9 Photography Styles Explained
Need help understanding the different photography styles? Understanding the different photography styles will help you select a photography type to pursue and build a strong career in it.
erpbyalyson.com gathered the following information on 9 popular photography styles to help you determine which one(s) to adopt and perfect.
1. Landscape Photography
A landscape photographer captures nature photos with a focus on landscapes. In landscape photography, you use a camera to capture a natural scene or an image of the environment around you. For this photography style, you work on location, so depending on the desired images and landscape, you may be required to travel.
Note: Piers, railroads, trails, and other leading lines create compelling landscape images. Wide and super-wide angle lenses emphasize large landscapes and leading lines.
2. Wildlife Photography
Wildlife photography is a photography style that records the life of animals in their natural habitat, like in a forest or underwater. Wildlife photography often constitutes the images of animals and creatures in movement while eating, fighting, running, or in flight.
Note: This photography style can record the in-depth details of an animal’s appearance or its presence within its environment. As an aspiring wildlife photographer, you should have deep knowledge of an animal’s behavior, habitat, and physical features.
3. Sports / Action Photography
Sports photography covers any sport or sporting event, capturing a game’s action and the players behind the scenes. This type of photography typically promotes brands, the players, and the sport.
Note: Sports photographers typically work for newspapers, magazines, and websites to bring event photos (of all sports) to periodicals, the Internet, or other publications.
4. Portrait Photography
Portrait photography is a well-known and popular photography style. This photography type captures a person’s personality, identity, soul, and emotions by using the background atmosphere, poses, and lighting.
Note: Portrait photographs usually have a shallow depth of field, meaning the background is slightly out of focus while the subject is captured sharply in focus.
5. Wedding Photography
Wedding photographers are charged with capturing memories for brides and grooms, creating a photographic narrative of a wedding’s timeline. They will take action shots of pre-ceremony preparations, the ceremony, and the reception. They also capture the bride, groom, wedding party, and family members in candid and posed shots.
Note: Candid and documentary-style photographs are among the most memorable images, which is why most wedding photographers adopt a photojournalistic style. These photographers treat a wedding day like a feature or news story.
See the following link for further reading about wedding planning and photography.
6. Event Photography
Event photography is the art of capturing high-quality images during various important occasions (weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, galas, award ceremonies, and music festivals).
Note: While you need to capture some environmental shots, the photographs of people at these events are the stars of the shoot. To capture a good photograph of people, you need good/happy expressions.
7. Fashion Photography
Fashion photography showcases and glamorizes fashion clothing, accessories, and footwear, to make them more marketable to consumers. These shots are commonly published in magazines and online. People choose this niche over other photography styles because of the opportunity to be creative in making photographs eye-catching and appealing.
Fashion photographers take full body shots and work in many locations worldwide, from fashion shows to studios with lighting setups, city streets, and open fields. Fashion photographers employ many of the same skills as portrait photographers. They must practice good teamwork and communication when working with editors, stylists, creative directors, models, and other fashion professionals.
Note: For this photography style, you must have artistic ability, excellent manual dexterity, good eyesight, and excellent color vision.
8. Architectural Photography
Architectural photography involves capturing a building’s design and accurate representation to make the shots aesthetically pleasing to the viewer’s eye.
Note: Architects know the importance of lines and shapes like good architectural photographers. Watch for horizontal, diagonal, or vertical lines that move the eye through your image. Leading lines can point to a structure and naturally draw attention to the subject.
Photojournalism helps tell a story about a newsworthy or potentially historical event or scene using photographs. Photojournalism needs to be as objective and truthful as possible while capturing candid moments as they happen. Generally, photojournalists attend planned events to capture unplanned or unscripted moments. Photojournalistic work is routinely published in magazines and newspapers.
Note: Good photojournalists must be comfortable behind a camera and highly skilled with image-editing software. This photography style requires intuition for knowing where a story is and when one is about to emerge (moments before focusing the camera).
BONUS: Editorial Photography
Editorial photography illustrates a story or article, typically for a magazine, newspaper, or other publication. Editorial photography subjects can vary and are entirely dependent on the accompanying text’s topic. Generally, for editorial photography, you’ll want to capture images that work for multiple layouts, including horizontal and vertical compositions. You may work closely with writers and art directors as an editorial photographer.
Note: Invest time getting to know the story’s direction, vision, and detail so you can develop a photographic concept that supports the story.
Types of Photography
In this article, you discovered definitions and information for 9 photography styles to help you clearly determine your career path as a photographer.
Knowing the stark and sometimes subtle differences between photography styles will leave you experimenting with the various photography styles, helping expand your skill set and motivating you to specialize in one or two types of photography.
Not knowing the photography styles differ may be a disasdvantage when presenting your photography portfolio and capabilities.