Photography Categories – Most Popular Styles and Types

female photographer taking a picture

There are so many types of photography categories. Unless you are a professional photographer or serious hobbyist who has studied photography a great deal, you probably don’t even realize how many categories there are.

New categories are developing every day, too, as technology changes and our lives evolve.

It’s also important to realize that photography categories aren’t just the different things we take photos of. Different categories require different levels of specialization.

For instance, lighting is always important when snapping a photo but it differs completely from category to category.

Black and white photographers use lighting differently than macro photographers and they use it differently than travel photographers and so on.

What are some different photography categories, and what should you know about each?

Wedding Photography

wedding photo bride and groom holding hands

One of the most popular categories of professional photography is wedding photography. Why? Because people want the highest quality photos of one of the most important events in their lives.

Wedding photographers typically shoot in either a traditional or photo journalistic style. They might also offer photography sessions for engagements, wedding rehearsals, wedding brunches, day-after, or trash the dress.

Wildlife Photography

Deer in a field

Wildlife photography is another category. It can be an adventurous type
of photography, though not always, and tend to require a lot of patience.

Time-Lapse Photography

city night time lapse

Time-lapse photography is a method of capturing images in a series of frames. It’s the same scene captured with fluctuations and can be replayed like a short video.

You’ll see time-lapse photography used with subjects like celestial bodies, growth, and decay of organic matter or when erecting a home or other building.

Travel Photography

woman taking cityscape with phone camera

Travel photography is used to photograph a specific place. Photographers try to capture what’s special about a destination, be it the culture, the people, the architecture, or something else.

The images captured with travel photography can be used for personal, commercial, or editorial purposes.

Black and White Photography

black and white photos on a wall

This is a style of photography loved by many. It focuses on the image without the interference of color. Photos can be taken in black and white or they can be edited to black and white afterward.

Originally, all photos were black and white and then tinted to different tones. Black and white photos tend to have a timeless, classic feel.

Commercial and Business Photography

employees in a conference room

Business and commercial photography are used in a professional environment. Business photos are those used to market or promote a business.

It might be headshots of executives or photos of a team at work. Commercial photography, on the other hand, promotes products or services. It might be featured in catalogs, brochures, advertisements, or other marketing materials.

It might also incorporate other photography categories, such as fashion, food, or product photography.

Candid Photography

candid photo of woman walking along river

Candid photos are photos taken in the moment. They are appropriate in many situations and are a great way to capture an event.

Drone Photography

photographer launching a drone from hand

Drone photography is one of the newer categories of photography but it’s a variation of aerial photography. This just means the photograph is being taken from overhead.

Now that drones can be used, it’s possible to get aerial drone photographs from angles and areas that were previously not an option.

Editorial Photography

newspaper on desk with camera and computer

Editorial photographs are often used in magazines and
newspapers though it does arise in other situations. This style of photography
is intended to tell a story and often used in media.

Event Photography

concert photo from sound engineer desk

In addition to wedding photography, there are other events that people want to capture. Event photography can include parties, dances, award ceremonies, concerts, or any other type of gathering.

Photos can be personal or they can be used for marketing or commercial purposes.

Family Photography

candid family portrait on a beach

Family photography is used to capture pictures of families. It can utilize a variety of different styles of photography, but is most often known for portraiture. Portraits capture a person or group of people and use lighting and the surroundings of the photo to highlight the people in the picture.

Though portrait style is common in this category,
sometimes family photos are candid and might be taken at family gatherings.

Newborn and child photography is one of the most popular types of family photography. This is because so many parents want to capture the early days, weeks, and years of their children’s lives.

Landscape Photography

landscape photo of mountains and a lake

Landscape photography is intended to capture the magic and beauty of the great outdoors. It focuses on natural surroundings and highlights mountains, bodies of water, land masses, skyscapes, and other natural features. It can be used for a variety of purposes and has a great deal of artistic flexibility for the photographer.

Lifestyle Photography

woman at desk in apartment

Lifestyle photography is one of the photography categories that captures people in real-life situations. It tells a story, like editorial photography, but is more casual than a traditional editorial photograph.

It might also incorporate aspects of other types of photography, such as fashion or food photography.

Macro Photography

macro photo of a purple flower

Macro photography captures objects close up. Often these are small objects made to appear larger than life in the photos.

Many macro photographers focus on the natural world and take pictures of flowers or insects. This category requires a special lens and uses lighting and depth of field to produce interesting photos.

Pet Photography

english bulldog puppies

Similar to family photography, this category of photography focuses on pets as subjects. Most are portraits of beloved family pets and might incorporate props or other styles of photography to make the photos interesting and fun.


woman shaking hands at a conference

Photojournalism is used to tell a story with photos. Instead of telling the story with words, the story is told with pictures. It most often appears in magazines and newspapers and is one of the most impactful categories of photography in existence.

Real Estate Photography

brick house exterior real estate photo

Real estate photography, as you might guess, is photos of homes, rental property, and other real estate used to promote or sell the real estate. It can include both interior and exterior photos and uses light and camera settings to enhance the look of a space.

Use this article as inspiration for choosing your photography niche.

The post Photography Categories – Most Popular Styles and Types first appeared on Photography Spark.

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