Types of Photography: A Complete List Of Photography Genres

In this post, we take a look at different types of photography that are popular today. Perhaps it will inspire you to try some of these genres. It’s always a good idea to step out of our comfort zones and try new things to grow our skills as a photographer.

Types of Photography

1. Abstract Photography

Abstract Photography

Abstract photography is a creative form of expression that lets the photographer communicate his ideas with no established rule of composition or technique. It’s often a deconstructed scene where an object is shown in a different concept or context.

Architecture, nature, and landscapes are often used to create abstract photographs.

2. Architecture Photography

Architecture Photography

Architecture photography involves capturing images of buildings, structures, and landmarks. It can be a lucrative business and many professional photographers make a decent living from it. They work with architects, builders, and interior designers.

Related Article: Photography Pricing Guide

3. Astrophotography

a photo of a milky way over a mountain range

If you are an astrophotographer, your subjects are celestial objects!

Astrophotography requires planning, location scouting, patience, and preferrably time-lapse photography knowledge.

4. Baby/Newborn Portrait Photography

Baby/Newborn Portrait Photography

Who doesn’t want professional portraits of their newborn!

Photographers who choose to do newborn photography need to obviously have a knack with young children and possess patience.

5. Black & White Photography

A Black & White Photograph
Tunnel View scenes in black and white

It used to be that we had to load a roll of black & white OR a color film into our cameras. Now we can choose to shoot color or black & white straight from our digital cameras. However, we recommend that you shoot in RAW and later convert to black and white in post-processing.

Related Article: Best film cameras

6. Boudoir Photography

A women posing for a Boudoir Photograph

Boudoir photography is becoming popular beause clients enjoy offering sensual portraits to their partners or as a way to boost their self confidence.

7. Commercial/Product Photography

A product photography of a latest BMW model.

Practically every product advertisement that we see today has photos that were most probably shot by a commercial photographer. Brands hire professional commercial product photographers to enhance their product appeal.

8. Concert Photography

A singer playing in a concert

Concert photography is an exciting way to capture moments and emotions from a live performance.

9. Documentary Photography

A man on a wishing boat taken from above.

Documentary photographers travel to capture events and build stories with the images. These photographers heavily research a story and capture the images that reflect the context.

Here’s an interview we did with documentary photographer GMB Akash from Dhaka, Bangladesh whose work has won many awards.

10. Double Exposure Photography

an example of a Double Exposure Photograph

This is a creative way to get unique images by superimposing two images together.

11. Drone/Aerial Photography

A drone photograph of  a shore line.

Drones have become popular and affordable in the past few years. Anyone can now purchase their own unmanned flying vehicle and take amazing aerial photographs.

Check drone regulations before you fly your drone. Some countries/cities now require registration and permits to fly drones.

12. Editorial Photography

A photo of a collection of magazines showing editorial photos in covers

Photographers get commissioned to do editorial photography for magazines and newspapers to accompany articles. Editorial photographers need to be versatile and knowledgeable in subject matter and stay up to date on newsworthy events.

13. Event Photography

A photo that says happy birthday

The event photography business is booming in recent years. From birthday parties to bachelorettes, people love capturing memories of their life events.

14. Fashion Photography

a model posing while sitting on steps.

Fashion photographers photograph models, apparel, and accessories for the fashion industry. These photos are then used for marketing and branding purposes.

Fashion photographers need to have studio lighting knowledge and often works with stylists.

15. Fine Art Photography

a fine art photograph of an island covered in  clouds in the sea.
Silence in the Fog – Sandra Roussy

Fine art photography captures the photographer’s personal vision about a subject.

16. Food/Restaurant Photography

A decorated food photograph
Restaurant Almoraduz, Mexico – Sandra Roussy

Food photography has become a lucrative business for photographers who work with restaurant and food industry professionals.

17. Photojournalism

A man selling street food in a busy motorway

Photojournalism is not to be confused with documentary photography. Photojournalists cover recent events that are news worthy.

Every year photojournalists globally are celebrated through the World Press Photo Awards that showcase some of the best images in the industry.

18. Landscape Photography

A sunrise landscape photo
San José del Pacifico sunset, Oaxaca, Mexico – Sandra Roussy

The world is a beautiful place. Landscape photography is all about capturing the scenic view of those beautifull landscapes.

Here is a list of popular landscape photographers to get your creative juices flowing.

19. Lifestyle Photography

a photo of a man facing the sea with a surfboard in hand.

Lifestyle photography is about capturing the daily life of subjects while they do what they do. These photos tell stories of people in an authentic way.

Lifestyle photographers possess people skills and enjoy interacting with their subjects.

20. Light Painting Photography

A person light painting the word "LOVE" with a blue light.

Light painting photography is a fun way to create unique and interesting images. It involves capturing the movement of a light source through with long exposure.

21. Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure shot of a waterfall
A milky water effect on this waterfall is made possible by using long exposure.

In photography, long exposure is used to achieve motion blur. You can use this technique for things like, smooth out moving water, ghosting people who are walking in your frame…etc. It helps you capture a sense of motion.

A tripod is absolutely necessary when doing long exposure photography. this is because the shutter speed is considerably lowered in order to achieve the effect.

22. Macro Photography

A macro photograph of a snowflake.

Macro photography is about taking extremely close-up photographs of the subjects. A life-size zoom on insects, flowers, or snowflakes often create amazing work of art.

23. Maternity Photography

a maternity photo of a mom placing her hand on her growing belly.

Maternity photography has become very popular with expecting parents wanting to immortalize the moment before the baby is born and the changing body of the mom.

24. Pet Photography

a dog looking at the camera
Ranch dog – Sandra Roussy. Related article: 17 Dog Photography Tips

Everyone wants portraits taken of their beloved furry family members!

Obviously, the pet photographer needs to have a good way with animals and have props to keep the attention of the animals being photographed.

25. Portrait Photography

a woman looking through a window
Ocean – Sandra Roussy

Portrait photography is all about capturing humans and their emotions. In recent years professional portrait photography demand has boomed due to demand from professionals, models, and entertainment industry.

26. Real Estate Photography

a photo of a house interior.

Real estate photography is not to be mistaken for architecture photography. People hire real estate photographers when they want to rent or sell their property.

Related Article: Best lens for real estate photography

27. Silhouette Photography

Two children fishing with finish rods, captured in silhouette style
Fishing at sunset, Canada – Sandra Roussy

Silhouette photography captures subjects in backlighting which makes the subject’s features and details too dark to recognize. Only the figure and shape of the subject is visible. If you aspire to take stunning silhouette photography, master your camera’s metering modes.

28. Sports/Action Photography

A group of cyclists on a race

Sport and action photography requires photographers to be patient and also quick on their feet. These images are used for journalism and sports event marketing.

29. Still Life Photography

Tea Leaves – Sandra Roussy

Still life photography is taking photos of inanimate objects in a creative context. It can be a candid shot or a styled set-up with one or several objects.

30. Stock Photography

A photo of two men writing on a pad with laptops next to them

Stock photography is where photographers take photos of various types of photography and make them available for purchase at stock photography sites. These are not limited to a specific genre of photography.

Related Article: Best stock photography sites

Photographers then upload these photos to a website like Getty Images or Shutterstock. Photographers get royalties every time someone purchases a photo.

31. Street Photography

people walking on a terminal

Street photography is all about capturing life, emotions, and people on the streets. For inspiration, please have a look at the work of these 10 best street photographers.

32. Surreal Photography

A blue painted orange that is cut in half

Surreal photography is a creative way to twist perspectives and realities. It involves creating a scene or a world that is not real but rather a vision of the photographer.

33. Travel Photography

A women in bright white and blue color dress in mexico
Travel to Oaxaca City – Sandra Roussy

Capturing a place through its architecture, food, people, and unique culture is travel photography. From social media to print magazines, there is a boom in travel photography due to people’s interest in traveling to exotic locations.

34. Underwater Photography

A turtle swimming in the sea

Underwater photographers usually have diving certificates, special cameras, and water-resistant equipment. They take amazing images of underwater scenery and marine life that most people will never get to experience personally.

Every year a panel of judges reviews photos and rewards the Underwater Photographer of the Year title.

35. Wedding Photography

A bride holding a bokeh of flowers
Wedding N&M – Sandra Roussy

A wedding photographer specialize in immortalizing the moments during the big day for couples. They often offer very detailed packages outlining what they will be doing during the big day and how many edited photos will be provided.

Related Article: Best Wedding Poses

36. Wildlife Photography

Marine Iguana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – Sandra Roussy

Wildlife photographers are passionate about nature and animals. They capture wildlife in their natural habitats and usually rely on zoom lenses so as not to disturb the animals.

The yearly competition International Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards wildlife photographers and recognizes their dedicated work.

37. Interior Photography

Interior photography involves capturing the beauty of interior spaces. Interior photographers work closely with stagers, interior designers, and even real estate brokers.

38. Family Photography

Family photography is all about capturing family moments and preserving them forever. Everyone likes to look back at times and cherish and re-live those moments of their first baby, birthdays, grandparents… the list goes on. Family photo may sound similar to lifestyle or portrait photography. But there is a lot more involved in capturing family connections and memories.

Related Article: Family Photography Tips

mom and two boys posing for a family photography session.
Family photography is all about capturing those connections and preserving memories.

38. Stock Photography

Stock photography refers to photos that are made available to clients for a licensing fee or free of charge. They can be in any genre of photography and are used by clients for marketing, web sites, news articles…etc.

There are many stock photography sites where photographers can sell photos online. Most of them also publish what niche and subjects are in high demand by their clients. You can also make your stock photography available for free on sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. The idea is to get exposure while giving your images for free.

Stock photography is a great way to make extra income from your photos.

Which one is your favorite?

We hope this list has inspired you to master a niche and become a photographer. Please let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed a photography genre. You can also let us know your favorite genre with a sample photo too!

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About the author

Sandra Roussy

Sandra is a published author and professional photographer presently living in the South of Mexico. She writes about photography, design, architecture, travel, food, lifestyles, and events. She also offers unique photo tours through some of the most interesting places in Mexico.

​Can be seen in Fodor's Travel, Bite Magazine, Digital Photography School, and the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It.

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