Types of Photography to Master for Photography Beginner
From the type of lens to the lighting of each shot, photography is a highly dynamic form of art that can easily be influenced depending on a photographer’s skill set and goal. Because of the highly malleable nature of photography, it has given rise to multiple genres or types, depending on the subject matter that a photographer chooses to focus on. If you’re a photography beginner of you’re a hobbyist who is trying to delve into a different photography type, this article may help you find the right one to master.
8 Different Photography Styles and Genres
Much like other visual art forms, photography can focus on various themes and subjects, which highly influences the genre that each photography practice falls on. Whether you’re a photographer who wants to document wildlife or you veer more on chronicling social events, you’ll get a broad understanding of how each photography type works.
Architectural photography refers to the type of photography that captures buildings and architectural works with a special focus on design and perspective. Architectural photography can be further divided into two types: exterior and interior. For the interior photography type, there’s a significant emphasis on spaces and lighting. Architectural photographers need to be knowledgeable on how to utilize both natural and artificial lighting to better capture the interiors.
As for exterior architectural photography type, you need to know the fine details of the buildings you’d want to shoot. You need to know which details you need to include in your frame and which ones to exclude to deliver breathtaking pictures of architectures, whether we’re talking about modern buildings or historic landmarks. One other crucial part of exterior photography is finding the best angles, such as shooting down from a spiral staircase or taking advantage of the parallel lines in a landscape view of a building.
You can find some examples of architectural photography from the Instagram pages of José Luis Sáez and The Architecture Photographer. José Luis Sáez primarily uses black and white photography to use silhouettes and shadows to highlight architectural details and curves, while The Architecture Photographer mainly focuses on lending monotonous buildings vibrant, eye-catching colors on a backdrop of neutral shades of blue to emphasize each building’s individual characteristics.
Nature and Wildlife Photography
Nature and wildlife photography is the type that focuses on animals in their most natural forms. In most cases, wildlife photographers utilize the biggest lenses to deliver up-close photographs of wild animals in their habitats, whether they’re hunting, on the lookout, or just lounging around. Because animals and nature are highly unpredictable, wildlife photographers need to be ready for all kinds of situations, whether they need to go into bodies of water or use camouflage techniques to avoid disrupting the natural behavior of the animal subjects they’re trying to photograph.
If you’re looking for nature photography pegs or inspirations, you can check out Will Burrard-Lucas’ website or the Flickr page of Nadav Berenstein. Will Burrard-Lucas is a proficient photographer with a focus on promoting nature conservation and documenting some of the rarest animals in the world. Aside from the high-quality and detailed photographs, Burrard-Lucas is able to capture the majesty of endangered creatures. As for Nadav Berenstein, he concentrates on capturing breathtaking natural landscapes and undisturbed sceneries from various countries around the world.
Are you keen on trying our social photography and capturing people, places, and events? Documentary photography is a type of photography that does just that. From chronicling everyday life to covering significant events, documentary photography aims to represent cultures and social landscapes from a truthful and unfiltered perspective. It is often used in news and reportage to document real-life situations and people.
Some of the most influential and unforgettable documentary photographers are Walker Evans and Don McCullin. Walker Evans is well-known for his documentation of the Great Depression, effectively capturing the struggles of families and households during one of the most difficult parts of history in the U.S. Similarly, Don McCullin focused on documenting the underside of society as well as war. From stark portraits of impoverished citizens to emotionally charged documentation of the effects of war on soldiers and civilians, Don McCullin can be recognized as one of the pillars of documentary photography.
Due to technological advancements, more and more people are able to capture scenes and landscapes from perspectives that humans have not been able to access without heavy machinery. With high-tech drones today, photographers are able to shoot captivating aerial photographs and find unique patterns in manmade architectures and natural landscapes. If you’re looking for examples of drone photography, you can check out the photography portfolio of Costas Spathis. His photographs range from surrealist scenes to magnificent drone shots that capture the unbelievable patterns of cities, such as Athens and Barcelona.
Portrait Photography is a type of photography that delves into capturing the personality, emotions, and attitude of an individual through focused techniques. While portrait photography is often used in studios and controlled settings, it may also be practiced outdoors so that photographers can take advantage of natural lighting and shadows. The practice of this photography type also highly varies depending on the photographer, with some choosing to direct their subjects’ poses while others rely on how their subjects naturally move or look.
Because portrait photography has been around for hundreds of years – even during the era of the daguerreotype camera – hundreds of portrait photographers have made their name in this photography genre. These include Angus McBean, who is popular for his “less polished” portraits of A-List Celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, and Annie Leibovitz, the most famous portrait photographer for the last 50 years. She has photographed almost all known celebrities in Hollywood, as well as historical figures. What makes her photographs striking is her composition and structure.
Sports photography is a photography genre that captures in-motion athletes and sportsmen during games, exercise, or warmups. Chances are that if you’ve ever attended a major game, you’ve seen a sports photographer on the sidelines, handling their big lenses to capture the activity up front. If you’re a photography who likes focusing on action and high emotions, this might just be the best photography genre for you.
To give you a bit of inspiration and maybe some background on what sports photography is, you can visit Cameron Look for basketball sports photography, and Claudio Villa for football coverage. What makes these photographers impressive is their ability to capture athletes during play and during idle time, giving audiences a unique look at how these elite sportsmen move on the court and outside the court.
Much like how documentary photography works, this type of photography aims to capture unscripted scenes of daily life in public areas. With street photography, photographers largely depend on the unpredictability of the streets and the outdoors, including chance encounters and surprising situations. With an effective technique, you can easily capture emotions, stories, and scenes as you go along your way.
Today, one of the most well-known street photographers in the world is Brandon Staton, a street photographer who launched the world-famous Humans of New York page, which captures the stories and portraits of not-so-ordinary people he meets are he walks around the streets of New York. Another street photographer that’s worth following is Dr. Zun Lee, an award-winning photographer who focuses on photo-ethnographic projects on black society. As a combination of both street photography and documentary photography, Dr. Zun Lee is able to offer representation to some of the most marginalized communities in Canada and the U.S.
This type of photography largely exists because of its commercial purposes, especially for restaurants and food manufacturers. The most common use for food photography is for advertisement purposes, with restaurants hiring professional photographers to photograph their menu offerings as enticingly as possible to draw the attention of potential customers. Another use for food photography is for food critics and food bloggers to document the food that they’re eating for a realistic presentation on their critic pieces or blogs.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for this type of photography, you can check out the Instagram pages of Kimberly Espinel and Mowie Kay. Kimberly Espinel is a popular food blogger and photographer who specializes in vegan food. What sets her photography style apart is her distinct use of vibrant colors and overhead angles to highlight the different aspects of the food that she’s shooting.
Mowie Kay, on the one hand, is a popular food photographer who has worked with some of the most famous brands out there, including Tesco, Debenhams, and Marks & Spencer. His photography style takes advantage of natural lighting and neutral backgrounds to better accentuate the colors of the food.
Capturing Landscapes and Telling Stories Through the Different Photography Genres
Photography is art. Whether you’re looking to keep a moment frozen in time or simply tell a story through fine details, photography offers endless opportunities. These types of photography are just a few of the photography genres that you can master with your camera, but the possibilities are almost endless. We hope that this article has helped you find a broad understanding of the different photography types and has given you some inspiration in pursuing photography either as a career or as a hobby.