharing travel experiences and tips with the world.
As a travel photographer, you are a wearer of many hats: you need to know how to capture portraits, lifestyle, food, wildlife, still lifes, and other styles.
24. Lifestyle Photography
Photography has never been in higher demand as it is today. We are surrounded by photography everywhere in magazines, on billboards, on the internet, and smartphones.
Lifestyle photography, or advertising photography, includes a range of styles from fashion to still life. You may shoot for editorials and social media.
25. Scientific Photography
Scientific photography covers everything from microscope photography to astrophotography. It’s about shooting technology, space stations, tiny bacteria, and so on. Show the world some new inventions with scientific photography.
26. Pet Photography
If you like animals, pet photography may be the best style for you. It is very similar to portrait photography in many aspects with one big difference – your subject is a furry friend. Pet photography involves indoor studio sessions as well as outdoor shooting.
You can even start your pet photography career in a local pet park! To capture pets, you should understand the light, convey the essence of your subject, and understand how to deal with fast-paced chaos.
27. Boudoir Photography
Boudoir photography is a style that features sensual, intimate, and sometimes erotic images of a subject. Usually, this type of photography is taken in studios or bedrooms in a private atmosphere. The goal of this style to show the beauty of the human body.
28. Minimalist Photography
Minimalist photography is a style where you try to capture minimum number of visual elements. This allows you the opportunity to experiment with textures, colors, and shapes to get an impressive image.
29. Mobile Photography
We all have smartphones these days and if you have ever taken a photo with your mobile, you could be considered a mobile photographer. It’s about taking pictures with your smartphone, which is great considering that the latest iPhone’s camera is pretty amazing!
You can shoot anything from landscape to macro. There are even stock websites and blogs for mobile photography on the web!
30. Night Photography
All photography taken at night could be referred to as night photography. You would need to use a tripod and long shutter speed to capture images in low light; however, some of the shots, such as light painting or night cityscape are worth the effort. Anything from a portrait to landscape photos could be taken at night.
31. War Photography
War photography is a very dangerous style since a photographer go to war areas to capture conflicts. You should not bother with many expensive lenses, so a war photographer’s kit is very small. Furthermore, the conditions in war areas could be unexpected and less equipment is essential.
32. Creative Photography
There are way more than 32 styles of photography, but some of them very similar. Creative photography is not a separate style, but rather, it is a style of taking and post-processing images.
Creative photography is all about using different effects, such as HDR, double-exposure, time-lapse, crystal ball photography, and more.
What Niche is Right for Me?
Now, you know 32 different styles of photography and what it takes to be a photographer for each one. It’s natural to try various styles before you find what kind of photography is yours. If you want to build a career as a photographer, you definitely need to choose one style and market yourself as a specific style photographer.