Do you like to portray moments? Then you should know what are the types of photography that exist so that you can get to know this wonderful world in depth and apply the one that best suits your style.
Capture a moment, freeze an instant and show the look of the one who captures it. That is what the art of photography is all about.
The human being has always wanted to control time and, probably in that eagerness, invented a way to record lights and shadows. In this exercise, different types of photography were discovered in which the themes or intentionality vary.
Therefore, in this article, we will tell you about the most important types of photography and the most popular photographers in each category. We will also tell you the fundamental characteristics of each photographic style so that you can replicate them. Finally, you can find out what your ideal photographic genre is with a mini test .
all set? Get comfortable, choose your best angle and learn with us.
Photojournalism is a type of photography whose narrative employs storytelling techniques. while a journalist uses ink and paper to tell stories, a photojournalist will use his or her camera to capture the visual representation of your story and convey emotions with it.
Behind photojournalism is the theory that pictures say more than a thousand words. And because of this, photojournalism and documentary photography are closely related types of photography, as we can find them in different news portals to give weight to a text.
Photography: The Big Scheme
The best photojournalists
did you know that photojournalism emerged in the mid-17th century through drawings? the role of this type of photography is mainly focused on war conflicts and has been used by journalists to capture the reality of war.
Although there are a lot of talented exponents of this type of photography, we want to show you some of the most important photojournalists and their best works.
His participation in the Vietnam War and the Northern Ireland Conflict make Don McCullin one of the most outstanding photojournalists of recent years. His types of photography focus on photographing the underprivileged class of society in times of war.
One of his most recognized photographs is entitled “A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband”. Its impact was so valuable that it led him to win the World Press Photo of the Year award in 1964.
Photo: Don McCullin
Lynsey Addario’s work focuses primarily on women and their roles in different societies. Her type of photography is not focused on war, but on capturing quiet moments in highly affected populations.
One of her favorite photographs was taken during the conflict for independence in Darfur, Sudan, where she managed to capture a group of women in a quiet moment.
Photo: Lynsey Addario
2. Abstract photography
One of the most popular types of photography today, it focuses on form, color, pattern and texture. there are no rules in abstract photography, as it is a simple shot that aims to capture different elements within the composition and reflects a lot of creativity.
Abstract photography is the most complex type of photography to understand, because we depend on the eye of the author to understand it. The key to abstract photography is imagination.
In short, here the eye of the artist will be the one who gives us one perspective or another. It is also called non-objective photography or experimental or conceptual photography.
Photography: Photography Life
The best photographers of abstract photography
This type of photography has been practiced for many years and has been used by different artists to express their creativity.
Here are some of the best abstract photographers and their works.
Nick is an American artist and photographer who uses repetitive patterns of shapes and forms to make abstract photographs.
He also often resorts to capturing everyday objects such as cups, napkins or plastic bags and to give them an aesthetic that complies with repeating patterns.
Photography: Nick Albertson
David Burdeny is a renowned Canadian photographer with experience in different fields, but his main focus is on nature photography and stunning landscapes .
David also uses abstraction in some of his photographs to give the feeling of free interpretation.
Photography: David Burdeny
3. Artistic photography
Within this wide world, there is a type of photography that is done in an artistic way, that is, it is made to express the artist’s perceptions and emotions and to share them with others.
It is not about capturing what the camera sees, but what the artist observes. therefore, the artist, in this type of photography, uses the camera as a tool to create a work of art to make a fine art photograph that reveals the vision of the author.
The camera is used to make a piece of art that reveals the vision of the author and make a statement of that vision rather than documenting any object or subject in front of the lens. it’s one of the most popular types of photography!
Photography: Lee Towndrow
The best fine art photographers
The language of artistic photography was born from the basis of painting, and within this wide range of possibilities, there are different photographers who have stood out around the world for their contribution to this type of photography.
Annie Leibovitz is one of the most important photographers in the world. She has received numerous awards and is considered the highest paid photographer in recent years. She has worked for major media such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Vogue.
During her career she has made different types of artistic photographs to several celebrities and today she is considered one of the best artistic photographers.
Photography: Annie Leibovitz
David is a photographer and music video director heavily involved in the entertainment industry .
His work focuses on giving his content his artistic style characterized by bold colors and having a concept of communication.
Photography: David LaChapelle
4. Architectural Photography
Architectural photography portrays the design aesthetics of buildings and structures. it is one of the types of photography that takes different variables: it can be tall buildings, bungalows, heritage buildings, modern buildings, farm barns, bridges, warehouses or factories.
It is more about the design than the building itself. when it comes to design, the architectural photographer highlights some of the details that make the building or construction an aesthetically pleasing structure.
Afterwards, the photographer manages to give more professionalism to his compositions by applying an architectural photographic retouching.
For this reason it is not uncommon to see architectural photographs that only show a fragment of the construction. It can be a wall, an arch, or some beams instead of the appearance of the whole building.
Photo: Construction Exec
The best architectural photographers
This is one of the most used types of photography all over the world. In fact, on Instagram you can find a lot of profiles that specialize in this discipline.
However, there are some exponents of this type of photography who have dedicated their entire lives to photographing the wonders of architecture and who are recognized by their identities. Here are 2 of them:
Martin is a Polish photographer who, besides specializing in architectural photography, focuses on monochromatic photography.
His compositions are intended to convey a certain drama due to the imposing structures.
Photography: Martin Stavars
If anything characterizes Fernando Guerra, it is the symmetry of his photographs and the care he takes when taking them.
Of Portuguese origin, Guerra has a long experience in this type of photography and his results are more than impeccable. He is currently considered one of the best architectural photographers.
Photography: Fernando Guerra
5. Urban Photography
Urban photography is one of the types of photography that not only encapsulates people in their daily activities, but also objects, urban landscapes and even the surreal.
This type of photography, besides being a visual representation of an idea or a capture of a decisive moment, is also a commentary on contemporary life in an ecological space.
why is this type of photography important? Well, it’s simple. Today more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, so we can say that depending on the artist’s vision, urban photography can show both the good and the less pleasant side of city life.
In urban photography as in other types of photography, photographic planes must be applied to give an intention to the compositions.
Photography is definitely an art with multiple faces, as many as exist in people’s lives.
Photography: Blog del Fotografo
The best urban photographers
Urban photography and architectural photography are types of photography that have a large participation in the community of photographers. The urban style is also widely used by professionals and amateurs looking to capture the best of urbanity.
Maciej Dakowicz dropped out of computer science in 2009 to devote himself entirely to urban and documentary photography.
He has participated in numerous competitions and is currently part of the international street photography collective. His Instagram profile is full of genuine and incredible moments. Undoubtedly, he is a great reference of this type of photography.
Photography: Maciej Dakowicz
The Japanese Shin Noguchi is another of the great exponents of urban photography. His ability to capture urban moments makes him an exceptional photographer, with an extensive career that serves as inspiration for many references of other types of photography.
Photography: Shin Noguchi
6. Portrait photography
As its name suggests, portrait photography is that which is responsible for portraying the physical appearance of a person .
With this type of photography, the aim is to highlight the most characteristic features of a face or to transmit different types of emotions through the face or body posture. In other words, it is one of the types of photography that focuses on details.
Portrait photography was one of the first types of photography that emerged hand in hand with the evolution of cameras, as it was a very simple method to capture a photograph of a person and analyze its details.
Photography: Platon Antoniou
The best portrait photographers
Joey is recognized worldwide for capturing portraits of a lot of celebrities, but his types of photography also stand out for being portraits of people he encounters in his travels around the world.
His types of photographs are intended to bring out even the smallest detail to make it look amazing using different lighting techniques.
Photography: Joey Lawrence
Known for his portraits of street dwellers, Lee Jeffries touches through his photographs giving them a melancholic touch that speaks for itself.
Making these types of photographs requires a unique sensibility, forcing Lee to first establish a relationship with the person to be photographed. And only if the person agrees, he captures their face.
Photography: Lee Jeffries
7. Advertising photography
This photography technique is intended to sell, market or promote some kind of idea or product. it is one of the oldest and most used types of photography nowadays, since it is intended to generate a consumer’s intention to buy.
Everything is possible in advertising photography, and to carry it out, you can mix reality with fiction and generate various types of photographs.
Because of this, any company or enterprise that intends to implement a digital marketing plan must have a good catalog of advertising photographs and be aware of trends in product photography to make a difference.
Photography: Elli Rezkallah
The best advertising photographers
This style is one of the most profitable types of photography today, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start your photography career here. take inspiration from the best!
Crichton is one of the greatest exponents of advertising photography, having won several awards and worked with well-known brands such as McDonald’s, Kellogg’s and Target.
His skills in graphic design combined with photography, generate visually striking results that are impossible to miss.
Photography: Michael Crichton
Geneviéve is a talented advertising photographer specializing in lifestyle, fashion and beauty photography. she has also won numerous awards for the sensitivity and fun that predominate in her types of photography.
Her work involves major brands such as Nivea, Dove, Sony or Toyota.
Photography: Geneviéve Caron
8. Aerial photography
This type of photography is defined by its own name. Aerial photography is based on taking different types of shots at a great height, generating incredible images of different places.
At the beginning of this century, aerial photography has presented a lot of changes due to the arrival of drones and different technologies, which has allowed this type of photography to become a discipline for many amateurs and professionals.
Photography: Andrey Kekyalyaynen
The best aerial photographers
Being one of the photographic trends, it is practiced by many people who love to capture the earth from the air. Here are some of the most important aerial photographers of the moment.
Tobias Hägg is a traveling photographer recognized for his captures of nature in different contexts. He uses his drone to take mind-blowing aerial photographs. His Instagram profile is full of amazing shots and shots.
Photo credit: Tobias Hägg
Ben Mackay’s types of photographs produce no other feeling than peace. This photographer captures aerial shots of the sea and the square making sure that his color palette is always focused on pastel tones.
Photography: Ben Mackay
9. Underwater photography
Underwater photography is one of the most complex types of photography to do because it involves expensive scuba equipment and underwater cameras
Although it is possible to take home-made underwater photos with tanks and other protectors, the results will not be the same.
Photo: Paul Nicklen
Top underwater photographers
Generally, the benchmarks of underwater photography are tireless travelers. the same goes for other similar types of photography, such as landscape or aerial photography. If you are attracted to traveling the world with your camera around your neck, then this may be your ideal field. be inspired by the work of the best exponents of underwater portraiture!
Carey is a professional photographer and photojournalist with a passion for the sea.
He spends most of his time photographing marine life in the Tuesdays of Egypt, the Bahamas or Malaysia.
Photo: Richard Carey
Eduardo is a relatively new underwater photographer. Since 2010 he has been involved in different photography competitions due to the spectacular nature of his photographs.
His favorite place is the Canary Islands and there he has been able to photograph a lot of marine species, including sharks, whales or jellyfish.
Photography: Eduardo Acevedo
10. Black and white photography
This type of photography consists of the absence of color and is based on tonalities ranging from white to black.
A black and white photograph is forceful, and its focus is on figures, shapes and details, transmitting emotion and drama. This is something you may have noticed in other types of photography as well, such as portrait or fine art photography.
Although it may be attributed to a bygone era, black and white photography is more alive than ever, being one of the most popular types of photography today.
According to the Photographer’s Blog, “black and white images convey drama and emotion, they strip away the décor and show us what lies beneath the surface; the soul, the essence.” A great summary of this photographic style!
Photography: Ferdinando Scianna
The best photographers of black and white photography
who are the most famous photographers in the black and white photography style? We name you two of them below:
Cristina García Rodero
Of Spanish nationality, Cristina García is one of the most important photographers in Europe, part of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and member of the prestigious Magnum Photos agency.
Her types of photography have led her to win several awards and her types of black and white photography have become her identity and her work has become her trademark
Photography: Cristina García Rodero
Co-founder of Magnum Photos, Henri Cartier is considered by many the father of photoreportage. Throughout his career he was able to photograph artistic and political celebrities such as Pablo Picasso or Che Guevara.
He is one of the most important photographers of black and white photography.
Photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson
11. Fashion photography
As its name suggests, fashion photography is a type of photography that consists of capturing accessories, jewelry, garments or other elements related to the world of fashion.
It is very common to find this type of photography in different media, such as advertisements or magazines. They are characterized by including a colorful and striking aesthetic, almost impossible to ignore.
Fashion photography is intended, on the one hand, to persuade the visual attention of the public. and on the other hand, to encourage the desire to buy, as well as other types of photography (the clearest example is that of advertising photography). In most cases, this type of photography resorts to photographing models to show the accessory, garment or clothing trend to be exhibited.
Image: Memory Lane Studio
The best fashion photographers
would you like to start your career in the world of photography, learning about one of the most dynamic types of photography in the world? Then take a look at the work of the following references.
Knight is one of Europe’s most influential fashion photographers.
With a career of over 40 years, he has not only been one of the great exponents in this type of photography, but he has also had the opportunity to direct different music videos of different artists such as Lady Gaga or Kanye West.
His photographs are characterized by being colorful, with a certain notion of movement and, sometimes, abstract.
Photography: Nick Knight
Mario Testino is a Peruvian photographer whose use of color and mastery of visual composition have made him one of the most important photographers in this type of photography.
He has worked for important magazines such as Vogue or Vanity Fair and has had the opportunity to photograph important celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa or Rihanna.
It is impossible not to look at his photographs and admire every single detail.
Photography: Mario Testino
12. Food photography
You can’t deny that you follow more than one account on Instagram that posts exquisite food and mouthwatering dishes.
This is due to food photography, a style of photography that consists of capturing the essence of a food dish and encouraging users to try it.
You might think that this type of photography consists of simply placing a plate on a flat surface and pressing a button to take the picture.
However, it is necessary to implement lighting techniques and different types of lenses to capture the details of each ingredient.
Image: AS Newspaper
The best food photographers
We are sorry to tell you that having a great appetite and passion for food is not enough to achieve success as a food photographer. However, knowing the work of the referents of this style of photography will help you with that purpose.
Here are two of the best professionals in food photography, one of the types of photography that has grown the most in recent years.
Francesco Tonelli is one of the great exponents of food photography.
He has collaborated on numerous cookbooks, lectured on food styling and is currently recognized for his impeccable food photography. visiting his Instagram profile is not at all recommended if you’re hungry!
Photo credit: Francesco Tonelli
Rick Souder is the founder of Souder Studios, one of the most important studios in the United States, whose goal is to photograph food dishes and lend his types of photographs to hotels, restaurants and magazines.
Rick Souder’s photography is part of the International Photography Hall of Fame and his studio has been the winner of the best photography for beverages for 3 consecutive times in the World Food Media.
Photography: Rick Souder
13. Minimalist photography
Minimalist photography is characterized by simplicity and harmony.
It is a type of photography that uses as few elements as possible in its compositions to generate a sense of peace and visual cleanliness.
If you want to know more about this type of photography, in our article on minimalist photography we tell you what minimalist photography is, what it consists of and how to take minimalist photos by applying certain tricks and techniques.
The best minimalist photographers
If you want to get inspired to take this kind of pictures, you can take a look at this list of minimalist photographers that will surely motivate you to achieve better results.
This photographer is an exponent of minimalist photography, one of the most famous types of photography nowadays. Yamamoto is known for his black and white works, which have an aged and worn look .
He is considered a true visual poet and was able to convey, through his small-format photographs, his past skills as a painter.
Source: Cultura Inquieta
With a simple and delicate point of view, this minimalist photographer has made the black and white landscape his personal trademark. he built his own universe in square photographs based on real places, with landscapes of all kinds.
In Kenna’s words: “Much of my work is about the presence of absence. I rarely have people in my photographs, as I want the viewer to imagine being there alone in these empty spaces”.
14. Astronomical photography
Astronomical photography, also known as astrophotography, is one of the most difficult types of photography to achieve but, at the same time, one of the most charming.
It consists of photographing planets, satellites, comets or any other type of body that can be captured in space.
As it deals with elements that are at a long distance, this type of photography requires certain types of lenses or tripods to be able to photograph with clarity.
The best astrophotographers
Not just any photographer can manage to stand out in the field of astrophotography, one of the most complex types of photography today. That’s why the references we name below deserve double recognition and a standing ovation. get to know their work!
Daniel Canarias is a renowned Spanish photographer with a long career in this type of photography.
He is the founder of El cielo de Canarias, a collective of photographers who specialize in capturing time lapse videos of space and deep sky photography.
In addition, his types of photographs have been published in magazines and different advertising media.
Photography: Daniel López
Rogelio Bernal Andreo
Rogelio is another Spanish photographer recognized for his types of photographs aimed at capturing deep skies.
He has worked for different media such as BBC or National Geographic. One of his photographs was even selected by NASA as the image of the day.
Photography: Rogelio Bernal Andreo
15. Sports Photography
Sports photography is considered one of the branches of photojournalism, since it is one of the types of photography that have the intention of capturing the most important moments of an event, in this case of sporting events .
Most of these photographs are used for different purposes, either to publish them in magazines or specialized sports media or to promote a brand through advertising.
Because athletes are usually in constant movement, it is common for sports photographers to place themselves in a strategic position to get the best shots.
The best sports photographers
If you follow every team and athlete in the world, regardless of discipline, and enjoy going to stadiums, then this is one of the types of photography that may interest you. Meet some of the most famous sports photographers and be convinced.
Walter Iooss is one of the most important sports photographers of all time.
Hehas had the opportunity to photograph Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali, which led him to win renowned international awards.
Photography: Walter Ioss
Known for his photographic contributions to the world of boxing, Neil Leifer is one of the most influential sports photographers of all time.
His constant contributions to TIME magazine and Time Inc have led him to win different awards and to become a producer of documentaries and audiovisual projects, being one of the greatest exponents in this type of photography.
One of his best known photographs is that zenithal shot where Muhammad Ali was singing victory in one of his battles.
Image: Neil Leifer
16. Lifestyle photography
There is a certain charm in capturing everyday moments, whether through a camera or a smartphone. Beyond this choice, lifestyle photography is a type of photography that intends to turn any moment of everyday life into an artistic composition.
The premise in this type of photography is to tell stories through images and generate different sensations. In addition, it is characterized by photographing moments in an informal way without preparing the scenes or compositions.
Lifestyle photography is a trend that is gaining more and more strength, especially among photographers who are just starting their adventure in the world of photography.
Image: Getty Images
Test: what is your ideal type of photography?
Now that you know the most important types of photography today, have you been able to choose the style you like the most? If you still can’t make up your mind, don’t worry, with this quiz on photographic genres, perhaps we can give you an orientative push .
All you have to do is answer the questions below, write down the letters corresponding to your chosen answers and check your answers. This will give you an idea of what kind of photos you would like to take. grab a pencil and paper (or open a notepad) and let’s get started!
Let’s imagine you are a professional photographer, where and how do you work?
A. Outdoors and in teams
B. Outdoors and alone
C. You don’t care
D. Indoors and alone
E. Indoors and in a team
The style of photos you like to take, including:
C. Everyday moments
how do you market your professional photography service?
A. You sell your photographs to companies or clients
B. You work as part of a company
C. You sell different types of photographs on the internet
D. You work as a freelancer
E. You work in a photo agency
How do you market your professional photography service?
A. While doing some extreme activity
B. Located at an odd angle
C. While going about your daily life
D. In enclosed places or stores
E. Working comfortably in a studio
where do you usually take pictures?
A. A national park
B. A busy street
C. A party
D. A bar or restaurant
E. A photography studio
Most A’s: aerial photography
If you got a majority of A answers, then start looking at what your next drone will be. Aerial photography is one of the most fun and dynamic types of photography – you’re sure to love perfecting your skills in this field!
Other similar branches of photography are underwater and sports photography.
Most B’s: photojournalism
If you consider yourself a vigilante, then the types of photography related to the documentary genre are your ideal field. Get your best camera ready and go cover an event in your city. Then, offer the photos to a local media outlet and that’s it! You can now consider yourself a photojournalist in the making.
C Majority: lifestyle photography
If you like to portray everyday moments, then lifestyle photography is for you. If you want to start your photography career with something simple, then this is the way to go.
did you know that you can take amazing photos using just a smartphone? this is one of the types of photography you can take your first steps with!
Majority of D: food photography
If your cell phone photo album is full of pictures of food dishes, then it’s no coincidence that you had a majority of D answers. Exploit your photography skills with one of the most sought-after types of photography today.
Majority of E: advertising photography
If, in addition to choosing majority E answers, you are interested in working for big brands or collaborating with entrepreneurs, then you should definitely opt for advertising photography. one of the most profitable and popular types of photography today!
Image: Getty Images
We hope that with the information about the types of photography and the mini quiz you have expanded your knowledge about this technique and have chosen your favorite. Remember that photography is an art that is learned through practice and experimenting in different contexts and opportunities.