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59 Types of Photography You Need to Know (With Examples)

Last updated: November 13, 2023 - 30 min read
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The basic principle of photography is using a camera to capture a photo. It couldn’t be more straightforward. But photography is a broad genre that branches into many separate disciplines.

There are many different types of photography. And if you’re picking up a camera for the first time, it can be confusing. There are so many styles and categories that you might not know which to choose.

ExpertPhotography is here to give you all the information you need. We’ll use this article to detail all the types of photography you should know. There are links to more in-depth articles on each subject so you can confidently explore. And you can delve even deeper with our photography eBooks and courses.

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59 Types of Photography You Need to Know

It might seem like a lot to get your head around 59 types of photography. But we’ve broken the list down into separate categories for easy digestion:

  1. Camera and Lens Photography
  2. People Photography
  3. Nature Photography
  4. Reportage Photography
  5. Artistic Photography
  6. Photography for Business

We’re starting the list with the types of photography defined by the camera we use, mainly digital and film. We’ll then look at people photography. This category looks at all the types of photography that involve people as the main subject.

The next step on our photography journey is nature photography. We look at photography types that turn the lens to the natural world. Then, we dive into reportage photography. They’re the types of photography that involve exploration and discovery.

Artistic photography is the next step on our journey. The artistic types of photography search for aesthetic beauty and purity of image. They often involve special photography techniques.

The final section of our list is photography for business. Any photography can become your business, but this section looks at the types of photography used to sell products or services.

Silhouette of a photographer at dusk
Photo by Andrik Langfield (Unsplash)

Camera and Lens Photography

While you can use any camera or lens for any photography, there are a few differences worth noting. These will help you decide which photography path you want to take.

1. Digital Photography

Digital cameras rule the photography world. Professional photographers use digital cameras for every type of photography. Digital technology is outstanding and produces superb results.

Beyond producing amazing images, digital cameras offer many conveniences for busy photographers. You’re not limited to 36 shots per roll as you are with analog cameras. You can shoot hundreds of shots, only worrying about filling your SD card.

Digital photography also has more editing options readily available. Shooting in RAW digital format gives you incredible options with editing software. You can enhance, adjust, and manipulate any characteristics you like.

Filled teapot with leaves and water droplets falling against a full moon nighttime background
© Dina Belenko (Instagram), creator of our Creative Photography Cookbook

2. Film Photography

Film photography looked like it was on the way out. Digital was taking over the world. But film is far from dead, and the analog camera revival is underway.

Photographers of all types are returning to shooting with film. While many were turned off by the limitations and quirks of analog photography, the modern film shooter sees them as part of the fun.

Film photography has a magical quality that digital can’t replicate. There’s a chemical reaction when light hits the film emulsion. And there’s suspense and mystery as you must wait to see the results. You can’t check and re-shoot after every shot. You have to trust your skills and hope for the best.

Girl walking down steps in a park as an example of film photography
© Christopher Bryan-Smith

3. Smartphone Photography

You can run an entire photo business from your phone these days. The phone can do everything, including taking pictures. Phone companies put a lot of effort into developing their smartphone cameras, which is paying off.

The standard photo and editing apps are getting better all the time. But there are also excellent AI camera apps, giving you more creative control. You can take professional-standard photos on any Android or Apple device.

Smartphone camera taking a picture of a road crossing
Photo by Aaron Burden (Unsplash)

4. Drone Photography

Drones opened up a new world of possibilities for photographers. Now, they can capture stunning aerial photography shots without your feet leaving the ground.

You can achieve once-impossible images with a camera attached to a flying drone. And as drones become cheaper and more accessible, drone photography has increased in popularity.

Bird's eye view of a castle on a hill shot with a drone
Photo by Federico Di Dio (Unsplash)

5. Tilt-Shift Photography

Tilt-shift photography usually requires a tilt-shift lens. A tilt-shift lens gives you more control over perspective. They’re expensive pieces of equipment. But they’re popular with architectural and real estate photographers.

Some cameras have a built-in tilt-shift editing function. And some photo editing software lets you transform your images into tilt-shift images.

Tilt-shift photo of a city from above
Photo by Matt Milton (Unsplash)

6. Pinhole Photography

With pinhole photography, you don’t even need a camera. You can make a pinhole camera using an old tin or container. You need something lightproof. Then you make a hole in the side of it with a pin. You also need a piece of tape to put over the hole. But that’s your basic camera.

Next, go to a darkroom and place a piece of photo paper in your homemade camera. Close the lid and cover the hole with tape. Go outside and find something to take a picture of. Make sure the hole is facing the scene and remove the tape.

The light will go through the hole and expose the paper. After a second or two, cover the hole back up with the tape. Return to the darkroom and develop the paper. That’s it!

Face statue in a garden as an example for pinhole photography
Photo by Miro Polca (Unsplash)

People Photography

This section looks at the types of photography with people as their main subjects. People play a huge part in our lives, so these are some of the most popular and profitable types of photography.

7. Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is one of the oldest types of photography. Since the invention of the camera, it has been used to capture people throughout history.

Technology has changed, but portraiture remains one of the most popular types of photography. We love personal storytelling. And there aren’t many art forms more personal than portrait photography.

Portrait photography is a feature of other types of photography. Portrait photographers use portraits for fashion and fantasy photography. You’ll also find portraits in photojournalism and documentary photography.

Portrait as a type of photography, showing a woman with short hair and blue top
Photo by Prince Akachi (Unsplash)

8. Self-Portrait Photography

With the rise of social media, self-portrait photography lost some of its reputation. The self-portrait became the selfie. And now it’s more associated with Instagram than the National Portrait Gallery.

But self-portraits still deserve our attention. They’re an excellent way of exploring yourself and creating characters. Here are some fabulous self-portrait photographers to get you inspired.

A composite Photoshopped image of a man with a white flower inside a lightbulb
© Joel Robison (Instagram), our Fantastic Photo Adventures video course creator.

9. Wedding Photography

Weddings are big business. And so is wedding photography. This type of photography is one of the best ways to make money as a photographer. And it can be great fun, too.

A wedding is a special day in people’s lives. And the bride and groom want excellent photos as a reminder of that magical day. This is something people will pay for if it’s done well.

Wedding photography involves portraits of families and friends. And there’s an element of documentary photography when recording the special day. You can also be creative with set design and poses.

Sunset photo of bride and groom in a field as an example of wedding photography
Photo by Anna Vi (Unsplash)

10. Sports Photography

Sports are played by thousands and watched by millions. And the more popular sport becomes, the more sports photographers are needed.

Sports photography captures the action on the field, track, or pitch. There’s a lot of skill in capturing the highs and lows of the sporting drama. You have to know your sport. And you need the correct settings on your camera.

Two female football players playing football
Photo by Jeffrey F. Lin (Unsplash)

11. Music Photography

Music photography can involve shooting live concerts or festivals. Or perhaps you might be doing promotional shots for a band or artist. Music photography work can be published in magazines and online. Or it can be used for album artwork.

Music photography can be great fun if you’re a music fan. Play your cards right… You could get a front-row seat or a backstage pass. But it’s hard work, so you need to be dedicated.

Bluegrass musicians jamming outside, as an example of music photography
© Christopher Bryan-Smith

12. Event Photography

Event photography can overlap with other photography types. But event photography deserves its own section because it requires a broad skill set. Event photographers cover many different events, from music festivals to athletics championships.

Event photographers are a versatile bunch. They need to be able to shoot a speaking event on Tuesday and an art fair on Wednesday. The gig can be any event, so they must be ready with their camera.

Man giving a speech on stage, as an example of event photography
Photo by Kristina Paparo (Unsplash)

13. Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is a blend of portrait and product photography. But it’s much more than taking pictures of models in clothes. It’s about creating images that portray a lifestyle. It’s not just the clothes. It’s the person wearing them.

A fashion photographer might photograph models on a catwalk. Or they might be developing concepts for advertising campaigns. The fashion industry looks fun and glamorous, but being a fashion photographer is hard work.

Fashion photography shot of Woman in white dress standing on salt flats
Photo by Vladimir Yalizarov (Unsplash)

14. Family Photography

Family photography is big business. Many families want to treasure moments with the ones they love. And the family photographer needs to create those magic moments with their camera.

Family photography can involve portraits at home or in a studio. Or they can be candid shots in a special location.

Sometimes, it will be the whole family and other times, it will be the parents or the siblings together. It often depends on what the family wants. But there’s plenty of room for creative family photo ideas, too.

Family on a bridge all dressed in white, for a family photography shoot
Photo by Dylan Sauerwein (Unsplash)

15. Child Photography

Child photography can be the most fun and stressful job in the world. But if you can cope with an occasional tantrum or crying fit, child photography is a rewarding profession.

Perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but child photographers must be good with kids. But they also need to enjoy their company. This will put everyone in a good mood. And you’ll be able to create photos the parents will treasure.

A child lying down in grass playing with a toy plane
© Iwona Podlasińska (Instagram), creator of our Dreamy Childhood Portraits eBook and Magical Childhood Moments video course.

16. Newborn Photography

Newborn photography is different from child photography. It requires a separate set of skills and considerations. Kids can be loud, energetic, and boisterous. But newborns are far more fragile, and you need a delicate touch.

You can have lots of fun with newborn photoshoots. You can go for candid shots with the new parents. Or you can get creative with sets and cute costumes. And it’s a viable business option as parents are keen to snap those brief early moments.

Sleeping newborn on model airplane, as an example of newborn photography
Photo by Katrina Elena (

17. Headshot Photography

Headshot photography does have a lot in common with portrait photography. But headshots are specifically for professional purposes.

They’re photos used by actors and young professionals on their profiles and applications. And people will pay good money for quality headshots.

Headshot of woman in suit outside for a headshot photography shoot
Photo by Arema Foto (DepositPhotos)

18. Boudoir Photography

This type of photography is for grown-ups. Boudoir photography is the art of taking sexy and sensual photos. But they don’t have to be explicit. Boudoir often includes lingerie, so there’s a crossover between fashion and product photography.

Boudoir photography is about making the subject look and feel sexy, no matter who they are. You could be working with professional models. Or it could be a client wanting to spice up their relationship.

Boudoir photography shoot showing a lady's legs in lingerie
Photo by Artem Labunsky (Unsplash)

19. Glamor Photography

Glamor photography is more explicit than boudoir. It’s also sexy and sensual but leaves less to the imagination. It usually involves female models. And the main aim is sex appeal.

Despite the demise of institutions like Playboy and Page 3, glamor photography is having a revival. Young photographers like Peggy Shoots Film are indulging in its flashy nature. They’ve gone full kitsch with an in-your-face aesthetic.

Topless woman with short hair, posing for a glamour photography shot
Photo by Alla Serebrina (DepositPhotos)

Nature Photography

The next category looks at types of photography centered around the natural world. Earth is a beautiful place. And many types of photography celebrate landscapes, flora, and fauna.

20. Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is the study of the textured surface of the Earth. And it features images of natural scenes from all over the globe. Landscape photos can capture deserts, rocky mountains, or lush hillsides. They can be grand or more intimate images.

Landscape photography is as old as the camera itself and is one of the first types of photography. And it’s still one of the most popular types of photography. You can advance your landscape photography with a bit of editing, too.

Waterfall scene at dusk, exemplifying digital photography
© Zach Doehler (Instagram), creator of our Epic Landscape Editing video course.

21. Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography looks at the wonderful subject of animals in the wild. This type of photography involves patience and concentration. And when wildlife photography is done well, the photos can be magical.

Only the lucky few get to travel to exotic locations to see the greatest beasts in the wild. Wildlife photographers allow us to see magnificent creatures from the most remote locations. Without them, we’d never see an elephant or a tiger in the wild.

A tiger wading in water in low light
© Nick Dale (Instagram), creator of our Wonderful Wildlife eBook.

22. Bird Photography

Bird photography may sound like a section of wildlife photography. And birds are wildlife. But many fantastic photographers dedicate themselves to documenting birds in the wild.

Bird photography requires precision with the camera and a lot of patience. And when you get it right, the results are fantastic. Birds are some of the most interesting and beautiful creatures in the natural world. And bird photography is a celebration of that.

Bird with a nut or fruit landing on a tree, exemplifying bird photography
© Supreet Sahoo (Instagram)

23. Pet Photography

Pet photography isn’t strictly nature photography. Pets are domesticated, and the discipline overlaps with family photography. But despite being our friends and companions, our pets are animals, too.

Dog portraits are very popular with dog owners. These can be the dog on their own or include other pets. They can even include members of the family. But pet photography isn’t limited to dogs. You can’t forget cats, rabbits, horses, and tortoises.

A dog running on a field chasing a ball that has been thrown
© Tamara Kedves (Instagram), creator of our Perfect Pawtraits eBook.

24. Macro Photography

Macro photography is the art of photographing the minuscule. Using a special macro lens, you can capture even the smallest creatures with your camera.

Macro photography isn’t exclusive to nature photography. You can use macro lenses to document anything. But it is commonly used to study insects and other tiny lifeforms.

Macro photo of a wasp's head
Photo by Hamish Secrett (Unsplash)

25. Sunset Photography

We can all agree that there’s nothing quite like a beautiful sunset. But sunsets don’t last long, so you must take the picture before you’re left in darkness.

Capturing the beauty of a sunset in a digital image isn’t easy. They can often appear flat and dull. Sunset photography requires skill, patience, and knowledge. That’s why sunset photography is considered a unique type of photography.

Setting sun seen from a hillside, as an example of sunset photography
Photo by David Zawila (Unsplash)

26. Ocean Photography

Ocean photography is a subcategory of landscape photography. But this type of photography focuses on the beauty of seas and oceans rather than land.

Seas, oceans, and coastal areas offer an excellent variety of scenes. And the behavior of the seas is ever-changing, so the possibilities are endless. You can shoot ocean photography from land or a boat. And drones give you another option for shooting the sea.

Sunset over the ocean, showing the beauty of ocean photography
Photo by Joseph Barrientos (Unsplash)

27. Underwater Photography

Taking photos underwater can have amazing results. The underwater landscape is full of beauty. And the slower motion of life and the different physics give it a magical quality.

Underwater photography isn’t easy. And you must learn special skills and have underwater equipment. But if you love the water, it’s a type of photography you have to try.

Underwater photo of a female swimmer rising to the surface
Photo by Jeremy Bishop (Unsplash)

28. Cityscape Photography

Technically, cityscapes aren’t part of the natural world. But cityscape photography finds beauty in a manufactured world.

It has a similar concept to landscape photography, using similar settings and compositions. But this type of photography looks at the beauty in the unnatural. Night cityscape photography is another sub-genre worth looking at.

A color building with staggered rooftops, a tower, and balconies
© Yener Torun (Instagram), creator of our Colorful Cityscapes eBook.

29. Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is the art of taking photos from the air. The photographer has a bird’s-eye view from a plane or helicopter. They take photos of the Earth directly below. These are often used to investigate land or create maps.

Aerial photography used to be inaccessible to most photographers. But the invention of the drone changed that.

Aerial photo of green pastures next to a village
Photo by Luca J. (Unsplash)

30. Astrophotography

Astrophotography looks directly at the night sky to capture the stars and nebulae that populate our universe. Scientists use this type of photography to study the cosmos. And it’s also a pursuit of keen amateurs with a passion for stars.

The results can be spectacular. But astrophotography requires specialist skills and knowledge. As well as the correct camera settings, you need lenses and filters that enable you to shoot the night sky.

Astrophotography photo of red nebula of stars
Photo by Samuel Pasteur-Fosse (Unsplash)

31. Panorama Photography

Panorama photography is a branch of landscape photography. But it extends the frame’s limits, creating an ultra-wide-angle view of the scene.

To create a panorama photo, you need a 360-degree camera. Or you can create a panorama by combining several shots in Adobe Photoshop. You can also make fantastic panoramas on your smartphone.

Panorama shot of Hong Kong Skyline
Photo by Lok Yiu Cheung (Unsplash)

Reportage Photography

This category looks at the types of photography we use to explore and document the world. They’re the types of photography that involve human stories. Photographers plying their trade in these areas show us news from around the world and inspire us to venture out ourselves.

32. Photojournalism

Photojournalism is journalism reported through the lens of a camera. Photojournalists use images rather than words to tell their stories. And thanks to them, we can view the world’s major events from our sofas.

The paparazzi boom of the ’90s and ’00s damaged the reputation of photojournalism. But photojournalists still play an important role in news media today. Without them, we’d be blind to much of what happens across the globe.

Protesters in front of police in the street captured by a photojournalist
Photo by Andrew Winkler (Unsplash)

33. Documentary Photography

Documentary photography has some overlap with photojournalism. But documentary photography creates narratives using photos. Photojournalism reports on stories as they happen. Documentary photography dives into themes and ideas, looking for stories.

Visual documentaries can involve lots of other types of photography. Many documentary photographers use portraits to add a human element to their narrative. Others look for candid shots for a natural feel to their storytelling.

Children getting off the back of a truck in Africa, as an example of documentary photography
Photo by Sam Mann (Unsplash)

34. Street Photography

Street photography is one of the most popular types of photography. Millions of street photographers worldwide love documenting what they see in their urban contexts.

Street photography is about capturing real life. They’re candid photos documenting towns and cities. But unlike documentary photography or photojournalism, there’s no story. Street photography isn’t about narrative. The photographer is simply a present observer, not knowing the before and after.

Every country has different rules and laws about taking pictures in public places. It’s a tricky subject, and you should proceed cautiously, especially if you’re shooting in a foreign country. It’s always good to know your rights as a street photographer.

Woman with shopping walking next to a brick wall, as an example of street photography
Photo by Ivan Tsaregorodtsev (Unsplash)

35. Travel Photography

Travel photography uses the camera to document and study remote and exotic places. Most people can only travel for a week or two each year. And they’re limited by budgets and life commitments.

But travel photography allows us a glimpse of corners of the globe we can barely imagine. Travel photographers expand our knowledge of the world, introducing us to new landscapes and cultures. They fire up our imagination and inspire us to strap on our backpacks and head out the door.

© Dave Williams (Instagram), creator of Next Stop: Travel Photography eBook.
© Dave Williams (Instagram), creator of our Next Stop: Travel Photography eBook.

36. Urban Exploration Photography

Urban exploration, or “urbex,” takes you to abandoned places. You venture into old factories and derelict buildings with a camera around your neck. These places litter our urban landscapes, though many are long forgotten.

Urbex is a lot of fun. But it’s one of the more dangerous types of photography. Old factories aren’t playgrounds, and many are falling apart. You should be safe and take precautions on an urban exploration photography shoot.

Urban exploration photography example of a corridor of derelict building
Photo by Danique Dohmen (Unsplash)

37. Editorial Photography

Editorial photography accompanies stories and interviews in magazines and online publications. They can involve celebrities, sports stars, fashion brands, or movie releases. Or they can be conceptual editorial pieces that relate to a story or person.

Editorial photographers have a lot of creative freedom. They can choose how they want to make their set of photos. They can do natural portraits or candid documentary shots. Or they can make stylistic images with visual techniques and effects.

Woman in white top against an orange wall posing for an editorial photoshoot
Photo by Alvin Balemesa (Unsplash)

38. War Photography

This type of photography isn’t for everyone. It’s extremely dangerous, and you need the courage to take war pictures. War photography is a branch of photojournalism. But it deserves its own place on our list due to its high-risk nature.

War photography shows us the true horrors of war. War journalism is often sterile, focusing on locations and numbers. But war photography tells us the true human cost of war.

War photographers show us the harsh reality of conflict, carnage, violence, and suffering. War photography isn’t easy to look at. But it’s important we do.

Normandy beach landing re-enactment for a war photography shoot
Photo by Duncan Kidd (Unsplash)

39. Action Photography

There are plenty of types of photography that involve action. But real action photography comes from the center of the action. It’s shot from an action photographer’s point of view.

There are some excellent camera options for action photography, with the GoPro being the most famous brand. This type of photography is about sharing your action-packed experiences with others.

POV shot of man sitting at the top of a canyon, as an example of action photography
Photo by Tim Foster (Unsplash)

Artistic Photography

The list of artistic photography genres looks at creative types of photography. Of course, all photography is creative. But these genres involve an artist’s vision and creative techniques.

40. Fine Art Photography

All types of photography can be considered art. But fine art photography aims to create images that are pieces of art in their own right. There’s no need for narrative or context. The photo is an artwork in its purest form.

Fine art photography can involve other types of photography. Fine art photographers often use portraits and self-portraits. And they also use still life, abstract, and conceptual photography. They use in-camera and post-processing techniques to explore new avenues of image-making.

A conceptual fine art photo of a woman sweing leaves in a forest
© Anya Anit (Instagram), creator of our Creative Portrait Concepts eBook.

41. Still Life Photography

Still life photography looks at inanimate objects. Much like in still life paintings, the object of still life photography can be a single item or a collection of items. They can be connected, or they can be completely unrelated.

Still life photography has a strong connection to fine art photography. They both want to have a beautiful image. The photographer wants to change the ordinary into the extraordinary. It’s an exploration of color, shape, and meaning.

© Ashraful Arefin (Instagram), creator of our eBook.
© Ashraful Arefin (Instagram), creator of The Magical Photography Spellbook.

42. Abstract Photography

Abstract photography takes objects out of their normal context. It strips the subject of its meaning, so it’s nothing more than a form. Abstract photographers look for shapes and patterns in their environment. And they frame them in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Abstract architecture, as an example of abstract photography
Photo by Nick Van Den Berg (Unsplash)

43. Minimalist Photography

Minimalism takes a “less is more” approach to photography. Examples of minimalist photography are simple, containing very little in the image. The photos are uncluttered and have a strong and dynamic composition. The negative space adds power to the subject.

A window with an open shutter on a building wall
© Karen Vikke (Instagram), creator of our Urban Smartphone Minimalism eBook.

44. Fantasy Photography

If you love fairy tales and magical adventures, you should look into fantasy photography. This genre is about creating worlds and characters and using them to tell stories with your photos.

Fantasy photography involves elaborate set designs and costumes. They’re used to create myths and legends from other worlds. They have princes and princesses, witches and wizards.

Fantasy photographers explore their imagination. They adopt old fairy tale tropes and themes. And they also develop brand new stories for people to get lost in.

Woman in a big pink dress lying on a bed, as an example of fantasy photography
© Jovana Rikalo (Instagram), creator of our Fairytale Portraits video course.

45. Multiple Exposure Photography

Double or multiple exposures were one of photography’s first types of composite image-making. With a film camera, you create a double exposure by exposing the same section of film twice. This gives you two images in one photo.

You can also create double exposures in digital photography. You take two photos separately, then bring them together in post-processing. Two popular editing programs for this are Adobe Photoshop and Luminar Neo.

Double exposure of girl and some flowers
© Taya Ivanova

46. Composite Photography

Double exposure is a form of composite imaging. But many artists have taken composite photography to new places thanks to digital technology. They combine images in Photoshop to create one piece of artwork. It’s often called digital collage.

Photoshop and Luminar Neo are the best editing software for composite photography.

Composite image of a girl and dog sitting by a window in the night sky
© Anna Maghradze (Instagram), creator of our Digital Dreamworlds eBook.

47. Time-Lapse Photography

Even if you don’t know it, we’ve all seen time-lapse photography in nature documentaries. They show a flower blooming in just a few seconds. Videos like this are created by taking a series of pictures at set time intervals. Then they’re brought together to create a time-lapse video.

Time-lapse footage looks fantastic. And it’s not as complicated as you might think. You can try your hand at time-lapse photography. You only need a digital camera, a few pieces of equipment, and editing software like Photoshop.

The subject can be anything that changes over time. You can shoot a flower growing or dying. Or maybe you prefer snow or ice melting. You can also try a night sky time-lapse if you’re into astrophotography.

Time-lapse photo of the moon
Photo by Jake Hills (Unsplash)

48. Long-Exposure Photography

You might be able to guess what long-exposure photography is from the name. It’s a form of photography that uses long exposure times to create fun and interesting images.

Motion blur is something many photographers avoid. But long exposure photography uses motion blur as a creative effect. It works well at night when artificial lights draw lines in the darkness. This could be the headlights of a car in motion. Or you can write words with a glow stick.

Long exposure photo of a man creating circles with a sparkler
Photo by Todd Quackenbush (Unsplash)

49. Blacklight Photography

Blacklight photography uses ultraviolet light instead of white light. White light is the light produced by standard lamps and flashes. It illuminates the world around us. But black or ultraviolet light can’t be seen by the human eye.

Our eyes can’t see black light, but our camera sensors can. And you can use black light in photography to create incredible images with neon colors. You can get creative with glow sticks and UV body paint.

4 people covered in ultraviolet paint for blacklight photography
Photo by Arkusha (Unsplash)

50. Black-and-White Photography

You might think black and white is a style rather than a type of photography. Any photography on this list can be in color or black and white. You can even take a color portrait and make it black and white in Photoshop or Lightroom.

While you can change from color to black and white with any genre, black-and-white photography is a unique pursuit.

When you shoot in black and white, you look for different things. You can’t rely on color to get attention. You have to find other things to make your images interesting. Contrast, texture, and composition really add to black-and-white photos.

Woman on a computer sitting next to a window shot in black and white
© Christopher Bryan-Smith

51. Flat Lay Photography

Flat lay photography is where you arrange items on a flat surface and take a photo from above. Your flat surface is the canvas on which you paint your picture. You can create themed images. Or you can use them to send messages.

Flat lay photography is becoming more popular in social media and advertising photography. It’s a new way of presenting items and promoting themes. Flat lay food photography is a popular niche.

Flat lay image with teas and coffees
© Dina Belenko (Instagram), author of our Flat Lay Photo Fever eBook.

52. High Dynamic Range Photography

High dynamic range (HDR) photography produces images with strong color vibrancy and intense detail. The basic concept is taking several pictures of the same scene, each with different exposure settings. Then you combine them into one image.

HDR photography takes some practice. But you soon get the hang of it if you’re using a program like Adobe Photoshop.

High Dynamic range landscape photo of a mountain behind a field
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge (Unsplash)

53. Crystal Ball Photography

Crystal ball photography is centered around one specific prop—a crystal ball. They have a magical quality. And they manipulate light, giving you reflections and shapes.

There are plenty of ways to experiment when shooting crystal ball photography. It won’t tell you your future. But you have fun creating magical images!

Crystal ball by a river
Photo by Brad West (Unsplash)

Photography for Business

Any type of photography can be a business. Professionals make money from every type of photography genre. But the types of photography in this section are genres used in other businesses.

54. Product Photography

Product photography is the art of taking pictures of products so they can be sold. Product photography images are used on sales pages online and in print.

The aim is to show the product in its best light. A product photographer is not developing an advert. Their job is to create a presentable image of the product so potential buyers know what they’re buying.

Product photography is often simple, with the product on a white backdrop. But there are ways you can get creative, too. You can add themes that relate to the product. And product photos can be developed into advertising campaigns.

A blue lamp shining light on a floating watch
© Chad and Daphne Versoza (Instagram), creators of our Products in Focus eBook.

55. Food Photography

Food photography is a big industry in its own right. Food magazines, blogs, and menus all need photos of fabulous food. And making food look good is harder than you might think.

We all love food. And it’s easy to get excited about food when you can smell and taste it. But making people’s tummy growl with just an image takes some effort. Food photographers require the right skills, knowledge, and equipment. But if you do it well, it can be a lucrative career.

Syrup being drizzled on a pile of pancakes for a food photography shot
Photo by Chad Montano (Unsplash)

56. Architecture Photography

As you might have guessed, architecture photography is the art of shooting buildings and other structures. This might be to celebrate the architecture. And the shapes and lines are often highlighted in minimalist or abstract photography.

Architects and surveyors use architectural photography. You find it in magazines and advertisements. Sometimes, the architecture is the product on display. Other times, the buildings are symbolic of something else.

Tall narrow building against a clear blue, as an example for architecture photography
Photo by Simone Hutsch (Unsplash)

57. Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography plays a vital role in selling and renting properties. Real estate photographers must have the property looking its best in the photos. These will be displayed on the agent’s websites and directories. And they want people to buy.

You need plenty of photography skills for a successful real estate photography business. You need to capture a whole room in one shot. And you want to make a simple room look like a honeymoon suite. If you can do that, there’s money to be made.

Real estate shot of a spacious open plan kitchen and living room
Photo by Kara Eads (Unsplash)

58. Social Media Photography

Social media is one of the new kids on the block. It’s certainly not one of the traditional types of photography. But for many young businessmen and women, social media is where they make their money. And social media photography plays a huge part in their success.

The photos must look professional when promoting your products or services on social media. You need to know how to use a smartphone for photography. And you need to know how to present and format your work. Even taking the perfect selfie requires skill.

Woman sitting outside a tent next to a lake
Photo by Lucija Ros (Unsplash)

59. Commercial Photography

Commercial photography is the creation of images used for commercial purposes. It can involve advertising campaigns for products, or it can be photography for brand marketing.

Commercial photographers will use portrait, fashion, and product photography. Art directors and marketing experts may join the photographers. Together, they’ll build a commercial campaign.

Bottle of whisky with blue flames behind for commercial photography
Photo by Daniel Norris (Unsplash)

Conclusion: 59 Types of Photography

On the path to becoming a photographer, picking up the camera is the first step. Then you need to decide which direction you want to take. And as you can see from our list, there are tons of options.

You can focus on people photography, creating intimate and personal portraits. Or you can explore and study the natural world with landscape or wildlife photography. Or perhaps you want to report on the biggest stories across the world.

Don’t feel intimidated by the various types of photography. You don’t have to stick to just one. You can experiment with as many as you like! Try new photography niches and combine genres. When it comes to photography, there is no wrong direction.

Quick Capture Cheat Sheets
Quick Capture Cheat Sheets
Take your photography skills to the next level with these easy-to-use cheat sheets.